Waterfront Conference 2023 has ended
Track E: Communities, Projects, and Public Participation [clear filter]
Monday, May 8

10:45am EDT

Managing Social Media’s Role in Community Engagement Efforts
Social media plays a rarely explored role in communications that occur to and within communities facing neighborhood-scale changes from infrastructure projects. This panel discusses social media as both a driver of support and of opposition, and the ways project practitioners can manage and address its power and drawbacks. Changes in the use of Twitter will be addressed as well as the role of social media in crisis communications.

avatar for Melissa Aronczyk

Melissa Aronczyk

Associate Professor, Rutgers University
Melissa Aronczyk is an associate professor in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University. She is the co-author, with Maria Espinoza, of A Strategic Nature: Public Relations and the Politics of American Environmentalism (2022). Her research on strategic communication... Read More →
avatar for Aria Cochran

Aria Cochran

Director of Communications, Waterfront Alliance
Aria Cochran is the director of communications at Waterfront Alliance where she works collaboratively across all departments to elevate the organization’s mission through digital and traditional media. Prior to joining the Waterfront Alliance, Aria served on the communications teams... Read More →
avatar for Trever Holland

Trever Holland

Parks, Recreation, Waterfront and Resiliency Committee & Board President, TUFF-LES (Tenants United Fighting For the Lower East Side), Chair, Community Board 3
Trever Holland is the chair of Community Board 3’s Parks, Recreation, Resiliency and Waterfront Committee in Manhattan, New York. He is also the president of Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES) and the co-founder of the Friends of Pier 35. Trever has lived... Read More →
avatar for Dahvi Wilson

Dahvi Wilson

VP Public Affairs, Apex Clean Energy
For over a decade, Dahvi Wilson has dedicated her career to enhancing community engagement approaches for clean energy siting. As the vice president of public affairs for Apex Clean Energy, Dahvi built and directed an industry-leading public affairs team, focused on preserving and... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 10:45am - 11:45am EDT
Room 118 (1st Floor)

2:00pm EDT

The Imperative to Go Beyond Public Meetings
The full menu of methods for informing communities and obtaining public input is vast, yet many continue to rely on the use of public meetings or open houses as the primary tool for public participation. What is the full menu of tools for involving communities, soliciting information, gathering input, and building trust?  What else is needed to make sure methods go beyond the public meeting model? What methods are most equitable and what are the costs and implications of a wider range of commitments to other methods by project sponsors?

Panel sponsored by:

avatar for Robert Atterbury

Robert Atterbury

EVP Relationships & Programs, Hudson River Park Trust
Robert Atterbury joined the Hudson River Park Trust in January 2022 as the executive vice president of park relationships and programs. He has responsibility over programs, initiatives and external relationships that support the park’s engagement with patrons and communities. Prior... Read More →
avatar for Frank Avila-Goldman

Frank Avila-Goldman

Chair, LES East River Residents Committee
Frank Avila-Goldman proudly joins a long list of local advocates fighting to protect the future for subsidized housing developments along the Lower East Side. In 2019, after months of local organizing, Frank helped form the Lower East Side East River Residents Committee, a group of... Read More →
avatar for Marisa Denker

Marisa Denker

CEO, Connect the Dots
Marisa Denker is the founder and CEO of Connect the Dots (CTD), an impact-driven, fully women-owned firm that specializes in outreach and community engagement. CTD is focused on connecting diverse voices to decision-making by building innovative, meaningful engagement and outreach... Read More →
avatar for Arif Ullah, WEDG

Arif Ullah, WEDG

Executive Director, South Bronx Unite
Arif Ullah is executive director of South Bronx Unite. He is a social and environmental justice advocate, grassroots urban planner, and community activist. He has experience in designing and managing community development programs, establishing alliances, and co-creating campaign... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)

3:05pm EDT

Lowering the Tension: Resilience, Development, and the New Wave of Environmentalism
A wave of energetic resistance has been rising against key resilience projects and infrastructure development. Some projects have become mired in public controversy, with epithets such as NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) and BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone) thrown back and forth. These dynamics of community opposition present challenges for the future of climate-resilient infrastructure projects. As neighborhoods and communities face change, how can we steer the environmental movement to think creatively and innovatively about what our future communities need to look like? What are strategies that work for engagement processes experiencing resistance and hardship? How can projects that expect resistance prepare for it? How do design teams balance incorporating legitimate community concerns with misinformation? What has worked well and why?

avatar for Gwen Dawson

Gwen Dawson

Senior Vice President of Real Property, Battery Park City Authority
Gwen Dawson is the Battery Park City Authority’s senior vice president of real property, responsible for the Authority’s planning, design, construction, and facilities management activities. During her tenure, the Authority has overseen the completed build-out of the Battery Park... Read More →
avatar for Ali Estefam, WEDG

Ali Estefam, WEDG

VP/Project Lead—Planning & Design, Melissa Johnson Associates
Ali Estefam is an award-winning urban planner and community consultant. She uses planning tools for public participation, to leverage power imbalances, and to advocate for social justice. Ali conducts and strategizes community engagement for large-scale urban, resiliency, housing... Read More →
avatar for Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker

Executive Director, Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Andrea Parker is the executive director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, where she works to empower a community of environmental stewards and design advocates in the Gowanus Watershed. Her background as a landscape designer and gardener provides an invaluable pragmatic understanding... Read More →
avatar for Alexis Taylor

Alexis Taylor

Vice President of Climate Resilience, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Alexis Taylor is vice president of climate resilience for NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) where she is responsible for leading a portfolio of resilience and waterfront projects, which include neighborhood-scale resilience projects like the Financial-District & Seaport... Read More →

Monday May 8, 2023 3:05pm - 3:55pm EDT
Events Hall (2nd Floor)
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