“From Dump to Glory”: The Transformation of Flushing’s Downtown and Waterfront


Following is an excerpt:
Recent weather patterns have underscored the prospect of a “new normal” defined by more frequent superstorms and subsequent devastation. For New York City — an urban metropolis of 8.3 million residents whose 520 miles of waterfront wraps around all five boroughs — the upheaval and destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 raised concerns around the sustainability of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s waterfront redevelopment legacy particularly in Zone A areas.2 Although not as well-known as New York City’s numerous gentrified waterfront neighborhoods, the Queens waterfront in Flushing, dotted by numerous brownfields (former industrial sites), is also slated for development. Flushing’s waterfront is a key element in the 2004 New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (NYC EDC) Downtown Flushing Framework, that envisions the waterfront as a linkage between a revitalized downtown Flushing and new developments in Willets Point and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.3 Although Flushing’s waterfront is integral to the city’s development vision, few residents, and community stakeholders are even aware of a waterfront or of its potentially transformative role in Northern Queens.

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