Located on a previously contaminated site, Via Verde (The Green Way) is a mixed-use development in an area of the South Bronx that was once severely disinvested but is now transformed. The development includes 151 rental apartments affordable to low-income households, 71 co-ops for middle-income households, as well as retail and community space. The site is accessible to mass transit. Buildings include three-story townhomes, a mid-rise duplex building, and a 20-story tower, with amenities ranging from a medical clinic and fitness center to playground, library, and open-air amphitheater. The co-ops include several live-work units with first floor work/office space.
Via Verde was the winner of the New Housing New York Legacy Competition – an innovative green and affordable housing competition sponsored by New York City and the American Institute of Architects. The buildings at Via Verde have connected green roofs where residents grow vegetables and fruits. Obesity and asthma rates are high in the South Bronx, and access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited; however, as described in The New York Times, “Healthier Eating Starts on the Roof” at Via Verde. A New York Daily News article, which described Via Verde as “a lesson in ingenuity,” noted, “You can virtually climb to the building’s seventh floor in a semi-circle via a string of… green roofs.” Via Verde’s other green design features include cross-ventilation, solar shading, and photovoltaic panels.
View an episode of the PBS e2 design series, narrated by Brad Pitt, featuring Via Verde: