ADRIANA SANDOVAL AKERS
Work Samples | 2015
CONTENTS SUMMER INTERNSHIP SAMPLES - WATERTOWN, MA Sasaki Associates
NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN AND PUBLIC LIFE - BEIJING, CHINA Lessons from Beijing’s Hutong and Superblocks
MARTINIKO ISLAND - MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES Leveraging Planned Development to Improve Livelihoods
BRICKBOTTOM MAKERS DISTRICT - SOMERVILLE, MA Industrial Mixed-Use Community on the Green Line
MASSAPEQUA CENTER - MASSAPEQUA, NY Reinvisioning Post-Sandy Communities on Long Island
COMUNA 8 SAFE CORRIDORS PROGRAM - MEDELLÍN, COLOMBIA Risk Management through Mapping and Urban Design
ABOUT ME I graduated from MIT in May 2015 with a Masters in City Planning and a Certificate in Urban Design. With a professional background in public policy, sustainability, and international development and graduate training in physical planning, urban design, and real estate, I am always thrilled to hear about new opportunities to build holistic, equitable solutions for today’s most pressing built environment challenges. All work in this portfolio is my own unless otherwise noted.
SASAKI ASSOCIATES // WATERTOWN, MA PLANNING AND URBAN DESIGN WORK SAMPLES PLANNING INTERNSHIP // SUMMER 2015
URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR THE CAPITOL DISTRICT (AUSTIN, TX) As the Summer Planning Intern at Sasaki Associates, I worked on a wide variety of projects, including university campus master plans and transportation plans, state park management schemes, new project proposals, and public presentations. I also wrote and laid out the firm’s urban design guidelines for the Capitol District in Austin, Texas. This sample details design guidelines related to sustainability in the district.
With average daily highs above 90 degrees Fahrenheit from June through September, the Austin climate is often uncomfortably hot. This can be exacerbated by urban heat island effect, which is caused when impermeable surfaces like pavement and buildings radiate absorbed solar energy, resulting in higher temperatures, decreased air quality, and increased cooling demand, leading to higher energy costs (heat island effect
can increase urban energy consumption by 3-8%). The black asphalt that predominates in the northern part of the Capitol District exacerbates heat island effect, creating a less pleasant pedestrian environment and increasing energy demand. These urban design guidelines are designed to create more comfortable microclimates to reduce energy consumption and encourage use of outdoor spaces in the District.
UD PRINCIPLE 7 // SUSTAINABILITY AND MICROCLIMATES Create a cooler microclimate and mitigate the heat-island effect in the District
P ermeable 32%
B uilding 33%
S urfac e 35%
Proposed Tree Canopy
Proposed Impervious Surfaces
Existing Tree Cover
Proposed Tree Cover
Today, approximately 15% of the Capitol District has tree canopy coverage. The substantial open space and vegetation south of the Capitol provide environmental benefits, while fewer trees and a lack of green areas north of the Capitol prohibit meaningful habitat establishment and human access to open space. Future plantings shall target the northern areas of the District to ensure continuous canopy coverage throughout the capitol area.
The predominance of impervious surfaces in the District increases heat island effect and prevents infiltration of water into the ground, increasing storm water runoff and polluting water sources. There is currently no accommodation for runoff retention and there is great potential to reclaim water for irrigation. Full buildout of the Master Plan will reduce the total amount of impervious surfaces in the District from 47% to 40%.
The District will have a tree canopy coverage of 30% to provide shade for pedestrians and improve air quality. By reducing energy consumption in nearby buildings, trees also help decrease carbon emissions; currently, trees in Austin are removing an estimated 38,400 metric tons of carbon per year, the same greenhouse gas emissions created by over 8,000 vehicles.
SASAKI ASSOCIATES INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
BUILDING ORIENTATION Where possible, buildings will be oriented with long axes east-west to limit east- and west-facing façade areas and maximize north- and south-facing façades. This will limit exposure to the most intense solar heat gain, assuming that south facing façades incorporate sun shading or other technologies. When a building’s long façade needs to face east or west to meet program requirements and/or reinforce a street edge or public space, sunshades or other architectural devices will be used to limit solar gain.
