PRODUCTIVE-URBIA: Regenerative Housing through Agricultural Production
From the turn of the 20th century until the eve of the Great Depression, the Bronx welcomed a six-fold population boom. Jewish, Germans, Irish, French, Polish, and Italian immigrants escaped the perils of dense Manhattan to seek better opportunities and the simple pleasures of an idealized rural Arcadia. These seminal developments in the Bronx’s social, geographical, economic, and physical history are displayed clearly across its varied landscape. In the Bronx, historical chapters are demarcated by varying scales of urban space: tall slender housing projects in the park with desolate intermediate spaces are followed by tight, street-facing homes and contemporary mixed-use affordable apartment buildings. PRODUCTIVE-URBIA seeks to establish a scalar relationship between the housing unit and the larger urban ensemble by dividing urban space vertically into four scalar realities, each with its own distinct connection to food production to undo the spatial, social, and historical inequities in the Bronx by proposing alternative modes of joblessness, food accessibility, and housing. The intermediate space between each layer is stitched together by a consistent relationship to a large, programmed podium and realized by simple concrete slabs which provide a basic physical framework for a highly efficient, yet flexible mix of residential units.