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Submitted by

Luc Vrolijks and Lee Altman, Urban Progress Design; Javier Rojas-Rodriguez, Vestibule-projects
New York, NY


The Grand Concourse does not need star-architecture; it needs community life. POWERline provides a toolkit for reprogramming the street from the bottom up. The result is a lively and attractive street. Powered by solar energy, providing economic power and learning energy; for and by the peoples of the Bronx.


Empower communities, energize the young; lighten up the neighborhood; invigorate new entrepreneurs; support the community; that and more is what the Bronx needs its Grand Concourse to do.

The Grand Concourse has the potential to be a vital ‘power line’ for the communities of the Bronx. Its grand structure is ok; it does not need star-design-fashion-statement, but an improvement of the local qualities of the street. It needs re-programmed from the bottom up rather that from the top down;

We propose to divide the section of the street into three parts. The center section is for tru-traffic. But both sides are ‘localized’; traffic space becomes community space here. How? That will be decided by the communities of the Bronx.

The proposal provides a toolkit of street-level interventions. A ‘plug-in wall’ powered by a solar roof; a Summer Class as a place for free education; a Basket Ball Court; a trunk market and more. The container building serves as the hub in the center of it all. The Tool Kit has the building blocks to ‘localize’ the Grand Concourse and transform it into a lively and attractive street.

The key players are the local communities. Any group can propose ‘community interventions’. A ‘PowerLine Team’ with volunteers will be stationed at the Bronx Museum to help design proposals and get them implemented. The proposals are judged by The Grand Concourse Committee, a special committee of the Community Boards 1, 4, 5 and 7.