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Rivertowns Daily Voice serves Dobbs Ferry, Hastings & Irvington

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Students Propose Ideas for Hastings Sustainability

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Graduate students from Fordham University presented ideas to residents Wednesday night to help create sustainability in Hastings through projects such as the improvements to the waterfront.

“First and foremost it needs to be similar in character to the rest of the village,” said Fordham student Patrick Verel about the waterfront.  “I feel like what we got from people is they value the character of the village so much so you don’t want to have a whole second village that is separate from it.”

The students were from the masters of arts of urban studies program at Fordham University and they discussed issues like housing, downtown improvements, transportation, food and the community overall.  The group offered recommendations that came out of a semester-long project that included interviews with locals, reviewing documents and several visits to the village.

Verel led the presentation with suggestions for improving the sustainability of the area while also keeping it enticing for residents.  He recommended exploring consolidated services in Greenburgh rather than each village having its own police department and other services to help save money.

Another topic of discussion was the suggestion of developing cohousing in Hastings that would consist of small neighborhoods of residential buildings with a common house and many shared facilities.

“I think it would increase foot traffic and I think it would make the village denser, but that would be helpful because the things you’re walking to are things you need,” said Fordham student Courtney Bell.

Issues such as parking in Hastings were discussed too as Fordham student David Goodwin suggested easing the restrictions to help create more foot traffic in the village.

“Much of the zoning appears to be focused on the automobile and not people,” he said.

The concepts of Hastings creating its own bus service, transforming Boulanger Plaza into a park and creating a permanent infrastructure for the farmers market were also discussed.  Village officials were in attendance to offer their thoughts on the students’ recommendations.

“Change is hard,” said Hastings mayor Peter Swiderski.  “It’s interesting to be on the other end of an analysis like this.”

Fordham student Sarah Benoit reiterated that everything being proposed by the group was intended only as suggestions for the village.

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