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PFARM TO PFAMILY Connecting Past to Future in Pflugerville’s Wilbarger Creekside District Kayla Rakes, Michael Simmons, Hannah Simonson & Juan Tiney CRP 386 Visual Communications | UTSOA Spring 2017 Professor Edna Ledesma

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Future home of the Wilbarger Creekside District

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Table of Contents

Project Statement Part 1: Diagnosis History Geography & Demographics Diagnosis Case Studies Themes & Goals

5 6 7 9 13 22 23

Part 2: Proposal Concept Map Creating a Sense of Place Metrics & Impacts

24 26 29 34

Conclusion 36 Bibliography 37

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Project Statement

Our proposal for Pflugerville’s Wilbarger Creekside District aims to connect past to future by celebrating the area’s agricultural heritage while creating diverse and equitable development for Pflugerville’s growing population.

Pflugerville is a growing and dynamic community. The current population is over 54,000, which is a 235% increase from 2000 and the city anticipates growth of 92,000 people and 33,000 jobs by 2030. The Wilbarger Creekside District project site that we are addressing is bisected by SH-130 just about 25 minutes north of Austin near Lake Pflugerville. The 2,000 acre site is currently mostly agricultural or undeveloped land. Our project Pfarm to Pfamily seeks to connect the past to future within the Wilbarger Creekside District in Pflugerville by incorporating diverse and affordable housing options, by creating new community gathering and educational spaces, and by celebrating the natural resource of Wilbarger Creek. During a site visit and through data and geospatial analysis, we identified a number of strengths that the Wilbarger Creekside district possess, including large swaths of “prime agricultural land,” proximity to a number of good public schools, and a trend towards a more diverse population including lots of young families (largely due to an influx of people moving away from Austin). While visiting the site, we also observed a general lack of connectivity across the area due to the barrier created by SH-130, a lack of alternative modes of transit, and few sidewalks. Our analysis also indicates there is a lack of healthy, accessible food options on the eastern side of SH 130 and encroaching big box commercial development on the boundaries of the site is a major threat to sustainable development. Opportunities include the Wilbarger Creek—which has great potential ecosystem services as a protected greenbelt habitat with recreational trails—and the space to reimagine compact living with a more diverse and affordable mix of housing options. Based on our analysis, we identified three main organizing themes to shape our design process: Pfarms, Pfamilies, and Past to Future—celebrating Pflugerville’s cultural and agricultural heritage. Based on these themes, we examined case studies and developed goals (see Part 1) and projected future impacts based on our design prescription (see Part 2). Some of our project goals include creating a network of green infrastructure and trails; encouraging agriculture and semi-urban agriculture; providing access to locally grown and healthy food; providing diverse and affordable housing options; and creating spaces for family-focused activities and healthy lifestyles. Through these goals we hope to encourage the development of the Wilbarger Creekside District in a way that celebrates the natural and cultural resources of the area, and provides an active space for a healthy living and work environment for the current and future residents of Pflugerville. 5


PART 1: DIAGNOSIS

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History

The town of Pflugerville was originally settled by Henry Pfluger and his family, who emigrated from Germany in 1849. The Pflugers built their life and their community around the rich natural resources of the Blackland Prairie and the Gilleland Creek. The few settlers of Pflugerville were farmers and cattlemen and they utilized the nearby Chisholm Trail to drive cattle to market in Kansas. The community survived on hard work and faith. In February of 1904, Pflugerville was platted by George Pfluger and his son, Albert, in the hopes that they would attract the Missouri-Kansas and Texas Railroad (MKT). The plat consisted of sixteen blocks, hotels, businesses, and the grand depot for the MKT. Late that year, MKT built a line through the Pflugerville to connect to Austin, San Antonio, and beyond. After the railroad was built, Pflugerville experienced a boom in business and population as more people were drawn to the growing farm town. By 1925, there was a drug store, a hardware store, a lumberyard, funeral home, dentists, doctors, a newspaper, a telephone company, a bank, a gin mill, an oil mill, an ice factory and a soda water bottling works facility. During the Great Depression, Pflugerville stagnated and lost its vibrant local economy like many small towns across Texas. It wasn’t until July 24, 1965 that Pflugerville became an incorporated municipal government. It was a close election, with sixty votes in favor and forty-two votes against. Pflugerville continued its farm to market lifestyle after incorporation while also growing its public education system and healthy love of football. The population was steady around 500 residents until the early 1980s. Today, Pflugerville is one of the fastest growing small cities in Texas! With an estimated 57,148 in 2016, the city is expected to grow to 93,000 by the year 2030, which is a long way from the tiny town of 500 that it was in 1980. The City encompasses 22.70 square miles with an extraterritorial jurisdiction area over 40.81 square miles and boasts 33 parks and 44 miles of hike-and-bike trails. With the rapid growth of the Central Texas Region, many new comers and old timers alike are looking to Pflugerville for affordable housing, top public education, and a community connection.

