Edgemere, Queens

Rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and precipitation, and the likelihood of more frequent and intense storms threaten New York City's neighborhoods and infrastructure while exacerbating social inequity. Edgemere's severe damage from Hurricane Sandy, coupled with the City's ownership of a significant amount of vacant land, created an opportunity to pair the City's recovery efforts with a long term vision for a higher quality of life for Edgemere residents.

With this in mind, HPD launched the Resilient Edgemere Community Planning Initiative in October 2015 as a collaboration between City agencies, community members, elected officials, and local organizations. Moving from comprehensive planning towards implementation, the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan lays out clearly defined goals, strategies, and 60 concrete projects, representing millions of dollars in planned investment over the next 10 years and beyond.

Project Highlights

  • 41 attached homes elevated so all habitable space is above flood risk, totaling 107 units, including 51 affordable units.
  • $14 million for a Raised Shoreline - an elevated berm that will protect Edgemere against 30 inches of sea level rise.
  • $68 million in improvements to Beach 41st St. Houses and Beach 41st St. Cornerstone Community Center.
  • 5 acres of city-owned lots proposed as mixed-use development that will provide retail, community facilities, and affordable housing.
  • 16 acres of land in Edgemere's most vulnerable areas will be dedicated for use as open space, providing coastal protection.
  • 26 acres of improvements to Bayswater Park, including park access improvements along Beach 35th Street. 

Goals and Strategies

Protect the neighborhood from flooding. Edgemere is a vulnerable waterfront community where residents have limited access to the bay and beach.

Create resilient housing and maintain low density feel. Many still live in Sandy-damaged homes and the area's housing market has not fully recovered from the Recession.

Improve streets and transportation. Commuting around and off of the peninsula is a burden due to the slow, unreliable, and infrequent transit service.

Increase neighborhood amenities. Residents mostly shop outside of the neighborhood because limited retail and basic amenities exist.

Process

The plan demonstrates that engaging local residents can result in thoughtful solutions to complex challenges; and, at its best, serves as a model for how communities can collaboratively build a shared vision for a resilient future. Through a four-phase planning process over the course of a year, including workshops, open houses, small group meetings, and questionnaires, the resulting plan lays out a comprehensive, long-term vision for investments in resiliency, transportation, economic development and quality of life improvements in Edgemere. By crafting a clear long-term community development framework, this plan seeks to meaningfully address challenges experience in daily life in Edgemere.

Learn (October - December 2015)
Two public workshops were held in October and December 2015. HPD and partnering City agencies worked with the Edgemere community to define goals, priorities, and guiding principles for the neighborhood's future.

Create (January - April 2016)
HPD and its partnering agencies refined the guiding principles into goals and a set of draft strategies. In April 2016, HPD held open houses for the Edgemere community to provide feedback and further shape the draft strategies.

Finalize (May 2016 - February 2017)
HPD and its partner agencies turned the draft into concrete strategies and projects. The strategies and projects include programs, like vacant lot clean-ups, and physical projects, such as the construction of a coastal protection feature.

Implement (Starting March 2017)
Starting in March 2017 HPD and partner agencies will implement the community plan. The Edgemere community will need to play an active, engaged role of the next several years to ensure the successful implementation of the community plan.

Please send your comments, ideas, and questions to resilientedgemere@hpd.nyc.gov.