There’s still time to register for Living in Brooklyn: Housing along the Waterfront on Friday, April 12th.
BWRC’s full-day gathering will feature discussions on the future of affordable housing in Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhoods. As housing costs increase and coastal fragility accelerates, Living in Brooklyn gathers a dynamic group of leaders to debate the critical questions: what bold policies and programs are needed to increase real affordability?
Featured panels include:
Details to follow.
Join us on Friday, October 12th and hear representatives of Riverkeeper and the Newtown Creek Alliance discuss their comprehensive, four-part vision plan for the remediation and restoration of the Newtown Creek. The Plan emphasizes the importance of understanding the innate complexity of an industrial urban ecosystem, from storm surge vulnerability to community health outcomes. Learn how a balanced and safe environmental ecosystem can coexist with industry; why waterfront accessibility is so crucial to sustainability; and what role the local community can play in the process.
Two days before Earth Day 2018, the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center (BWRC) will present a full-day conference on what climate change has done, is doing, and will do to the Brooklyn waterfront. The conference will also explore what residents, small businesses, local officials, neighborhood groups, city, state, and federal agencies, corporate and individual property owners, and operators of large industrial sites have done, are doing, and will do in response to climate change. While we can chart what has been done and note what is being done, what will be done/what should be done are not yet settled nor agreed upon and will form the core of the conference’s discussions. Those discussions will center on two issues: the first will be the triple threat of sea level rise, subsidence (land sinking), and storm surges, and the second will be the equity and environmental justice questions these threats raise.
While the Brooklyn waterfront has much in common with other coastal regions—and with those of its sister boroughs—some of the challenges it faces are unique. We all recognize the dramatic transformation of much of the Brooklyn waterfront that has occurred in little more than two decades. The question is: Will we be faced with another dramatic transformation of the waterfront in the coming two decades, but this time one that is Nature-driven?
The conference will begin with a provocative primer on sea level rise, subsidence, and storm surges, detailing how each presents Brooklyn with a set of unique but interrelated problems. We are planning a panel that will examine how the problems have already presented themselves—in the waterfront’s infrastructure, its transportation systems, its low-lying communities, its beaches, and its public housing.
The bulk of the conference, however, will focus on the efforts and plans to make the Brooklyn waterfront resilient. In short, what is the future of Brooklyn? We will hear from various waterfront communities about their planning and design efforts. City officials will speak about resiliency planning and the financing involved in implementation. Architects will speak about using WEDG standards and designing for resilience. Panelists will also discuss efforts to protect Brooklyn’s natural and constructed shorelines, including Jamaica Bay, Coney Island, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Throughout the course of the conference, we will touch on pressing urban policy issues related to zoning, engineering, insurance, small businesses, and land use.
The conference will close with select panelists addressing controversial issues such as the wisdom of managed coastal retreat, the efficacy of sea-walls and barriers, and the appropriate time-frame during which crucial community planning decisions must be made.
Art at the Water’s Edge:
Building Community along Brooklyn’s Waterfront
Join us for a panel discussion of artists who use the Brooklyn waterfront as subject, inspiration, material, and place for their art. Moderated by BWRC’s Robin Michals, the panelists, each working in a different media, will explain what draws them to the waterfront and how that place informs their art—from printmaking to photography to boat and bridge building.
The Red Hook Winery, located on a pier along the Brooklyn waterfront was founded in 2008. Come hear one of the winery’s three winemakers, Christopher Nicolson, speak about using grapes from New York State vineyards in the Finger Lakes and the L.I. North Fork regions to create a variety of unique wines that exhibit New York State’s diverse offerings.
Joining Christopher will be City Tech’s Karen Goodlad, who will lead a conversation with the winemaker and four students who are learning wine making. City Tech students helped at the winery after the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, and the Red Hook Winery has been reciprocating by teaching City Tech students how to make wine. Come hear what the students have learned in this program sponsored by the Julia Child Foundation.
Join us for a lively conversation about environmental justice and gentrification along the Brooklyn waterfront when professors Kenneth A. Gould and Tammy L. Lewis discuss their new book, Green Gentrification: Urban Sustainability and the Struggle for Environmental Justice. Their book explores the social consequences of urban “greening” from the perspective of environmental justice and sustainable development. Gould and Lewis will explain how “greening,” which is meant to improve environmental conditions in neighborhoods, generates a kind of gentrification that pushes out the very people it was meant to help.
Joanne Witty has had a long and varied career as a lawyer, environmentalist, political activist, and author. She has been a central figure in the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, as President of the Local Development Corporation that created its master plan, and as Vice-Chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation – the entity building and operating the Park. She has held posts in both New York City and New York State government. For many years, she served on the Board of the National League of Conservation Voters and now serves on the Board of the Environmental Defense Action Fund.