By Nate Mundt
Governor Cuomo announced two winners in the ‘Reimagine the Canals’ Competition.
The competition, sponsored by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation, seeks to increase economic activity and tourism along the Erie Canal.
“As an upstate New Yorker who lives near the Erie Canal and is a frequent visitor to canal communities, I know how this competition can unlock even more potential to make this a major tourism magnet,” said Kathy Hochul, Lieutenant Governor of New York. “The canals have played a crucial role in New York's history and growth, and with the implementation of these new exciting projects, the canals will remain a vital force and make a positive contribution to the economic well-being and quality of life in the 225 communities they travel through.”
The first winning proposal includes building “pocket neighborhoods” along the canal, with houses being surrounded by a common green space and having direct access to the canal. A pilot project is being constructed in Canastota, New York, which would consist of a public-private partnership.
The other winning project consists of starting the Erie Armada, a multi-day festival where local breweries would race in boats made out of common materials, such as beer cans and barrels. Parties would occur at the start and end of each race, featuring local food, music and beverages.
“The canals have long been a source of inspiration and wonder,” said Brian U. Stratton, the New York State Canal Corporation director. “The projects that were announced today are poised to make a real difference in how people use and interact with our canals.”
The competition was held in accordance of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Barge Canal, which is known as the New York State Canal System today.