SAMPLE SPATIAL ANALYSIS AND GRAPHICS WORK During the course of my internship, I also contributed spatial analysis and produced graphics for a wide range of projects, two of which are highlighted here. For proposals for the comprehensive plans for Boston and Cambridge, MA, I reviewed past plans in each city, presented a summary to the planning teams to inform the approaches, and created graphic timelines for use in proposal documents and public presentations.
PREVIOUS PLANS TIMELINE (IMAGINE BOSTON PROPOSAL)
For the North Shore Community College Master Plan, I worked primarily on transportation analysis and graphics. I conducted spatial and quantitative analyses on the population within the commuteshed for each campus, benchmarked parking and transit metrics against peer institutions, and created an argument for increasing public transport access and implementing transportation demand management (TDM) on campus. I also produced urban design diagrams for potential new shuttle routes on campus.
NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY COLLEGE COMMUTE SHED ANALYSIS
Lynn Commute Origins: Students
Percent of students within a 45-minute commute via transit
45-min commute via transit
Percent of students do not drive
Percent of students who schedule their day around transit
NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN AND PUBLIC LIFE: LESSONS FROM BEIJING’S HUTONG AND SUPERBLOCKS MASTERS THESIS // SPRING 2015
NEIGHBORHOOD DESIGN AND PUBLIC LIFE: LESSONS FROM BEIJING’S HUTONG AND SUPERBLOCKS Beijing’s hutong, centuries-old neighborhoods composed of narrow streets and courtyard housing, are famous for harboring a tight-knit social fabric and a vibrant public realm. Over the past thirty years, large-scale redevelopment of hutong neighborhoods has occurred, and new neighborhoods in Beijing and in much of China have primarily come in the form of high-rise buildings arranged in superblocks. This model of neighborhood design has been criticized for its energy inefficiency, autocentricity, and perceived lack of respect for traditional Chinese urban forms. Less explored to date is the fact that residents of superblock neighborhoods often complain about a lack of community interaction and public life, particularly as compared to hutong neighborhoods. My Masters Thesis examines this phenomenon and asks the following questions: What accounts for the disparity between community interaction in superblock neighborhoods as compared to hutongs? Can urban design and the built environment play a role in fostering community and public life in contemporary Chinese neighborhoods? What lessons can be drawn for urban designers and planners in regards to the impact of neighborhood design on public life?
FIELD STUDY NEIGHBORHOODS
The thesis begins by reviewing major urban form changes throughout Beijing’s history with a focus on neighborhood design. A field study undertaken in January 2015 provides the primary data for the research, including resident interviews and observations of public space use in a hutong and two superblock neighborhoods. Using the data generated through the field study as well as secondary sources related to Chinese neighborhood design, a set of conclusions is drawn regarding how the built environment affects public life and community interaction in Beijing neighborhoods. Finally, a series of design recommendations is presented, focusing on the ways that urban design can support an active public life while meeting the high densities required in rapidly urbanizing contexts.
METRO (LINE 5)
NEIGHBORHOOD TYPOLOGIES FRENCHMAN ET. AL., 2001
MIT MASTERS THESIS
TOWER IN THE PARK
DONGSI “The hutong is very special for me. I like the tightknit community here. I never feel like I have to lock the door to my courtyard, and I always feel that I can stop by for dinner in any of my neighbors’ homes. Also, living in a single-story house is great because we can put both feet on the ground and connect with diqi. We’re also near everything, there is a small shop on every corner to meet all our needs.”
“People don’t have good relationships here… There are too many people, not enough space, and the kids have nowhere to play… I liked it better in the siheyuan because guanxi was better and people were respectful. Here, even though you have a lot of neighbors, nobody helps each other.”
