Funded by a $40,000 grant from the New York Foundation, we are working alongside a team of experts in the areas of architecture, engineering, community planning and economic planning to conduct an in-depth feasibility study for the acquisition and conversion of the old Lincoln Detox building (which is 75% complete!) This historic facility – borne out of the courageous activism of the Black Panthers and Young Lords – now sits vacant in the heart of Mott Haven and stands to house more than a dozen community organizations working in the areas of health, education and the arts (H.E.ARTS). The feasibility study will be an important tool to advance the work, which has already included three community visioning sessions, two report backs, a street festival, multiple meetings with city agencies and representatives, completion of a structural engineering report and collaboration on design charrettes with the Spitzer School of Architecture. See more info here. If you are interested in getting involved with this effort, let us know.
South Bronx Unite (together with several local businesses and community members) has partnered with Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health on an 18-month collaborative research project measuring air quality, traffic and noise in the Mott Haven-Port Morris area before and after FreshDirect adds its additional 1,000 diesel truck trips through the community every day. This study is unprecedented and critical to demonstrate the need to address the health crises in the South Bronx and enact mitigation measures to change health outcomes.
Out of more than 100 applications city-wide, we were selected as one of two projects to become long-term Design Trust collaborations under a model that connects our community with Design Trust staff, a group of Design Trust Fellows (one of whom is our own community’s Dr. Monxo López!) and other community partners. Our project – Power in Place: Building Community Wealth and Well-being in Mott Haven-Port Morris – is a community asset mapping and planning project that will support our community land trust, the Mott-Haven-Port Morris Community Land Stewards. The project will make the case for community prioritized use of land by (i) creating a GIS (geographic information system) framework to identify opportunities, constraints, and requirements for the creation and use of public space; (ii) developing a community-driven plan, incorporating the myriad of existing plans (from Pratt, CUNY, MIT, Penn Design and Columbia, among others), to create new and strengthen existing public space utilizing the CLT model; (iii) re-engaging the community and stakeholders for input and direction; and (iv) building a communication toolkit that will strengthen advocacy and education about the CLT model.
WE ARE WINNING, BUT WE NEED EVERYONE TO CROSS THE FINISH LINE!
I. Legal Updates – The ongoing litigation to stop Fresh Direct’s move to the Harlem River Yards continues! Newly disclosed information provides us with the opportunity to request renewal of our claim that the State DOT violated the New York Constitution by allowing land at the Harlem River Yard to be leased to Fresh Direct. We’ll keep you posted!
II. Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan – Our community’s plan for the waterfront – which does not include FreshDirect’s diesel truck warehouse – has received overwhelming support from City and State agencies, Speaker Mark-Viverito and more than 200 residents and organizations. If you have not already done so, please submit your comments today in support of the plan – LINK HERE.
IV. Harder for Mayor de Blasio to Give $140M to One Company in a Market Flooded with Alternatives? – This proposed subsidy has long been fought by New York grocers who see significant unfair advantage being given to one company. Now the market is being flooded with additional alternative delivery providers.