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              AIAS/ AARP Student Design Competition: Creating Community

Connective Constructs University of Florida Davie Mojica Thomas Keiper Christopher Fernandez Faculty Advisor: Martin Gold August 16, 2010                  


Connective Constructs Davie Mojica Thomas Keiper Christopher Fernandez

The relocation of Amway Arena in Orlando, FL leaves over 29 acres of land open for redevelopment. This infill lot is disconnected from the thriving portion of downtown due to Interstate-4 cutting directly through the city, resulting in transitional neighborhoods on the east and thriving developments on the west. Furthermore the new Amway Arena has relocated the city civic center south of the site. West of the interstate, is the Lynx Central Bus Station, soon to be adjacent to a commuter rail traveling north to Deland and south to Poinciana, with connections to the airport and theme parks. Additionally, the High Speed Rail will link Orlando to the urban centers of Tampa and Miami. To the east of the central bus station is a vacant lot adjacent to the Orange County Court House. This lot combined with the infill lot, provides land for a series of connective constructs which reestablish this place as a destination within the cityscape. This series of constructs explores the question - What must we do now to create value in the city of 2030? Ascertaining public green space as the foundation of community, a bold park bridges over the interstate uniting Orlando. As the green space trickles and divides westward, a framework for layered programming emerges. Large green spaces unite civic, public, and entertainment structures while smaller community parks and green walkways link residential neighborhoods, retail, and community features. These flexible urban spaces provide a sense of place where diverse cultures can evolve and coexist. Retail streets and community parks have been given just as much attention as larger civic spaces in order to facilitate chance encounters between residents as a method of promoting community life. Recognizing America’s aging demographic, public programs within the park focus on community health through the promotion of recreational activities. The Digital Walkway incorporates University of Central Florida’s Center for Emerging Media, by providing spaces for exhibits focused on technology as a part of daily designed life. Located above the central transportation junction, this bridge encourages interaction between diverse demographics from the local community as well as the greater Orlando area. It is a celebration of technology fused in everyday life with a focus on keeping the America’s ageing population educated with technological advancements. Connective green spaces and alternative transportation, enable all destinations within the community to be within 15 minutes of one another. Bus routes stop at every major public destination and every block in dense neighborhoods. Uninterrupted green space and green paths promote a walkable and bike friendly community linking affordable and diverse housing. Housing is intermixed in order to prevent social segregation and promote interaction across income classes. No program within the community is isolated, including work spaces. Although the traditional business spaces are provided, they are also integrated into the daily streetscape, with the idea of transportation hubs as meeting points, park spaces serve as conference rooms, and coffee shops as offices, as a strong focus within the development. These layered constructs bound by continuous green space form a series of interactive community meeting points encouraging the relationship between culture, technology, and nature as integral components of a Livable Community.


Works Cited Books:    Florida, Richard. Who’s Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life. New York: Basic Books, 2008. ULI. The City in 2050: Creating Blueprints for Change .Washington, D.C.: ULI-the Urban Land Institute, 2008. The Network Architecutre Lab and the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design. The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles. Edited by Kazys Varnelis. New York: Actar Barcelona, 2008. Gargiani, Roberto. Rem Koolhaas│OMA The Constuction of Merveilles. Translated from Italian by Stephen Piccolo. Lausanne, Switzerland: EPFL Press, 2008. Bladwin, Peter C. Domesticating the Street: The Reform of Public Space in Hartford, 1850-1930. Ohio: Ohio State University Press,1999. Campbell, Scott, and Susan S. Fainstein. Readings in Planning Theory Second Edition. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2003.   Articles:     Oberlink, Mia R. Opportunities for Creating Livable Communities. Washington, D.C.: AARP, 2008. Lynott, Jana and others. Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America. Washington, D.C.: AARP, 2009. Pollak, Patricia Baron. Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide. Washington, D.C.: AARP, 2005.

Connective Constructs: AIAS AARP Livable Communities  

Honorable Mention 2010

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