The latest issue of The Indypendent bravely tackles the rubberband ball of issues as the city proposes its $1.45 billion flood-mitigation plan, East Side Coastal Resiliency Project:
It raises questions about how other major coastal cities will respond to an escalating global climate crisis and to whose benefit; the legacy of housing segregation; the conflicting priorities of top-down city planning and neighborhood-based concerns; the values we assign private automobiles and mass transit; and the hollowed-out state of democracy in a New York where “the tale of two cities” persists.
Tom Angotti, UR author Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and Urban Planning in New York City and professor emeritus at Hunter College, charges:
“This is about the consolidation in Lower Manhattan of a giant Noah’s Ark for the wealthy with beautiful waterfront views while the outer boroughs get flooded,” he told The Indypendent. There will only be a place for public housing, he added, “if there are opportunities for private investment.”
Earlier this year, the city proposed an East River extension to protect Lower Manhattan at a cost of $10 billion. UR co-editor of Waterproofing New York and Director of the Graduate Landscape Architecture at CCNY, Denise Hoffman Brandt, responded in a Salon article:
“Unless you’re going to surround Manhattan with a wall, the water is going to get in somewhere and in some kind of situation,” she said, asking why a more holistic, citywide solution was not being considered. “How’s it going to look when Lower Manhattan is high and dry and the rest of the city is flooded?”