Click here to open the Storymap in a new window. Scot McFarlane led the design in collaboration with the Bronx Council on Environmental Quality, and with additional assistance from Duane Bailey-Castro and Geon Woo Lee.
The Harlem River has been shaped by tide patterns and climate change, and like the Hudson River it contains a legacy of toxic pollution. Despite the fact that the Harlem River is a man-made river–New York City engineers rerouted its channel–most people who live along the river have no access to the waterfront. This digital walk, free and open to the public, will spatially explore the ways people have been disconnected from the river and the role river history can play in rebuilding the connections between people and their river. By taking an interdisciplinary approach, with speakers experienced in urban planning, climate change, photography, and community activism, we will come away with an inclusive and compelling history of the Harlem River. This event was sponsored by the Columbia University SoF/Heyman Center’s Public Humanities Initiative. Originally scheduled as an in-person walk to explore the history of the Harlem River and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, this Digital Harlem River Walk was rescheduled to take place over Zoom in August 2020. With a discussion led by Scot McFarlane, this walk features the photography of Nathan Kensinger and Duane Bailey-Castro.