The future of affordable housing must be climate-friendly, and it must provide a model for community living that’s splendid and racially just. How can the lessons of Via Verde, the lauded South Bronx housing development, help shape the future of green social housing in the United States? Via Verde, completed in 2012, was the result of New Housing New York, the city’s first design competition for sustainable below-market housing. Combining 222 affordable rental and home-ownership units, the award-winning project is a prototype for beautiful, green, healthy, anti-racist, and low-carbon housing. It includes dozens of solar panels, comfortable and energy-efficient apartments, and a range of lovely outdoor spaces, ranging from a playground to vegetable gardens. The project was designed in dialogue with local community members in the South Bronx. It’s one of the country’s more glorious examples of what the future of housing could look like. But this is a story that’s just beginning.
Join Karen Kubey, the co-organizer of New Housing New York; Via Verde architect William Stein and developer Jonathan Rose; and South Bronx community leader Jessica Clemente, in conversation with Pennsylvania State Senator Nikil Saval and Director Daniel Aldana Cohen, director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2, at UPenn. They will discuss the lessons from the influential project, and what it would take to replicate the best elements of Via Verde in Philadelphia and other US cities. How can we make a downpayment on a Green New Deal for Housing with model projects like Via Verde? How can American public institutions provide climate-friendly, healthy, affordable housing for all? What can the United States contribute to the global rise of green social housing as a cornerstone of climate justice?
Sponsored by the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2, and the Population Studies Center (UPenn); co-sponsored by the Pratt Institute School of Architecture Desegregation Think-Tank; supported by the Pratt Nexus for Interdisciplinary Studies.
Further Reading on Via Verde
Via Verde, Domus, 2012
Via Verde–The Green Way, Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, 2013
Via Verde–The Green Way, Dattner Architects
In a Bronx Complex, Doing Good Mixes With Looking Good, The New York Times, 2011
A Sustainable Home in the South Bronx, The New York Times, 2018