The Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center (BWRC) is a research and education center of New York City College of Technology (City Tech) at CUNY. BWRC emerged from a vision of placed-based education that would support faculty research and curricular development and focus on the Brooklyn waterfront. Building on that vision, City Tech won a $3.1 million, five-year Title V grant to redesign its entire general education program around the waterfront “living laboratory” concept. BWRC was created in tandem with the implementation of the Title V grant, which provided initial operational funding. But the Center attained an independent existence, becoming the institutional home for ongoing research and curricular development when the original grants expired.
In addition to facilitating academic research of the environmental, economic, and social characteristics of the Brooklyn waterfront, BWRC hosts quarterly “Breakfast Talks” on topics relevant to neighborhoods and communities along the Brooklyn waterfront. Each Breakfast Talk features a panel of local experts along with a guided discussion of the featured topic. In addition, BWRC organizes an annual conference that takes a deep dive into a particular issue on the waterfront. This year’s conference explored the topic of sea level rise and the possible inundation, by the end of the century, of vulnerable Brooklyn communities along Jamaica Bay. The Breakfast Talks and annual conferences both take place at City Tech and are free and open to the public.