Adam Bealieau, Elizabeth MacWillie, Jonathan A. Scelsa, Deniz Secilmis Bealieau, Atelier Inertia
As the spine of the Bronx, the Grand Concourse has the potential to serve the community as a both a recreational and transit artery. Through the introduction of new green nodes, and a continuous vegetated tissue, the Concourse reclaims its position as public space for the people of the community.
The Grand Concourse, originally conceived as a boulevard of transit from Manhattan to the northern parkways of the Bronx, has become a divide and obstacle for the pedestrians of the community. No longer needed as a dedicated vehicular transit chord, this thoroughfare must reinvent itself as a public spine catering to the Bronx residents’ recreational needs. Simultaneously, the new promenade can serve as pedestrian link to the inclusion of new infrastructural transit such as bike lanes, subway and light rail.
This continuous promenade along the length of the Bronx would augment the established public transit system by fostering three forms of personal transit; car traffic, pedestrian thoroughfare and bike-lane. Each an individual tissue of urban development, these three transit elements will run the length of the concourse weaving together to symbiotically develop a new urban spine for the Bronx.
The systematic crossings of the tissue serve to establish community landmarks and neighborhood destination along the length of the Grand Concourse. These green nodes foster interaction, fun and exploration serving to awaken the public’s recreational engagement in an important historic corridor.
The promenade is activated at the origin of the Grand Concourse near the Harlem River where there exists a confluence of existing transportation infrastructure. The introduction of a new South Concourse Metro North Station prior to the bifurcation of the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines in conjunction with a Bike Service Loft provides a foundation for the promenade at the beginning of this urban Spine.