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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by the funding under award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of this work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government. Š 2014 Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission ISBN 978-0-615-95794-4 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted, reformatted, reproduced, or used in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author and/or copyright holder.


KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS Prepared for the City of Knoxville and the PlanET Consortium by the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design Ted Shelton, FAIA, LEED AP Principal Investigator Amanda Gann Lead Research Assistant Jason Cole Marion Forbes Ben Wathen Daniel Zegel Research Assistants Valerie Friedman, Associate ASLA Landscape Ecology Consultant


CONTENTS Introduction

7

Background

9

Concerns

19

Bearden Neighborhood Center

31

Burlington Neighborhood Center

49

East Town Community Center

69

West Town Community Center

83

Pellissippi Regional Center

99

Downtown Regional Center

117

Conclusions

131

About the Authors

133


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


SPRAWL DEVELOPMENT ALONG KINGSTON PIKE

INTRODUCTION

7 INTRODUCTION

The five-county PlanET region, consisting of Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union Counties, is projected to grow from a population of 698,000 in 2010 to 996,000 by 2040 - a 43% increase. As the focal point of this growth, Knoxville will solidify its position as the center of this dynamic region over this period. This growth will be accompanied by extensive new construction, new infrastructure. However, the nature, effectiveness, and impact of the growth can vary widely depending on our choices, goals, and vision. Within the context of recent transportation proposals and the regional Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) effort, Knoxville 2040: Centers and Corridors envisions a future where growth has been incentivized to support the creation of walkable neighborhoods, provide robust transit options, and counteract the negative effects of sprawl. The report uses Transit Oriented Development (TOD) techniques, which concentrate development around well-served transit hubs, as a fundamental basis for its proposals. However, these techniques are not seen simply as a way to ensure the viability of new transit systems. To ask the question this way is to get it the wrong way around. Rather, the report asks the more compelling questions of what types of neighborhoods and civic spaces might arise from leveraging the possibilities presented by expanded transit systems and what types of lives might be available to Knoxville’s citizens in these places. By focusing on the urban design possibilities inherent in nodes linked by diverse transit options, Knoxville 2040: Centers and Corridors certainly intends to move civic thinking away from

the development models that drive sprawl. This shift is not made out of a sense of obligation, though the environmental and social arguments for doing so are compelling. Instead, the plan is driven by the desire to create places where Knoxvillians are able to pursue healthy, active lifestyles; are socially connected to their neighbors; have easy access to civic amenities; enjoy clean air and water resources; reap the benefits of energy efficient buildings and urban areas; and can move around the city easily and affordably. In other words, the plan endeavors to create the places where people want to live that are not currently available. By pursuing the primary goal of quality placemaking, the Knoxville 2040: Centers and Corridors scenario generates significant collateral benefits. These include protecting the region’s rural and natural landscapes and critical habitats, positioning the city to respond to an uncertain energy future, allowing for the efficient use of existing infrastructure while providing a path to transition to decentralized infrastructure, and fostering the ability for the city to be agile in its future transportation choices. The result is an efficient, dynamic city positioned to attract and retain the intellectual capital and active citizenry necessary to compete in the 21st century. While this is an ambitious vision, it is important to remember that the changes to come in the next 30 years will be tremendous whether or not we shape them to our advantage. To keep the status quo, which is to follow the sprawl model of the last several decades, will also lead to a radical reshaping of the city that will continue to devour


8

land; stretch municipal infrastructure and services; put mobility out of the reach of more of our citizens; make the city more susceptible to unpredictability in energy markets; make us less economically and energy efficient; put greater burdens on our air, water, and habitat; estrange us from our neighbors; and create spaces loved by no one. Ultimately, it will put us at a significant disadvantage when competing for the best and brightest citizens in a world where capital, work, and information are increasingly fluid. The Knoxville of 2040 is as distant as we look forward in time as is the city’s 1982 World’s Fair is looking backward. The fair imagined a bright future defined by amazing energy technologies. We have realized some of that promise. Much is still waiting to be claimed. Since 1982 we have developed a much deeper understanding of the connection between our cities and the wider environment and have rediscovered the power of place in creating better lives for our citizens. Cities across the US, Knoxville included, have experienced a renaissance that few could have predicted in 1982. The hope of this proposal, therefore, is to not only fully claim the vision of 1982, but to move well beyond it to a Knoxville of 2040 that is integrally tied to both its people and its region while competing on the national and global stages.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


BACKGROUND

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KNOXVILLE KNO KKN NO N OXXV XVI VVIILLL LLE LLEE 2040: 2200440 40: 00:: CE C CENTERS EN NTTE NTE TE R RS SA AN AND ND C ND CO CORRIDORS OR RR RRI RIIDO R DOR D O OR RS


TOP LEFT: CEDAR BLUFF ROAD AND I-40 CIRCA 1960. (UT DIGITAL COLLECTIONS) BOTTOM LEFT: CEDAR BLUFF ROAD AND I-40 CIRCA 2013. (KNOXVILLE-KNOX COUNTY METROPOLITAN PLANNING COMMISSION)

11 BACKGROUND

The sprawl-based development that has characterized the growth of Knoxville over the past fifty years has had severe consequences for the region’s natural and agricultural landscapes. Such development patterns use land very inefficiently while taxing municipal infrastructure unnecessarily and producing disproportionate amounts of soil, air, and water pollution. To continue following this path is to cede the balance of our landscape to a type of development that can impair the greater civic good. Furthermore, such development tends to disadvantage those at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder. As the city sprawls, those with limited personal mobility are cut off from quality jobs, quality education, and even quality food. Such development puts Knoxville at a severe disadvantage when competing with other cities to create a healthy, educated citizenry, attract the most desirable jobs, and foster a robust creative class. As Knoxville prepares for the next half century and beyond, it is clear that a different model is needed. Smart growth principles seek to balance economic development with protection of the natural environment, the creation of quality civic space for all, and the effective use of municipal resources. These principles underpin the proposals in this document.


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1935

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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


13

2014

THIS AND FACING PAGE: THE ROAD NETWORKS AND GROWTH PATTERNS OF KNOX COUNTY

As with many places in the US, sprawl development has drastically changed the nature of Knoxville in a brief period of time. Early in the 20th century the city was relatively dense and compact. This type of configuration is easily served by public transport (in the case of Knoxville, streetcars), maintains the surrounding land in either a natural or agricultural state, and allows cultural infrastructure such as schools, libraries, and cinemas to be neighborhood-based. By the early 21st century sprawl development had consumed a significant portion of the natural and agricultural land in Knox County and created a region that relies on the private automobile, is challenging to service with social and technical infrastructure, and is isolating for many of its residents.

BACKGROUND

1978


Regional Center Community Center Neighborhood Center Small Town Center Rural Crossroads Regional Express Bus System

Union

Local BRT System

Maynardville

14

Anderson

Clinton

Halls

Knox Carter

Oak Ridge

Knoxville Pellissippi

Alcoa

Loudon

Lenoir City

Loudon

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

Maryville

Blount


Knoxville 2040: Centers and Corridors is part of the larger Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) vision that imagines how to handle the region’s growth over the next thirty years. Using smart growth principles, PlanET has proposed that the region’s growth be focused on centers of varying sizes, each with its own distinct identity. In this way, the region’s future growth can be used to reinforce the unique nature of East Tennessee places.

The lone exception to the concept of reinforcing existing centers is the Pellissippi center, which currently has no identifiable manifestation but which is proposed to absorb significant growth over the next decades and form a triangle of regional centers along with Knoxville and Maryville/Alcoa. Each type of center is projected to generate a number of new residents and new jobs as shown below.

Regional Center Community Center Neighborhood Center Small Town Center Rural Crossroads

new population 5,000 5,000 2,500 1,500 600

new jobs 10,000 2,500 1,000 750 250

Connecting many of the centers is another important piece of the PlanET vision - regional express bus and local bus rapid transit (BRT) systems. BRT systems use limited stops, dedicated lanes, and efficient ticketing, signal priority controls, and improved stations to provide many of the advantages of urban rail systems at a fraction of the price and with greater flexibility. The regional Transportation Planning Organization proposes a local BRT system along Kingston Pike, Broadway, and Magnolia Avenue (shown in light blue at left) and a regional express bus system (shown in dark blue at left) along freeways. At several key locations the two systems have overlapping stops allowing passengers

The local BRT and regional express bus systems allow for energy- and time-efficient movement between the various centers and invite the possibility of rail service in the future. These assumptions set the framework for the Centers and Corridors project and give rise to an investigation of the potential character of several of the centers.

15 BACKGROUND

The strategy of reinforcing existing places and understanding them as unique centers hopes to avoid the “placelessness” inherent in sprawl development where each place begins to seem much like any other, with the same establishments, streetscapes, and housing types. Rather, the plan proposes to reinforce and sensitively grow each of these centers making them more self-reliant and distinct. PlanET imagines each of the proposed centers as a place where, at least to some extent, residents can live, work, and play. This allows residents the opportunity to lead more place-connected lives while simultaneously benefiting the region by reducing the need for transportation and making the delivery of amenities more efficient. While some urban amenities such as sporting venues, entertainment venues, and major retail areas, will undoubtedly continue to be concentrated in the larger centers, the hope is to make each center largely autonomous in its ability to provide for residents’ daily needs.

to transfer between the two. Interestingly, Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) has recently begun running buses on 15 minute headways along the Kingston Pike, Broadway, and Magnolia Avenue corridors during morning and afternoon peak ride times. Such frequent buses are a key component of BRT systems and allow riders to use the system much as they would a light rail or subway. Frequent travel options allow one to disregard the schedule and simply show up at a station when ready. This is truly convenient public transit.


Within the framework of the PlanET vision, this proposal considers the development of six centers; two of each of the three largest proposed types. Regional centers - Downtown Knoxville and Pellissippi Community centers - West Town and East Town Neighborhood centers - Burlington and Bearden In each case Knoxville 2043: Centers and Corridors proposes how the center can absorb the growth projected by PlanET while both reinforcing its specific character and addressing a variety of concerns as outlined in the following chapter.

