Threats to Gateway

Gateway National Recreation Area

About Gateway | Threats to Gateway
Envisioning Gateway: A Public Design Competition |
Gateway Park Sites

Eroded SeawallGateway is captured in a quagmire of unrealized potential. It was designated the first urban National Recreation Area on the October 27, 1972 - exactly one century after Yellowstone became the first national park in the United States and the world. Yet today, thirty-four years later, Gateway continues to struggle to meet the aspirations of its founders, to negotiate its relationship with the communities that surround it, and to balance the goals of historical preservation, environmental conservation, and active recreation.

Since the creation of Gateway three decades ago, the park's facilities have been neglected and stand in varying states of disrepair. New habitats, marshes, modern recreational facilities are needed to welcome park visitors and to create an environment that is suitable for park visitors, native wildlife and plants to flourish alongside one another.

The open landscapes of Sandy Hook, Fort Tilden, and Floyd Bennett Field suffer from chronic funding shortfalls, resulting in dwindling visitor services, crumbling buildings, and threatened resources.

Abandoned BuildingComprised more of water and marsh than upland area, the park stands as a tremendous regional opportunity but also presents a set of fundamental challenges, including the need to collaborate across city, state, and federal agencies, as well as an overall lack of funding to address the park's critical needs.

In December 2006, NPCA conducted an online poll through Zogby International to measure the awareness and opinions of New York City area residents about Gateway National Recreation Area. Strikingly, 47% of respondents were not aware that Gateway exists. To view all poll results, please click here (PDF 33 KB).

NPCA, VAI and GSAPP believe that an open design competition will generate substantive dialogue across the many local, municipal, state and federal agencies and the public-at-large at to raise awareness of Gateway's potential both as a regional asset and national treasure.


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