Seaport City: Neighborhood Built on Landfill May Be Coming to the East River

May 23, 2014

Though bearing little resemblance to its quaint East River neighbor, “Seaport City” could become a reality based on a new study released yesterday by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

But don’t bank on a new set of sought after residential and commercial river views just yet. Seaport City is only one of a number of options presented to the city as part of former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 257-point, post-Hurricane Sandy resiliency plan – and it’s the most challenging on the list.

In the aftermath of the most devastating storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, the eastern edge of lower Manhattan saw major damage, with nearly 1,700 commercial and residential buildings experiencing flooding as bulkheads failed to adequately stop storm surges south of 42nd. However, Battery Park City, which sits on a landfill on Manhattan’s west side and was built to withstand flooding, escaped major destruction; which is why last June, Bloomberg heralded Battery Park City as a model for protecting the east side of lower Manhattan from future storms.

According to the report, a multi-purpose levee (“MPL”) concept would use landfill to extend the existing coastline further into the East River, and it outlined various configurations of residential, office, and community space, including parkland. Citing successful global precedents from around the world in places like the Netherlands, Singapore, and Japan, the report concludes that while a multi-purpose levee with buildings and parks on top of it is physically, legally and financially “feasible” in New York, the legwork necessary to implement such a plan is rife with complications and bound to take years to complete.

The 69-page report, Southern Manhattan Coastal Protection Study: Evaluating the Feasibility of a Multi-Purpose Levee (MPL), can be found in its entirety on the New York City Economic Development Corporation website.

[via Capital New York]

Main image of Seaport City rendering courtesy of  New York City Mayor’s Office via Flickr.


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