At Workshops, Hear and Be Heard About Massive BPC Resiliency Projects

At Stuyvesant High School, participants in the Feb. 8 "reach workshop" discuss storm resiliency plans for Battery Park City's Rockefeller Park and Belevedere Plaza. The workshops allow people in small groups to interact with the engineers and designers in charge of the project.  Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Feb. 06, 2023

Massive changes are coming to the river-facing landscape of Battery Park City, and this may be the best time yet to hear from—and be heard by—the engineers and architects who are making the decisions.

So complex is the more than mile-long North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project, which aims to protect the neighborhood from storm surges and sea level rise, that planners have divided work into seven neighborhood segments or “reaches.” For the first time, those who want to participate in the process can hone in on just the parts that they care about most. Beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Battery Park City Authority is holding a series of four workshops where the public can meet the planners in small groups.

Rockefeller Park and Belvedere Plaza (Reaches 3 and 4). Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. in the Stuyvesant High School cafeteria.

Tribeca/BMCC/Hudson River Park and North Esplanade (Reaches 1 and 2). Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m. in the Stuyvesant High School cafeteria.

South Esplanade and South Cove (Reaches 6 and 7). March 6, 6:30 p.m. in the Stuyvesant High School cafeteria.

North Cove (Reach 5). March 15, 6:30 p.m. in the Stuyvesant High School cafeteria.

Go here for more information on the seven reaches. Register here for a workshop.

The workshops follow several wider-ranging presentations that included the gathering of public comment. “It’s a more deep in the weeds discussion rather than a broad overview,” Claudia Filomena, the Authority’s director of capital projects, said in an interview over Zoom. Unlike those sessions, Filomena said, the upcoming meetings are a “good way to get different types of feedback, and for participants to get their questions answered by the people who are doing the work.” 

While the project, with its walls, subsurface gates, and remade landscape, is yet to be designed, the “preferred” path through the neighborhood is established, raising questions about the impact to the public’s use of those many different spaces. Filomena said the planners want to hear from the people who will be impacted by those changes to the neighborhood. “There are things we have to put in place, but there are also areas for community input,” she said. Participants will also learn of the trade-offs of one alternative design over another, as well as the constraints imposed by underground utilities, multi-agency permitting and even, in the case of the North Cove, the PATH tunnel. 

Even if participants don’t end up getting everything they want, Filomena said, participation in the workshops will give them what she calls “a sense of ownership” of what gets built, a feeling that “this project didn’t just happen to you. You were part of the process.”

The project design is expected to be concluded in the second quarter of next year, and construction completed in early 2027.