Nathalie Rozot, Photic and David Seiter, Future Green Studio
New York, NY
By 2050, the Bronx will be the envy of New York City’s four other boroughs. Bronx It Up features a spectacular landscape, a striving local economy of produce and solar energy, and a buzzing nightlife for the Grand Concourse. Our three-layered proposal intersects environmental, social and economic programming and planning.
In Bronx It Up, we suggest that the Grand Concourse beyond 100 should feature only the best design and planning practices, from buildings to public spaces, in the lineage of the Sustainable South Bronx, Melrose Commons, and the Center for Sustainable Energy at the Bronx Community College.
Three planning interventions are intertwined: (1) Bronx Roots, (2) Bronx Sprouts and (3) Bronx Buzz.
The footprint for public spaces is increased whereas the roadway is reduced and channelled, and the quality of both becomes enhanced.
In (1) Bronx Roots, the general streetscape is integrated in a sweeping new landscaping which connects the two parks on either end of the Concourse. Sprinkled instead of aligned, trees create dense stretches of natural planted-malls. An infrastructure of bioswales lines walkways, bikeways, and public transportation corridors, while green walls occupy various site amenities.
(2) Bronx Sprouts articulates new local economies with programmatic intersections. Orchards and a local fleet of shared electric low speed vehicles inhabit parking lots. Small produce farms and green markets occupy strategic and alternating locations within the center island. Meanwhile, the footprint of building roofs farms grid-metered solar energy and green roofs.
Lastly, (3) Bronx Buzz offers a vibrant nightscape which reminds us that the Bronx ain’t Paris. Home to a young and cosmopolitan population, the Grand Concourse hosts public plazas for music and dance, landscape for rollerskaters, and video walls for digital graffitis.
The programming, planning and incremental phasing will be directed and developed by community groups and local stakeholders and institutions.