Bea r

West Tow

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i KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

n de

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t To Eas wn

BACKGROUND

rlington Bu

Do w

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oxville n Kn ow nt


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CONCERNS

19


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


Mobility is central to the success of the proposal. If we are to imagine a Knoxville that is less reliant on single-occupancy vehicles, it must be one that provides convenient, reliable, efficient, and affordable mobility. Without addressing this concern, a growing Knoxville will only become more dependent on single-occupancy vehicles and be forced to deal with the myriad problems that such dependency brings with it. Each day we are becoming more aware of the link between our health and our built environment. By proposing designs that bolster residents’ well being while eliminating stress on human health, we cannot only make for a more efficient and productive city but also significantly improve citizens’ quality of life. For too long the city has been seen as the antithesis of the natural world. Rather, the two must exist in a cooperative relationship with each other. Designing cities that foster the protection and regeneration of the natural environment benefits the region’s ecological health while also providing amenities for residents in the form of easily accessible wild and natural places. Any proposal for the future of Knoxville must emphasize and reinforce a distinct sense of community. This is true not only with regard to the city as a whole, but also with regard to each of the smaller centers. For example, a resident of Burlington

must be integrally connected to both Burlington and the city of Knoxville. Such connections are critical if neighborhoods and cities are to attract and retain an active, engaged citizenry. Far from being completely discrete, each concern interacts with and reinforces the others in multiple ways. It is nearly impossible, for example, to consider human health without considering the health of the environment. Likewise, it is difficult to imagine how one might build strong community in a center that is not well connected to other centers and the city at large. This chapter describes each of these overarching concerns in more detail.

21 CONCERNS

Each of the investigated centers has a unique nature and a unique set of related concerns. However, certain concerns are seen as universal to the project and therefore cross over from one center to another. These concerns - mobility, health, environment, and community - are seen as fundamental to the creation of vital urban places in the 21st century. Thus, they must be addressed in any successful design for the future of urban centers in Knoxville.


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


In many ways, mobility is the central issue of this document. Within Knoxville the centers proposed by PlanET are to be linked with both local BRT and regional express bus lines. To propose developing the centers without this important new method of moving between them would only add to the traffic pressures along the city’s major arterials and highways. However, the tactics that form a comprehensive mobility strategy range from the scale of the regional transportation systems down to the sidewalk. It is only when all of these scales are working together that the overall mobility system can truly begin to function efficiently. At the largest scale, Centers and Corridors looks to the long term when regional passenger trains again serve Knoxville and the Southern Depot area is the hub of such rail transportation. That hub, in turn, serves as a connection point where buses and trolleys can reach the Duncan Transit Center where the express buses and bus rapid transit system vehicles arrive and depart. Knoxville passenger rail would most likely connect to the proposed national high-speed rail system at either Louisville, Atlanta, Charlotte, or Greenville.1 1 United States. Department of Transportation / Federal Railroad Administration. Vision for High-Speed Rail in America. 2009. <http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L02833>.

CONCERN: MOBILITY

At the regional scale, this proposal makes no recommendations regarding the expansion or modification of the regional transportation system, as this was well outside the scope of the work. However, it is very easy to imagine that, were the recommendations of PlanET and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization to be taken up in the coming decades, extensions would be in order. Perhaps the most desirable extension would be to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most visited.

Centers and Corridors proposes to extend the local BRT system to all of the centers. This requires extending the Kingston Pike line westward to the new Pellissippi regional center and creating some link from the East Town community center to either the Broadway local BRT, the Magnolia local BRT, or both. Without these connections, the proposed centers will not be fully viable. The most effective way of reducing the use of automobiles is to create places where residents can perform most or all of their daily tasks within close proximity to their homes, altogether alleviating the need to use one’s car. Coupling such design with a robust transit system, as is proposed here, is called Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which is a hallmark of many American cities. This concept permeates both the corridors and centers in the proposal. Along the corridors, each stop of the local BRT functions as a secondary center. Accordingly, it will be important to develop methods of incentivizing multi-use (commercial, residential, and civic) development within a 5 to 10 minute (¼ to ½ mile) walk of each station. This will energize the corridor and eventually link the centers with a continuous, diverse fabric. Density of use is intensified within the centers with a diverse mix of commercial, business, civic, and residential uses located within the 10 minute walking radius. Such design is intended to maximize the most basic of mobilities - simply walking a short distance to a desired amenity.

23 CONCERNS

A fundamental goal of this proposal is to reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicles. Doing so would positively affect all four of our major concerns - mobility, health, environment, and community - as discussed here and on the following pages. Therefore, this is a critical goal addressed through multiple means. This proposal employs a hierarchy of mobility options with the pedestrian occupying the top of the list as the most desirable form of mobility, then on down through human-powered vehicles, mass transit, high-occupancy vehicles, and finally single-occupancy vehicles as the least desirable option.


24

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


As stated previously in the mobility section, a fundamental goal of Centers and Corridors is to reduce the use of singleoccupancy vehicles. This is achieved primarily by creating compact multi-use centers and connecting them with effective BRT and a robust bicycle infrastructure. If this strategy is successful in reducing the number of cars on the road it would directly improve residents’ health. While it has long been understood that air pollution from vehicles has negative impacts on respiratory health, the World Health Organization recently published findings classifying air pollution as a carcinogen in humans.2 Furthermore, the design of compact, multi-use centers connected to parks and serviced by strong pedestrian and bicycle linkages creates the framework for what is called an active living neighborhood.3 In such places, residents are much more likely to regularly get recommended amounts of exercise. This exercise comes in the form of walking or biking to conduct one’s daily activities as well as participating in 2. Friedman, MS, KE Powell, L Hutwagner, et al. “Impact of changes in transportation and commuting behaviors during the 1996 Summer Olympic games in Atlanta on air quality and childhood asthma.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 285. (2001): 897-90.

CONCERN: HEALTH

formal and informal recreational activities. Both are made possible by the close proximities created by the relatively dense designs in Centers and Corridors. All six centers have densities that provide residents with recreational, retail, commercial, and civic spaces within walkable and bikeable distances. Consideration is also given to how each center will link to larger systems such as urban wildernesses, greenways, and bicycle trails.

Another health benefit of the proposal relates to the provision of healthy food options. Concentrating development into relatively dense centers as proposed in Centers and Corridors makes it easier to address concerns about access to high-quality affordable food. Of the six centers in the study, all but Bearden are classified by the US Department of Agriculture as food deserts in that they are areas in which either 5,000 people or 33% of the population live more than a half mile from a supermarket.4 Four centers – Downtown, East Town, Burlington, and West Town – are also in areas considered to be low income, further exacerbating the problem of food access. By creating livable centers that can attract a concentration of residents Centers and Corridors incentivizes businesses such as supermarkets to locate within the centers, putting such amenities just a few steps away from where residents live and work and, in the case of food, providing critical access. While much of human health is dependent on personal actions and choices, each day we learn more about how the built environment can either encourage or discourage such positive choices.

Straif, Kurt, Aaron Cohen, and Jonathan Samet. IARC Scientific Publication No. 161: Air Pollution and Cancer. World Health Organization, 2013. 3. For detailed information on active living neighborhoods see http://activelivingresearch.org.

4. See the USDA Food Access Research Atlas at http://www. ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas

25 CONCERNS

The proposals in Centers and Corridors seek to improve Knoxville residents’ health in many ways both directly and indirectly. A healthy citizenry is essential both for establishing a high quality of life and increasing Knoxville’s competitiveness on the national and international stages.


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


Common environmental concerns in the region include poor air and water quality. Poor air quality is attributed to many factors, including valley topography and pollution from neighboring areas, but two factors that may be addressed within the region are reducing vehicle emissions and increasing urban tree canopy. As noted in the section on mobility, a fundamental goal of this study is to reduce reliance of single occupancy vehicles. This is accomplished through better options for public transportation but may also be supported by increasing options, such as greenways, for non-motorized transportation.

CONCERN: ENVIRONMENT

watershed. For example, all surface water in the Lower French Broad watershed collects in the French Broad River before flowing downstream into the Fort Loudoun Lake Watershed. Because water constantly moves downstream, it is of primary concern to treat water quality issues, such as non-point source pollution, where they occur to prevent accumulation downstream. Stormwater entering regional surface waters is also of concern. Stormwater affects water quality by transporting contaminants such as hydrocarbons, pathogens, and sediment into surface waters. Large quantities of stormwater are generated from vast areas of impervious surfaces, such as parking lots and compacted lawns, which are often numerous in developed areas. These influxes of stormwater erode stream banks and damage aquatic habitat, lead to flash flooding, and transport contaminated surface water to areas where it may infiltrate into groundwater—a source many rely on for drinking water.

East Tennesseans rely on both surface and ground water supplies for uses including recreation, agricultural and industrial supply, and, most importantly, for drinking water. The region also supports many rare aquatic habitats that are highly sensitive to water quality. Regional water quality is variable, with the majority of high-quality waters found in undeveloped and protected areas such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A goal of Centers and Corridors is to incorporate environmental best management practices at both the scale of the proposed community centers and throughout the larger proposed corridor to address the issues outlined above. Each community center proposal employs practices such as providing and protecting open space, minimizing impervious surfaces, integrating vegetative stormwater management facilities, and providing ample urban tree canopy. These practices enhance the community from a recreational and aesthetic perspective while generating good air and water quality, regulating ambient temperatures, and fostering habitat.

Surface water moves through the region in topographicallydefined land areas known as watersheds. Watersheds are a series of basins linked by a single point of reference where water flows from one watershed into the next downstream

An additional environmental goal of this study is to integrate systemic ecological functioning within the larger corridor. This approach, known as green infrastructure, “refers to a system of interconnected landscapes distributed throughout

27 CONCERNS

The Knoxville region is known for its iconic landscapes forested ridges and fertile valleys, mountain streams and scenic rivers and reservoirs. These environmental resources are one of the region’s greatest assets, in terms of beauty, biological diversity, and tourism dollars. However, in many of Knoxville’s developed areas, human activities and land use patterns are degrading these resources at an accelerating rate. Given the PlanET Region’s anticipated 43% population increase over the next three decades it is clear that a successful approach to urban planning must address environmental concerns.


