With good transit connections (further improved by extending the East Side Access) and adjacent to a developing Harlem, the South Bronx Waterfront, now an industrial site in the floodplain, offers great potential for the development of mixed-income and affordable housing. Such a development should serve two purposes: to give the South Bronx a clear, civically oriented front towards Manhattan, connecting the area to Harlem via the Third Avenue Bridge, and to reinvigorate the surrounding neighborhoods. By elevating the land for development into an attractive waterfront landscape, new development can act as a buffer for the areas behind it. Locally, harder flood protection infrastructure might be necessary.
A key design challenge is to connect the new developments to the areas across the Major Deegan Expressway. The notion of social infrastructure at this location is especially relevant to the challenges of the existing affordable housing nearby, where necessary resiliency measures can be an important first step towards further improvement and transformation. A resilient development of the South Bronx waterfront offers exciting possibilities to unlock the potential for both great placemaking and increased economic investments in this area.