Via Verde

Project: Via Verde / The Green Way
South Bronx, New York
Mixed-use affordable housing
1.5 acres / 222 units / 294,000 square feet.

Year completed: 2012

Project partners: Co-developers Phipps Houses and Jonathan Rose Companies, in partnership with Dattner Architects and Grimshaw

Certifications: LEED-NC; Gold; including use of the LEED Innovation Credit: Design for Health Through Increased Physical Activity

Project summary: Via Verde embodies a new model for healthy and green urban living. The project was the winning response to the New Housing New York Legacy competition and was completed under the jurisdiction of the NYC Department of Housing, Preservation and Development. Designed around a series of stepped roof gardens, Via Verde uses the integration of nature and city as its organizing architectural concept. Rooftop gardens connect low-rise townhomes, a mid-rise building, and a 20-story tower surrounding open air courtyards. Health was a guiding principle for the project, and on-site amenities include a health education and wellness center, a health-oriented retail space, a fitness center, and bicycle storage.

Active Design Highlights:

1. Roof gardens and an open air courtyard support physical activity through gardening, healthy eating, and space for community interaction.

2. Stairs are conveniently located, accessible, and attractive. Stair prompt signage encourages stair use.

3. An on-site fitness center makes regular exercise opportunities more accessible to residents.

4. Secure, indoor bicycle storage helps support cycling as a viable, healthy mode of transportation.

Additional details are available here.

  • User Side Images Image 75
    Green Roof Section; Image Credit: Phipps Houses, Jonathon Rose Companies, Dattner Architects, Grimshaw
  • User Side Images Image 76
    Green roof, which provides opportunities for healthy nutrition and physical activity; Image Credit: Phipps Houses, Jonathon Rose Companies, Dattner Architects, Grimshaw
  • Proximity to parks and recreational facilities is linked to higher levels of physical activity and healthier weight levels.

  • A review of 12 studies found that enhancements to sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure increased physical activity a median of 161%.