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a watershed that provide ecosystem services, stormwater management opportunities, and other benefits, such as recreational amenities and protection for environmentally sensitive landscapes.â&#x20AC;? These large-scale implementations provide regional habitat corridors that may also house intercommunity greenway trails. Open spaces are integral to the health of a communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents and they provide an environment for community events, recreation, and alternative transportation routes such as greenway trails. Additionally, ecologically functioning landscapes support ecosystems that provide the region with essential amenities such as clean air and water.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


The compact centers proposed in this study provide an ideal opportunity to leverage civic infrastructure to reinforce community. Concentrations of residents and businesses in multi-use connected neighborhoods provide a large bang for the city’s civic buck. Centers would be attractive locations for everything from streetscape improvements to branch libraries and community centers, all of which foster interaction among residents and connection to place. We might even imagine a rethinking of something as central to community as schools. A city that is not spread thinly across the landscape but rather concentrated in neighborhoods of various sizes that could support smaller schools based in those neighborhoods. Many students could walk to school (or, if older, ride on the BRT) and the regular interactions of parents, students, and teachers would closely link people in the surrounding community. Such small schools could provide significant incentive for residents to settle in the centers, particularly if they produced the educational outcomes shown in some studies.5 The school grounds could also serve as places for community gardens and other civic activities. Where significant community and/or cultural resources exist Centers and Corridors identifies and reinforces them. They 5. There are many sources for additional information on the small schools movement. See for instance http:// smallschoolscoalition.com/

CONCERN: COMMUNITY

are critical ties to the city’s past that provide continuity to each place. For example, in Burlington the proposal is to revitalize the historic commercial center of the neighborhood, connect Chilhowee Park more closely to the daily life of the community while maintaining its role for special events, and link a vibrant Magnolia Avenue to the unique “Racetrack Neighborhood”. In other instances the study proposes civic amenities that would bring people together both literally and figuratively. These include a new outdoor amphitheater at East Town, the reintroduction of a minor league baseball stadium to downtown, and new greenways and/or park spaces in every center. Such gathering places are vital to forging a collective sense of association in addition to providing attractive recreational opportunities. Throughout the proposal a series of housing types is explored. Though often not permitted under current zoning regulations, these housing types demonstrate methods of creatively introducing housing into communities of various densities. Housing and the full-time residents that it represents are the life blood of any community. It will be essential for Knoxville to move beyond typical housing models in order to support dense and vital community centers. As residents’ living becomes more neighborhood-based, we are likely to see new models of workspace arise such as co-working spaces. In co-working spaces workers use telecommunication technology to work near or at home rather than travel to a common office space. As a result, one regularly works alongside one’s neighbors, further cementing the bonds of community. Only through fostering a sense of community do we create the types of places that people love and in which, therefore, they want to invest their time, energy, and money.

29 CONCERNS

As already stated, it is not a goal of Centers and Corridors simply to add density to Knoxville. While density comes with many benefits, it is not a worthy goal in its own right. Rather, the proposal seeks to enhance, through sensitive design, the unique qualities of each center while imagining how each can grow into a larger and more vibrant neighborhood that is an integral part of the wider city. This is accomplished through several means.


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


BEARDEN

NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER

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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT [P. 42]

NORTHSHORE DRIVE

MIXED USE TOWER - MEDIUM DENSITY

FOURTH CREEK

INTERSTATE 40/75


NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER

BEARDEN 33 BEARDEN

FOURTH CREEK

ROW HOUSING

ROUNDABOUT

FOURTH CREEK PARK [P. 46]

BUS RAPID TRANSIT STOP

KINGSTON PIKE


RESPONSE TO GROWTH

OFFICE JOBS

1,015 1,195

PARKING SPACES

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

3,390

7000

6000

5000

4000

2,513

ADDED RESIDENTS

COMMERCIAL JOBS

3000

2000

0

1000

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10000

9000

PROJECTED GROWTH

Located at the busy Northshore Drive intersection, the Bearden

master plan creates space for over 2,000 new jobs in this center

neighborhood is bisected by the Kingston Pike commercial

rather than the original target of 1,000.

corridor. Any viable plan for this area as a coherent urban place must find ways to link both sides of Kingston Pike, link both sides of

Using this new target number will allow local businesses to stay in

Northshore Drive, provide pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly spaces

the area, while still providing room for the addition of new businesses

along both of these arteries, and allow for the continued (though

and living space for over 2,500 people.

hopefully reduced) use of Kingston Pike by both car traffic and the local BRT line.

Additional considerations in this center include the need to proactively address flooding along Fourth Creek and the possibility

Such requirements predicate a completely revised development

of connecting to the existing greenway system (which currently ends

pattern if we are to create a cohesive, walkable, and bikable Bearden.

just east of the center at Bearden Elementary) and extending the

Much of the existing parking-centric, single story commercial

system to connect to the currently isolated greenway at Lakeshore

development will need to be replaced in this process. To ensure

Park (just southeast of the center along Fourth Creek).

that there is no displacement of existing businesses, the proposed

BEARDEN

8000

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E AT ST

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36

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GS

N TO

KIN

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HO THS NOR E RIV

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PIK


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E M IN UT SI X

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52%

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include buildings, road network, and parking lots. There is a significant concentration of impervious surface near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Northshore Drive.

EXISTING CONDITIONS

The area that currently makes up the Bearden Center consists BEARDEN B EARDEN ELEMENTAR EAR ELEM LEMENTARY R SCHOOL RY OL A AND AN ND ADAPTIVE A DA T VE EEDUCATION UCA ION N CE CENTE CENTER CENT NTER

primarily of single-level commercial development engulfed in a sea of surface parking lots. Sidewalks, in the few instances that they are present, are narrow and often either obstructed with infrastructure (fire hydrants, telephone poles, and street signs), rendered dangerous due to the lack of a buffer between traffic and pedestrians, or perforated with frequent curb cuts. Approximately

CHEROKEE GOLF CHER OLF CO COURSE COU CENTRAL BAPTIST ST CH CHURC HURCH H URC UR H F.E.M.A. 100 year flood plain

52% of the current land use consists of impervious surfaces, mostly in the form of rooftops that do nothing to mitigate their runoff, and surface parking lots. This surface runoff has impaired the adjacent Fourth Creek. The north/south running Northshore Drive lies in the floodplain and drains into the creek, adding to the runoff pollution.

The proposed center is bounded on the north and south by areas of hilltop and steep slope protection, which should not be developed in any responsible plan. Bearden Elementary School and Central Baptist Church of Bearden are significant cultural institutions located within the proposed center.

BEARDEN

IMPERVIOUS SURFACES Impervious surfaces


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FLOOD PLAIN. The area of “elastic” fabric, which exhibits a high rate of change and is dominated by singlestory commercial space and surface parking, is the focus of the proposed changes. The plan must respond to the Fourth Creek flood plain.

CENTER. The “underbout” is created to solve the intersecting needs of creek, vehicular, and pedestrian traffic. Fourth Creek is modified to allow for a more naturally absorbent flood plain and create a recreational greenspace.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


COMMERCIAL | RESIDENTIAL. Centering on the BRT stop, the commercial corridor is reinforced with lowrise commercial buildings and residential buildings at strategic locations allowing all easy access to the transit system.

39 BEARDEN

GREEN SPACE The enhanced Fourth Creek is the focal point of the neighborhood. The new greenway passes cleanly below the traffic circle, so that automobiles and pedestrians alike have consistent access through the intersection without having to regulate the intersection with a signal.


E

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INT

40

D RE HO HS RT NO RIV E

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

40


BI K HA E R LF ID M E ILE

E M IN UT SI X

COMMERCIAL OFFICE MIXED USE RESIDENTIAL CIVIC PARKING

SIX MINUTE WALK QUARTER MILE

41

The Bearden neighborhood center is focused on a local BRT stop situated between Bearden Elementary and the “underbout” at Kingston Pike and Northshore. New commercial development along Kingston Pike creates a coherent street edge. New regular ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS MIXED USE CORRIDOR

cross streets provide pedestrian pathways as well as a way to pull vehicles off of Kingston Pike and get them to parking areas behind the commercial buildings.

The plan responds to the existing formal lawn in front of Bearden Elementary by creating a civic plaza that spatially links both sides MIXEED USE | RESIDENTIAL MIXED RESIDEN + RETAIL BUS RAPID TRANSIT STOP THE “UNDERBOUT” ROUNDABOUT

of Kingston Pike. The school itself sits at the focal point of the lawn as an important civic institution. The school’s grounds are used as a public community asset when school is not in session. The existing greenway system is extended to the green and travels down Kingston Pike along the sidewalk to link to the new Fourth Creek Greenway.

GREEENWAY ROW HOUSING

The master plan uses four housing types - an iconic apartment building located at a focal point along the new park space, mixed use housing located on the commercial corridor, walk-up high density housing behind and on the corridor, and single-family type row housing threaded into the development. Ample parking is provided along streets, as well as in several parking structures.

Fourth

Creek is protected and becomes a park that meanders through the development, giving residents and workers a green space in which to relax and play. The park connects the city’s existing greenways, as well as providing a new greenway connection to Lakeshore Park to the south.

BEARDEN

PROPOSED MASTERPLAN


42

Bearden’s focal park, nicknamed “The Underbout” is a place of rest and a transition between the urban sidewalk and the meandering park path. A residential tower adjacent to the park takes advantage of this new urban green space. The area inscribed in the circle of the “Underbout” provides local bird and wildlife habitat as well as pedestrian and bike access to the new Fourth Creek Greenway. Along the northeast side of the Underbout is a terraced amphitheater to be used for large events such as concerts, plays, and community gatherings.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


A

43

VIEW A -- “THE UNDERBOUT”

BEARDEN

THE PLAZA|UNDERBOUT


TRADITIONAL ROW HOUSE TYPE

The row house is an efficient form of housing that is created by abutting units along shared walls and providing units with little or no private exterior space. Within this type, however, there are many opportunities for integrating exterior space within the units, as explored in the diagrams below.

