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Urban Design Portfolio | Christopher J. Kok


Skills: ArcMap10 AutoCAD SketchUp Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop Adobe InDesign Microsoft Excel Microsoft Word Microsoft PowerPoint

Contact: christopherjkok@gmail.com (330) 592-3582 Newark, NJ

Biography| Christopher J Kok

Christopher J. Kok is a city planner and urban designer focused on creating cities that attract people, spur innovation, and minimize environmental impacts of civilization. While earning a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, he studied urban design, bicycle planning, infrastructure planning, economic and demographic analysis and systems thinking. In this pursuit, Chris has gained and utilized several hard skills. He has used GIS in his studies of potential bike paths; AutoCAD and SketchUp in site planning and design; and Adobe Suite and Microsoft PowerPoint in presenting and displaying the projects. Projects that Chris has been involved in span the range from individual class assignments to intensive class team assignments to prestigious design competitions, including the Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition in which the team co-led by Chris won an honorable mention. These skills have also been useful while Chris was a Teaching Assistant at Bloustein and a Planning Assistant at Looney Ricks Kiss.


Gerald D. Hines Competition | ULI


Role: Project Management, Site Planning, AutoCAD, SketchUp, Photoshop, Architecture, Massing, Perspectives

Recognition: Honorable Mention

ULI | Gerald D. Hines Competition

Downtown East Minneapolis is a victim of 1960’s urban renewal, consisting of surface parking lots and the Vikings Stadium. Revitalizing the area will involve developing the parking lots for medium to high density mixed use. Buildings that have historical or aesthetic uses should be saved. This is also an opportunity to build on a strong existing bike network by turning Portland St. into a pedestrian/transit/bike street. While this pedestrian street may seem like a copy of the Nicolette Mall, it would be much more focused on local retail and residential uses than a regional retail destination. The street will also connect to the Stone Arch Bridge and neighborhoods north of the Mississippi River. Landscaping that includes large amounts of vegetation and bioswales will allow the neighborhood to radically decrease its stormwater runoff.


Highlands Recovery | FEMA

Because Highlands, NJ was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy and had limited planning capacity it was chosen to be a part of FEMA’s Federal Disaster Recovery Coordination effort. This resident driven process developed projects for community wide recovery. The projects covered a wide spectrum from cultural opportunities, to housing, business and disaster mitigation. Role: Committee Facilitation, GIS Coordination, Graphic Development


Atlantic Highl Highlands ands

FEMA | Highlands Recovery

Highlands, NJ has unique geography that creates numerous hazard mitigation issues. The borough can be split into two sections; the hills and the lowlands. The hills include part of Mt. Mitchell at 226 ft. above sea level. The lowlands on the other hand are less than 20 ft. above sea level. The lowlands are susceptible to flooding and were significantly hit during Sandy. The highlands on the other hand are unstable and prone to slumping. Mitigation projects were developed to mitigate these issues. These graphics were developed to illustrate the extent of the problem and potential solutions.


Sea Bright 2020 | FEMA

Ground Level Commercial

Fake Facade

Embedded Parking

Green Wall Facade

Structured Parking Facade Options

Underground Utilities

West Side | Sea Bright Cross Section


Current Beach Conditions

Beach Pavilion Concept

Sea Bright Beach Pavilion

Role: Meeting Facilitation, Project Research, GIS Coordination, Graphic Development

Rendered Beach Pavilion

Sea Bright Cross Section | East Side

FEMA | Sea Bright 2020

Sea Bright, NJ was significantly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Given the extensive damage and its limited planning capacity, Sea Bright was chosen to be a part of FEMA’s Federal Disaster Recovery Coordination work. These graphics were developed for the final planning document. To accommodate tourist parking during summer months, the borough is interested in structured parking. Four facade designs were presented to hide parking. Another project focused on burying utility lines and the accompanying graphic showed the visual impact of the project. Finally, a beach pavilion was proposed to make better use of the oceanfront area. A photo-simulation was created to show what it could look like in the future.


