Gardening becomes a way of life for residents of the newly-opened Via Verde, a Bronx, N.Y., community built around sustainable principles. Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects have teamed together with developers Phipps Houses and Jonathan Rose Cos. to produce this 222-unit, LEED Gold affordable housing community. This lush housing arose out of a competition co-produced by the AIA's New York Chapter and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to fill a city-owned, 60,000-square-foot former brownfield lot along an abandoned rail line. The L-shaped building comprises stepped housing typologies—townhouses, mid-rise duplexes, and tower apartments—that encircle a shared central garden, which, combined with habitable green roofs, contributes to a total of 40,000 square feet of open space for the residents. On the north side of the building, a public plaza will host twice-weekly farmers markets. The south side of the complex is lined with roof gardens within which residents can grow fruits and vegetables, allowing a connection to nature even within Via Verde's urban setting.