[1] Photograph of the William Pfluger House in Pflugerville, Texas. (Source: Texas Historical Commission, https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/ metapth671378/) 7


[2] Project Site Context

Wilbarger Creek Project Site City of Pflugerville City of Austin Travis County

Use

Travis County

residential 31%

$0 - 14,999 6%

Home Ownership

renter 23.3%

0 0.5 12

renter 48.2%

Miles

Household Income Pflugerville

$100,000+ 33%

owner 76.7%

Racial Identity Household Income

$0 - 14,999 6%

er % renter 48.2%

$100,000+ 33%

$0 - 14,999Asian 6% 6%

renter 23.3% $15,000 34,999 10%

owner 76.7%

$35,000 74,999 33%

$75,000 99,999 18%

Racial Identity Racial Identity Asian 6%

White 66%

8

White 66%

Asian 6% Other 9%

White 66% $75,000 99,999 18%

Other 9%

$35,000 74,999 33%

Black 19%

Latino 28% Black 19% Not Latino 72%

Not Latino 72%

Latino 28%

Asian 6%

$35,000 74,999 33%

Not White Latino 66% 72%

Race & Ethnicity in Pflugerville

Asian 6%

Latino Identity

city_name

Other 9%Latino 28% Black 19%

Other 9%

Black 19%

White 66%

LatinoIdentity Identity Racial

Household Income

[3] Pflugerville by the Numbers

Total Population: Pflugerville Total Population: Austin Total Population: Travis County

$15,000 34,999 10%

Latino Identity Latino Identity

Other 9%

Black 19%

$15,000 34,999 10%

$100,000+ 33%

Racial Identity

Household Income

$75,000 99,999 18%

e ounty

me

s

owner 51.8%

commercial 4% pen industrial pace 3% 15%

Pflugerville

Not Latino 72%

Median Age Children (% of Population) Latino Identity Seniors (% of Population) Jobs/Housing Balance Average Travel Time to Work Unemployment: Pflugerville Unemployment: Travis County Latino 28%

Not Latino 72%

CITY OF AUS

57,781 912,791 1.151 million

Latino 28%

37 30% 6.9% 0.57 26 minutes 3.0% 2.7%

Median Rent/month Median Mortgage Payment/month Median Home Value: Pflugerville Median Home Value: Austin

$1,110 $1,579 $202,100 $282,700

# Public Parks Acres of Public Parks Miles of Trails

77 1,289.3 47.6 miles


Geography & Demographics

Austin’s rents and property taxes in neighborhoods like East Austin have skyrocketed. High-paid technology sector employees, able to pay these rents and home prices, have displaced long-time residents and changed the social and economic fabric of Austin. In East Austin changes are seen in the social and economic gentrification, and loss of long-time low-income homeownership there. The desire for growth seems to be a consistent theme in Texas, especially Austin For example, according to the Statesman, “[a]s greater Austin booms, the poisonous legacy of segregation continues to cut off the African-American population from economic opportunities and its own cultural anchors, threatening the whole region’s potential.” Pflugerville’s growth has led to the construction of some notable developments. A one million square foot light industrial park (130 Commerce Center) has availability for office and warehouse space. In addition, there is one million square feet of retail space at Stone Hill Town Center at the corner of SH-130 and SH-45. This development includes several restaurants, banks, a variety of stores, medical offices, a 9-screen movie theater and a full service emergency center. Pflugerville’s first bowling alley, Spare Time, opened in 2015 complete with laser tag and other activities. The first hotel in Pflugerville, a Best Western Plus, opened in 2016 (City of Pflugerville, 2010). Pflugerville has over 2,700 acres of developable land along State Highway 130 and 45 in its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). Pflugerville’s current Comprehensive Plan gives more examples of how the city wants to develop, even designating zones of high density, commercial, park and civic areas that are similar to Ebenezer Howard’s vision. (Rakes, et. al., 2016). Living in Pflugerville is enticing because it offers the perceived independence of rural life, given Pflugerville’s not-so-distant agricultural past (Rakes, et. al., 2016). Ironically, this vision of a community of 176 small farm-like properties has resulted in further environmental degradation of Pflugerville’s natural features. The prairie was first fenced in, then cultivated and overgrazed and finally paved over.