Sea Bright Recovery | Studio

Defend Plan (Section): Development with sea wall built into structured parking

Defend Plan (Site Plan)

Mitigate Plan (Section): Development without sea wall

Mitigate Plan (Site Plan)

Conceptual Plan (Section): Development with sea wall built into structured parking 0 10 20 50 100

Conceptual Plan (Site Plan) 0

10 20

50

100


Role: Site Analysis, Conceptual Development, Site Planning, AutoCAD, SketchUp, Photoshop, Development Alternatives, Massing, Perspectives

Mitigate Plan (Perspective)

Boulevard Plan (Site Plan)

Studio | Sea Bright Recovery

Defend Plan (Perspective)

Superstorm Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard with a tremendous force leaving devastation in its wake. Sea Bright, NJ, a small town on a barrier island was not spared the damage of the storm. Mayor Dina Long reached out to Bloustein and a graduate studio was set up under the leadership of Carlos Rodriguez. This studio examined ways to protect and revitalize the city. Recommendations of the studio included converting the overly wide downtown section of Ocean Ave into a boulevard with a linear park, developing the municipal lot with three potential options, and trying to work in hard storm protection infrastructure while creating a pedestrian friendly urban design. These design based options would increase the street life of downtown Sea Bright attracting more tourists and thus more tax revenue. While many options would require flood proofing (a process already occurring), some would actively protect the city against future storms.


Ed Bacon Student Design Competition | PCFA

Innovating

“What happens to cities that lose exports when their customer cities begin producing the same things for themselves? Stagnant cities lose out... Creative cities do develop new exports that take the place of the old.” - Jane Jacobs Entrepreneurship and innovations are vital for future prosperity. To make Philadelphia a must-go destination for both of them, three business incubators will be created. They will be clustered around the central plaza thus promoting interaction and collaboration between the members of each incubator.

Industrial Design

This site will host the machinery necessary for the development of industrial products. Individual industrial designers will be able to share drills, lathes, cnc machines and more while developing their designs. The ability to share machinery and space will lower the costs of entry into the market thusspurring a growth in small manufacturers. Grouping supply orders will create economies of scale that will improve their competitive edge. The industrial design incubator will revitalize Philadelphia’s manufacturing sector.

Green Technology

Energy efficiency and clean energy production will be a major sector of the economy of the future. Cities and regions that develop this technology will be the ones to reap the profits. This green tech incubator will promote Philadelphia’s global position in the energy technology sector.

Powelton City

Arts

The promotion of the arts in this neighborhood is essential to making it a place that people want to spend time in. However, the cost of gallery space anywhere is enough to make an artist starve. To ensure a wider variety and large number of artist, and indoor/outdoor market will be set up in the main plaza. While this market will make fruits and vegetables available, it will be focused on arts and crafts, thus setting it apart from the Reading Terminal Market.

30th Street Station in Philadelphia is a primary transit hub and gateway into the city. However, the north side of the station consists of rail yards and an interstate. For this gateway to function at its highest potential, this area will have to be capped over and developed. This is a chance not only to create public space, but also to spur economic development. The creation of three interrelated business incubators has the potential of developing new industries of the future. Role: Project Management, Site Planning, AutoCAD, SketchUp


Demographic Analysis

Route Selection

Road Redesign

In order to be more sustainable and to meet the needs of the working class residents of the borough, the Bronx needs a better bike network. The Williamsbridge Oval Park in the center of the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx has a dangerous road in need of redesign. Redesigning the Oval is a great opportunity to help build a bike network in the Bronx while simultaneously promoting pedestrian safety. Role: AutoCAD, Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint, Street Redesign

Bike Ped Seminar | Bronx Bike Paths

Before and After Slide


Civic Square Building Plaza| Intro To Design


Proposed Changes The plaza in front of the Civic Square Building, which hosts The Edward J. Boustein School of Planning and Public Policy as well as the Mason Gross School of the Arts, fails as a public space. This is a low cost plan to improve the public space of the plaza. The Tuning Fork sculpture is converted into a water fountain. Rigid unmovable seating is replaced with sitable ledges and moveable tables and chairs. Vegetated trellises define a sense of enclosure while keeping the plaza open to the streets. This plaza redesign will create a welcoming place for students, visitors to the school, as well as people coming and going from the underground parking lot.