PRIVATE SPACES ALONG REAR OF UNITS

Providing private spaces along the rear of the units allows the front facade to maintain a rhythm and create an urban street edge. The private spaces could take various forms such as a yard, porch, or deck. This system works particularly well when the units back up to a pleasant space or a secondary access.

44

PRIVATE SPACES AT FRONT OF UNITS

When providing private spaces along the front of the units, one must balance the unitâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s privacy needs against the need to also create a public space along the street. This can be accomplished with vertical separation, as with a stoop or porch, or with transparent enclosure, as with a sunroom. Even small yards can be provided without undermining the urban nature of the type. PAIRED SPACES WITHIN THE UNITS

Given a sufficient footprint, private spaces could be provided within the unit in the form of a courtyard or light well. Mirroring units and joining the spaces of two adjacent units allows them to be larger but means the loss of individual control of the space. Rather, the space is semi-private and shared with one other unit.

PRIVATE SPACES WITHIN THE UNITS

Alternately, spaces within the units could be kept solely private. Such spaces are necessarily tall and thin due to the proportions of the row house type. However, if designed well these spaces can still create a sense of retreat within the unit. As the private space is enlarged, this configuration begins to approach the Charleston single type. KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


B

45

VIEW B

what is a ROW HOUSE? A row house is a residence that shares at least one wall with the adjacent structure. This shared wall is fire rated. The entry to each unit is private, making these units single-family homes rather than multi-family residences. It is an efficient yet gracious type. Knoxville has many examples of historic row housing such as the Kendrick Place row houses on Union Avenue.

BEARDEN

NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER


46

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


C

47

VIEW C

Looking south towards Kingston Pike, P the bicycle and pedestrian greenway winds along Fourth Creek. Creek The greenway provides a lush green view for row housing residents reside who live along the sides of the park. The recreation area serves serve as an absorbent flood buffer, habitat, and recreational space.

The creek restoration project enta entails re-meandering the flow with alterations to the grading and dra drainage, re-planting and restoring the riparian edge, and providing buffers bu to collect and cleanse the stormwater runoff from the major road ro intersections.

BEARDEN

FOURTH CREEK PARK


48

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


BURLINGTON NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER


MAGN OLIA

AVEN UE

CORR IDOR

BRT LIN E

50

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

JACOB BUILDING

CHILHOWEE PARK

LIVE/WORK UNITS

MIXED USE CORRIDOR

KNOXVILLE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS

INTERSTATE 40


BURLINGTON NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER

51 BURLINGTON

N TO ING RL BU

AY NW EE GR

ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT [P. 77]

ROW HOUSING [P. 44]

NEW CIVIC SPACE

TRAFFIC CIRCLE

POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD [P. 58]

BUS RAPID TRANSIT STOP


RESPONSE TO GROWTH

OFFICE JOBS

1,149 690

PARKING SPACES

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

3,841

7000

6000

5000

4000

2,501

ADDED RESIDENTS

COMMERCIAL JOBS

3000

2000

0

1000

52


10000

9000

PROJECTED GROWTH

Like Bearden, the Burlington neighborhood center is bisected by a

neighborhood, to the revitalized Magnolia corridor, to the wider City

commercial corridor, in this case Magnolia Avenue. However, the

of Knoxville through the local BRT line. Proximity to downtown could

condition is quite different in Burlington for three critical reasons.

make this area highly attractive once this dependable and frequent

First, Magnolia Avenue isn’t nearly as heavily used as is Kingston

transit link is established.

Pike. Second, though it has suffered from the negative effects of sprawl development, Magnolia Avenue retains some of the historic

The opportunity in Burlington then is to revitalize one of Knoxville’s

pattern of houses, small apartment buildings, commercial buildings,

oldest streetcar neighborhoods through very precise small-scale

and civic buildings that face the avenue and reinforce the street

interventions both along the Magnolia Avenue corridor and in

edges. Finally, the commercial corridor is bounded on both sides

the neighborhoods beyond. The goal of this work should be to

by significant historic housing stock of a type and density that is

provide new life to the center while reinforcing and capitalizing on

conducive to rehabilitation as a contemporary green neighborhood.

the neighborhoods’ significant positive characteristics. Cultural

Such neighborhoods offer connection to urban amenities while

institutions of note in this area include Austin-East Magnet

maintaining the possibility of relatively quiet streets and both

High School, Chilhowee Park, the Knoxville Zoo, “Racetrack

personal and shared open space. In Burlington the various scales

Neighborhood”, and the historic “downtown” Burlington. Each must

of community might reasonably range from block, to multi-block

be maintained or enhanced in the final scheme.

BURLINGTON

8000

53


IN

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54

M IN UT E

40

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MA

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AV E

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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

AUSTIN-EAST MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL

`


FM D ILE E

WAY LE HIGH ASHEVIL

55

Magnolia Avenue as it runs through the proposed Burlington Center is comprised of commercial, industrial and retail spaces typically surrounded by surface parking. Many of the buildings along this HISTORIC DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON RACETRACK NEIGHBORHOOD

corridor and throughout the adjacent neighborhoods have fallen into disrepair or have become vacant in recent years. Centers and Corridors proposes to leverage these vacant spaces in order to both

JACOB BUILDING

reinforce the public nature of the street along Magnolia Avenue and introduce new housing typologies to the neighborhoods. The hope is to create a vibrant mix of commercial, civic, and residential spaces

CHILHOWEE PARK BRT STOP KNOXVILLE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS VACANT LOTS - USED FOR POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD

56% IMPERVIOUS SURFACES Over fifty-six percent of the current land use is incapable of dealing with its own rainfall runoff. Implementation of green roofing systems, as well as replacing surface parking lots with strategically located structured deck parking allows a significant portion of this impervious surface to either be developed for use, or to be reclaimed as green space for recreation and runoff control.

attached to the spine of the avenue.

BURLINGTON

EXISTING CONDITION NS


Centers and Corridors recommends that the historic Jacob Building

Williams Creek Greenway. This connection will link East

be used as a neighborhood market hall when not hosting special

Knoxville to downtown through the greenway system.

events. The mixed-used development along Magnolia Avenue

Parking is concentrated in the Chilhowee Park area with

contains office, commercial, and residential spaces. Downtown

two adjacent parking decks. This structured parking is

Burlington is re-envisioned as an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enclave where artisans

designed to be converted into living space once the BRT

can have gallery and workshop space on the street level and living

gains popularity reducing the need to store cars.

space above. A green corridor begins here, and runs through the Burlington Center, connecting through to the Zoo and Botanical Gardens and Arboretum, and leading through the gardens to the

40

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CHILHOWEE PARK

AUSTIN EAST MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


COMMERCIAL OFFICE MIXED USE RESIDENTIAL CIVIC

FM D ILE E

PARKING

57

NEW TRAFFIC CIRCLE REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION STRUCTURED PARKING COULD BE DEVELOPED INTO RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURE RACETRACK NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORIC DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON

1. DEVELOP CHILHOWEE PARK Lowrise mixed use infill development reinforces the Magnolia Avenue corridor and helps to define Chilhowee Park as a civic space. Adjacent buildings take advantage of the amenity of the park, while increasing its everyday use.

JACOB BUILDING PROPOSED MARKET/PUBLIC SPACE

2. THE PARK now unifies both the north and south sides of Magnolia Avenue. Low-rise mixed use infill development reinforces the Magnolia Avenue corridor and helps to define Chilhowee Park as a civic space. Adjacent buildings take advantage of the amenity of the park. ONE ACRE POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD

3. ASPHALT SURFACES By removing the asphalt surface parking at Chilhowee Park and replacing it with a surface (such as grasscrete) that is both absorptive and drivable, one is able to enhance public amenity, better control stormwater, and still park for large events. Linking this space to the extended greenway running parallel to Magnolia Avenue provides bicycle and pedestrian access to both Chilhowee Park and the Knoxville Zoo.

BURLINGTON

PROPOSED MA ASTERPLAN


VACANT LOTS IN BURLINGTON

OT EL

E ON

58

WHAT IS A POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD?

MAGN OLIA

A

BRT LVIENNUE

E

Sometimes called cottage developments, a commonly-used definition states, “a pocket neighborhood is a clustered group of single or multi-family units gathered around a shared open space - a garden courtyard, a pedestrian street, a series of joined backyards, or a reclaimed alley - all of whi which ch hav havee a cl clear ear ar se sense nse se of terri teerr tor oryy and shared sha red ed st s ewa ewards rdship hip.. Whil hilee the the poc pocket k ne ket ke n igh i hborhood gath athers ers ar aroun oundd thiis semi-pr this -priva ivate ttee sha s red ou outdo tdo door or spa space, ce, it maaint i ainns its in itss ove veral ralll sens ral se e of pla p ce in the gr great eat ater ater e con contex tex exxt ooff tthe h are he area.” a Kn a.” K oxv xvvill illle is is curr currrent n ly exp eex xplor loring o ing zzoonin ing regulat in eguulaation onns that ons at woould u al a llo low ow w fo forr tthe h con he c nstr struct uction ion on of poc o kett ne neigh ighbor igh bo hoo bor h dss (also (al a so kno k wn ass cou ouurtyyard rd devel deve de vel elopm pment pm ent nt). nt )).. Oth O err neaarby rb citi ciitie tiess hhave ave co const nstruc nst ructed u ted exxamp amples less such ch as Ger German ma tow man ow own wn Coour urt urt in Nas Nashvi hviillee.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

R AC


4

D

SE

O OP

E

RR

CU

UNITS PER ACRE

Y

SIT

ITY

S

EN

D NT

9

UNIT PER ACRE

N DE

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59

HOUSING TYPE PRECEDENTS

Several housing types have the potential for use in pocket neighborhoods. While the type need not mimic those found in the surrounding neighborhood, they should be compatible in general scale, material, and formal language.

