In my own personal research there have been multiple plans created by the city  to clean up the Gowanus Canal for many years and nothing has been done. New Yorkers deserve a clean canal because its essential to healthy living. If denser residential developments is the future of the area around the Gowanus Canal than it is more than fair to also have a clean place to live free of hazardous waste.  According to the Joseph Alexiou article complaints date back to 1861 with reports of causing illness to people.  In all those years not much has been done to resolve the nasty sewage problem. I think New York could do things differently by looking back to the systems in place to contain the current waste and see what else can be done better to contain the smells and fumes coming from the water. Do i ever believe it will be clean? no. but i do believe that with the right motivation and plan the city can move toward a more effective way to contain/control the waste the surrounding structures produce.