Plan View

Perspective View

Role: SketchUp, Photoshop, Site Planning, PowerPoint

Features

Lighting At Night

Tuning Fork Fountain

Seating

Moveable Tables And Chairs

Intro To Design | Civic Square Building Plaza

Current Site


Exchange Market | Intro To Design

Between the Jersey City PATH stations at Grove Street and Exchange Place are several blocks of modernist towers surrounded by parking. These towers and parking lots create a dead pedestrian realm in what should be a vibrant neighborhood. Currently there is a cluster of newer towers around Exchange Place as well as a couple of new towers near the Grove Street Station. This group project focused on developing a pedestrian realm that would attract people to the area. This included development of retail, office space and over 2000 new residential units. The project is centered on an open air as well as enclosed market that would provide an interesting alternative to the sterile grocery store concept. Also included is an elevated park overlooking the market. This slope leading from the market to the elevated park would be ideal for displaying movies and having concerts. Ultimately this project would make this part of Jersey City a much more enjoyable place to spend time. Role: site planning, massing, SketchUp, rendering, Photoshop


Intro To Design | Exchange Market

Site Plan

Massing Plan

Mobility Plan

Land Use Plan


Street Typologies | Intro to Design

Streets are the major setting for urban experiences and thus understanding of street typologies is essential for understanding urban design. Street types: Residential Lane, Commercial Alley, Streets, Avenues, Boulevards, Super Boulevard, Drive, two Pedestrian Streets Role: developing street types, Illustrator, SketchUp, InDesign


Building Types: Duplex, Townhouse, Flat, Double Loaded Corridor, Residential Tower, Commercial Plate, Office Tower, Mixed Use Tower, Mixed Use Parking Structure, Mixed Use Parking Structure, and Mixed Use w/Embedded Parking Role: developing building typologies, AutoCAD, SketchUp, InDesign

Intro To Design | Building Typologies

Designing an urban space requires a basic understanding of building typologies and sizes.


Central New Jersey Bike Path | Intro To GIS

Potential Bike Path Access Points and Population Density Cranford, Elizabeth, Roselle & Roselle Park, NJ, 2010

! ( ( !

Population Within 1/4 Mile 1/2 Mile 1 Mile

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

( !

Total Population Cranford Elizabeth Roselle Roselle Park Garwood Kenilworth Union Linden Hillside 15569 1582 9279 2537 2171 0 0 0 0 0 47231 4652 26302 8221 8043 13 0 0 0 0 108115 14084 60348 15628 13091 1380 643 2238 487 216

Legend Bike Path

Estimated Population/Sq Mile

Path Access Points

0 - 5000

BikePath

5001 - 12500

Distance to Access Point

12510 - 25000

1/4 Mile

25010 - 50000

1/2 Mile

50010 - 112000

( !

1 Mile

0

0.5

1 Miles

Projection: New Jersey State Plane, NAD, 1983 Data (Population): US Census Bureau Data (Streets): New Jersey Geographic Information Network Map by: Chris Kok 12/2011

2

q


Role: Data Collection, GIS, Data Visualization Vacancy Rate By Census Block Elizabeth, NJ, 2010

Percentage of Units as Rentals By Census Block, Elizabeth, NJ, 2010

Population Density By Census Block Elizabeth, NJ, 2010

Population Per Square Mile

Trail

Vacancy Rate 0% - 5%

4000

25.01% - 50%

Summit City

Westfield Town

Union Township

Springfield Township

Scotch Plains Township

Roselle Park Borough

Plainfield City

Roselle Borough

Rahway City

µ

New Providence Borough

Linden City

Hillside Township

2.7

Mountainside Borough

1.8 Miles

Kenilworth Borough

0.9

Garwood Borough

0.45

Elizabeth City

Not Applicable

0

Fanwood Borough

87.51% - 100%

Cranford Township

75.01% - 87.5%

Clark Township

Projection: New Jersey State Plane, NAD, 1983 Data: US Census Bureau Map by: Chris Kok 12/2011

