Open Street Stories
Open Street Stories aims to leverage the Open Street program framework to create a network of storytelling spaces that accommodates all members of the Williamsbridge community, making space for engagement at the street level. The proposal emerged from conversations held with local community members and Father Duvet of St. Luke’s Church who described their experiences as first and second generation immigrants living through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Williamsbridge community in the Bronx has strong ties to the West Indies, particularly Jamaica, where stories passed down from generation to generation play a large cultural role. Space for safe in-person interaction, youth activities, and oral storytelling were all important programming desires for new public space on the street. Those conversations along with analysis of existing site conditions, drew me to the sidewalks, which are mediators between public and private spaces. Sidewalks are some of the few open spaces to which a New Yorker may have immediate access and become the new grounds for a series of pavilions that work to expand the public space of the street.