TIANTONGYUAN “I miss my neighbors and colleagues in Dongzhimen [a central Beijing neighborhood]. My last house was a danwei allocated by my previous company. All of the residents in our building worked in the same company. We had that in common, so we had a closer relationship than ordinary neighbors. Here, nobody has anything in common and we all work, shop, and take our kids to school outside of the neighborhood.”
MARTINIKO ISLAND // MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES LEVERAGING PLANNED DEVELOPMENT TO IMPROVE AQUACULTURE AND LIVELIHOODS SITE & ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS PLANNING II // SPRING 2015
MARTINIKO ISLAND The City of Muntinlupa’s coastal neighborhoods are comprised of densely settled informal and poor communities, including many fisherfolk. The site has severe water contamination issues, particularly where the polluted rivers meet Laguna de Bay Lake. Current plans are in place to build the C6: a highway-dike that would be financed through a series of reclaimed land development islands. If plans go forward as currently proposed, the dike will cut off fisherfolk from the lake and the majority of its fisheries; high-density urban development will generate pollution that together with the highway run-off will exacerbate existing water pollution issues; and infrequent connections to the coast will ensure that any public services
and other benefits provided by the island development will remain inaccessible to existing low-income coastal communities. Our alternative plan counters these issues, with design principles of strengthening and celebrating the fishing industry, cleaning water, and providing benefits to existing communities. The island still incorporates high-value opportunities that will be attractive to developers, but it also incorporates shared services that can be used by low-income coastal inhabitants, contains soft infrastructure to help repair the lake’s damaged ecology, and concentrates the fish industry to strengthen aquaculture in the lake as a whole.
A CENTER FOR LAGUNA DE BAY’S FISH ECONOMY
AQUACULTURE RESEARCH CENTER AQUAPONICS TRAINING CENTER SEAFOOD MARKET
LAKE FISH PENS
OYSTER FARMS CHANNEL AQUACULTURE
SITE & ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS PLANNING II
AQUACULTURE OPERATIONS CENTER: HATCHERY, FISH SORTING, DESCALING, CLEANING, CANNING, FREEZING, FISHBALL PROCESSING
STRENGTHENING AQUACULTURE IN LAGUNA DE BAY Warehouses, processing centers, and product factories cluster by the interchange, where the overpass system makes land unattractive for many types of development but is ideal for industrial uses that rely on access to markets. A floodgate provides access between the lake and channel during the dry season. During the wet season, the lake and channel economies integrate through a series of docks (the C6 elevates at the northern edge of the site to provide access). Meanwhile, fish fry and fingerlings are raised in a coastal soft infrastructure system that cleans polluted waters and filters urban runoff. A large, regional fish market provides a marketplace for local fisherfolk as well as fish farm companies. A fishery research center boosts productivity, and an education center trains fisherfolk in recently developed aquaculture methods. The island is also be a food tourism destination, with seafood restaurants ranging from the upscale to small oyster shacks along the waterfront. Here, patrons enjoy the local catch while watching the production of seafood products in oyster farms and fisheries.
DESIGN PRINCIPLES PROVIDE LIVELIHOODS
BRICKBOTTOM MAKERS DISTRICT // SOMERVILLE, MA INDUSTRIAL MIXED-USE COMMUNITY ON THE GREEN LINE COMMUNITY PLANNING & DESIGN WORKSHOP // FALL 2014
BRICKBOTTOM MAKERS DISTRICT: INDUSTRIAL MIXED-USE COMMUNITY ON THE GREEN LINE The Brickbottom Neighborhood Plan is a comprehensive strategy to manage future growth in the Brickbottom neighborhood of Somerville, MA, one of the city’s few remaining affordable areas. The study builds upon priorities in Somerville’s guiding plan SomerVision and takes into account existing plans for two major public works projects: the replacement of the McCarthy Highway overpass with a ground-level boulevard and the construction of Washington Street Station as part of the Green Line Extension project. Through canvassing businesses and residents on the street and convening two public meetings, we garnered community input throughout the duration of the project.