50.01% - 75%

70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Berkeley Heights Township

Winfield Township

Westfield Town

Union Township

Summit City

Springfield Township

Scotch Plains Township

Roselle Park Borough

Roselle Borough

Rahway City

µ

Plainfield City

New Providence Borough

Mountainside Borough

Linden City

Miles

2.7

Kenilworth Borough

1.8

Hillside Township

0.9

Garwood Borough

0.45

Fanwood Borough

0

0% -25% Elizabeth City

45010 - 120000

0

Cranford Township

Projection: New Jersey State Plane, NAD, 1983 Data: US Census Bureau Map by: Chris Kok 12/2011

30010 - 45000

Trail Percentage of Units As Rentals

2000

Clark Township

Union Township

Winfield Township

Westfield Town

Scotch Plains Township

Summit City

Springfield Township

Roselle Park Borough

Plainfield City

New Providence Borough

Rahway City

µ

Roselle Borough

Hillside Township

Kenilworth Borough

2.7

Mountainside Borough

Garwood Borough

1.8 Miles

Linden City

0.9

Elizabeth City

0.45

Fanwood Borough

0

0 - 6000 18010 - 30000 Cranford Township

Not Applicable

Clark Township

50.01% - 100%

6000

% Of Units as Rentals

Legend

8000

6001 - 18000 Berkeley Heights Township

20.01% - 50%

10000

Trail

Population/SqMile

Berkeley Heights Township

5.01% - 10% 10.01% - 20%

10% 9% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0%

12000

Legend

Vacancy Rate

Legend

Projection: New Jersey State Plane, NAD, 1983 Data: US Census Bureau Map by: Chris Kok 12/2011

Intro To GIS | Central New Jersey Bike Path

Connecting Elizabeth and Cranford, NJ is the abandoned Central New Jersey Railroad. This was once a major rail corridor with 4 tracks and almost complete grade separation. Currently it sits, overgrown with vegetation. While there have been proposals to convert the line to public transit with either light rail or bus rapid transit, this piece of land would also be ideal for active transportation and recreation. This project analyzed the ability to convert this abandoned corridor into a linear park with bike lanes. The bike lanes would serve the purpose of active transit while the park itself would provide recreation. The study looked at the number of people living within 1/4, 1/2, and 1 mile distances from access points to the abandoned line as well as the potential for increased property values due to the creation of a park. An estimated 108,000 people reside within a mile of access points to the line. Furthermore, there was a potential for an increase of $3.25 million in annual tax revenue for the municipalities of Cranford, Roselle Park, Roselle and Elizabeth.


Portland Rail Transit | Transportation Policy

Population Density, Portland, OR, 2000 to 2010

Westside Max-Sunset HWY and Population Density 2010

2010

2000

MAX

Total Population / Sq_MI

1001 - 2000

4001 - 5000

9001 - 14000

Sunset Highway

0 - 500.0

2001 - 3000

5001 - 7000

14010 - 30000

Other Highways

500.1 - 1000

3001 - 4000

7001 - 9000

Arterial Roads

0 0.5 1

2

3

4

Miles

5

Projection: State Plane Oregon North, NAD, 1983 Source: Population, US Census Bureau, Transportation: TriMet Map by: Chris Kok 11/2011

³

Over the past few decades, Portland, OR has come to be considered a national leader in the realm of public rail transportation. Analyzing how Portland’s public transit system works involved the use of GIS. Looking at the Westside MAX, one can see how it runs closer to pockets of population density than the Sunset Highway. Another analysis involved the growth in population in the Pearl District after the construction of the Portland Streetcar. Role: Data Collection, GIS, Data Visualization

Legend Rail Transit Population/Sq Mile

5001 - 10000

30010 - 45000

100100 - 150000 150100 - 275000

MAX

0.000000000 - 2000

10010 - 15000

45010 - 75000

SC

2001 - 5000

15010 - 30000

75010 - 100000

0

0.125 0.25

0.5

0.75

1

Miles

Projection: State Plane Oregon North, NAD, 1983 Source: Population, US Census Bureau, Transportation: TriMet Map by: Chris Kok 11/2011

³


Role: Data Collection, GIS, Data Visualization

Bike Ped Seminar | Minneapolis Bicycling

Minneapolis is one of the greatest cities for bicycling infrastructure. This project involved the analysis of the people promoting bicycling, the policies that make bicycling easier and the projects that have put Minneapolis on the bicycling map.


Portfolio