Geography & Neighborhoods

The Bronx is the northernmost of New York City’s boroughs, and the only borough connected to the North American mainland – all others are islands (Manhattan, Staten Island) or part of Long Island (Queens, Brooklyn).

While the Bronx contains the nation’s poorest Congressional District (out of the nation’s 435 districts – 43% below the poverty line) it also includes several affluent neighborhoods, such as the Riverdale and Country Club neighborhoods, which are closer demographically to Greenwich, Connecticut than Mott Haven, Bronx.

The boundaries of Bronx neighborhoods are blurry and not officially set. In 2006, Manny Fernandez of The New York Times wrote,

“According to a Department of City Planning map of the city’s neighborhoods, the Bronx has 49 [neighborhoods]. The map publisher Hagstrom identifies 69. The borough president, Adolfo Carrión Jr., says 61. The Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, in a listing of the borough’s community boards, names 68. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, lists 44.” (1)

In discussions of Bronx geography and neighborhoods, the borough is often described in two sections, West Bronx and East Bronx, located on either side of the Bronx River.

The Grand Concourse lies in the West Bronx. The West Bronx is hillier and closer to Manhattan than the East Bronx, more densely populated, and home to Yankee Stadium and the entire South Bronx. While the south- and central-west Bronx have mostly low-income Hispanic and black populations, the northwest Bronx is primarily affluent and white, and concentrated in the Riverdale, Woodlawn, and Van Corlandt Village neighborhoods. The West Bronx has older tenement buildings, low-income public housing complexes, and multifamily homes in its lower income areas as well as larger single-family homes in wealthier areas.

West Bronx neighborhoods include: Port Morris, Mott Haven, Melrose, Morrisania, East Morrisania, Longwood, Hunts Point, Concourse, Highbridge, West Farms, East Tremont, Tremont, Morris Heights, University Heights, Belmont, Fordham, Fordham-Bedford, Bedford Park, Norwood, Kingsbridge Heights, Kingsbridge, Riverdale, and Woodlawn.

The East Bronx is farther from Manhattan than the West Bronx, and consequently less populous.

East Bronx neighborhoods include: Harding Park, Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester, Westchester Square, Van Nest, Pelham Parkway, Morris Park, Throgs Neck, Country Club, City Island, Pelham Bay, Williamsbridge, Eastchester, Baychester, Edenwald, Wakefield, and Co-op City.

 


(1) “As Maps and Memories Fade, So Do Some Bronx Boundary Lines” by Manny Fernandez, The New York Times, September 16, 2006.

Facade of building on the Grand Concourse

1920s buildings along the Grand Concourse, 2006. Courtesy Librado Romero/The New York Times.