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[4] Race in Pflugerville

RACE IN PFLUGERVILLE 100%

1990 2000 2010

80%

60%

40%

20%

0

White Alone

Black or African American

Hispanic or Latino

Asian Alone

All Other

[5] Pflugerville Population Pyramid

Source: 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

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Male

Female


Pflugerville’s population grew from 48,356 in 2010 to an estimated 57,122 (18%) in 2015. The population of Pflugerville in 2016, was 57,781 according to the city’s Planning Department. For FY (fiscal year) 17, the Planning Department has estimated a total population of 61,348. Current projections include a population growth of 6.9% for FY 18 followed by a 2.1% increase in FY 19 and 2.0% for subsequent fiscal years. This growth is reflective of the population increase seen in the entire Central Texas (Austin metropolitan) region and enhanced by the amount of housing currently under construction in Pflugerville. The certified appraised value for fiscal year 2017 (tax year 2016), as determined by the Travis Central and Williamson County Appraisal Districts, increased by 13.7% from the prior year. This increase is due to new construction (residential and commercial) and an increase in appraised property values. In FY 17 the average residential taxable value topped $200,000 for the first time, and at $206,287, this value is an increase of 10% from the prior year. Residential construction continued at an accelerated pace in 2016, with new subdivisions opening, existing subdivisions continuing construction and several multi-family complexes under construction which will be boosted by the City of Pflugerville Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number One (TIRZ #1). There are indications that commercial and residential development will continue at a similar pace into 2017. The growth pressure acting on Pflugerville is enough to warrant analysis on the developable land just outside city limits.

[6] Pflugerville Income by Household Type

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To Georgetown

Pfluger Haus

Downtown Pflugerville

HWY 130

To Austin 12


PFARM TO PFAMILY Diagnosis

Connecting Past to Future in Pflugerville’s Wilbarger Creekside District

After visiting in person to experience the scale, character, and features of the site, we conducted geospatial analysis using GIS. The following maps illustrate some of the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities that exist Kayla Rakes, Michael Simmons, Hannah Simonson & Juan Tiney within the Wilbarger Creek District project area. While some analysis confirmed observations that we made while in the field, other maps indicated additional opportunities or challenges that would need to be addressed in the design phase.

Site

Pflugerville

s

Miles

Strengths

Weaknesses

Opportunities

Threats

prime agricultural land open space trail system proximity to Austin good public schools

lack of alternative transit lack of sustainable development car-centric

growing population economic development

strip mall development suburban sprawl

prime agricultural land open space Wilbarger Creek good public schools cultural resources

no sidewalks lack of connectivity highway bisects site

trail networks proximity to lake transect development increased connectivity mixed use development communal spaces

strip mall development suburban sprawl flooding/erosion lack of affordability economic segregation

RACE IN PFLUGERVILLE 100%

0 0.5 12

RACE IN PFLUGERVILLE

open space 15%

1990 2000

Land Use 1990

Travis County

2010

80% 80 %

Pflugerville

industrial 3%

commercial 4% Household In

vacant 47%

40% 40 %

residential 31%

commercial 4% open industrial space 3% 15%

renter 23.3% owner 51.8%

renter 48.2%

owner 76.7%

[7] (left) Aerial photograph of Wilbarger Creekside District. 20% 20 %

0

0

White

White Alone

Black

Black or African American

Latinx

Hispanic or Latino

Asian

Asian Alone

Other All Other

Travis County

Pflugerville

Current Land Use

2010

Home Ownership

Race in Pflugerville

2000

60% 60 %

13

s

residential 31% $0 - 14,999 $100,000+ 33%

$75,000 - 0 99,999 18%

6%

$15,0 34,9 10

vacant 47%

$

0.2


Pla

Cla

130

0

0.5

1 mile

Planned Roads N Class

[8] Soil Quality for Agricultural Production Map

Arterial Arterial

s

Collector Collector

0

Building Building

0.5 Creeks Creeks

1

Floodplain Floodplain Prime Agriculture Land Land Prime Agriculture Not Farmland NotPrime Prime Farmland

