November 2017
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Public Access to the Hudson Waterfront


The Municipal Art Society is examining the effects of high-density office towers on the riverfront and their impact on how cities experience the water. The commercial development proposed by the city may have imposing effects on park users, and a disconnecting effect for people east of 10th Avenue.

Our goal is for corridors to the river to be clear and inviting and for development to be organized in a way that makes the neighborhood a welcoming place for the whole city. This kind of accessibility is vital to successful park space, as well as to the higher land values and retail energy that often accompany them.

With the development of the Chelsea Piers complex in 1995 and the Hudson River Park in 1998, new life came to this once heavily industrialized section of the waterfront. As one of the city’s premier recreational amenities, the park is the Far West Side’s greatest natural asset, as well as a major attraction for tourists and residents throughout the city.

The park owes its success to effective planning. Likewise, we will not maximize the waterfront’s potential unless plans for Far West Side development use it to its full advantage.

It should be a key consideration in future developments, including the Javits Center expansion. The MAS hopes the state will revisit its expansion plans and consider ways to connect the Far West Side to the water and engage Hudson River Park.

Another major concern is creating adequate modern water and sewage controls that can accommodate the large-scale development planned for the area. This has major environmental implications.