Through community input, field observations, and plan and neighborhood analysis we concluded that preserving light industry, an artistic presence, and affordable living and working space is critical for Brickbottom and Somerville, a city that many fear will lose its character as it rapidly gentrifies. In our vision for Brickbottom, the neighborhood will see an increase in “making”—building on the existing light industry and art sector—along with densification of residential and commercial development near the new train stop. We predict that the overwhelming demand for residential development in Somerville will allow for innovative zoning requirements that can accomplish this unique mix.
COMMUNITY GROWTH & LAND USE WORKSHOP
TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT ZONE
BRICKBOTTOM FABRICATION DISTRICT
HOW CAN WE BUILD AN INDUSTRIAL MIXED-USE NEIGHBORHOOD? Achieving an industrial mixed-use neighborhood is no simple feat. Potential tenants are often swayed from co-locating because even light industry can be noisy and generate heavy truck traffic. To prevent displacement of existing tenants while still providing opportunities for transit-oriented development and future growth, we considered what measures would enable this unusual mixed-use scheme. Strategies include: • Rezone from Industrial A to a new “Brickbottom Special District,” allowing mixeduse residential, commercial, and light industry that meets performance standards regarding environmental, noise, and vibration impacts. Require developers to devote space to fabrication uses. • Celebrate local making by requiring transparent frontages and awarding contracts for the design and fabrication of the District’s street furniture, signage, lighting, and public art to local makers. • Create a street hierarchy that separates pedestrian areas from truck traffic. • Create flexible public spaces that can double as loading docks and plazas and between market spaces and testing grounds.
BRICKBOTTOM MAKERS DISTRICT (CONTINUED) KEY ACCESS POINTS
CREATING A FRAMEWORK Understanding Brickbottomâ€™s constraints and opportunities and considering its future led to a framework plan for the neighborhood. The plan identifies main access points, street hierarchies, anchor parcels, key areas for public realm improvements, and catalyst sites for future development.
COMMUNITY GROWTH & LAND USE WORKSHOP
PUBLIC REALM AND KEY SITES
21 POPLAR STREET: CATALYST SEGMENT
ENTRANCE PLAZA DETAIL
Poplar Street links key neighborhood gateways and, at the city-owned former waste transfer site, provides the greatest opportunity for a catalytic public intervention that sets the aesthetic and programmatic tone for the area. As Brickbottomâ€™s civic core, Poplar will feature public art installations from local artists; testing and tinkering areas for makers and inventors; flexible public spaces for markets, outdoor theater, and other public events; and other amenities including a connection to the Somerville Community Path, a neighborhood playground, and street facing restaurants and cafes.
EXPANDED ART FARM INITIATIVE
PERFORMANCE ART SPACE AND MIXEDINCOME HOUSING Outdoor Cafes
Growing Space Market
Flexible Loading & Public Space
Community Path Connection
Public Art Pedestrian Area Paving Pattern
On-Street Bike Lanes
Flexible Loading & Public Space
Testing & Display Area
Poplar Plazas: Right
MIXED-USE LIGHT INDUSTRY/MAKER AND HOUSING
REENVISIONING POST-SANDY COMMUNITIES ON LONG ISLAND // MASSAPEQUA, NY INLAND TOWN CENTER AND RAILWAY DENSIFICATION SITE & ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS STUDIO // SPRING 2014
MASSAPEQUA CENTER THE POTENTIAL FOR TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT ON POST-SANDY LONG ISLAND
On average, 285,082 people used the LIRR each day in 2012
The area around the LIRR did not flood during Hurricane Sandy
Most areas on the LIRR are outside extreme and high flood risk zones
Rail-adjacent downtowns have 6.5 square miles of surface parking
rid ne k
ris gh e
Hi Ex tre m
Massapequa Park Station
er at e
Long Island is adjacent to New York City and residents and visitors travel through the region using three major highways and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Eighty-eight percent of Long Islanders commute to work or school by car, and traffic is a well-documented issue. As Long Island reaches its road density capacity, other transportation modes should be emphasized.
