Date of Award



Julie Kim

Second Advisor

Oneka LaBennett


This paper will address the effect that the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, in conjunction with specific government policies and practices, has had and continues to have on the inordinately high rates of pediatric asthma in the Bronx. Existing research on the subject tends to take a very segmented view. There has been much research done in the individual fields of the history of the Cross-Bronx Expressway and the Bronx’s subsequent demographic change; more recently, studies have taken note of the Bronx’s high asthma rates, the effect of various pollutants on children’s lung function, pollution rates in the Bronx, and the difference in asthma rates among different races/ethnicities. All of this work has been done separately, each confined to its own particular field. This paper examines the findings in each of these fields and shows how all of these perhaps seemingly unrelated factors could actually be working together, affecting asthma in the Bronx. The overall goal of this paper is to show that the Cross Bronx Expressway and its aftereffects have contributed in part to the disproportionately high rates of pediatric asthma in the Bronx; as a result of these findings, I can argue that at least some portion of the Bronx’s asthma burden is a consequence of the decisions of policy makers and government bureaucrats, and could therefore have been avoided.