As New York City strives to become a more green and livable city, the neighborhood of East Harlem has yet to receive the same planning and capital investments as adjacent neighborhoods. Accessible open space and green infrastructure in East Harlem is among the lowest in the city, which further exacerbates public health issues facing East Harlem residents.

But things are changing.

The neighborhood has many individuals, agencies, and organizations working to improve the quality of life for residents. This year, our team of Hunter College Urban Planning students — in partnership with TreesNY are studying the East River Esplanade and surrounding blocks in East Harlem. Together we are seeking to draw on technical, institutional and community knowledge to provide stakeholders in the neighborhood with actionable recommendations to address this gap in investment. 

Our plan will include policy and design recommendations addressing overlapping issues of waterfront access, public health, and safe, convenient access to open space. We will make concrete suggestions regarding potential sites for green infrastructure and will directly address the area’s susceptibility to more frequent and severe flooding as a result of climate change.


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