South Bronx Gondola
SITE: Bronx, New York
YEAR: Urban Design Grad - 2019, Semester 2
UNIVERSITY: CUNY Spitzer School of Architecture
DURATION OF PROJECT: 1 month
The comprehensive plan involves the creation of a cable-car system that connects major regional pieces of infrastructure which helps improve neighborhood walkability, accessibility, and health. The cable-car system offers a solution to integrate the park system creating minimal disruption in the current scenario with the hope that the growing use of the parks will create a demand for pedestrian-space improvements.
The South Bronx is a 1.3 square mile area encompassed by the neighborhoods of Mott Haven and Port Morris. Unfortunately, the area has high rates of poverty and asthma while concentrating some of the city's heaviest industrial uses. The physical aspects and the planning decisions made within the Bronx are the reason we see these results today. Large highways cut through the neighborhood to connect manhattan to queens. Hunts point market, while vital for the city's food distribution system, draws a lot of truck traffic as it's the only modal available. The large amount of vehicular traffic creates a neighborhood that is not walkable while emitting carbon dioxide into the air. This carbon dioxide is the reason the South Bronx is suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country.
The issues created within this community by traffic and political decisions did not stop the South Bronx from creating a fair amount of parks and open space. A dramatic design change of the transportation infrastructure within the South Bronx can help the conversation get started on how to improve resident's accessibility to the existing park system while incentivizing less traffic on the roads.
The south Bronx is served by a fairly dense subway system, along with bus routes connecting it to other parts of the borough as well as other boroughs. The streets are not welcoming, though, disincentivizing walking.
The gondola stations are placed at parks and existing subway stations to enhance the accessibility of these places to South Bronx residents.
The South Bronx gondola system will stitch together the neighborhood fabric, wounded over the years by highways and freight traffic. The gondola system aims to integrate the already existing parks and activate them. The increased influx of users will also generate extra foot traffic in the vicinities of the parks and then, over time, expand to the areas around them. This new influx of foot traffic with a functional gondola transit system will create pressure on the city to rethink the vehicular traffic that has long plagued the South Bronx. This dramatic infrastructure change should be gradual and involve the existing community to avoid mass gentrification and allow local stakeholders and businesses to organize to use the system in their favor.
Gondola / Subway Connection Stations
Gondola Corner Stations