November 5 - December 17, 2009
Helfand Spotlight Series:
Intersections: Grand Concourse Beyond 100
By 2030, New York City is projected to grow by over a million residents, and an estimated 124,000 of these new New Yorkers – the equivalent of the entire population of Ann Arbor, Michigan, or New Haven, Connecticut – will settle in the Bronx. In honor of the centennial of the Grand Concourse, the borough’s central artery, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving public space for all New Yorkers, sponsored an international ideas competition, Intersections: Grand Concourse Beyond 100. The competition challenged entrants to show how the Concourse could be redesigned to help meet the Bronx’s need for housing, green space, and transportation.
Over 400 participants from around the world submitted nearly 200 entries with bold visions for how the Bronx and the Grand Concourse should evolve in the next few decades. From these wide-ranging proposals, several common themes emerged that clearly resonated among participating designers. These include:
• Microurbanism: small-scale interventions at the scale of street furniture
• Insertions: careful reconfigurations of the existing Concourse right-of-way to allow new programs, housing, and open space amenities
• Greening: conversions of the Concourse’s hardscape to urban agriculture, meadows, and other green resources
• Provocations: striking proposals that stretch the boundaries of the competition
The eleven teams presented here illustrate the diverse approaches and ideas within these overarching categories. A companion exhibition at The Bronx Museum of the Arts showcases the work of seven projects selected by a jury as competition finalists. The Design Trust will present selected projects and concepts to city officials to help them set a municipal agenda for the future of the Bronx and the Grand Concourse.
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