Casey Peterson, MUP 2018

Summer 2017

Organization: New York City Department of City Planning, Waterfront & Open Space Division

Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship

” I wrapped up my internship at NYC Department of City Planning by going on a canoe trip in Newtown Creek with the Waterfront & Open Space Division.

We explored the canal between Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and saw a surprising amount of wildlife despite the poor water quality conditions.

The trip was an excellent way to round out my summer exploring New York City’s waterfront.




I also concluded my research on property in the current and future floodplain, refining my skills in Excel and GIS to generate tables, charts, and maps reflecting vulnerabilities to flooding as they relate to zoning. This involved taking stock of buildings that were built before the creation of zoning in 1961, residences that have exceeded the zoned floor area ratio, grandfathered residences in industrial districts, and many other indicators related to land use and zoning.

This research will be useful both for internal analysis and external engagement with community boards as DCP continues to work on updating the zoning text for the city’s floodplain.

Overall, the experience was invaluable. Not only did I hone my research and geospatial analysis skills, but I came to know a very dedicated and inspiring group of staff. I really appreciate the opportunity this fellowship provided me, and I would strongly consider a career in the public sector moving forward.