SHOTGUN

It is interesting to consider regional types that have traditionally been used in situations where they are in close proximity to other structures. Types like the shotgun or the Charleston single represent relatively high density vernacular responses to climate and culture. Other regional types such as the dogtrot are interesting regional

SIDE PORCH

adaptations that might lend themselves to adaptation for use in higher density conditions.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are smaller, secondary residential structures located on the same parcel of land as a larger house. Often referred to as mother-in-law apartments, these structures DOGTROT

provide interesting flexibility to homeowners. While they might, as the name suggests, be used to care for an elderly relative, they can also serve as rental units or home offices. The ADU is a useful housing type in its own right and offers lessons for pocket neighborhoods as well. Because ADUs are on the same piece of property as another, larger house, they often employ clever design

ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT

solutions that allow the residents of both structures to have a sense of privacy in a relatively dense situation.

BURLINGTON

POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD


60

a sense of community

Examining one particular group of vacant properties within the Burlington neighborhood center, the following pages show how a pocket neighborhood could be designed that would both enhance and reinforce the best aspects of the area. Due to the orientation of the public spaces within the homes of the pocket neighborhood, the courtyard becomes public shared space to enhance the quality of community. It provides areas for gathering, a safe place for children to play, and visual connectivity between homes. Each home has a louvered porch opening from their kitchen/living room. This extends the semi-public space into the courtyard where gatherings such as cookouts and other community activities occur. The deciduous trees provide shading during the summer months then losing leaves in winter to bring solar heat into the homes.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


HOUSING TYPE 1

1200 sf 4 BR/2 BA

HOUSING TYPE 2

1000 sf 2 BR /2 BA

ON STREET PARKING

18 PARKING SPOTS

HOUSING TYPE 3

1000 SF 2 BR/2 BA

HOUSING TYPE 4

800 SF 2 BR/1 BA

61

POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD TYPE BURLINGTON


62

DOGTROT v1.0

SHOTGUN v1.0

This variation on the traditional dogtrot type separates a larger single family unit into two more appropriately sized smaller units. The central breezeway becomes a shared access/entry space for the adjoining units.

A porch is added to the front of thee unit. This is ideal for situations where the unitt backs up to commercial property or a service alley.

DOGTROT v1.1

SHOTGUN v1.1

Private outdoor living space is added to both units allowing for transition to a shared yard space. This provides a buffer between the interior space of the units and the neighborhood.

A porch is added to the back of the unit. This form is used when the unit backs up to another residential property.

DOGTROT v1.2

SHOTGUN v2.0

Accessory units are added above providing more living space. These can be connected to the lower spaces to increase the unit size or have separate egress to create a home office or rental unit.

Porches are split between the front nt and rear of the unit. When this unit is used in repetition, it creates alternating private/public ublic spaces between units.

SHOTGUN v2.1

POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING TYPES

Similar in form to v1.2, the front porch is extended to provide entry and transition from shared yard space, while creating an increased space for outdoor living.

A variety of the previously mentioned housing typologies are deployed in the example pocket neighborhood. By configuring different types in inventive ways these small developments can create varying arrangements of public, semi-public, and private spaces within.

SHOTGUN v3.0

A widely propagated pocket neighborhood type, this form shifts multiple outdoor dwelling spaces to one side of the structure. When the unit is used in repetition, this creates private space for each unit, using the adjacent unit as a backdrop.

COURTYARD OF THE POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD SHOTGUN v3.1

An accessory unit added to the side provides more space. This version allows for the addition of extra living space, personal office space, or a rental unit.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

In the proposed pocket neighborhood back porches serve two functions. As covered outdoor spaces they extend the living area of the home. They also are the stage for community engagement. Families, within their screened porch, can view the green courtyard and connect with their neighbors.


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kp

orc

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BURLINGTON

the

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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

PEDESTRIAN WA ALKWAY

CAFE | RESTAUR RANT

FLAT IRON BUILD DING

BRT ROUTE

MIXED USE COR RRIDOR

64


LIVE | WORK UN NIT

BURLINGTON DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON

neighborhoods, and the proposed Bus Rapid Transit line strives to return it to that former glory. With the introduction of a pedestrian esplanade to the north of an iconic prow-form, mixed-use anchor building, the life of the neighborhood begins to spill out onto the streets. Shaded by trees, the new pedestrian-only thoroughfare connects Historic Downtown Burlington to the new Magnolia corridor.

The facades of the buildings glow with lively excitement throughout the day with morning cafes, bookstores, restaurants and stores, the center transforms from a once car-oriented neighborhood, devoid of activity and identity, and propels it back into a thriving district that citizens from all over Knoxville are eager to visit and live.

Chilhowee Park is re-envisioned as a green and active space. Higher density housing lines the perimeter above mixed-use commercial space below, and the existing iron fencing is removed, uniting the sides of the Magnolia Corridor.

The iconic Jacob

Building serves as a marketplace and gathering spot, inclusive with a cafe and bistro. Structured deck parking at the north end of the park serves both the Zoo and the neighborhood, and is designed in such a way that it can be converted to residential space in the future, should society change its reliance on automobiles.

BURLINGTON

Downtown Burlington was one of Knoxvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s original streetcar

65


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


67

BURLINGTON


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


EAST TOWN COMMUNITY CENTER


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

RESTORED FORESTED HABITAT

AMPHITHEATER [P. 80]


71 EAST TOWN

EXPRESS BUS LINE FROM DOWNTOWN

LID PARK OVER INTERSTATE 640

NATIVE WILDFLOWERS GROWING ON EDGE

INTERSTATE 640

MIXED USE COMMERCIAL

MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL TOWER


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SIX MINUTE WALK QUARTER MILE

KKNOXVILLE L 2040: CEN C CENTERS EENT NTE NT TTEERS R AND CO CORR CORRIDORS ORR RR RIDOR R RI DORS

HILLTOP LTTO PROTECTION

LOVE’S S CREEK

INTERSTATE TE 640 TE

EAST TOWN MA ALL

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HOME HO H OM DEPOT OT


62%

IMPERVIOUS SURFACES Large areas of retail surface parking push the impervious area in this center up to 62%.

EXISTING CONDITIONS dominated by regional malls along with their associated surface parking and out parcel developments. While neither mall is derelict, neither is quite the draw it once was and both have been usurped as the premier retail location in Knoxville. The concern being that if nothing is done to re-imagine and revitalize these locations, they will slide into a condition of widespread vacancy that is difficult to reverse. Knoxville Center mall at East Town closely abuts I-640, which is the beltway around the city. In terms of environmentally sensitive redevelopment of the mall site proper, there are significant challenges in connecting to the surrounding areas. The site is bounded by the floodplain of Love’s Creek to the east and by the steep slopes of Sharp’s Ridge. An existing apartment development lies within the Hillside and Ridgetop Protection Area. Access roads along the north and south sides of I-640 link both over and under the interstate to handle mall traffic between two relatively close exits. To the south across I-640 is an area of big box retail development, with two national hardware chains as the primary tenants. These are nestled in an area of smaller single family homes. At the southern end of the theoretical walking perimeter is another area of steep slope and hilltop protection, which has nonetheless already been largely developed with the same residential pattern. In terms of current stormwater considerations, the residential portions of the center are quite absorptive with a lot of vegetated areas while the retail portions are almost entirely impervious rooftops and parking lots. This large impervious area contributes to pollution and flooding of Love’s Creek.

EAST TOWN

Both the East Town and West Town community centers are locations

73


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KNOXVILLE 2040: 20 CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


PARKING FOREST - Parking areas for amphitheater events are located along the edges of the East Town community center where it abuts the Love’s Creek floodplain. Rather than being created with impervious asphalt, these are constructed of gravel drive surfaces with trees and bioswales interspersed to create the parking organization. At times when they are not in use, they will seem very much like orchards - an extension of the recreational areas around the creek. During flood events the area is inundated; its absorbancy helping to manage the impacts rather than adding to them.

PROPOSED MASTERPLAN A transit link is necessary for connecting the East Town community ABSORBENT PARKING FOREST

center to the other proposed Knoxville centers. This is achieved by

both the Magnolia Avenue line to the south and the Broadway line to the west. This line could either run primarily on local streets and

RETURN TO HILLSIDE PROTECTION AT END OF USEFUL LIFE

make several stops along the way or run primarily on I-640 and stop at only East Town and at a terminal at each connecting line.

NEW MAIN BOULEVARD

Regardless of its routing, at the center it will take advantage of the existing paired access streets to run in either direction alongside the centerpiece of the community center - a new lid park over the interstate. Passengers traveling toward Broadway will catch the BRT on the north side of the park. Passengers traveling toward Magnolia will catch the line running along the south side.

LAND BRIDGE

The lid park (see page 76) helps to address the community center’s connectivity challenges by linking the bounded area of Knoxville Center Mall to the residential fabric to the south of the interstate.

GREENWAY

Wildflower plantings in the interstate right-of-way, much like those seen in Asheville, announce the center to those traveling along ACCESSORY DWELLING ELLIN UNITS [P. 78]

I-640. The proposal removes/reconfigures the existing mall in favor of a regular grid of mixed-use, mid-rise development. The

catalyst for this development, an outdoor amphitheater modeled on Verizon Amphitheater in Atlanta is placed to the north of the center with Sharp’s Ridge behind. This provides a performance venue

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grid is punctuated by public spaces and parking structures. As a

not currently found in Knoxville. In support of the amphitheater, absorbent, floodable parking areas are added to the east. These help create an expanded absorbent edge to a new Love’s Creek Greenway. The grid of the community center extends to the south of the interstate and is blended with the existing neighborhood through

SIX MINUTE WALK QUARTER MILE

the addition of some row housing and accessory dwelling units at the interface of new and existing uses.

EAST TOWN

adding a line on the local BRT system that connects East Town to STADIUM/AMPHITHEATER

75


CHASM. In addition to the challenge of dealing with the large masses and surface parking areas associated with a regional mall and big box retail, this site is split by the interstate.

