Community Visioning in Edgemere

An inclusive and equitable community visioning process for parcels of land recently purchased as part of New York City’s effort to protect the coastal community of Edgemere from flooding

introductory photo

Watch our new video, made by the Nature Conservancy, to learn more about the collaborative process that was conducted between RISE and the town of Sydney, New York.


This project helped to build consensus around a vision for socially and ecologically beneficial use of the underdeveloped, flood-prone vacant land along the waterfront, while also exploring the potential for a Community Land Trust (CLT) to manage some of this property and other city-owned vacant land in the area.

By building on RISE’s eighteen years of community organizing and relationships, we aimed to engage a wide range of stakeholders and residents and center on historically marginalized voices, especially youth, Black and brown residents, residents of public housing, and immigrant community members.

RISE partnered with Collective for Community, Culture and Environment to take a closer look at the potential for fifty-five vacant city-owned lots between Beach 43rd Street and Beach 47th Street, which extend from the Jamaica Bay Shoreline to Beach Channel Drive. These lots could be acquired by the CLT from the city and are intended to be programmed as open space and can be activated through a wide variety of community resources, recreational spaces, and gathering places.

This project complemented a number of ongoing initiatives, including Resilient Edgemere Initiative Rezoning, Edgemere Community Land Trust Initiative, East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet Hurricane Sandy General Reevaluation Study for Coastal Storm Risk Management, Greater Rockaway Community & Shoreline Enhancement Plan, and Enabling Rockaway Homeowners to Prepare for Coastal Flooding

Our Community Visioning Process engaged Edgemere residents and stakeholders in three community forums to create a community agreement for the use of these vacant lots. Though the forums are over, we have the final report and action plan below, as well as a document on resource and funding opportunities for stakeholders to continue this work.