The Haven Project
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is spearheading a transformative master plan to renovate a network of open spaces in Mott Haven and Port Morris in the South Bronx. The plan, called the Haven Project, was developed with the community and released in July 2015, and now NYRP is working to fund the proposed renovations and build them. The Haven Project aims to demonstrate measurable health and social outcomes resulting from an improved physical environment at the neighborhood scale. For example, one hypothesis is that by improving access to Randall’s Island, residents’ physical activity will increase with a correlative decrease in health care costs. As a first step, we will capture baseline health data and quality of life indicators which we will track as the project progresses.
Keep an eye out for public wayfinding promoting St. Mary’s and Randall’s Island Parks across Mott Haven and Port Morris. ‘BronxWay’ banners feature photographs by local artist Martine Fougeron and can be seen at bus shelters, subway entrances and street fences all around the neighborhood.
For this new initiative, we are honored to have assembled a world class team to develop the schematic master plan.
The planning phase was funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Project leader: Deborah Marton, New York Restoration Project
Hospital partner: Amanda Parsons, MD, Montefiore Medical Center
Community health researcher: Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH, and Lori Fingerhut, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Geospatial analyst: Laura Kurgan and Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, Columbia University Spatial Information Design Lab
Evaluation expert: Rupal Sanghvi, MPH, HealthxDesign
Landscape architect: Mark Johnson and Jason Newsome, Civitas
Community engagement: Paul Lipson, Barretto Bay Strategies; Mychal Johnson, South Bronx Unite
Shadowing partner: Dave Cable, TreesCharlotte
MOTT HAVEN & PORT MORRIS
Located just north of Randall’s Island on the Bronx’s southernmost peninsula, Mott Haven and Port Morris bear the brunt of housing some of the city’s largest industries and highway infrastructure, resulting in poor environmental health outcomes such as asthma and obesity. As part of the poorest congressional district in the country, Mott Haven and Port Morris contain under-resourced parks and open spaces and a high concentration of public housing facilities, leaving a lot of room for improvement and growth.
Fortunately, there is growing momentum in the neighborhood. Mott Haven and Port Morris have a strong coalition of community-based organization and activists, as well as a growing patchwork of capital and programmatic improvement projects, such as the Mott Haven Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, the Community Parks Initiative, and the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan. NYRP has a history of work in the neighborhood, most notably the recent planting of 1,000 trees and the renovation of the Willis Avenue Community Garden. As The Haven Project moves forward, NYRP will harness this momentum to create real changes in the landscape that influence quality of life.
Images by Civitas, Inc.
Artwork featured in master plan by Jeanine Alfieri, Marguerite Juner, Martine Fougeron, and Cinnamon Willis
Read our latest blog posts for updates on The Haven Project.
At the first Haven Project community meeting in October 2014, NYRP met with over 60 residents, activists, non-profits, and representatives from elected officials’ offices at the NYC Montessori Charter School in Mott Haven. The groups identified neighborhood assets and nuisances and discussed possible solutions such as bike lanes, sidewalk enhancements, tree planting, and the greening of vacant lots. Below is the resulting map highlighting their feedback.
NYRP’s partners at Columbia University Spatial Information Design Lab created a series of maps and charts to analyze and compare different parts of New York City according to specific demographic, environmental and health data. Their analysis highlights the need to address environmental health issues in Bronx Community District 1, which includes Mott Haven, Port Morris and Melrose. Explore the data using this link.