Tour The New East River Esplanade (VIDEO)

07/14/2011 04:42 pm ET | Updated Sep 13, 2011

New York Magazine's architecture critic Justin Davidson recently visited the newly completed East River Esplanade--a slender stretch of park space that hugs the East River downtown from Battery Maritime Building up to the South Street Seaport.

The Esplanade's part of a larger project from the Parks Department to fix up the city's waterfront and create a single, continuous loop around the entire island of Manhattan.

Redeveloping the city's 508 miles of shoreline property is part of a long-term plan by Mayor Bloomberg and City Councilwoman Christine Quinn "that gives some leeway to the maritime industry while trying to lure New Yorkers to the water’s edge."

Davidson's impressed. The parkitects managed to squeeze in trees, benches, "get-downs" where pedestrians can step safely down to water level, and a dog run-- all in the tiny space between the FDR Highway and the river.

"It's really symbolic of the transition of this part of the city from a place of work to a place where people live," Justin Davidson says. "They need spaces for leisure."

There are a few problems with bike lanes in the project so far, but there are always problems with bikes lanes. So, y'know.

Take a tour with NYMag below and for more details go here.