On February 4, 2021, the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and NYC Parks announced that Phase 2 of the project to construct a restorative, continuous greenway through Starlight Park in the Bronx has been selected to receive an Envision Gold Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).
The $41 million, multi-staged project is closing a critical gap in the Bronx River Greenway and linking communities that had been isolated by highways and train lines. The first phase of the project was completed in summer 2020, while the second phase is expected to be completed in summer 2022.
Phase 1 of the work, which was managed by the NYS Department of Transportation and opened in 2013, constructed the existing portion of Starlight Park, with a restored shoreline, boat dock, soccer fields, a playground and a 0.6-mile-long portion of the Bronx River Greenway.
Phase 2 is constructing a critical greenway link between Starlight Park and Concrete Plant Park. Two pedestrian/bicycle bridges are being built – one crossing Amtrak lines at E. 172 Street and another crossing the Bronx River just north of Westchester Avenue.
“DDC is very proud to be part of an effort to not only complete a crucial portion of the Bronx River Greenway, but to also link the Bronx neighborhoods surrounding Starlight Park,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo.
“With new pedestrian bridges and additional entry points to the park, this project will bring together neighborhoods that have been cut off from each other by expressways and train lines. I thank the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for recognizing our efforts with their prestigious Envision Gold Award,” she added.
The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure developed and manages Envision, a framework that encourages systemic changes in the planning, design and delivery of sustainable and resilient infrastructure through education, training and third-party project verification.
The Envision sustainable infrastructure framework assesses project sustainability across five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World and Climate and Resilience. To earn an Envision Gold award, a project must achieve a heightened range of sustainability and resilience outcomes. Starlight Park Phase 2 was cited by ISI for restoring balance and reuniting communities, restoring the environment and stimulating economic prosperity and development.
“One of our main goals at NYC Parks is to expand and improve access to parks and greenspaces for all New Yorkers. With three brand-new access points, a greenway extension, and additional parkland, the project at Starlight Park truly epitomizes this mission,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “I am honored that we are being recognized by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure with the Envision Gold Award for Phase two of the project, and I look forward to its completion which will benefit Bronxites, and the city at large, for decades to come.”
The project is being managed by DDC for NYC Parks. The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, to bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects.
NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. NYC Parks cares for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. They look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. They are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.
Envision is the product of a joint collaboration between ISI, which was founded by three national engineering associations: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and American Public Works Association (APWA), and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Photos courtesy of the Haugland Group.