Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey 07030
HISTORY OF THE FUND FOR A BETTER WATERFRONT
The mission of the Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW) is to secure the water's edge along the Hudson River as public parkland that will be enjoyed by people of all walks of life for generations to come. In Hoboken, FBW's successful battles over the past twelve years have helped to build a waterfront park that is now 70% complete. The opportunity to finish the missing links in Hoboken's waterfront park is now tantalizingly close and would result in a prototype for waterfront planning.
The voters of Hoboken scored a stunning victory in 1990, defeating a massive 3.2 million square foot development scheme for Hoboken's south waterfront in a public referendum. Subsequently, FBW, a nonprofit organization, was formed. FBW's first task, employing professional urban planners and landscape architects, was to create a plan for Hoboken's waterfront. The centerpiece of this plan is a continuous park running the length of Hoboken's riverfront. This plan took a number of different forms: a two-dimensional drawing, then a 4' by 12' architectural scale model and finally, a book entitled, A Plan for the Hoboken Waterfront.
After a second referendum victory in 1992, the City of Hoboken agreed to work with representatives of community groups, including FBW, to create a plan for the Hoboken waterfront. In February of 1995, the City of Hoboken adopted an amended redevelopment plan for the south waterfront that embraced nearly all of the principles advocated by FBW. Nearly half of the site is devoted to public open space. The piers, that formerly were to be platforms for the development of 1.6 million square feet of residential and commercial development in the Hudson River under the 1990 City of Hoboken/Port Authority proposal, are now devoted entirely for public use.
For the past twelve years, FBW has continued to advocate for a waterfront park along the Hudson River, designed in a fashion that it is unquestionably public. FBW sponsored exhibits at the Urban Center in New York City and at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Another book was published in 1995 entitled, Reclaiming the Waterfront, A Planning Guide for Waterfront Municipalities. FBW has engaged in numerous legal battles challenging planning board approvals, defending against a developer-sponsored lawsuit to void the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway requirements, contesting waterfront permits granted by the State Department of Environmental Protection and disputing amendments to local zoning ordinances.
FBW has also worked to spread its success in Hoboken to other communities. For the past three years, FBW has worked closely with a community based organization in Weehawken to develop a "community plan" for 142 prime acres of waterfront in this township. FBW has also assisted waterfront communities in Jersey City, Edgewater and Bayonne, and is now invited to speak at numerous workshops and conferences throughout the region.