SITE & ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS PLANNING I
Long Island is well primed for transit-oriented development. Current development patterns see some commercial clusters around stations, but densities remain low. With over 4,000 acres of surface parking lots near these downtown areasâ€”about 6.5 square milesâ€”there is substantial potential to densify residences, workplaces, and other destinations around the rail.
Densification around the LIRR will also contribute to disaster risk management. Future development should be targeted in neighborhoods near rail stops, which were not inundated during Hurricane Sandy and are located outside of extreme and high flood risk zones.
2050 Sea Level Rise Risk Area
POP. DENSITY (PP/SQ. MILE)
SEA LEVEL RISE The areas surrounding LIRR stations are outside of the 2050 Sea Level Rise Risk area projected by FEMA, which makes these areas attractive for future development.
LIRR station areas also currently exhibit some of the lowest population densities in Massapequa. There is substantial opportunity for densification to support TOD.
Swaths of land devoted to parking lots represent a great opportunity for infill development along the LIRR. Near Massapequa Station, car infrastructure (roads and parking lots) accounts for 61% of land use. Roads and Parking Lots
MASSAPEQUA CENTER (continued) This project creates Massapequa Center, a gathering place for Massapequans and a new transit-oriented community. The design lays the foundation for a vibrant public realm by converting surface parking into public spaces, including a town green and the Massapequa Greenway, a recreational corridor
that connects bike and pedestrian pathways in Massapequa and Tackapausha Preserves and draws walkers and cyclists through the townâ€™s new commercial heart. Massapequa Lake is extended to greet rail passengers at the station, creating a gateway to the Preserve and increasing recreational opportunities. By building
SITE & ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS PLANNING I
housing units in Massapequa Center, which is outside extremeand high-risk flood zones and 2050 sea level rise projections, Massapequa would house residents out of harmâ€™s way. The lake extension, an elevated berm, and new bioswales in the station parking lot all provide additional protection from flooding.
THE MASSAPEQUA GREENWAY The Greenway cuts through Massapequa Center and adds a recreational and pedestrian corridor to the existing rail and automobile corridors. In doing so, it connects the incredible assets of the Massapequa and Tackapausha Reserves and brings foot traffic through Massapequa Center. Massapequa Center
Greenway 0.75 miles long
LI Railroad Sunrise Highway
SAFE CORRIDORS PROGRAM FOR COMUNA 8 // MEDELLÍN, COLOMBIA HOLISTIC RISK MANAGEMENT THROUGH CRITICAL MAPPING AND URBAN DESIGN INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS URBAN DESIGN WORKSHOP // SPRING 2014
SAFE CORRIDORS PROGRAM RISK ANALYSIS Managing risk in Comuna 8, an informal settlement located on the outskirts of Medellín, requires understanding how environmental and conflict threats converge. While policy has historically focused on environmental issues, the risk experienced by Comuna 8 residents is multifaceted, including a high threat of violence. The Aburrá Valley is highly vulnerable to geologic movement and heavy annual rains. Comuna 8 has suffered two of the valley’s 10 largest landslides, including the Villa Tina event of 1987, which left 500 dead. A history of precarious settlement means that today 284,000 people are at risk of landslides, flooding, and other disasters.
Armed conflict also plays out in the Comuna, generating a high risk of exposure to violence and forced displacement. While conflict has ebbed and flowed with the implementation of security strategies, varying levels of public investment, and negotiated agreements between armed actors, Comuna 8 experiences a high risk of conflict. The Comuna’s 2013 homicide rate of 39 per 100,000 is nearly four times above the United Nations classification of an epidemic. In recent years Comuna 8 has also experienced the second highest rate of forced inter-urban displacement in Medellin.
Right: The City’s Greenbelt Plan intends to relocate residents to the consolidation zone (marked in yellow), an area with a disproportionate amount of environmental risk that may intensify with any future densification.
