Henry Hudson Parkway Health and Nature Plan

The Henry Hudson Parkway, which runs along the east bank of the Hudson River from the north Bronx to the mid-50s in Manhattan, is a characteristic example of the treatment of greenspace under modernist urban planning. Designed by “master builder” Robert Moses and opened in 1937, the Henry Hudson was one of the earliest built examples of the “20th century landscape vision” to “bring the county to town” by erasing the lines delineating urban and natural spaces. To do this, Moses couched the expressway core of the Henry Hudson in a thick band of trees and greenspace that he deemed “Riverside Park.” Surprisingly, despite being designed by the patron saint of American modernist planning, Riverside Park is not marred by the amorphousness, inhospitability and lack of urbanity that would characterize later examples of the greenspace that planners strung along expressways. A testament to Moses’ skill as a landscape designer (if not an urban planner), the expressway component of the Henry Hudson is sufficiently well delineated from Riverside to ensure that it is a well used urban park.

Sources

  1. Michael Hebbert, Re-Enclosure of the Urban Picturesque: Green-Space Transformations in Postmodern Source, The Town Planning Review, Vol. 79, No. 1 (2008)
  2. Ethan Carr, The Parkway in New York City, International Linear Parks Conference, 1983
  3. Robert Moses, The Influence of Public Improvements on Propety Values, The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, 1953

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