New York Geography

New York Geography

According to lawschoolsinusa, New York is located in the northeastern United States and in the southeastern part of New York State, centrally between the cities of Washington DC and Boston. The city is situated at the mouth of the Hudson River where it forms a sheltered natural harbor before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. These geographic advantages have greatly aided New York in its growth as a world trading city. Most of the city is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island and Long Island. The scarcity of land for expansion results in a high to very high population density in some areas.

The Hudson flows through the Hudson Valley (Hudson Valley) into New York Bay. Between New York and the city of Troy, the Hudson is an estuary. Where the Hudson forms the border between New York and New Jersey, the East River separates the Bronx and Manhattan boroughs from Long Island. Harlem River, like the East River a tidal river, connects the East River with the Hudson, forming the boundary between Manhattan and The Bronx.

The city’s coastline has changed significantly over the course of history due to land reclamation. The Dutch have already started to do this in colonial times. Especially in lower Manhattan, the land acquisition has brought about changes, resulting in various projects such as the development of Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s.

The total land area of ​​the city is estimated to be 789.43 km², while the entire area is 1214.4 km². New York’s highest natural point is Todt Hill on Staten Island with an elevation of 124.9 m above sea level. This small coastal ridge is largely forested and part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.

Districts and districts

New York is divided into five boroughs or boroughs, which are equivalent to five New York state counties. This structure is unique in the United States. Interestingly, if these boroughs/counties were cities in their own right, four out of five would be in the top 10 most populous cities in the United States.

  • The Bronx ( Bronx County, population: 1,373,659) is New York’s northernmost borough, site of Yankee Stadium, home of the New York Yankees. This is also where the Co-op City neighborhood is located, the largest housing association housing project in the United States. Except for a very small part of Manhattan (Marble Hill), The Bronx is the only part of the city that is located on the American mainland. The Bronx is known as the birthplace of rap and hip -hop culture.
  • Brooklyn ( Kings County, population: 2,528,050) is the borough with the largest population. It was an independent city until 1898. Brooklyn is known for its cultural, social and ethnic diversity, its specific art movements, its distinctive neighborhoods and its unique architectural heritage. It is the only borough outside of Manhattan that has a distinct center. There is a long coastline with many beaches and the famous Coney Island, one of the first amusement parks in the region.
  • Manhattan ( New York County, population: 1,620,867) is the borough with the highest population density and is world famous for its skyscrapers and the large Central Park. Manhattan is the financial center of the city and is home to the headquarters of many multinational corporations and international organizations, such as the United Nations. It also houses important universities, as well as cultural attractions such as museums, the Broadway theater district, Greenwich Village, and Madison Square Garden (home of the New York Knicks, among others). Manhattan can be divided intoLower, Midtown and Upper Manhattan. Upper Manhattan is divided into the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side, separated by Central Park. The northernmost section is called Harlem.
  • Queens ( Queens County, population: 2,270,338) is the largest borough and is the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. It will likely surpass Brooklyn in population in the future. Originally Queens is a collection of villages founded by the Dutch. Today, the borough is mainly inhabited by middle-class Americans. It is the only major county in the United States where the median income of an African American, at about $ 52,000, is higher than that of a white American. There are two major airports in Queens, LaGuardia Airport andJohn F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
  • Staten Island ( Richmond County, population: 481,613) is the most suburban borough. Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and to Manhattan by the free Staten Island Ferry, which is also a popular tourist attraction. Centrally located on Staten Island and measuring 25 km², the Staten Island Greenbelt offers 56 km of hiking trails and one of the city’s last undisturbed forests. The FDR Boardwalk, located along the South Beach, is the fourth longest boardwalk in the world at 4 km.

The island of Manhattan is the center of the metropolis of New York. Manhattan is connected by bridges and tunnels to Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, as well as to the state of New Jersey on the other bank of the Hudson.

Each of these boroughs contains dozens or even hundreds of neighborhoods, often with their own identity. In Manhattan there are several boroughs, which are often really “villages in the city”. Examples include Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, SoHo (short for So uth or Houston Street), and TriBeCa (short for Tri angle be low Canal Street).


Central Park in Manhattan is the most visited park in the United States.

New York has 11,000 acres of municipal parks and 22 miles of public beaches. This area is made up of by the thousands of acres of the Gateway National Recreation Area, part of the National Park Service, which lies within the city limits. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is the only wildlife sanctuary within the National Park System and covers most of Jamaica Bay with over 3,600 acres of water and swampy islands.

