In partnership with

South Bronx Unite

Community Collaborators

New York City Community Land Initiative and Mott Haven-Port Morris Community Land Stewards

Project Area: The Bronx

Photo: Community Envisioning Session facilitated by South Bronx Unite in collaboration with Professor Nandini Bagchee and the Spitzer School of Architecture Students, CCNY, CUNY.

The South Bronx is home to a diverse community of committed residents, activists, artists and thinkers with exceptional resourcefulness and ingenuity who sustained the area through decades of environmental injustice and economic neglect.

The industrial waterfront community of Mott Haven-Port Morris in the South Bronx faces asthma rates eight times the national average. 38% of the area’s residents and 49% of its children live in poverty, with an average median income of $19,454 – the lowest in the state – and an unemployment rate more than three times the national rate.

Now a wave of real estate speculation, including 12 market rate rentals and six hotels, aims to bring thousands of luxury residential units to Mott Haven-Port Morris. 

A team of Fellows, comprising expertise in mapping, community planning, and participatory design, worked closely with South Bronx Unite and Design Trust, and have compiled research and analysis of 23 plans and studies for the Mott Haven – Port Morris area, which will support South Bronx Unite’s efforts to carry a community-driven planning process forward.


On April 26, 2017, Design Trust for Public Space issued an open call for project ideas, Public for All: Rethinking Shared Space in NYC, seeking innovative ideas for creating more accessible, resourceful public spaces across the five boroughs and sustainable systems for their operation, maintenance, and programming.

On July 13, 2017, an independent jury selected the proposal by South Bronx Unite to partner with Design Trust in developing Power in Place: Building Community Wealth and Well-Being in Mott Haven-Port Morris. Learn more about the selection process. Watch the jury discussion.

Key Milestones

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Conduct Request for Proposals

July 2017

An independent jury selected the proposal by South Bronx Unite to partner with Design Trust. Watch the selection process.

Photo: Sam Lahoz

Finalize scope

October 2017

We identified our goals and needs, and issued a call for Fellows to lead the project.

Photo: Ozgur Gungor

Kick-off with the community

December 2017

We kicked off Power in Place with an open house and celebration of live music by local music education center UpBeat NYC.

Photo: Design Trust for Public Space

Assemble the Fellows team

February 2018

We announced a team of Fellows with expertise in mapping, community planning, and participatory design.

Participate in the H.E.Arts Festival

June 2018

Fellows participated in the Mott Haven H.E.Arts (health, education, and the arts) Festival, and facilitated a mapping activity to encourage residents to share their stories of the neighborhood.

Complete Research

February 2019

We produced research and analysis of 23 plans for the Mott Haven – Port Morris area.