Jill Leckner, Jeffrey Johnson, Magda Wala, Aimee Duquette, and Jessica Dobkin, SLAB Architecture
Curb Play! A delightful vision of the possibilities held within a flexible curb line – one that will bring pedestrians back to the Grand Concourse wanting more from city life! It will inspire you and future generations by providing a stage for community interaction and urban cohesiveness!
When first designed, the Grand Concourse was a bold, urban gesture created to inspire harmonious social order—a civic landmark that coupled beaux-arts grandness with engineering ingenuity. Today, however, the Grand Concourse no longer resonates as one of New York’s grand civic projects. Generations of adaptations, dilapidations, and neglect have stripped the Grand Concourse of its inspirational past. We propose to restore and resurrect its ambitious goal—to inspire social harmony—by reconfiguring the boulevard into an urban stage where all of the diverse actors can perform, together, the necessary acts of city street life.
Curb Play! creates a continuous ribbon of urban activity by reclaiming the uninhabitable slivers of the street’s medians, barriers, and unused zones and reconfiguring them into larger, more usable spaces for community activity. This can be achieved by a series of simple operations of pushing and pulling the existing curb lines into more optimized configurations. Permanent and temporary maneuvers provide for a multitude of possible reconfigurations that can convert the current automobile-centric corridor into a pedestrian haven—all without major expense or disruption to existing traffic conditions. These newly focused and pedestrian-friendly urban spaces, strung through the heart of the Bronx, will provide the community with a flexible platform for social interactions, injecting life and vitality back into the Grand Concourse.