Top designers to redesign Harlem neighborhoods

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Canaan Baptist Church are pleased to announce Phase I of the Harlem Green Infrastructure Design Charrette, a key Harlem Legacy Project of the CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference October 5-8, 2015 in Brooklyn.

“Green roofs and walls have a vast, but unrealized potential to address many of the fundamental challenges facing New York City and we are delighted to be working with community leaders in Harlem to explore this potential,” said Steven W. Peck, GRP, Honorary ASLA, Founder and President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

“Our vision is large. It is to transform the Harlem community through green infrastructure improvements and sustainable technologies. We will do this by integrating green infrastructure with sustainable revenue streams…through urban farming, energy and other sustainable technologies. The CitiesAlive Harlem Legacy Project will spur economic development, jobs, health and beautification to Harlem and around NYC,” said Dakota Pippins, Community Champion, Co-Chair: CitiesAlive Harlem Legacy Project and CEO Pippins Strategies Group.

“We believe that sustainable green infrastructure can provide both economic opportunities and a better quality of life to our Harlem community” – Deacon Russell of Canaan Baptist Church, the lead project partner.

Over the past year Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has worked with local partners and consultants to develop the Harlem Legacy Project Charrette. Initially, this involves three main components – identifying a key neighborhood of 4 to 10 blocks in size that is in need of green infrastructure and bringing together teams of volunteer design experts and community members to re-envision the buildings and grounds. The second component involves subjecting these designs to a cost-benefit analysis to determine short and long term costs and benefits associated with the implementation of the ideas generated by the design teams. A third component of the plan is to evaluate more than 100 buildings, mostly affordable housing, and public spaces will be greened through the creation of a “Harlem GEM” – or Green Excellence Matrix that prioritizes improvements throughout the neighborhood and includes projects such as solar panels.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is working in partnership with Robert Crauderueff & Associates and the Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem to continue to raise funds to implement the findings from the Harlem Legacy Project Charrette in Harlem and expand its scope to include more buildings.

Green technology improvements under consideration during the Charrette will include rooftop farming, green roofs, rain gardens, solar PV (electricity), solar thermal (hot water) and energy efficiency.


“The project will involve both technical analyses and community-based participation through the Harlem Legacy Project Charrette, which will engage green infrastructure experts and local property owners and stakeholders (including Canaan Baptist Church, Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Harlem Chamber of Commerce, and Harlem Community Development Corporation) in a neighborhood re-envisioning process,” said Rob Crauderueff, the lead project consultant.

The project will spur economic development, jobs, health and beautification to Harlem and throughout New York City and advance OneNYC poverty alleviation goals by developing partnerships with local workforce and business development organizations. Legacy Project sponsors include Evan C. Lai Landscape Design, Town and Gardens, Mark K. Morrison Landscape Architects, and Edwards and Zuck, and Pippin Strategies Group LLC, Medicaid Advisory and Twelve Gardens Ltd.