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines prime agriculture land as “land that has the best combination of physical and chemical 2 characteristics for producing food, feed, forage, fiber, Miles and oilseed crops and is also available for these uses.” (www.nrcs.usda.gov) The project site is in the Blackland Prairie, which historically has very rich soil. The area has been farmed in agricultural production for generations. Large swaths of the Wilbarger Creekside District are still “prime agriculture land” today. Although future development will occur in this area, preserving some of the prime agriculture land for productive, organic farming can benefit the economy, provide jobs, educate the community, and provide access to local, healthy food.


Pla

Clas

130

0

0.5

1 mile

Planned Roads N Class

[9] Parks & Park Service Areas Map

Arterial Arterial

s

Collector Collector Building Building Creeks 0 Creeks 0.5 Floodplain Floodplain

1

Parkland Parkland 1/2 Mile Park AreaArea 1/2 Mile ParkService Service

Pflugerville is very proud of their trail network and access to open space. Currently much of the project area is already served by existing parks, assuming a 2 1/2 mile service area. However, some areas, especially east of SH-130 are still under-served by parks. Future Miles greenbelts, trails, and parks should address this condition and attempt to provide further connectivity to the site. Co-location of parks and playgrounds with schools and other family-oriented activities could greatly benefit the community and encourage active lifestyles for all ages.

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Pfood Access in Pflugerville

130 0

Key N

1

2 miles

Food Access

0

! R H-E-B (4) ! R Pflugerville Farmer's Market (1) ! R0.5Randalls1(1) 2 ! R Target (1) Miles ! R Walmart Supercenter (1) One One Mile Mile Service Buffer Buffer Pflugerville City Limits City Limits (1) Site Boundary Boundary(1)

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[10] Food Accessibility Map

Esri, HERE, DeLorme, MapmyIndia, © OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS user community, Esri, HERE, MapmyIndia, © OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS user community

To support thriving families, communities must be able to provide healthy food options. Figure 10 shows grocery stores and farmer’s market in Pflugerville with a one mile service buffer, which is based on the USDA’s standards for food accessibility in urban areas. These buffers shows where there is need for more healthy food stores and markets. From this map, the western portion of Wilbarger Creek District appears to have a number of different opportunities for healthy food versus the eastern side which is lacking accessibility. It is important to consider how far families have to travel to grocery shop when thinking about the future development of Pflugerville as the city hopes to provide easy access to healthy food for all residents.

s


Legend

School0 Level

1

2 miles

N Legend

n n n n n n0.5

Elementary School

School Level

0

130 [11] Public Schools Map

Middle School Elementary ElementarySchool School High School Middle School Middle School Site Boundary High School High School City Limits 1 Site SiteBoundary Boundary Trails

Pflugerville City Limits City Limits Planned Roads Trails Class Trails

Arterial Planned Roads Arterial

Class Collector Collector

2 Miles

With any family oriented place, growth will mean the demand for more schools. Figure 11 locates all public and the GIS u Esri, HERE, DeLorme, MapmyIndia, Š OpenStreetMap contributors, community,middle Esri, HERE, Š OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS elementary, andMapmyIndia, high schools in Pflugerville community ISD in relation to the project area and Pflugerville city limits. Currently, there are no schools located in or planned for the project area, therefore we predict the need for schools to be built when there is a population to support them. In the meantime, roads and trails will be needed to get new students to school. This infrastructure does not currently exist.

Arterialand Lakes Rivers Collector Rivers and Lakes

17


Pla

Cla

130

Cu

Lan

Building

Planned Roads Class Arterial Collector Creeks

0

Floodplain

0.5

1 mile

Building

N Current Land Use

Planned Roads

Land Uses

Class

s

Crops

Arterial

Future Residential

Collector

Multi-Family Apartments & Condos

0.5

Office - Medical

1

Office - Professional Open Space Park - Active Park - Passive Retail

18

Most of the land within the Wilbarger Creek District is currently vacant, undeveloped and/or agricultural Floodplain 2 land. Historically, this area has been an agricultural Current Land Use area, taking advantage of the fertile Blackland Miles Land Uses Prairie soil. Neighboring areas to the west and east Crops are primarily single family residential developments. Future Residential Along the boundaries of the site on TX-45 and Farm to Manufactured Home Market 685, the commercial development is primarily Multi-Family Apartments & Condos auto-oriented pad site development. Creeks

