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It's time to write a new story for America's forgotten communities.

Tottenville was once a vibrant farming, oystering, shipbuilding, and tourism community at New York City's southernmost tip.  It was later the home to small factories.  Today the local economy can't support living wage jobs.  Community ties have broken down and Main Street has  been replaced by strip malls.

How can towns like Tottenville rediscover themselves and thrive in the 21st Century? Regenerating Tottenville is looking for answers to that question.  

Let's get started!

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Regenerating Tottenville


Engage with the shoreline

The State of New York is looking at aquaculture as a way to remove nitrogen from our polluted marine waterways.  Tottenville could be a possible pilot site for a kelp farm.


Bring farming back

Interested in exploring the exciting possibility of bringing farming back to the South Shore to put Staten Island at the leading edge of the city’s emerging regenerative economy?

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Be part of a creative community

Plans are afoot to repurpose the  historic Stadium Theatre to  house a Makers/Arts Space.  Are you an artisan, maker, or entrepreneur excited about this vision?


Share your ideas 

Do you have ideas for our next Tottenville workshop where we will share knowledge and skills for regenerating Tottenville?


“Every story would be another story … if it happened someplace else."—Eudora Welty

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"Sometimes we must walk backwards looking forward so we can regain our collective identity," Pablo Lopez, a leader of the Red Wolf Band (from Sustaining Change in a Market Economy, Hanmin Liu)

 Clues to regenerating communities are revealed in the rich human collaborations and knowledge-sharing networks that existed in their heydays, before the forces of an extractive economy broke them down. Here we explore Tottenville's past and imagine how those networks and collaborations might be redrawn.  

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A Look Back


A Look Forward


The People of Tottenville

They love their community, recognize its potential, and care about its regeneration. 


I just think we have lost so much by not having any kind of organization or unification, someone looking out for us. If we can connect now with people who can pull us into the future I think we will be a better community for it."



"The oysters they are going to plant on the breakwaters will create a habitat for the fish. They are great filterers and will make a recreational environment that all of us can enjoy."

— JOHN MALIZIA, Sport Fisherman


“Overall you have to look at the big picture. We are a community. Sometimes you have to look beyond what directly affects you and see how it can be beneficial in the long run to everyone else.”



"The plans have always been to create connectivity from Conference House Park Visitor’s Center all along the shoreline to Page Avenue so people can utilize it more fully."

JIM PISTILLI, Civic Leader


“Now that the Conference House Park Pavilion is being rebuilt I am so excited. It’s the kind of development that feeds the soul.”



Plotting our course from our first visit to Tottenville in June of 2016.




What’s New with the Living Breakwaters Project

Living Breakwaters is a $70 million project funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and a winner of HUD's Post-Sandy Rebuild by Design Challenge. It was designed as a storm mitigation project in the aftermath of the devastation wrought along the Tottenville shoreline by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  The project is, however, intended to be much more than a defense against the inevitable superstorms to come in the age of climate change.  Its aims are threefold and mutually reinforcing: to adapt the vulnerable south shore of Staten Island to withstand the worst ravages of likely future superstorms, to restore and enhance shoreline biodiversity, and to foster stewardship by reconnecting a community with its rich marine heritage.