The western edge of the Bronx, as the Cross Bronx Expressway (CBE) traverses the Harlem River, is a mess of highway infrastructure.

An entanglement of highways ramps, vehicular bridges, and railways, has fragmented the neighborhoods on both sides of the highway, severed the access to the riverfront, and brought pollution and noise to the adjacent communities. The proposed design intervention on the western-most portion of the Bronx Crossing Park, spanning from the Harlem River to University Avenue, seeks to humanize the existing infrastructure, improve alternative mobility and restore access to nature.

The capping of highways is a way of repairing the damage that these infrastructural projects inflicted upon the communities where they were built. This intervention acknowledges car-centric infrastructure and starts to weave more humane spaces over it, allowing the adjacent communities to occupy and appropriate an otherwise uninviting landscape. In this way, the design proposal seeks to promote justice and equity, which are central tenets of the Green New Deal. The proposal also seeks to help build more sustainable and healthier communities by providing safe and pleasant connections for pedestrians and cyclists. Alternative transportation corridors will move people on foot and bicycles to and from Manhattan, the Harlem River, the proposed CBE cap park to the east, and across communities and parks on both sides of the highway. Meanwhile, the intervention on the Harlem riverfront seeks to restore the connection of the community to this precious natural amenity, contributing to the GND goal of improving access to nature.

Vanessa Zapata Dikuyama, MLA ’23


LA 5020 Composition and Theory II

Jennifer Birkeland, Faculty Advisor


Spring 2021