76

LID. The lid park not only reduces the noise of the interstate but, more importantly, provides a way to connect the two sides of the site. The park is the central space of the revitalized center.

APPROPRIATE DENSITY A simple block type with a high degree of adaptability is used to populate the grid. Row housing and ADUs are used to mitigate between the density of the multi-use blocks and the existing residential areas.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


ATTACHED / DETACHED ACCESSORY DWELLINGS

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) may either be attached to or detached from the primary structure. However, an ADU always has its own entrance. They provide a way of increasing the density of a neighborhood without impacting its overall character.

77 EAST TOWN

FLEXIBILITY

An ADU can provide the primary homeowner with additional income while providing the renter with an affordable living space. At times, an ADU could accommodate uses other than living - a home office or a studio, for instance.

ORGANIZATION

Orienting a series of ADUs away from the primary street provides for the emphasis and development of secondary public spaces. Examples include alleys and greenways.


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79

EAST TOWN


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


81

EAST TOWN


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WEST TOWN COMMUNITY CENTER


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEEM + STOP

HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIALL TOWER

MIXED USE - OFFICE

MIXED USE CORRIDOR - HEEAVY COMMERCIAL


WEST TOWN COMMUNITY CENTER

85 WEST TOWN

RETENTION POND

MEDIUM DENSITY ROW HOU USING ON GREENWAY

RESTORED HABITAT - NEW PUBLIC PARK | FOREST

DETENTION POND

MARKET HOUSING [SEE P. 94] 9

CLIP-ON HOUSING [SEE P. 992]

REGULATION SOCCER FIELD D

ACTIVATED ROOFSCAPE OF MALL


RESPONSE TO GROWTH

1,015

NEW JOBS

1,195

PARKING SPACES

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

3,390

7000

6000

2,513

ADDED RESIDENTS

OFFICE JOBS

5000

4000

3000

2000

0

1000

86


10000

9000

PROJECTED GROWTH

West Town Community Center presents an opportunity to redesign

Working with this approach in mind, the challenge of the West

a regional mall and its surrounding parking and out parcel car-

Town Community Center proposal is not to eliminate the mall but

centered retail and dining developments. It is a challenge with

to redefine it - to give it a new life through design. The same goes

currency not only for Knoxville but for similar sites around the

for the strip of Kingston Pike. How can it retain its identity as both

country. In order to transform these places into walkable mixed use

an important east/west connector and a commercial spine while

districts that engender a sense of place and community they must

accommodating new identities as part of a live/work/play district

be fundamentally rethought and reconfigured. One way to do this

that is enticing to pedestrians as well? If this and related questions

is to effectively start over, as was suggested with the East Town

are answered appropriately, then West Town can mature from being

Community Center. However, another way is to try to work within the

a node along the Kingston Pike corridor to becoming a true anchor

structure of what already exists. This is the strategy employed for the

that links back to the rest of Knoxville along a transit-augmented and

West Town Community Center.

more versatile Kingston Pike.

WEST TOWN

8000

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The West Town Community Center site is located along the Kingston Pike corridor and dominated by West Town Mall. Running parallel to I-40/75, Kingston Pike is the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primary arterial road and is largely enveloped by sprawl commercial development. Here, where it runs between the interstate and a well-established regional mall, the sprawl development is at its height with no remaining historic fabric to consider. As this typifies much of the corridor, proposals for this center can serve as a model for redesigning much of the strip development along Kingston Pike to the east and west. At the outer edges of the half mile radius this condition is softened a bit with residential areas to the north of I-40/75 and to the south and west of the mall site. West Hills Park to the north along with the associated Jean Teague Greenway (and West Hills Elementary just outside of the radius) is a strong neighborhood amenity worth retaining and eventually

86%

IMPERVIOUS SURFACES

As expected with sprawl development, an extremely large proportion of the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface area, in this case 86%, is covered with impervious surfaces - much of it surface parking lots. This, of course, generates significant storm water runoff, which must be dealt with through highly engineered means.

connecting to.

WEST TOWN

EXISTING CONDITIONS


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

MED MEDIUM M DIU IUM UM M DENSITY EN Y GREENW GREEN EENWAY NW WAY HOUSING

R TEENT RET NTTION ION N POND PO D

NEW N E COMMERCIAL EW COM CO MMERCIAL AL DEVELOPM DEVELOPMENT ELO MENT NT

W STT TO WES OWN O W MALL WN MAL

NEW REGIONAL R GION RE NALL BRT STOP NAL STO OP

MARKE MA AR RKE KE KET ETT HOUSING HOUSIN H US NG G [SEE P. 994] 4]

WES W ESTT H HILLS HILL L S PA PARK ARK RK K

RAIN IN N GA GAR GARDENS RDENS ENS | INF IN LT INFILTRATION POND ND


ILLE

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SIX MINUTE WALK QUARTER MILE

The centerpiece of the proposal for the West Town Community Center is a rethinking of the form of the mall itself. While still a retail center, the reconfigured mall also invites new, multiuse development within it, adjacent to it, and even on top of COMMERCIAL

it. In this new form, the mall becomes the heart of a vibrant

OFFICE

community. In recognition of this role, the regional and local

MIXED USE

BRT lines are pulled through the footprint of the mall, which

RESIDENTIAL

is now broken into a series of smaller structures and outdoor

CIVIC

public spaces. The BRT stop itself is in the center of this new

PARKING

walkable mixed-use district. Care was taken in breaking up the mall in such a way that much of the existing structure could be retained and renovated. Along Kingston Pike low-rise mixed use development establishes the street edge with space behind for parking or, often, stormwater mitigation measures. While some smaller localized surface parking lots remain, much of the parking is now handled through either new parking structures or onstreet parking along the more robust street grid. A new greenway is proposed along the daylighted creek running through the eastern half of the community center. Housing lines the edges to take advantage of this new amenity. Two inventive housing types - clip on housing and market housing - work to link the existing surrounding housing areas to the new center.

WEST TOWN

PROPOSED MASTERPLAN


CLIP-ON HOUSING TYPES The clip-on housing is comprised of additive volumes attached to the reconfigured mall structures in various configurations.

IN BETWEEN

Housing may span between larger structures connecting to the interior circulation and creating a grand entry below.

ON EDGE

92

Clip-on housing may rest on the edge of the existing structure and project beyond to link to both the roof surface and public spaces adjacent to the host structure.

PROJECTING

Residential areas may also be attached to the face of the building projecting from the facade to engage their surroundings.

AT-HOME OFFICE

LIVING ROOM AREA OVE

SECOND

ARY BED

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

ROOM |

OFFICE


93

CLIP ON HOUSING

PRIVATE MASTER

BEDROOM

KITCHEN | STORAGE SEMI-PUBLIC ARCADE ZONE

VIEW A - The exposed structure of the clip-on housing tells the story of the relationship between the additive structure and the existing building. As it projects out into space, the structure ties back into the second floor of the mall.

WEST TOWN

RLOOKING MARKET

A


SIMPLE BLOCK

SIMPLE BLOCK REPEATED

The basic unit is the central block. A simple volume lifted above the parking and semi-public spaces below.

Using the existing drive aisles along with new cross drives based on the simple block. A basic urban pattern is established.

SPLIT BLOCK

SPLIT BLOCK REPEATED

Dividing the block in the long direction provides the potential for admitting light into the covered semi-public spaces. This massing could be used to create micro unit housing.

When repeated the split block suggests ways in which certain drive aisle streets could be public while others are considered service. Blocks have a front and a back.

94

DIVIDED BLOCK

DIVIDED BLOCK REPEATED

Much like the rowhouse type, the divided block creates individual units by slicing through the volume.

The fronts and backs of blocks are largely undifferentiated. Through-the-block units face two of the drive aisle streets.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


MARKET HOUSING

EXISTING PARKING -TRANSFORMED INTO MIXED USE MARKET AREA Overlaying the 9’ grid of the existing parking spaces establishes a 36’ structural grid for the market housing above. Total number of dwelling units: 130 Square footage per dwelling unit: ~1000 SF

Repurposing the surface parking lot to the west of the existing mall, the market housing type allows for this space to simultaneously serve as a small-scale ad hoc retail district, a housing district, and overflow parking for the nearby permanent retail during the end-of-the-year retail season. This is accomplished by working within the sizes and logic of the existing drive aisles and parking spaces to establish a structural system that raises the new housing above while allowing most of the parking to remain below. While the clip-on lofts projecting from the upper floors of the renovated mall buildings are most likely premium housing, the market housing is intended to be more affordable with the intent of fostering a creative culture of small-scale producers living above their “shops”. The stalls below could provide some reserved parking for residents, but their most interesting

MARKET HOUSING TYPES (Facing page) A variety of urban conditions can be generated from the simple system of breaking down or multiplying the 36’ structural grid of the market housing. Using both new and existing drive aisles as circulation provides additional variety.

use is to host various vendors (farmers, craftspeople, food trucks, and the like) and performers or as a shady “front porch” for residents to observe the life of the street. Direct busses on football game days could encourage the rise of a tailgating district at this location.

WEST TOWN

TYPES

95


96

VIEW B

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


MARKET HOUSING

This view looking down one of the promenades that organize the market housing shows how what was once merely the drive aisle of a parking lot can become a space of community engagement. As this housing type only minimally disrupts the parking below, it could be introduced in phases with new housing added as units fill up. The new boulevards will be repaved with a semi-permeable paving system that would allow for some direct stormwater infiltration and encourage vehicles to move at a slower pace through this area.