Manufactured Home

0

[12] Current Land Use Map

Service - Automotive

Office - Medical

Service - Restaurant

Office - Professional

Shopping Center

Open Space

Single Family Residential - Rural

Park - Active

Single Family Residential - Detached

Park - Passive

Utilities

Retail

Vacant & Unimproved

Service - Automotive

Multi-family residential development at the northernmost corner could provide a model for more compact future development.

Service - Restaurant Shopping Center Single Family Residential - Rural


130

Healthy Grocery Store Pfarmer’s Market Hostpital Complex Community Center Wilbarger Trail Network

Pla

School

Cla

Park Agriculture

Class

0

N

0.5

Arterial

1 mile

Collector

[13] Pflugerville Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use

Agriculture

s

Employment Low to Med Density Residential

0

Med to High Density Residential

0.5

Mixed Use

1

Building

Park & Open Space

Planned Roads Class

Public

New Trail

Arterial

Bus Route

Collector Creeks

Floodplain

While the project site is not all currently within Pflugerville’s jurisdiction, it is with in their ETJ and future development is planned for this area. 2 Recognizing Lake Pflugerville as future civic and recreational heart, the City of Pflugerville is interested Miles in more variety in housing typologies and introducing an employment center east of SH-130. Although based on our diagnosis of the site, we made some alternate suggestions for future land use, our proposal is largely based on Pflugerville’s future land use plan.

Current Land Use Land Uses Crops Future Residential Manufactured Home Multi-Family Apartments & Condos

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The Missing Middle

The missing middle refers to “a range of multi-unit or clustered housing types compatible in scale with singlefamily homes that help meet the growing demand for walkable urban living” (Missing Middle Housing). Pflugerville is growing rapidly and expected to continue to grow over the coming 20 years. Currently, the variety of housing types is very limited; most housing is single family detached, although there is a mid-rise apartment complex at the northernmost area of the site. Detached single family housing requires a lot of space and generally does not promote walkable neighborhoods.

Pflugerville is interested in encouraging more walkability and providing more housing options to address the various needs, interests, and budgets of its diverse community. The missing middle is the housing between the scale of a single family detached home and a mid-rise apartment building, which could include duplexes, triplexes, courtyard apartments, bungalow apartments, townhomes, multiplexes, or small apartment buildings. Additionally, live/work and work/live units could provide alternative housing options, improve the City’s jobs/housing balance, and spur small business development.

[14] Building Typologies in Wilbarger Creekside District

L

N

E -D

E

IC

R TU UL

R AG

Y SIT

AL

R RU

/

W LO

S E EN TUR RD UL A C I G R AL AG UN N M RBA M U CO MISE

TIA

N DE

E

US

SI

RE ILY

AM EF

GL

SIN

Existing Building Typologies Potential Future Building Typologies

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X

LE

P DU

X

LE

TIP UL

X

LE

IP TR

M

E

S OU

NH

W TO

T

HO

ED

K AC ST

EN

M

W RO

L

AL

SM

T AR AP


R VE TO

M RT

-

ID

M

E RIS

M

M

T

EN

A AP

CO

AL

CI

ER

CT PA

EN

A AP

M RT

M

CO

E

US

D-

IXE

OM

M

BIG

AL

CI

ER

M

XC BO

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Case Studies

MUELLER | Austin, TX The Mueller Community is a front runner in sustainable development in Austin, with a density of housing we imagine is the maximum that could occur in Pflugerville. The garden court housing shown in Figure 15 exemplifies our value on family oriented community garden space. [15] HERITAGE CREEKSIDE | Plano, TX

[16]

Heritage Creekside is a future development planned for Plano, Texas. Figure 16 demonstrates our creekside development values where there is an activity filled buffer, with limited impervious cover, between structures and the creek. This concept can attract people to the creek while upholding its environmental integrity. ELGIN AGRARIAN COMMUNITY | Elgin, TX Just twenty miles west of Pflugerville, the Elgin Agrarian Community is planning its future. The community will have a 3.5 acre farm and 1 acre fruit orchard that is supported by the residents to provide healthy food options as well as uphold the agricultural history of the area.

