Principles for the redevelopment of the Sheridan Footprint

One of the greatest benefits of removing the Sheridan Expressway is the opportunity we would have to create a significant number of new affordable housing units for Bronx residents, as well as the open space, services, and amenities needed to foster a vibrant, inclusive new neighborhood.

1. The new housing must be available to a variety of households, including large families, and it must include a mix of affordable units that reflects the actual incomes of area residents. Including some market­rate units will help to make other units affordable, but the project will also require the aggressive use of government subsidy mechanisms to create a sufficient proportion of permanently affordable units.

2. Because the number of families in need of good, affordable housing is large, and because the location of this site affords good access to transportation, parkland, and the Bronx River in particular, we believe that at least 1000 housing units should be built on the Sheridan footprint. The site and buildings must be designed to support this density, with high­quality shared spaces, indoors and out, that promote a strong sense of community.

3. To make a neighborhood of this density socially sustainable, residents must assume responsibility for creating both a structure and a culture that foster: orespect for fellow residents, especially the elderly and the young; ocare for both the built and natural environment, especially common spaces; oa proactive response to new challenges and opportunities that a growing community will encounter. . Thus, the community that will arise on the Sheridan footprint must be managed by a governing body that reflects the community’s character, values, and aspirations, and that is controlled by and accountable to residents.

4. Commercial and community services are vital to the health and quality of life of any neighborhood, thus:

  • Sufficient space will be provided for schools, day care centers, senior centers, youth services, health services, etc., so that residents can access all of these essentials on foot.
  • In particular, the new residential population should not add to overcrowding of local schools and other services. Space on the site should be used to enhance the availability and quality of community facilities for the area as a whole.
  • Sufficient retail space will be provided to enable residents of the Sheridan footprint and the surrounding community to access a rich variety of high quality goods and services. A strategy must be developed to attract and retain supermarkets, bookstores, and other desired uses, and to support locally­owned enterprises that meet community needs.

5. The new development on the Sheridan footprint should be the most environmentally sustainable complex built in New York City to date. project design and operation will thus:

  • Maximize energy conservation and efficiency
  • Maximize use of renewable sources of energy
  • Manage stormwater, graywater, and sewage using the most sustainable practices that are compatible with the density and land uses proposed
  • Enable an integrated program of waste prevention, re­use, and recycling, and work toward a goal of zero waste exports from the site
  • Approach the operation of sustainable local infrastructure and transportation services, as well as the maintenance of buildings and open space, as an opportunity to create a progression of living­wage jobs for those who are now unemployed or underemployed.

6. Residents should be able to get around safely and efficiently without being forced to rely on cars. A shuttle system connecting to subway and commuter rail stops, and to on­ and off­site shopping and services, must be an integral part of the development’s operating plan and budget. The avoided costs of on­site parking should be taken into account in determining how the system can be financed. On­site parking should be extremely limited, with priority given to seniors and people with disabilities.

7. Open space on the site should be developed to integrate with adjoining parkland and streets (though vehicle movement within the site will be quite limited). Open space will be designed to maximize opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to incorporate physical activity in their daily routine. The safe movement of children and seniors will be prioritized. Pedestrian and bikeways will connect seamlessly with nearby parks and greenways.

8. Open spaces will be designed to maximize access to the Bronx River, not only for residents of the site, but for the surrounding communities as well.

9. The design of all buildings and open spaces must be of high quality. A beautiful indoor and outdoor environment is neither frivolous nor a mere marketing strategy; it is essential to support community values of dignity, mutual respect and social cohesion.