South Bronx Confronts Robert Moses

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It’s sometimes not until new development starts threatening a blighted area, and lots of eyeballs are focused on it from the outside, that neighborhoods develop their own organizations to improve conditions. Meet the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance:

Our neighborhoods are saturated with junkyards, waste transfer stations, brownfields, and truck-dependent, polluting industries that pollute our air, water, and soil. A highway-dominated planning mentality dating back to the 1950s left the South Bronx fragmented and isolated by a network of highways designed to serve regional and national needs, regardless of the costs they imposed on the low-income communities they passed through. Today, those communities are confronting the legacy of Robert Moses, and struggling to forge a new vision, grounded in values of environmental justice and sustainable development.

The group, a consortium of several community and city-wide organizations and the Pratt Institute, seems mostly concenred for now with getting rid of the stub of Robert Moses’ largely unsuccessful Sheridan Expressway to clear land for park and help clean up the Bronx River.

You’ll be hearing more from these people as government and real-estate interests converge on the South Bronx in coming years.

– Tom McGeveran

South Bronx Confronts Robert Moses