An Unexpected Renaissance: River of Hope in the Bronx
Park by Park, Year by Year, A String of Small, Verdant Successes
“Michael Kimmelman paints an idyllic picture along the Bronx River in New York, where the waterfront along ‘one of the most blighted, abused waterways in the country’ is being transformed park by park,” writes Jonathan Nettler, Managing Editor of Planetizen.
“As old industrial waterfronts throughout the five boroughs undergo a dramatic transformation, Kimmelman spotlights an area of ‘special priority’ to the Bloomberg administration that has flowed beneath the radar.”
Along the south end of the Bronx River, Kimmelman describes “a patchwork of green spaces has been taking shape, the consequence of decades of grinding, grass-roots, community-driven efforts. For the environmentalists, educators, politicians, architects and landscape designers involved, the idea has not just been to revitalize a befouled waterway and create new public spaces. It has been to invest Bronx residents, for generations alienated from the water, in the beauty and upkeep of their local river.”
“For Kimmelman,” notes Nettler, “the jumble of projects, which aim to add up to the long-term recovery of a great waterway and its neighborhoods, ‘illustrates how government, although it can be obstructionist and infuriating, is also indispensable to urban improvement’.”
According to Michael Kimmelman: “What’s emerging in the Bronx is past and future. A new, more equitable vision for the city in the 21st century. And a river returned, at least partly, to its former glory.”
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Acknowledgement: Michael Kimmelman is an author, critic, columnist and pianist. He is the architecture critic for The New York Times and has written on issues of public housing, public space, infrastructure, community development and social responsibility. He was the paper’s longtime chief art critic – “the most acute American art critic of his generation,” in the words of the Australian writer Robert Hughes. In 2007, Kimmelman created the Abroad column, as a foreign correspondent covering culture, political and social affairs across Europe and elsewhere. He returned to New York from Europe in autumn 2011 as the paper’s senior critic and architecture critic, and his articles since then have helped to reshape the public debate about urbanism, architecture and architectural criticism.