Over the last three years, we have heard from people who live, work, study, and worship in the area and are committed to its future. Through many respectful and constructive conversations, violence has emerged as an important public health issue, and the Departments of City Planning (DCP) and Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) will continue to work to create a safe space to hear and address this and all community concerns. We will work with you to make sure this important conversation will continue. The community deserves a planning process that allows everyone to have a seat at the table and respect one another.
DCP will take the next few months to assess and summarize all that we have heard and identify potential strategies that will allow a collaborative planning conversation to continue. Together with other city agencies, we will continue to work to develop a plan that serves the communities of Southern Boulevard today, addresses long-standing challenges, and guides investment into the future.
We are excited to announce a series of topic-focused public workshops this Spring, where community members and city agencies will come together to dive deep on issues and ideas as they relate to topics such as parks, public space, the Bronx River waterfront, housing, healthy food options, violence, and more.
On Tuesday, May 28th, the Departments of City Planning (DCP) and Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), with facilitation support from the City University of New York (CUNY) hosted the fourth in a series of topic-focused Deep Dive meetings for the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study at PS 75. The event built on the visioning and goal-setting workshops held in fall 2018 and provided an opportunity to discuss issues, ongoing community work, and ideas related to the neighborhood food landscape. Attendees had conversations and participated in facilitated, small group discussions focused on topics related to food including the food economy, food quality and affordability, and food spaces. Discussions of these topics were rich, and participants dove into the systems and barriers that create the food landscape today. Some topics of conversations raised by community participants include food equity, affordability, entrepreneurship, small businesses support, street vendors, space for food production, and more.
The meeting closed with a larger group discussion of how these food topics related to one another and a Q&A. Look for a summary of events to come but in the meantime, you can review photos and notes from the event below.
On Tuesday, May 28th, the Departments of City Planning (DCP), Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), with support from the City University of New York (CUNY) hosted the forth in a series of topic-focused Deep Dive meetings for the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study at PS 75. The event built on the visioning and goal-setting workshops held in fall 2018 and provided an opportunity to identify priorities related to neighborhood food landscape.
On Thursday, April 11th, the Departments of City Planning (DCP), Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) hosted the third in a series of topic-focused Deep Dive meetings for the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study at East Bronx Academy. The event built on the visioning and goal-setting workshops held in fall 2018 and provided an opportunity to identify priorities related to housing.
Attendees had conversations and participated in facilitated, small group discussions that addressed government involvement in redlining, urban renewal, and disinvestment in the area. Participants also engaged in activities that tied housing challenges and quality to health outcomes. The meeting closed with a presentation given by HPD that provided an overview of existing housing policies and tools and was followed by Q&A. Resource stations were available throughout the event to provide attendees with information on how to report poor housing conditions, apply to the affordable housing lottery, and tools for tenants who believe they may be victims of harassment.
Review the activities that were completed as part of this workshop and to see the comments relayed by attendees.
On Thursday, March 14th, the Department of City Planning along with the Departments of Parks and Recreation, Transportation, and Health and Mental Hygiene hosted the second in a series of a topic-focused Deep Dive meetings for the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study at East Bronx Academy. The Deep Dive centered around Parks, Public Space, and the Waterfront, inviting participants to share their local expertise around these spaces, and the connections between them, in their communities.
Attendees had conversations and participated in workshop-style activities with City agencies and each other around the topic areas of parks, streets and public space, the waterfront, and connections throughout the study area. Participants also engaged in a storytelling activity, sharing their experiences around the Southern Boulevard area. Building on the visioning and goal-setting workshops held in fall 2018, the Deep Dive provided an opportunity to identify priorities for the future plan’s strategies and recommendations. Thank you to all who attended and participated!
View materials and notes below
Streets & Public Space
Summary of Event Notes and Online Survey
Thank you to all those who attended the Goals Workshop (held on 9/29/2018 at Casita Maria) and Visioning Workshop (held on 10/20/2018 at Fannie Lou Hamer High School).
At the Goals Workshop, participants engaged in conversation around shared values and issues that exist in the community today before discussing their visions, goals for the study, and ideas of how to achieve them. Activities at the Visioning Workshop were focused on recapping the themes identified at the Goals Workshop before diving in to think about how goals could be accomplished by applying tools throughout the study area.
