Magazine article Parks & Recreation

On the Waterfront

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

On the Waterfront

Article excerpt

WHEN WE SET OUT TO PRODUCE OUR COVER STORY ON WATERFRONTS, we were faced with a wealth of choices. Minneapolis, Minnesota, had just completed a design competition for a major overhaul of its riverfront. Newark, New Jersey, has made redevelopment of its Passaic River shoreline a central part of the city's overall revitalization by connecting it with its various neighborhoods via parks and trails. Even in my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, developing the Potomac River shoreline is being hotly contested by citizens with different views on what it should look like. Many more waterfront projects are in the works around the country, and we knew we had to narrow our thinking. We chose to focus on projects that were either occurring in a natural setting or that made nature a central element of their planning.

This was easy in the case of Eastshore State Park in the Bay area of San Francisco, California. The trick there was in reclaiming once beautiful and pristine shoreline from years of abuse and neglect. This they achieved with stunning results. On the other hand, one does not automatically conjure up pastoral visions when thinking about the Harlem River in New York City. But that's pretty close to what long-time residents on the upper east side of New York envisioned and wanted. …

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