The Omnibus Roundup – City of Water Day, parks talks, seniors, disrepair, and Gowanus oxygenation

NYC Waterfront | Photo: cyu06

Tomorrow, Saturday, July 24th, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance is hosting the third annual City of Water Day Festival. Head to Governors Island, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Liberty State Park and the Atlantic Basin for free harbor boat tours, a children’s festival, live music, and a film expo. (If you find yourself on Governors Island, don’t forget to visit the League’s current exhibition, The City We Imagined/The City We Made, on view in Building 110 through August 15!)

Park development and renovation has been a recent topic of interest for cities worldwide. Next Tuesday, July 27th, there will be a Freshkills Park Talk on that very subject. Entitled “Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities,” the lecture will feature Peter Harnik, Director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land. Reading from and talking about his book of the same name, he will discuss how these new parks are revitalizing previously unused public space and how city planners can add green space in built-out cities. In anticipation of the talk, check out Gotham Gazette for a piece on Harnik, his book, and the politics and planning behind open space in New York City.

New York City is becoming an easier and safer place for senior citizens to live. A number of small, “age-friendly” adjustments are already being implemented, such as increasing the duration of walk signs and providing school buses for trips to the grocery. But that’s just a start. The New York Times reports that the city is in the midst of establishing two “aging improvement districts,” an initiative presented to the City Council and Mayor Bloomberg’s office by the New York Academy of Medicine. The details are still in the works, but it sounds like the planning team should take a look at Interboro’s research into NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) in NYC.

The revival of many New York City neighborhoods was tied largely to the renovation and refurbishment of thousands of apartment buildings in the city. However, given the current economic climate, many of these buildings are falling back into disrepair, as tenants are unable to pay their rent, or owners their mortgages. The city once owned many of these properties as a result of tax delinquencies and was widely criticized for how it managed their care, and has no interest in taking them over again. New owners for such buildings are scarce right now, and residents of central Brooklyn, the South Bronx and Harlem in particular are feeling the impact as their neighborhoods, after a period of revitalization, are deteriorating once again.

The Gowanus Canal, recently named a Superfund site by the EPA, has been fitted with a oxygenation system, temporarily replacing a flushing tunnel that is under repair. Part of a $140 million, four-year plan by the EPA, the added oxygen, which determines the water’s ability to sustain life, and repaired flushing tunnel will allow the Gowanus to meet recreational regulations for boating and fishing by the project’s end.

The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about. Photo by Flickr user cyu06.