You can review the workshop materials and draft notes below.
View the Goals Workshop materials and notes:
See what your neighbors had to say by clicking here.
View the Visioning workshop materials and notes:
See what your neighbors had to say by clicking here.
Starting in early 2019, we will be hosting a series of topic-focused deep dive conversations to start formulating strategies and recommendations for the plan! Stay tuned for dates and a schedule for those.
In the meantime, have questions about the study? Contact the study team at SouthernBlvd@planning.nyc.gov.
The Dept. of City Planning and sister agencies with sponsorship by Bronx Community Boards 2 and 3, and State Assembly member Marcos Crespo hosted an open house at Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School on June 14, 2018.
Attendees interacted with materials about the study process and background, area history, demographics and more. Different topic-based stations about health, housing, open space & connectivity, land use and urban design, youth, retail and local business, and the environment provided opportunities for city agencies to discuss their current work in the area and the tools that they can bring to the study process. Also, to build on initial community engagement, community members were able to offer feedback and input on what we’ve heard through our outreach efforts that was summarized in the Community Input Snapshot | Vistazo a los aportes de la comunidad. We heard more about what people love, existing issues and needs, and their big ideas for the area, as well as community responses to a variety of different questions posed by City agencies themselves.
If you could not make it to the Open House, but would like to learn more about the study and share your thoughts about the study area, email the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study project team at email@example.com
A summary of the event is now available: Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Open House Summary
Un resumen del evento está disponible ya: Resumen de la Sesión Abierta
Study Process & Background | Processo del estudio y los conocimientos
What is a neighborhood study and what is in a neighborhood plan? What is the process and where are we at now? Why study the communities around Southern Boulevard? What is the history of planning in the area and who lives there? Learn key facts about the area, including population trends and jobs data about where people work.
Housing | La Vivienda
What is the makeup of the existing housing stock in the area? What recent investments have been made related to new construction and preservation of affordable housing? How can I access affordable housing in the city? What should I do if I’m being harassed by my landlord? Learn from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) about these topics and more and learn how to access the various HPD resources for protecting tenants and keeping people in their homes today.
Open Space & Connectivity | Espacio abierto y conectividad
What is being done to improve the parks in the area? What has been done to make the streets and intersections safer? Where do issues remain? What is happening with the Sheridan Expressway? Parks, streets and transportation play a crucial role in the everyday lives of area residents. Learn more about these important resources including current, recently completed and future projects from the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Department of Design and Construction (DDC).
Land Use, Zoning & Urban Design | El uso del suelo, zonificación y diseño urbano
How does land use and zoning relate to the character of the neighborhoods in the area? What is zoning and what does it do? What are the urban design principles and where do they apply in the area? Learn about the answers to these questions and more from the Department of City Planning (DCP) and DCP’s Urban Design Division.
Take a look at the places or buildings people said they love in their neighborhood, their favorite parks or public space, places that make them feel comfortable and good, and the routes they take to school or work.
Health | Salu
What creates health? How does the City address health equity and fostering healthy communities? Learn about these topics from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and see the beginning of a dialogue with community members around community health. Health in neighborhoods is not only influenced by our homes and workplaces, streets and playgrounds, and stores where we buy things, but also by the lasting impact of historical and structural inequities still seen today.
Youth | Los jóvenes
What kind of programs and resources are there for youth in the area and where are they? Where are positive places youth can hang out after school, get leadership training, or find a job during the summer? Learn from the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) about these topics and learn how to access the various DYCD resources like Youth Connect.
Retail & Local Business | El comercio minorista y local
What are the top business types on Southern Boulevard and what kinds of stores would people like to see more of? How many storefronts are vacant? What changes need to be made to attract more visitors and what types of challenges do merchants face? Learn from the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) about the strengths, challenges, and opportunities within the Southern Boulevard commercial corridor.
Environment | Medioambiente
Where is the City investing in the cleanup of contaminated sites (brownfields) in the area? How does the City support community-based organizations redevelop vacant, contaminated sites and craft a vision for neighborhood revitalization? Learn about grant opportunities and more from the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation.
