PLURB - Plural Urbanism

by: Babak Bryan, Henry Grosman, Newt Kershner & Jake Lachapelle

The Grand Concourse is a six-lane vector that we thicken into a malleable, directional, self-similar mesh. Our proposal reweaves the urban fabric along the Concourse into a new plural urbanism.

Encapsulating program and geometry, this mesh is urbansim’s stunt-double. At every scale, we label this intervention, “the PLURB.”


grand concourse


grand concourse plan






An undifferentiated landscape of asphalt and stoplights, the Grand Concourse is a six-lane vector shearing the fabric of the Bronx. On either side of the Concourse a singularity of scale, type, form and material stretches along its entire length from end to end. Our proposal reweaves the urban fabric along the Concourse into a new plural urbanism: a series of smaller micro-neighborhoods along the edges of a tempered if not tamed Grand Concourse.

By encapsulating program and geometry together, the diagrid becomes urbanism’s stunt-double; it adjusts according to the varying conditions in each neighborhood. Its self-similarity permits an occupation at multiple scales. We label this occupation, the PLURB.

At the largest scale, the PLURB is building or infrastructure. At the smallest scale, the PLURB is a socket diverting electricity, data, water or fuel for public use. A network of socket PLURB inscribes a transient layer of program activating the Concourse. Pedestrian and vehicular flows weave through the PLURB. Their speeds are recalibrated appropriately for new local conditions.

The PLURB reconnects neighbors to one another, reinforcing the identity of the micro-neighborhoods and of the Concourse itself. It renders visible the connections which have always existed even as they are exaggerated, mitigated or altered.

Competition Home: Intersections: The Grand Concourse Beyond 100