Recovery, Adaptation, Mitigation and Planning

Sustainable Communities

Home Sustainable Communities


Sustainable Communities

Department: Planning
Community: Coney Island
Instructors: Stuart Perez
Fall 2013

The Studio in the Fall Semester of 2013 focused on Coney Island and a search for its sustainable and resilient future.  The “clients” for the study were six presidents of the NYCHA communities at the western end of the Coney Island Peninsula and one in Gravesend.  Our goal together was to develop planning programs that supported their vision for the betterment of their community.

We looked at regional development, land use, changing demography, jobs, community development, housing, land and historic building preservation, recreation, infrastructure and the environmental, social, economic and physical impact of rising tides on the lives of the area’s inhabitants.

We worked through interviews and visioning sessions with residents to understand the needs and interest of their community while helping to inform them of the physical and organizational options available to positively shape their future.

What we found was a community remarkably isolated from the City and the peninsula that surrounded it, but significantly at the effect of the decline of the amusement area and the aging and gated communities that make up Coney Island.  And, as all of the waterfront communities in the region, were, in October of 2012, totally inundated by rising tides and storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, highlighting not only the peninsula’s vulnerability to a changing climate, but the neglected local infrastructure and lack of community level emergency response.

In the visioning sessions, the community expressed their frustrations and anger with what should have been and their satisfaction with much they had built together.  We took their comments as our direction, and from them wove a 184 page document, presented, printed and bound with program responses to the issues their voices raised.

Field and Court Permit Requests


   Download Poster


Improving Access to Nutrition in Coney Island


   Download Poster


Organizing for Empowerment

  Download Poster


Related Projects