Creative Place-Affirming

Mural at Melrose in the Bronx.

WHEDco deploys award-winning design principles and place-affirming practices to promote vibrant communities in our developments and surrounding areas, as part of our mission to create even more beautiful and vibrant spaces, streets and activities where families and children feel engaged, connected, and safe. Our comprehensive approach puts arts, culture, and community at the core, while integrating different sectors to address community needs.

Our creative placemaking initiatives have included:

  • Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC): Founded in 2012, WHEDco developed the BMHC Lab in a ground-floor, 1,400 sq. ft. retail space in one of its affordable housing developments, Intervale Green, which abuts the Southern Boulevard Commercial Corridor. Upon completion of WHEDco’s new affordable housing development complex –Bronx Commons– it is set to find its home in the Bronx Music Hall, a cultural hub and performance venue at the heart of the residential development in the Melrose neighborhood.
  • Boogie Down Booths: The Boogie Down Booth is a temporary installation that provides seating, lighting, and acoustics derived from the rich musical heritage of the Bronx. All of the music featured in the Boogie Down Booth is significant to the Bronx, including genres such as hip-hop, jazz, Latin jazz, salsa, waranagua, and even Andean San Juanitos.
  • Murals and Public Art Installations: WHEDco strives to create beautiful, vibrant neighborhoods that offer safe, recreational spaces that breathe life into local open spaces, activate communities, and increase foot traffic by creating pedestrian-friendly walkways and increasing connectivity in otherwise underutilized spaces. Through public artwork –such as murals and installations- we revitalize public spaces and create an intergenerational social space for community interaction, conversation and hands-on art making in the community.
  • Neighborhood Beautification Projects: WHEDco regularly engages community residents and volunteers through educational arts programming that seeks to beautify the neighborhoods surrounding our developments, by hosting community “paint days”, volunteer activities and workshops, gardening in our community and rooftop gardens, green space and parks beautification, among other initiatives.