Building Healthy Communities | Two Bridges, Lower East Side
The Two Bridges neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is an economically, culturally, and ethnically diverse neighborhood. In spite of a recent wave of gentrification, tens of thousands of working-class and low- to moderate-income individuals and families—many with deep roots in the neighborhood, and others just arriving—still call this neighborhood home.
Two Bridges, Lower East Side
Grantee Name: Two Bridges Neighborhood Council
Project Title: Lower Eastside Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative
Grant Amount: $300,000
Community Fast Facts
- The Two Bridges neighborhood is among the lowest-income neighborhoods in Manhattan, with a 27% poverty rate;
- More than 85% of residents depend on rent-stabilized or subsidized housing;
- Residents face environmental hazards posed by the neighborhood’s proximity to New York City’s East River and FDR Drive, resulting in one of the highest asthma rates in the City;
- The Two Bridges Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and
- The HBO series Flight of the Conchords was based in the Two Bridges neighborhood
- Increase access to healthy and affordable foods through the establishment of a Youthmarket farm stand, in partnership with GrowNYC and Gouverneur Health, and the re-launch of the Fresh Food Box program;
- Influence local bodegas to increase availability of fresh, affordable food;
- Work with City agencies, such as the Department of Transportation, to implement traffic-calming measures; and
- Expand advocacy efforts for East River waterfront parks to maximize open space and increase opportunities for physical activity and other resident-driven uses of space.
What We’ve Achieved To Date
- Expanded the Fresh Food Box program beyond the summer season to also include a winter season; and
- Connected local partner, Community Access, to Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s Teaching Kitchen program, which trained Community Access on how to transition the way it serves meals to clients from a more traditional, institutional model to a farm-to-table model.
Built Environment & Physical Activity
- Installed concrete barriers, in partnership with the City’s Department of Transportation, to separate a busy road from a pedestrian/bike path on South Street. A complementary public art installation, “We Call This Place Home,” includes murals with images designed by the community on the concrete barriers to make them more appealing.
- Implemented the first phase of #2BHealthy, a culturally responsive, 18-month, healthy neighborhood campaign. The goal of the campaign is to foster awareness, mobilize involvement, and connect residents to programs that promote healthy eating, physical activity, and other healthy lifestyle
What We’re Investing In
- Engaging Communities in Bike Share as a Pathway to Better Health
- Healthy Neighborhood Community Mapping Project
- Community Health Fellowship Program