The Gotham Center is setting up this discussion board to serve as a conduit for ideas--
generated by CUNY faculty and students, and by any concerned citizens--as to how the University
can best use Governors Island.
There are a lot of interesting ideas floating around that make use of the
Island's location - in but not quite of the City - a place to withdraw from
Gotham the better to reflect (or act) upon it. Some of these take off from
enterprises in which CUNY is currently engaged, and involve students living on
the island for short term programs, ranging from seminars on city issues, to
special courses for the CUNY Honors Program, to English immersion courses for new
immigrants, to workforce training in conjunction with unions and employers (for
nurses, say, as per the program being run in conjunction with 1199; or for
artisans, such as those run by the Center for Worker Education; or for
construction trades apprentices, with building mockups on which they could
Other ideas focus on a research park (or incubator) model for spurring new
manufacturing sectors, from biotech to eco-industrial development. Another
approach is for CUNY to spearhead a multi-university consortium - amazingly, we
have no institution that fosters cooperation among the many members of New York
City's higher education sector - for collective tackling of assorted urban
Then there are a slew of proposals that were worked out a few years ago, during
the first wave of possibility about the city's getting the island, before the
transfer broke down due to internal disagreements on how best to use it. Some of
these focus on ways for enhancing public access to the island's green spaces and
the historic district there, perhaps adding a waterfront esplanade as well. There
have also been suggestions for activities that could generate the revenues CUNY
will need to maintain the island, ranging from running a conference center, a
hotel, an amusement park, a spa, some restaurants, a television tower, and a
recreation of old New Amsterdam as a historic attraction. Comments on these and
other revenue producing notions are also welcome.
We'd love to hear from you.
to post your proposal and read those
posted by others, and send us as well any other web sites that bear on the
subject. Thanks in advance for your help.