Infrastructure design can improve the aesthetics of a community, but it can also do wonders for public health. Case in point: New York Restoration Project‘s recently unveiled Haven Project, a “transformative master plan” that aims to revitalize the South Bronx with an interconnected network of expansive green spaces, tree-lined streets, public art areas, bike lanes and waterfront access. Haven’s overall objective is not only to refresh the area’s look but also to drastically boost health conditions in the borough, which is currently the least healthy in all of New York state.
The Haven project, which is slated to begin in 2017, aims to transform the area between 132nd and 134th Streets in the South Bronx. Upon completion, the developers estimate that the health-focused project will improve life for approximately 100,000 Mott Haven and Port Morris residents.
“NYRP has created green spaces in underserved communities for nearly two decades, and what we know is that trees, gardens and open space do much more than beautify neighborhoods – they transform lives,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director of New York Restoration Project. “The Haven Project’s plan for new open spaces in Mott Haven and Port Morris will improve the health of its residents and create a new destination for the South Bronx, encouraging active lifestyles and building social capital.”
The South Bronx, although known for its strong sense of community, is plagued with some of the city’s heaviest industrial uses and suffers from high rates of poverty. Thanks to the revitalization efforts, the new vision for local residents includes promoting physical activity, improving pedestrian safety and increasing social interaction. In addition to boosting public health, the project is backed by the Montefiore Medical Center, which will work with the Haven team to specifically reduce the current high asthma rates in the neighborhood.
Images by Civitas, Inc.