Our goal was to help mitigate both violence and environmental risk in Comuna 8.
HOMICIDE HEAT MAPS
OVERALL HOMICIDE CONCENTRATIONS 2004-2013
Cluster analysis of homicides demonstrates how the geography of violence shifts as gang territories and battlegrounds are redefined.
One area of the Comuna has seen consistent violence throughout this period. This zone has a marked absence of public institutions.
400 800 M
Homicide Low Density
Oficina de Envigado Hegemony 129
Peace Process Breakdown
INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS URBAN DESIGN WORKSHOP
Pacto de Fuzil
The complex social and economic underpinnings of urban armed conflict mean that built environment interventions alone cannot eradicate violence in Comuna 8. However, comparative case studies and local analysis has shown that institutional presence can create “buffer zones” of safety. Additionally, it is widely accepted that built environment factors like mixeduse development and lighting can also reduce violence in dangerous areas. With this in mind, we propose a Safe Corridor Network that would create a series of safe paths connecting key destinations to commercial centers, local institutions, and residential areas in order to reduce residents’ exposure to risk as they go about daily routines. The Network integrates environmental remediation and design elements that improve public safety and leverages the City’s current investments in PUIs, metrocables, and environmental risk management to also address conflict issues.
PRECEDENT PROJECT Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) Khaylitsha Township, South Africa VPUU created a series of “active boxes” (24hour shops doubling as safe houses and community watch bases) along strategic pedestrian routes. In conjunction with new employment opportunities, recreational spaces, and infrastructure upgrading, the program reduced crime in dangerous areas.
A Safe Corridor has three typologies, each of which exhibits different physical and social elements: • Anchors are activity centers that insert concentrations of state and community institutions into high-conflict areas. • Major Streets serve as main access routes between anchors and incorporate mixed-use development to extend eyes on the street across the territory. • Pathways, located on narrow pedestrian roads or staircases, connect dense residential areas to commercial, institutional, and social corridors within the network. INSTITUTIONAL MIXED-USE PRESENCE
Height & visibility Linked to public space
Multipurpose buildings Activate public space
30 feet apart Sightlines to nodes
Slope reinforcement Stream setbacks Terracing
Eyes on the street Walkability
SAFE CORRIDORS PROGRAM (continued)
INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS URBAN DESIGN WORKSHOP
Left: This example Safe Corridor Anchor demonstrates the need to cluster institutional presence (both state and communitybased); the importance of situating public space adjacent to institutions to enhance security in open areas that may otherwise be vulnerable to gang activity; possibilities for incorporating more mixed-use development on the first stories of homes; and parameters for adequate lighting. Through all sections of the Corridor, environmental mitigation measures take place where needed. Right: Collaboration between local, municipal, academic, and private sector groups is necessary for successful implementation. At every stage of the process, representatives of Comuna 8 must play an active, protagonist role.
Comuna 8 Planning Council Mesa Ambiental Mesa de las Desplazadas Mesa de Jovenes Mesa de Educacion Mesa de Convivencia Comites Barriales Junta Administradora Local
Univ. Nacional Univ. de Antioquia Univ. Pontificia Bolivariana EAFIT Vocational Schools
Alcaldia EDU Personaria de Medellin Secretaria Ambiental DAGRED
Empresas Publicas Financing Institutions Real Estate Developers Contractors
FIELD SITE ANALYSIS
Deepen site analysis Identify community priority sites Propose intervention details Share findings
Participatory monitoring Convene consensus-building & evaluation process Establish terms of implementation Community employment & project ownership
Co-design research Support analysis process
Bridge community & city decision-making
Provide technical analysis & data
Planning collaboration & integration
Project management Ombudsman oversight
Joint financing Contracting TABLE GRAPHICS: ALISON COFFEY
More work samples available online at: http://issuu.com/adrianaakers
firstname.lastname@example.org | 617-230-8067 | 373 Broadway #3LF, Cambridge, MA 02139