The Spatial Information Design Lab is now the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University. Visit our new site at to find out about current projects and upcoming events. This site is an archive of work completed up to 2014.

Envisioning Gateway

Envisioning Gateway

This report, prepared by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation,offers background information and analytical work for designers, planners, stakeholders and politicians in hopes of inspiring proposals that could transform the future of Gateway National Recreation Area. 

Gateway has a diverse estuarine wildlife habitat that serves over 330 bird species, and vital fish and shellfish breeding grounds. It is an important stopover for migratory birds traveling on the Atlantic Americas Flyway. This unique urban ecosystem is a mere 50-minute subway ride from Times Square and is situated next door to John F. Kennedy International Airport in the
midst of the hustle and bustle of New York, one of the largest urban areas in the world.

The report positions Gateway in global, national, regional and local contexts. It examines Gateway’s potential role in relation to the larger network of National Park Service lands and its significance as an ecological, cultural and recreational resource. The teeming numbers of people and wildlife that visit the parklands attest to its great necessity and success. However, it faces political, managerial, and funding challenges, decaying physical infrastructure, and threats to its ecological integrity. 

Envisioning Gateway will generate substantive dialogue on what it means to be a National Park today, and how to create a new interface between one of the most vital cities in the world and its immediate environment.

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Project Team

Collaboration with Kate Orff, Urban Landscape Lab

and Sarah Williams, SIDL

Research Associates: Serena Deng, Tse-Hui Teh, Minna Ninova, Li-Chi Wang 

Project Contact:
Types: Data visualization, Mapping, tagged: mapping, data visualization, nyc