At a Glance

New York City continues to move forward in their plans for overall sustainability, closing the gaps in their waterfront and improving both environmental and public uses.

Project Description

In 2011, in accordance with OneNYC, New York City’s plan to “become the most resilient, equitable, and sustainable city in the world”, New York City released Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. The mission of this plan was to expand Manhattan’s waterfront for parks, housing and economic development, and the waterways for transportation, recreation, and natural habitats.

The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway goes for 32 miles, circling the island of Manhattan in the process. While progress has been made for much of the waterfront, there is a disconnect in Midtown East. Separated from the waterfront by FDR Drive and the United Nation’s Campus, the people of this district lost their connection to the waterfront.

The East Midtown Waterfront Project was created to close the gap between 38th Street and 61st Street along the East River. The project is divided into three parts: Waterside Pier (38th–41st Streets), UN Esplanade (41st–53rd Streets), and E. Midtown Greenway, formerly ODR Esplanade, (53rd–61st Streets). NYCEDC, in partnership with NYCDPR and NYCDOT, have begun planning for the project.

With two goals in mind, Biohabitats was brought in as an ecological consultant. Biohabitats’ role was to support the design team in the engineering of storm water planters, native plant selection, and habitat features. Goal one was to expand public access to the waterfront, allowing improvement in connectivity and continuity for the Greenway. Goal two was to enliven the waterfront, providing a series of appealing uses, allowing integration with neighboring communities, and encouraging the incorporation of water-dependent and water-enhancing uses within the waterfront.



Hudson River

Physiographic Province

New England


Lower Hudson River

Expertise Areas

Coastal, Community, Conservation, Infrastructure, Urban Ecology, Water


New York City Economic Development Corporation


New York City, New York, United States

Project Team
  • Stantec
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Rosales + Partners
  • KC Engineering
  • AKRF
  • Atelier Ten
  • ETM Associated LLC
  • Via Collective