[17] SERENBE | Atlanta, GA

[18] 22

Serenbe is compromised of four commercial centers that are surrounded by compact living, agricultural lands, trail networks, and arts opportunities. The community focuses on providing a healthy lifestyle that connects residents to nature and to each other. Serenbe was also recognized for its sustainable development model by the Urban Land Institute.


Themes & Goals

In order to address the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that we identified in the Wilbarger Creekside District, we developed three themes around which to develop goals, design values, and prescriptions: Pfarms, Pfamilies, and Past to Future. We feel that these three themes are interconnected and address the agricultural heritage of Pflugerville, the growing population which is becoming more diverse and includes many young families, and honors the region’s past while looking to the future to create a just and sustainable future for the residents which includes access to natural resources, livable neighborhoods, a vibrant economy and employment opportunities. PFARM GOALS • Create a network of green infrastructure. • Encourage urban agriculture. • Ensure access to locally grown food. • Create more community gardens & educational space. PFAMILY GOALS • Provide diverse and affordable housing options. • Promote healthy lifestyles • Maintain safe neighborhoods. • Establish family-focused activities that benefit the sense of community. PAST TO FUTURE GOALS • Celebrate Pflugerville’s agricultural heritage. • Diversify neighborhoods and economies. • Integrate nature into urban form.

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PART 2: PROPOSAL

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Design Values

After evaluating the study area in Pflugerville, we sought to design a community which values equity and diversity, mixed land uses and building typologies, connectivity through green networks, and thriving families. In order to develop these values, our design prescription for the neighborhood centered on urban agriculture: “urban agriculture is integrated into the local urban economic and ecological system” and “users can easily perceive its potential for complementarity and synergy” (Mougeot). The expansion of city of Austin is one reason the population of Pflugerville is growing. People are looking more affordable places to live after being pushed out of Austin financially. The City of Pflugerville could be described as periurban will “tend to undergo, over a given period of time, more dramatic agricultural changes than do locations in more central and built-up parts of the city” (Mougeot). Therefore, it is important to advocate for the protection of agricultural land, as agricultural land is very difficult to reintroduce into the urban environment once lost to development. We used principles usually used when creating a comprehensive plan to inform our diagnosis of the study area. Land use should include different aspects, such as livability, walkability, affordability, housing, sustainable, and others, in order to create a complete neighborhood. According to Berke, et. al. (2006) “Neighborhood plans generally focus on a specifically delineated area, usually already substantially developed, and usually predominantly residential (as opposed to a plan for a commercial area or downtown). They usually employ a neighborhood participatory planning process that is separate from the process used in creating the community wide, comprehensive, policy-oriented plan. Because of the nature of the process, the relatively small size of the area, and the fact that it is already substantially developed, neighborhood plans often focuses on high-visibility problems and specific physical design proposal. They also emphasize a shorter-range action program, something in the order of two years, and include actions to be taken by nongovernmental organizations as well as governmental agencies. In fact, this type of plan is something called a neighborhood empowerment plan” (Berke 2006, 421-44). We would like to conserve the ecosystem that already exists by emphasizing ecosystem services and encouraging development of the urban form to be integrated with the natural environment. To illustrate various aspects of our proposal for the Wilbarger Creekside District, we provide perspectives and section illustrations of the restored Pfluger Haus Community Center & Pfarmer’s Market, a prototype multi-family residential complex with community gardens, a mixed use street section highlighting pedestrian-oriented streets, and a section of the buffered Wilbarger Creek riparian trail network.

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[19] Concept Map

To Georgetown

rri Co

Co

mm er cia l

Pfluger Haus Community Center

do r

Mixed Use Development

Buffered Greenbelt & Trails

Residential Semi-Urban Agriculture

“G ree n

Stre

et�

Downtown Pflugerville

Employment Center

HWY 130

To Austin

26

Wi lbarger

ek Cr e


Our design is oriented to preserve the ecosystem of the area, following some open-space design principles of from the Sustainable Urban Land Use textbook. We are conserving land where there are major wetlands, parks and forests, “areas of critical environmental concern”, floodplains, and other lands containing significant natural, scenic, or recreational resources, such as the Pflugerville Lake. Our goals, place character, and metrics follow principles of compatibility, connectivity, accessibility, and urban pressure (Berke 2006).

