Hope Floats Along the Bronx River

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.
July 21, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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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.

Here, along the south end of the Bronx River, "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, 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."

"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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Published on Thursday, July 19, 2012 in The New York Times
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