WEST TOWN

PROMENADE

97


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PELLISSIPPI REGIONAL CENTER


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

RIGHT-OF-WAY RESTORED HABITAT

DEAD HORSE LAKE

DEAD HORSE LAKE URBAN WILDLIFE REFUGE

SOLAR PANEL ARRAY IN RIGHT-OF-WAY

INTERSTATE 40


PELLISSIPPI REGIONAL CENTER

101 PELLISSIPPI

KINGSTON PIKE

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT WETLAND

ROW HOUSING ALONG PARK EDGE

PELLISSIPPI PARKWAY

DENSE RE-DEVELOPMENT

UPTOWN PELLISSIPPI [P. 112]

REGIONAL EXPRESS BUS LINE


RESPONSE TO GROWTH

7000

6,406

COMMERCIAL JOBS

OFFICE JOBS

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

6000

5,553

ADDED RESIDENTS

PARKING SPACES

5000

4000

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2000

0

1000

102

2,924


10000

9000

PROJECTED GROWTH

The unique opportunity at the Pellissippi Regional Center is to create a place where none currently exists. Owing perhaps to the significant distance between the Pellissippi site and the historic center of Knoxville, it presents the highest degree of flux and the smallest amount of anchoring civic institutions among the six centers examined in Centers and Corridors. Despite these conditions,

8,230

Pellissippi has been identified during the PlanET effort as an area where a large amount of growth will occur in the coming decades. As a regional center Pellissippi is projected to be an anchor for the five-county planning area.

This combination of significant growth absorbed by an amorphous site leads to the most dramatic changes between current and proposed conditions. Yet, it is not difficult to imagine changes of this magnitude happening in this location. Examples of tremendous growth and concentrations of development can be seen at the perimeters of many American cities. Often these concentrations become â&#x20AC;&#x153;edge citiesâ&#x20AC;? in their own rights. The important consideration for Pellissippi then is - should such growth occur, what is the optimal form for the emerging center.

PELLISSIPPI

8000

103


DEAD HORSE LAKE GOLF COURSE DEAD HORSE LAKE

ON EH

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AL FM ILE

PARKWEST HOSPITAL

SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE

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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

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FM AL EH ON

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E H AL FM I LE

The Pellissippi Regional Center is on the Kingston Pike corridor at the intersection of I-40/75 and the Pellissippi Parkway (I140/state highway 162), which leads to Oak Ridge to the northwest and Maryville to the southeast. The area consists in large part of low density commercial space, primarily in the form of strip malls and heavily paved shopping centers, mixed in with light industrial development. It is framed by the interstate system on the north, Kingston Pike on the south, Pellissippi Parkway on the west, and Cedar Bluff Road on the east. While there is no residential located within the area of influence, residential areas surround the center on all sides. To the north of I-40, Dead Horse Lake Golf Course presents both a recreational amenity and a potential for redevelopment. Immediately adjacent to the golf course, the new Scripps Networks corporate campus and Parkwest Medical Center are important anchors for the center, though currently isolated by the interstate.

PELLISSIPPI

EXIST XISTING CONDITIONS O ON S


AREA OF INFLUENCE includes all of the “elastic”, highly-changeable, development between the interstate and Kingston Pike. This is currently low-density mixed commercial and light industrial uses.

106

A GRID of streets and sidewalks is laid out based on comfortably walkable block lengths of approximately 400’ measured from center to center of the streets.

The grid is adjusted to connect to cross streets at Kingston Pike. The BRT stops are placed at 1/4 mile intervals along an east/west axis. Room is left to the east of the development to continue on the grid in the future.

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


The grid is populated with mixed-use development. A central north/south corridor is identified and preserved for pedestrian access to the proposed urban wildlife refuge to the north.

107

All three forms of rapid transit utilize the central east/ west axis which is dedicated to buses, pedestrians, and bicycles only. Automobile traffic is not permitted on the central boulevard, creating an internal pedestrian-oriented commercial corridor.

The development is surrounded by public park space, and the central pedestrian corridor running north/south travels under the interstate, connecting to the new Dead Horse Lake Urban Wildlife Refuge. The former golf course is turned into a multi-acre urban recreation area. The development is buffered from the interstate by a gracious east/west park.

PELLISSIPPI

The Pellissippi Regional Center utilizes all three of the localized mass transit types proposed: a) Regional Express Bus, making specific stops on 30 minute headways, moving between regional centers and selected community centers. b) Local Bus Rapid Transit, operating more frequently on 15 minute (maximum, with more frequent service at peak hours) headways, on local loops between regional, community, and neighborhood centers. c) Local Feeder Transit. Due to the lateral length of the center, a closed loop tram operates inside of the center to rapidly move people through the streets.


108

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DEA DE DEA AD HORS O E LAK AKE A KEE URBAN K WIL W WI IILLDL DLI D L FE REFUGE REFFUG UGEE U


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The existing blank slate condition of the Pellissippi Regional Center allows for the introduction not only of new buildings but of an entirely new system of streets and infrastructure. This permits the creation of a highly optimized new district that promotes walkability, vibrant mixed use, and energy efficiency. Located at the literal crossroads leading to Knoxville (with the university) and Oak Ridge (with the national laboratory), the Pellissippi Regional Center is seen as a desirable location for technology companies and the highly skilled workers that populate them. To establish a compact, walkable and bikeable form, the new grid is densely populated with buildings, and punctuated with parking structures and parks. The central north/south park creates an esplanade that slides under the interstate and connects to the Scripps campus and the new Dead Horse Lake Urban Wildlife Refuge. Along the south side of Kingston Pike form-based development establishes the street edge providing a contrast to the buffer park that lines the Pellissippi Regional Center to the north. The areas inside the freeway clover leafs to the west of the center are used as a large photovoltaic (PV) farm providing electricity to the district. Centers and Corridors proposes that the Pellissippi Regional Center be the western terminus of the extended Kingston Pike local BRT line.

PELLISSIPPI

PROPOSED D MA MASTERPLAN L

N

I XM

SI

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TYPICAL BLOCK

without modification provides large floor plates for specific uses.

110

SPLIT BLOCK

introduces alleyways for service access.

COURTYARD

SPILL-OUT COURTYARD

THROUGH- BLOCK COURTYARD

COURTYARD WITH ADD-ONS

TERRACED ROOF GARDENS

THIN TOWER W/ ROOF GARDEN

takes advantage of the block size to create private internal open space.

encourages movement through the center of the block.

create public space atop the block.

connects the courtyard to the public realm.

creates visual connections from the internal spaces to the street.

uses a winter garden to provide an all-season space.

A variety of block types is used to create interest and functionality in the new urban district.

CYLINDRICAL PARKING DECK

punctuates the street with a unique form that announces its use. KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

UNDERGROUND PARKING DECKS

avoid using valuable above ground space for the low-utility activity of car storage.


WINTER SHADING

111

A THIN TOWER is a mid-rise, mixed-use building shaped THIN TOWER TYPE

The spacing and height of the towers work with solar angles. Towers shade outdoor spaces in the summer, while allowing for maximum winter exposure to reduce the heating loads for residential spaces. Overshadowing of the buildings across the street only occurs on the lower, commercial spaces, which are internal load dominated, while allowing solar access to the upper, residential spaces, which are skin load dominated. As seen on the facing page, in addition to the thin tower type, Pellissippi’s 400’ mixed-use block can be modified to accommodate a variety of spaces and uses.

by environmental response, as allowed by the center’s ideal orientation and street grid.

With narrower

profiles, the building has two single loaded sections for residential living, allowing for more gracious spaces, and for natural light to filter into the living areas from all sides, similar to that of a single-family home. The space between the towers becomes occupiable green space, as the commercial space below is topped with a green roofing system to mediate water runoff, and to reduce the typical thermal island effect of a built-up roofing system.

SUMMER SHADING

PELLISSIPPI

what is a THIN TOWER?


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS TE AND CORRIDORS


A

113

The BRT connections for this center receive special treatment. The regional express bus, the local BRT, and local feeder lines all utilize a dedicated boulevard running east/west through the center. This transit corridor forms a spine that provides generous pedestrian space and a dedicated bicycle causeway. This transit boulevard is flanked on either side by commercial spaces and living spaces. Office space is located as close as one block to the south, extending all the way to Kingston Pike. North of the boulevard land uses are primarily commercial and residential. Parks not only surround the development, but occur throughout providing frequent areas of respite within the urban environment. A gracious central esplanade runs perpendicular to the transit boulevard in the center of the district. This green space links to a greenway that runs parallel to Kingston Pike and is the passageway that connects Pellissippi Regional Center to the Dead Horse Lake Urban Wildlife Refuge.

PELLISSIPPI

BOULEVARD


114

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DEAD HORSE LAKE URBAN WILDLIFE REFUGE

OPEN GREEN SPACE

TERRACED WETLAND

INTERSTATE 40/75

MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT


MEDIUM DENSITY RESIDENTIAL

BRT LINE

B

115

The Central Esplanade of the Pellissippi Regional Center not only provides a focal point for the new developments around it, but by extending under the interstate to connect to the Scripps campus it creates vehicular and pedestrian links to Dead Horse Lake Urban Wildlife Refuge.

PELLISSIPPI

CENTRAL ESPLANADE


116

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


DOWNTOWN REGIONAL CENTER

117


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

ELEVATOR TOWER

MIXED USE (LIVE/WORK)

JAMES WHITE PARK [P. 124]

LOCAL BRT ROUTE

TERRACED ACCESSIBLE PATHS TO RIVER

NEYLAND DRIVE


DOWNTOWN REGIONAL CENTER

119 DOWNTOWN

HALL OF FAME DRIVE

ROW HOUSING ALONG PARK EDGE

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

ADAPTED CHURCH STREET BRIDGE

RESTORED FIRST CREEK


RESPONSE TO GROWTH

3,560

OFFICE JOBS

PARKING SPACES

KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS

7000

6,301

ADDED RESIDENTS

NEW JOBS

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

0

1000

120

4,313


10000

9000

PROJECTED GROWTH

The growth of downtown Knoxville as a commercial and residential center over the past few decades has been remarkable. This growth has effectively reaffirmed downtown’s role as the region’s economic and cultural center following decades of decline, disinvestment, and suburban migration. It is a familiar story in many mid-sized American cities.

7,525

For downtown to retain its relevance over the next thirty years, this growth must continue and, along with it, the increasing livability of downtown. This means not only absorbing the projected new residents and jobs envisioned by PlanET, but using this growth to enhance downtown as a place that is welcoming to a wide cross section of Knoxville’s residents and visitors. Therefore, in addition to the increased number of living and working spaces that downtown will undoubtedly see in the next thirty years, there must be a correlated increase in recreational amenities.

