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The American Future of Green Social Housing: Lessons from the Bronx’s Via Verde

March 18, 2021 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM


Free With Registration – Click to Attend

The future of affordable housing must be climate-friendly, and it must provide a model for community living that’s splendid and racially just. How can the lessons of Via Verde, the lauded South Bronx housing development, help shape the future of green social housing in the United States? Via Verde, completed in 2012, was the result of New Housing New York, the city’s first design competition for sustainable below-market housing. Combining 222 affordable rental and home-ownership units, the award-winning project is a prototype for beautiful, green, healthy, anti-racist, and low-carbon housing. It includes dozens of solar panels, comfortable and energy-efficient apartments, and a range of lovely outdoor spaces, ranging from a playground to vegetable gardens. The project was designed in dialogue with local community members in the South Bronx. It’s one of the country’s more glorious examples of what the future of housing could look like. But this is a story that’s just beginning.

Join Karen Kubey, the co-organizer of New Housing New York; Via Verde architect William Stein and developer Jonathan Rose; and South Bronx community leader Jessica Clemente, in conversation with Pennsylvania State Senator Nikil Saval and Director Daniel Aldana Cohen, director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2, at UPenn. They will discuss the lessons from the influential project, and what it would take to replicate the best elements of Via Verde in Philadelphia and other US cities. How can we make a down-payment on a Green New Deal for Housing with model projects like Via Verde? How can American public institutions provide climate-friendly, healthy, affordable housing for all? What can the United States contribute to the global rise of green social housing as a cornerstone of climate justice?

Co-organized by Daniel Aldana Cohen and Karen Kubey.

Sponsored by the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2, and the Population Studies Center (UPenn); co-sponsored by the Pratt Institute School of Architecture Desegregation Think-Tank; supported by the Pratt Nexus for Interdisciplinary Studies.


Jessica Clemente, Chief Executive Officer, WE STAY/Nos Quedamos, Inc.
Karen Kubey, Visiting Associate Professor, Pratt Institute
Jonathan F.P. Rose, President, Jonathan Rose Companies
William Stein, FAIA, Senior Consulting Principal, Dattner Architects
Respondent: Nikil Saval, State Senator for Pennsylvania’s First District


Daniel Aldana Cohen, Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2, University of Pennsylvania

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