The Harlem River, which borders the Bronx’s south and west sides, is not really a recreational resource for Bronxites. But just like in the borough on the other side of the river (Manhattan) it can be. There are major difficulties — the presence of industry and factories, and a 99-year-old lease granted long ago for a chunk of waterfront land, and the lack of city elites’ obsession with Bronx waterfront space, unlike similar efforts in Manhattan (see Highline) — but they are not insurmountable.
Haven on the Harlem, a special project of the Mott Haven Herald and the NYCity NewsService, both of which are published by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, digs deep and wide all along the river, interviewing officials, activists, residents and landlords, coming up with articles (as well as on-line videos and interactive maps) detailing the state and potential fate of the waterfront and the river itself.
This project was led by by Bronxite David Lewis, the veteran journalist and CUNY professor, and produced by his students.
Haven on the Harlem, and all the other work associated with the the NewsService and the Herald, as well as its sister publication the Hunts Point Express, are really models for the kind of public service that academic journalism projects can provide.