DOWNTOWN

8000

121


0

HALL OF FAME BO ULEVARD

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DOWNTOWN EXISTING CONDITIONS

123 DOWNTOWN

Downtown Knoxville is bounded by railroad lines and I-40 along itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s north edge, the James White Parkway on the east, Neyland Drive and the Tennessee River to the south, and Henley Street (U.S. Highway 441) and Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fair Park to the west. Each of these serves to disconnect downtown from its surrounding neighborhoods.

The downtown itself is far from fully built out. An examination of the existing vacant and underdeveloped lots in downtown (shown in red at left) reveals that all of the growth projected by PlanET for this center could be accommodated by simply developing these lots to a floor area ratio similar to that of the surrounding lots. This is certainly a viable strategy for the Downtown Regional Center, and there is a great deal to be said for filling out the urban fabric of downtown proper.

However, due to the acute need to begin thinking about how downtown can reconnect with the surrounding first ring neighborhoods (many of which are experiencing revitalizations of their own) Centers and Corridors suggests development strategies designed to make these connections.


0

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COMMERCIAL OFFICE MIXED USE RESIDENTIAL CIVIC PARKING

125 P OPOSED PROP PRO PROPOS E BASEBALL SEBALL AL STA STADIUM ADIUM A

Two bold moves characterize the Downtown Regional Center plan UNDER UNDE ER INTERS INTERSTATE RS STATE TATE TYP TY TYPOLOGY YPOLOGY YPO OLOGY [P [ . 126] 6]

the introduction of a passenger rail station and the removal of James White Parkway. The municipal rail station is recreated to the north

MIXEEED D US USEE CORRIDOR R

end of Gay Street, the primary commercial street in the CBD. This allows it to connect with the existing rail lines in anticipation of the reintroduction of passenger rail in East Tennessee. At this location it can serve as an intermodal station with rail and connection to local BRT, regional express bus, commercial intercity buses, car

MIXED M XED US USEE | RESID DENTIALL + R RETAIL NEW EW PA PASSENGER SE RAILL STATION STTAT S TATION TION O

share, and bicycle parking. James White Parkway is replaced with an urban boulevard along Hall of Fame Drive that would connect with Riverside Drive and still bridge over the Tennessee River at its current location just east of downtown. This allows for the creation of James White Park along First Creek with numerous recreational and environmental benefits.

MIXED USE RESIDENTIAL

Growth is concentrated along Jackson Avenue in a mixed use corridor. Careful attention is given to establishing continuity under Hall of Fame Drive, with the development of a building type for the

CAL ALL JOHNSON A J CENTER NTER TER R

purpose. This same strategy could be used to link under I-40 to North Knoxville beyond.

RES ESTTOR ES ORED FIRSTT CRE C CREEK R EK

Centers and Corridors advocates the reintroduction of minor league baseball to downtown Knoxville. With a large number of home games

JAMES WHITE PARK

and an urban tradition, baseball has been a useful catalyst in many cities. In this proposal the stadium is situated along the new First Creek Greenway in a location that links the growth of the downtown center with the beginning of the Magnolia Avenue corridor. In a nod to history, we recommend the team be named after one of Knoxvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s negro league teams, the Giants.

DOWNTOWN

PPROPOSED PR OSED SED M MASTE MASTERPLA ER RPLAN PLA AN


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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


UNDERPASS BUILDING TYPES In locations where city streets pass under significant roadways, it is

sites require them to be inexpensive, as underpass buildings will never be

extremely difficult to maintain a sense of continuity in the urban fabric.

highly desirable spaces. Therefore, they are limited to one storey and built

Even if the sidewalks continue, the area beneath is often noisy, dark, and

from inexpensive, durable materials. Rugged workspaces, they are meant

foreboding. If downtown is to truly connect to North Knoxville and the

to attract light industry and artisans such as metal workers, sculptors,

Magnolia Avenue Corridor, this problem must be addressed.

and machinists. While the spaces behind the buildings could be used as

Underpass buildings leverage the difficulties of underpass locations. Their

work/storage yards, the typology requires a large amount of glass along the sidewalk. This, along with ample lighting, engages passersby in the work of the shop and serves to provide a continuous street frontage that carries the urban fabric to the other side of the underpass. In the proposed Downtown Regional Center plan such buildings are used along Jackson Avenue to reach under Hall of Fame Drive toward Magnolia Avenue and the proposed First Creek Greenway. However, they could also be used along Broadway, Gay, Street, and Central Avenue to pass under I-40 and connect with the neighborhoods of North Knoxville. 127

They are one story structures used to continue the street frontage along the sidewalk. As such, they should be required by ordinance to have a significant amount of their sidewalk façade comprised of storefront window. Uses that are engaging to the passerby should be encouraged â&#x20AC;&#x201C; galleries rather than offices, taverns instead of warehouses. The spaces behind bar buildings could be used as outdoor work spaces.

CRADLES are high-bay underpass buildings

that reach up to engage one or both sides of the overpass above. In this way, they have the opportunity to have entries both at the level of the overpass and at the level of the street beneath. Cradles connect the above to the below, but do so with internal, private connections. Uses that are compatible with cradle buildings include light industrial uses that require overhead cranes and climbing gyms.

CONNECTORS Underpass buildings can also serve as the supporting structure for ramps that would provide public connections from one level of sidewalk to the other.

DOWNTOWN

BARS are the most basic of underpass buildings.


1228 1128 28

KKNOXVILLE KNO KN NOXXVI NO XVVILLLE LLLEE 2040: 20440 20 40: 00: C CE CENTERS EN NTERS NTE RS AN AN AND ND DC CO CORRIDORS ORR RRI R RIIDOR R DO OR RS


A

129

Transforming James White Parkway into James White Park creates a much needed recreational corridor linking downtown with the riverfront. The park also begins to set up connections to the east of the CBD for future expansion beyond the thirty year plan. In addition to the recreational, connective, and property value benefits, the park, along with the proposed First Creek Greenway, greatly improves the health of First Creek and the Tennessee River.

DOWNTOWN

JA AMES WHITE PARK


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CONCLUSIONS

131 CONCLUSIONS

Knoxvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future is bright. The city and the region are predicted to grow and gain cultural and economic influence in the coming decades. Knoxville has shown the way to create new centers of employment and population while conserving farming and the rural countryside. Downtown and the surrounding first ring neighborhoods are burgeoning with new residents and businesses, making the heart of the city vital in a way it has not been in decades. Partnerships forged between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory promise to make the region a national leader in innovative design and energy technologies. The city continues to become an ever more significant entertainment center with a variety of live venues and festivals hosting diverse acts of national and international prominence. Of course, we continually enjoy a setting of tremendous natural beauty that is blessed with numerous park lands and protected areas. These are crowned by a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, that is just minutes away. Amidst these numerous benefits, Knoxville continues to enjoy a very affordable cost of living. These are just a few of the positive indicators. Yet, we cannot be complacent as we move toward the future. As noted in the PlanET Livability Report Card, we also face some stiff challenges in areas such as education, transportation, affordable housing, health, and environmental quality. Improvement in these areas will only come through concerted efforts. Failure to realize such improvements will undoubtedly hold Knoxville back from achieving its fullest potential and

dampen the impact of the many positive developments now underway. Meanwhile, our regional neighbors are not standing still. One only need look to some of our closest neighboring cities - Nashville, Chattanooga, Asheville, and Lexington - to find high levels of civic innovation that are leading to real economic, environmental, and cultural benefits for their residents. If Knoxville is to compete for the best and brightest, we must be concerted in our efforts to improve quality of life. While it is not a panacea, Centers and Corridors shows that progressive urban design strategies thoughtfully tied to improved transit systems can play an important role in such continued improvement. If balanced correctly, innovative design strategies can serve as a framework supporting improvement in mobility, health, and environment while strengthening community and reinforcing the uniqueness of each place To realize such possibilities will require insightful developers, talented designers, and forward-thinking public officials working in concert to overcome a variety of economic and regulatory barriers that currently prohibit the creation of the types of places shown in Centers and Corridors. While challenging, such public and private efforts offer the best mechanism for generating positive outcomes that cut across the interests of multiple parties and therefore stand to benefit current residents and future generations on multiple fronts. The term for that is â&#x20AC;&#x153;win-winâ&#x20AC;?.


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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Valerie Friedmann, Associate ASLA is a lecturer in the University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design graduate landscape architecture program. Her current research interests include stormwater best management practices for high performance landscape design. She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from the University of Tennessee. Marion Forbes is a fifth-year student in the Bachelor of Architecture program at the University of Tennessee where she is minoring in musical performance. She participated in the college’s Finland Summer Architecture Institute and was a winner of the Hnedak Bobo Global Design Scholarship. Amanda Gann is a student in the Master of Science in Architecture program at the University of Tennessee with a dual concentration in sustainable design and urban design. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee and is a recipient of the AIAS Chapter President Honor Award.

Ted Shelton, FAIA is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Tennessee and a Partner in the firm curb. He is a Fellow of both the American Institute of Architects and the Institute for Urban Design. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Architecture in urban design from the University of Oklahoma, and a Master of Philosophy in environmental design in architecture from Cambridge University. Ben Wathen holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Tennessee where he graduated Summa Cum Laude as a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program. At UT he participated in the college’s exchange with the Politechnika Krakowska in Poland and received a Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. Daniel Zegel is a fifth-year student in the Bachelor of Architecture program at the University of Tennessee. He is the recipient of a Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantship from the UT Office of Research.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jason Cole is a native of Knoxville and a graduate student at the University of Tennessee. He will be graduating in 2014 with a Master of Architecture degree with concentrations in both urban design and historic conservation and stewardship. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering technology from East Tennessee State University.

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KNOXVILLE 2040: CENTERS AND CORRIDORS


Knoxville 2040: Centers and Corridors  

Sustainable development strategies for six population centers in Knoxville - including transit linkages and housing typologies.

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