Brian has long believed in a simple formula for waterfront development: remove the barriers to public access and provide high-quality public space along the water’s edge, and economic growth and development will follow. In 2005 he led the charge to secure a $279 million hydropower relicensing settlement from the New York Power Authority, which is funding much of the work at the Inner Harbor, and fought for the creation of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, which is directing the improvements. The past several years have seen an unprecedented transformation at Canalside and the next several years promise equally stunning changes at the Outer Harbor, along Niagara Falls’ waterfront with the partial removal of the Robert Moses Parkway, and in the Tonawandas.
More on Waterfront
Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) submitted a formal proposal to Governor Paterson and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) requesting 36% of the net revenue produced by the Niagara Power Project be devoted to economic development and tourism efforts in Western New York, including moderately-priced waterfront housing on Buffalo's Outer Harbor for the first time in the city's history.
Late yesterday, Congressmembers Brian Higgins, Chris Lee, Steve Israel, Carolyn Maloney and Eric Massa introduced a bill (HR2133) in the House of Representatives that would require the New York Power Authority to direct into a special fund profits from the sale of unused energy that was allocated for Western New York industries for Western New York waterfront, cultural, park and economic development projects.