Theses Master's

Designing for Disconnection: Changing Intentions and Uses of the Waterfront in Post-Erie Canal New-York City

Blair-Joannou, Eric

Until recently the New York City waterfront experienced decades of disuse and abandonment. The very field of urban design largely came about as a re-imagining of urban waterfronts, and the conversation about New York's water's edge is not a new one. What this thesis seeks to convey is the changing intentionality of nineteenth century urban planning and design in this space before and after the construction of the Erie Canal. The project attempts to flesh out implications for both physical-spatial and psychological disconnections from the waterfront in terms of land use and transportation patterns.
Though much discourse takes place surrounding waterfront planning and design, what has not been so proliferous are investigations of the changing land uses or transportation networks intersecting with the waterfront. By the same token, in the field of history, specifically, though much scholarship exists about the importance of the Erie Canal to economic development in New York City, State, and the nation, studies of the impacts of the Canal on the physical space of the NYC waterfront are lacking. This thesis uses historic maps and plans of New York City in an attempt to begin a conversation on the changing waterfront with the hope of inciting further interest in the subject matter from students of history and urban planning.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Beauregard, Robert
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
October 22, 2015