The BWRC celebrated City of Water Day – were you there?

The Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center joined hundreds of other organizations and thousands of other supporters, fans and enthusiasts of NYC’s waterways on Governors Island this past Saturday for City of Water Day. We spent the day gathering fascinating stories and valuable input from dozens of people about their thoughts, hopes, opinions, and best anecdotes about Brooklyn’s waterfront. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table to share your thoughts on the Brooklyn waterfront. The winner of our contest for the best suggestion on the waterfront will be announced later this week.

Have a suggestion, an opinion, a thought or an anecdote to share, or a favorite waterfront spot to reveal? Let us know in the comments!

Research Fellows and Program Coordinator Appointed

The BWRC is delighted to announce the appointment of two research fellows and a project coordinator!

Sapna Advani is our research fellow for preservation and urban design.  Sapna is currently Director of Planning at Chelsea West Architects and has over fifteen years’ experience designing and planning complex urban projects in New York City and internationally. She holds a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Pratt Institute, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture. As research fellow, she will present an original paper on waterfront planning and preservation at the BWRC’s inaugural conference in October. Her paper will describe opportunities to create reinforced connections between diverse communities and industries along the waterfront’s frontage through programmatic, ecological, recreational and cultural insertions, creating a prototype for a truly holistic world‐class waterfront destination.

Jonathan R. Peters is our Research Fellow in Economics for the BWRC. In October, he will present an original paper on current and historic economic conditions of Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront. Dr. Peters is a professor of finance in the Business Department at The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York and a member of the Doctoral Faculty in the Ph.D. Program in Earth and Environmental Science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is also a Research Fellow at The University Transportation Research Center at The City College of New York. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the City University of New York and his Masters in Economics from Hunter College. His work on public-private partnerships was published in 2006 by the New York State Department of Transportation. He has previously published in The Journal of Applied Finance, Transportation Quarterly, Business Horizons, Public Works Management & Policy, and most recently in the Transportation Research Record. He currently conducts research in the areas of regional planning, road and mass transit financing, corporate and public sector performance metrics, capital costs and performance management.
Dr. Peters grew up on the waterfront in New York City in a family with strong ties to both the recreational and working waterfront. His family has been active in the New York City Maritime Community for over 130 years. Dr. Peters is the brother, son, grandson and great-grandson of ship captains who work/worked in or out of the Port of New York. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Noble Maritime Collection on Staten Island.

Brendan P. O’Malley is the BWRC’s program coordinator. Brendan is a doctoral candidate in the History Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His dissertation examines the state agency that oversaw immigration into the Port of New York from 1847 to 1890, before the opening of the Ellis Island Station and the establishment of federal jurisdiction. He has given papers at several academic conferences, and recently organized a panel on state power and immigration that was accepted for the Organization of American Historians’ 2012 annual meeting. He has also delivered public talks at the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library. He is co-editor of Home Fronts: A Wartime America Reader (New Press, 2008) with Michael S. Foley. As Program Coordinator at the BWRC, Brendan plans and promotes the Center’s events, facilitates outreach to relevant organizations and businesses, and assists the Director in cultivating the Center’s research agenda.

Welcome, Sapna, Jon, and Brendan!

Calls for Research Fellows

The Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center seeks applications for Research Fellowships that will begin on May 1, 2011. Each fellow will undertake a project that will include original research and result in the publication of a research paper and a presentation of that paper at a Brooklyn Waterfront conference on October 26, 2011. More information about the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center is available here.

Research Fellow in Architecture, Preservation, or Urban Design
There is much to preserve and much that can be changed along Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront, and much is being preserved and much is being changed. The Research Fellow, focusing on issues of architecture, preservation, and urban design, will study and provide a detailed overview of the models of preservation and change that are occurring in this area. The fellow will look at industry/manufacturing, housing, open spaces/recreation, maritime  industries, and cultural initiatives. The fellow will explore the reuse of existing structures and the construction of new ones. He or she will study City plans and zoning and projects that are stalled, planned, or under way. The fellow should put Brooklyn’s development in an historical or international context and formulate a series of conclusions and offer topics or areas for further research.

Research Fellow in Economics, Economic History, or Development
Economic forces contributed to the need for the change that we see along the Brooklyn waterfront and that change has had economic effects. The BWRC fellow who receives this appointment will be asked to put the changes that are occurring along the Brooklyn waterfront in an historical context, showing how processes like the containerization of cargo or the globalization of manufacturing have had profound economic effects on the area.Alternatively, the fellow might examine how a convergence of other forces and circumstances resulted in change and how current economic conditions are affecting the shifts that have been under way in housing, industry, and recreation. Whichever approach is taken, it will be important to explore the economic effects, positive and negative, of preservation efforts along the waterfront. Here too, the fellow should put the Brooklyn waterfront’s development in an international context and formulate a series of conclusions and offer topics or areas for further research.

If you are interested in applying for one of the Center fellowships, please submit a two-page narrative explaining how you would approach the project. Narratives should be accompanied by a CV and one letter of recommendation. All materials should be sent to Center Director Richard E. Hanley at rhanley[at]citytech.cuny.edu.
These fellowships are open to faculty of institutions both inside and outside of CUNY. They are also open to accomplished scholars outside the academy. Non-CUNY employees will receive a $5,000 stipend; for CUNY employees, alternative compensation arrangements will be made.

Download this announcement as a PDF here.