Manhattan ‘s Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, is the most visited park in the United States with 30 million annual visitors. The park stretches from 59th to 110th Street and has a total area of ​​341 acres. It took 16 years to build the park. It was completed in 1873; in 1965 it officially became a historic landmark and in 1974 a New York City landmark. Prospect Park in Brooklyn was also designed by Olmsted and Vaux and covers an area of ​​36 acres. Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is the city’s second largest park and was the scene of theWorld Fairs of 1939 and 1964. Bryant Park is a green oasis among the skyscrapers of Garment District in Midtown Manhattan. The Bronx also has three large parks, Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in New York, Van Cortlandt Park is the third largest. Bronx Park is known for the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden.


New York has a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen climate classification. According to Trewartha ‘s climate classification, the city has a temperate maritime climate as temperatures average −1.5 °C in the coldest months at John F. Kennedy International Airport and 0 °C in Central Park. The city has an average of 234 sunny days per year.

Summers are usually warm and humid with average temperatures of 21-25°C. Winters are cold, but due to the city’s location on the Atlantic coast, temperatures are somewhat less cold than inland areas, with maximum temperatures just above freezing and minimums that can be just below freezing.Spring and fall are variable and can range from cool to hot, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Extremes occur every year. In summer, temperatures rise above 32°C for an average of 16 to 19 days; over longer periods of 4 to 6 years, temperatures as low as 38 °C are occasionally encountered. Winter also has extremes: every year the temperature can drop to −12 °C for a few days or rise to 10-15 °C.

Annual rainfall, which is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, is about 1,170 mm. The average snowfall is around 63.5 cm, but varies considerably from year to year. The city is sometimes hit by very violent, crippling snow storms (blizzards). Sometimes strong thunderstorms are a normal phenomenon during the summer months. Although hurricanes are not directly associated with New York, they do occur. For example, in 1821, the Norfolk & Long Island hurricane caused a flood in southern Manhattan. In 1938, the New England hurricane destroyed the eastern part of the city. On the night of October 29-30, 2012, New York was hit by another hurricane: Sandy. Sandy caused massive damage along the entire east coast of the United States due to heavy wind gusts and high water. Around the time New York was hit, there was also a spring tide, which made the damage even more extensive.

Weather Averages for New York City (Central Park)
Month Jan Feb Mar April May jun july aug sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Highest maximum (°C) 22.2 23.9 30 35.5 37.2 38.3 41.1 40 38.8 34.4 28.8 23.8 41.1
Average maximum (°C) 3.3 5 10 16.1 21.6 26.1 28.9 27.8 23.8 17.8 11.7 6.1 16.6
Average minimum (°C) −3.3 −2.2 1.6 6.6 12.2 17.2 20.5 20 15.5 10 5 0 8.6
Lowest minimum (°C) −21.1 −26.1 −16.1 −11.1 0 6.7 11.1 10 3.8 −2.2 −13.9 −25 −26.1
Precipitation (mm) 104.9 80 111 108.7 119.1 97.5 117.3 107.2 107.4 97.8 110.7 100.3 1,261.9
Source: NOAA/National Weather Service


Comparison of the energy use of six US cities in the period 2000-2005, measured by average annual energy use in kWh per capita

New York is doing well in environmental terms compared to many other cities. For example, the use of public transport in the city is the highest in the entire United States. As a result, fuel consumption is equal to the national average in the 1920s.  Due to the intensive use of public transport, New York saved 6.8 million liters of oil in 2006. This makes the city an important contributor to energy savings through the use of public transport; it makes New York one of the most energy-efficient cities in the United States.New York’s greenhouse gas emissions are 7.1 tonsper capita, which is less than a third of the national average of 24.5 tons.Collectively, New Yorkers are responsible for one percent of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions, while New York is home to 2.7% of the population. The average New Yorker uses half as much electricity as a resident of San Francisco and only over a quarter of the amount of electricity used by a resident of Dallas.

New York is also focusing on using less energy in city offices and public buildings. The city is leading the way in building energy-efficient green office buildings, such as the Hearst Tower. There is also a large fleet of energy-efficient public transport buses, with buses that run on natural gas (CNG) and also hybrid -powered buses. A number of the first hybrid taxis also operate in the city. Despite these measures, especially the inhabitants of the poorest neighborhoods still suffer from above average asthma and other respiratory problems due to air pollution.

New York Geography

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