5. Bronx Linear City

In 1969, New York City Mayor John Lindsay was looking toward the future of city planning with a new focus on community involvement which would foster the well-being of New Yorkers. This idea was considered for each borough. At this time, the South Bronx, known then as Morrisania, was “economically and socially depressed and physically blighted.” In an attempt to resurrect the sullen neighborhood, the idea of a linear city was proposed. The plan would use the air rights of the Penn Central Railroad which divided the community, constructing a deck over the tracks that would provide a platform for housing.

Residents whose homes would be demolished in the construction of this project would immediately move into the 1,000 to 2,600 apartments to be built. The “elevated viaduct” would create a township with apartments, community centers, and sports facilities, as well as a glass-enclosed mall containing libraries, schools, and shops. The linear city would essentially cut a path through the dilapidated South Bronx, but the plan proved to ultimately be a dead end.