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Melrose Commons Earns First LEED Neighborhood Honors in NYC
Posted By Brit Liggett On March 22, 2010 @ 6:30 pm In Architecture,Green Building,New York City | 5 Comments
In 1994 an Urban Renewal Plan  threatened to price out the residents of Melrose Commons in the South Bronx . In an effort to keep their neighborhood, the residents formed a community group aptly named Nos Quedamos — which in Spanish means, “We Stay.” The group, through persistence, successfully coerced the city into including housing that was within their price range  and then made sure that the city built their new neighborhood as efficiently as possible. Melrose Commons is now the first neighborhood in New York State  to receive LEED Stage II Silver Certification for Neighborhood Development by the U.S. Green Building Council .
When the Urban Renewal Project  began the 7,000 residents of Melrose Commons had an average annual income of $12,000 which was too low for the middle income and mixed-use housing that the city had planned. The founder of Nos Quedamos was the late Yolanda Garcia. She decided the residents should stand up for themselves instead of quietly being displaced. The construction that followed has grown into a 35-block neighborhood that is full of affordable sustainable housing . The neighborhood even comes complete with windmill-topped buildings that generate electricity for residents.
Magnusson Architecture and Planning’s  green arm, MAP Green, planned and executed the developments along with the developer Melrose Associates. Christine Hunter, a principal at MAP Green noted that they, “felt strongly that Melrose Commons should be certified  because, from the start, the neighborhood-based team was committed to pedestrian-oriented  mixed-use, mixed-income development, maintaining open space and incorporating sustainable design  and construction techniques .”
Via Green Buildings NYC 
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/melrose-commons-earns-first-leed-neighborhood-honors-in-nyc/
URLs in this post:
 Urban Renewal Plan: http://www.sustainable.org/casestudies/newyork/NY_af_melrose.html
 South Bronx: http://www.inhabitat.com/2005/10/18/sustainable-south-bronx/
 within their price range: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/01/20/habitat-for-humanity-and-nyc-team-up-for-leed-certified-affordable-housing/
 New York State: http://www.inhabitat.com/nyc/
 U.S. Green Building Council: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/12/las-new-ritz-carlton-jw-marriott-tower-going-for-leed-gold/
 Urban Renewal Project: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/05/19/torontos-ambitious-tower-renewal-project/
 affordable sustainable housing: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/01/11/renovated-sugar-refinery-to-provide-sweet-new-homes-in-brooklyn/
 Magnusson Architecture and Planning’s: http://www.maparchitects.com/
 certified: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/16/jean-nouvel-unveils-reflective-leed-certified-skyscraper-in-nyc/
 pedestrian-oriented: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/26/san-franciscos-pavement-to-parks-initiative-gets-a-major-boost/
 sustainable design: http://www.inhabitat.com/interiors/
 construction techniques: http://www.inhabitat.com/architecture/
 Green Buildings NYC: http://www.greenbuildingsnyc.com/blog/david/big-up-in-the-bronx-boogie-downs-melrose-commons-first-nyc-hood-to-earn-leed-for-neighbor
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