Since the start of the 2018, local leaders, community-based organizations, and city agencies have done important work as a part of the study and process:
Community Input Booklet
Throughout 2017, the Department of City Planning (DCP) and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) met with small groups, engaged people at local events, and conducted a Community Survey. DCP has summarized the feedback to date in an easy to access booklet. The booklet describes the process of collecting information, and for certain categories it summaries what people like about their neighborhood and what they think needs improvement, including direct quotes and some general take-aways.
While the document is only a snapshot of what we've heard so far, this information is meant to be used as a start to the conversation. There will be many more opportunities to provide input and feedback throughout the study process at future events.
DCP’s Bronx Office has been out at many events in the community so far this summer, collecting input from community members around Southern Blvd. Look for us at your local event! Thank you to the many partners who have invited us to table at their events including:
Ideas, issues, and concerns contributed during summer outreach and small group discussions will be reflected in public events in the fall. A public open house and visioning session is expected in fall 2017. Following that, the planning process will include public workshops on topics such as housing, jobs & local businesses, public space & access, public space & access, health & community services, and arts & culture.
On June 28, 2017, Council Member Salamanca, together with the Department of City Planning Bronx Office (DCP Bronx Office) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), convened a roundtable discussion with local affordable housing developers and housing advocacy organizations working directly in the areas around Southern Boulevard. Representatives from Mid Bronx Desperados Community Housing Corporation (MBD), Phipps Houses, South East Bronx Community Organization (SEBCO), Banana Kelly CIA, Mothers on the Move, THE POINT CDC, and Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY) had an open conversation about major housing-related issues their organizations are addressing today. Key concerns were heard about the Housing Lottery, Community Preference, HPD Term Sheets, Community Land Trusts, AMI levels and affordability, homelessness, preservation of existing affordable housing, housing conditions, gentrification, and displacement. T his discussion was just the first of many anticipated housing-specific events related to the study and is helping to inform public events in the fall.
This event also marks the start of a series of topical roundtables including, but not limited to, Public Space and Connectivity and Workforce Development, that will lead to multiple public events this fall. In the meantime, the Department of City Planning will continue to listen and gather information at public events held by community partners throughout the rest of the summer.
As recommended by the Planning Partners, we will be out in the communities around Southern Boulevard over the summer listening, engaging, and learning from residents about their neighborhoods. We plan to do broad visioning activities to learn from residents, workers, and students on what they love about their community, understand their concerns, and think about the future.
As a next step, and as recommended by our Planning Partners, DCP is going hyperlocal and taking the planning discussion to small groups across the area. These meetings will provide an opportunity for tenant groups, houses of worship, parent groups, youth groups, senior centers, businesses, and others, to have a more in depth conversation about the importance of planning, the planning process, and their needs and aspirations for their neighborhoods and Southern Boulevard. These conversations will be an opportunity for stakeholders to shape the planning process and ensure their local knowledge informs the study as we lead up to a series of area-wide meetings.
If your group is interested in participating and contributing, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January 2017, the planning partner organizations in the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study Area — including representatives from various community organizations and city agencies — met again in small group conversations to answer questions like, why plan, what’s in a plan, what do we know about the area, and what does the planning process look like?
Parallel to these efforts, the planning team has continued to collect community feedback via the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study community survey, including via the online portal and at a tabling event at Urban Health Plan.
To see materials from the latest planning partners meeting, click the links below:
Notes and handouts from this meeting:
In December 2016, we had a check-in meeting with our planning partner organizations. We discussed how to make the survey a success, brainstormed some of the goals and values for the planning process, and began a discussion about what the planning process should look like.
Notes and handouts from the meeting.:
The Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Planning Study is in its early stage. You will find information on public meetings and activities posted here.
In October 2016, DCP, sister agencies, and Councilmember Rafael Salamanca welcomed the planning partners, a diverse group of local stakeholders and leaders, to the East Bronx Academy. The partners presented past plans and their organizational missions, and shared their ideas for the planning process for Southern Boulevard. The planning partners will help drive community participation and share what they know about the neighborhood based on their planning and work in the area.
See the recap and materials from the meeting: