The Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center is an institutionally affiliated research and education center that advances interdisciplinary inquiry about one of Brooklyn’s most valuable but least understood assets: its waterfront. The Center serves as an institutional focal point for many of the waterfront-related, grant-funded initiatives that City Tech has developed and plays an integral role in the College’s federally funded redesign of its Pathways program. This new curriculum uses the waterfront as its central focus and is based on active learning, place-based instruction, and interdisciplinary cooperation.
The Center functions as an incubator for new waterfront-related research and as a venue to bring students into the knowledge-creation process. Furthermore, it reaches beyond the walls of the college through its public events, conferences, web initiatives, and seminar programs. Through such means, it draws attention to key issues that affect Brooklyn’s waterfront communities and enables dialogue between key policymakers, experts, educators, and community leaders. The Center’s interrelated goals are reflected in its three central missions: research, education, and public outreach.
Our Three-Part Mission
- Support faculty research fellows
- Support undergraduate and graduate research fellows (students will work with faculty members on research projects, participate in seminars, and assist in the archiving and digitizing of various historical materials)
- Engage City Tech’s Ursula C. Schwerin Library as an archival repository for locally based/endangered industrial records/archives related to the Brooklyn waterfront.
The Center also works with the Brooklyn Historical Society on these issues.
- Develops examples and models of place-based education
- Make technology (GIS, mapping work, open platforms) central to its mission by producing tools and content that can then be used in courses
- Work with public schools on the development of place-based curriculum
- Offer summer workshops for faculty of public schools (cf. Along the Shore)
- Offer public lectures, seminars, and forums that inform public dialogue on issues
related to Brooklyn’s historic waterfront
- Participate in events such as the annual City of Water Day
- Join with community groups to develop waterfront-based arts programming
- Create cultural exchanges among local colleges and institutions and organizes public events that explore connections between the historical past and the industrial present of waterfront locations such as the Greenpoint Manufacturing Center, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Red Hook’s commercial center, and the Newtown Creek Alliance.