Queens College/CUNY

Planning the Future of Downtown Flushing: Flushing River and Waterfront

Date: Monday, May 23, 2011

Time: 5PM to 6PM

Place: Flushing - Queens Library
4117 Main Street, Flushing, Queens

Class presentation by Urban Studies 220 E4M3 and 760.1 E4M2, taught by Dr. Tarry Hum, at Queens College/CUNY.

Flushing, Queens is a diverse immigrant neighborhood undergoing much development and dynamic change.  The city recently approved TDC Development LLC-Rockefeller Development Corporation’s Flushing Commons retail, commercial, luxury condominium, and town plaza proposal for Municipal Parking Lot #1.  Poised to transform Flushing’s downtown, Flushing Commons is part of the city’s Downtown Flushing Framework which outlines strategies to reconnect downtown Flushing with a revitalized waterfront directly across from a new Willets Point neighborhood.  Moreover, the NYC Department of City Planning is finalizing its Vision 2020 Comprehensive Waterfront Plan.

Our class will partner with a Flushing community-based organization – the MinKwon Center for Social Action – to conduct a study of the ongoing planning efforts for Flushing’s waterfront.  We will collaborate with the MinKwon Center and engage in an in-depth review of NYC EDC’s Downtown Flushing Framework, the NYC DCP’s Downtown Flushing Plan as well as ongoing brownfield studies and community planning initiatives.  Through our partnership with the MinKwon Center, we will assess Flushing’s immigrant communities’ understanding of city planning initiatives and engage in grounded research activities to identify common needs and concerns regarding Flushing redevelopment.

Based on a review of city planning documents and extensive class fieldwork and surveys, this class will prepare a powerpoint presentation that summarizes our research findings on the opportunities and challenges for a revitalized Flushing waterfront, and the community’s outstanding concerns regarding public participation, environmental justice, affordable housing, transportation, and sustainable development.  In addition to in-class sessions based on reading discussions and lectures, we will be spending much time in Downtown Flushing and the waterfront gathering primary data and directly engaging with community stakeholders.  As such, our work may involve meetings and research activities during evenings, weekends, and spring break.




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