DESIGN VALUES • Equitable & diverse communities • Mixed land uses & building typologies • Connectivity through green networks • Thriving families

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[20] Proposed Future Land Use Map

Healthy Grocery Store Pfarmer’s Market Hostpital Complex Community Center Wilbarger Trail Network School Park Agriculture

Class Arterial Collector

s

community garden

0

0.5

Healthy Grocery Store

Agriculture

Pfarmer’s Market

Employment

Hostpital Complex

1

2

Community Center

Miles

s 0

28

0.5

1

2 Miles

Low to Med Density Residential Med to High Density Residential Mixed Use

Wilbarger Trail Network

Park & Open Space

School

Public

Park Agriculture

New Trail Bus Route

Cla


Creating a Sense of Place

Creating the connection between open-space, residential, and recreational space, we propose low-to-medium density housing which helps to preserve pervious surfaces and ecosystems. Our design prescription aims to provide approximately 5,000 new units distributed in mixed-use developments slightly more dense single-family neighborhoods. Educational and cultural opportunities can be utilized on the 300 acres of preserved open-space and agricultural land, building community by developing user-oriented and resource-based urban recreation areas, like the Wilbarger Creek Riparian Trail Network, restored Wilbarger Creek, Pfluger Haus Community Center and Pfarmer’s Market. In order to accomplish the design values, it is crucial to develop people-serving spaces and commercial activity centers: “These centers exhibit the highest concentrations of buildings and people, the highest land values, and the highest degree of interrelationship among land uses. Such centers should be easily accessible to consumers in surrounding neighborhoods by foot, bicycle and automobile, connected to other centers, and serviced by the local and regional transportation system (Berke 2006). The neighborhood center should include convenient shopping, common services, and necessities such as grocery stores in order to satisfy residents’ needs. In order to create an equitable and diverse community, the our proposed plan for the Wilbarger Creekside District seeks to develop mixed-income neighborhoods. By ensure that there are goods and services within a walkable and bikeable distance within the communities, more residents will be able to have safe and easy access to healthy food and active outdoor spaces, further encouraging social and environmental justice within the community.

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[21] (above) Pfluger Haus Community Center & Pfarmer’s Market. [22] (below) Compact housing development with community gardens and play areas.

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Puger Haus Community Center & Pfarmer’s Market Following urban agriculture movement the user-oriented and resource-based areas will be implemented in the community garden education center for kids (see fig. 21). Moreover, the preservation of the history of Pflugerville City is important because creates identity within the community. Therefore, the plan proposes the restoration of the Pfluger House where could be the hearth of the neighborhood with different event spaces, community programming, trail network, ice cream, and family-oriented activities. The preservation of Pflugerville history will create a sense of identity within the community.

Multifamily Residential with Community Gardens Compact and connected neighborhoods are important to the future growth of Pflugerville. Mixed use, multi-family residential developments (see fig. 22) will support thriving families and diverse communities as they are able to utilize communal spaces for urban agriculture and social gatherings. The increased diversity of housing typologies that can be provided by a compact neighborhood will make housing more affordable to residents and will provide alternative lifestyles for household types. The multi-family residential neighborhoods are intended to be within close proximity to public schools, which will encourage healthy lifestyles and provide safe neighborhood spaces for children and families. Community gardens and playgrounds within these developments will help foster a sense of community and can provide educational opportunities for families.

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20ft Sidewalk

Bike Lane 6ft

Bioswale Median

12ft Traffic Lane

12ft Traffic Lane

8ft Street Parking

Bioswale Median

Bike Lane 6ft

20ft Sidewalk

[23] (above) Street section in a pedestrian-friendly mixed use development. [24] (below) Section of Wilbarger Creek Greenbelt, with buffered protective area, and hike and bike trail.

12 ft Bike & Walking Trail

Wilbarger Creek

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300 ft Creek Buffer for Preservation and Recreation

Mixed-Use Development


Mixed Use Street Section Our proposal for complete streets aim to create pedestrian-scaled environments with multi-modal transportation options. The main street will have 20ft sidewalks, enough space to have trees, benches, bike racks and spaces to walk comfortably. Moreover, bioswale medians protect bikers on the 6ft wide bike lane from traffic and treat pollutants that wash off the street and sidewalk. Finally, activity centers, community gardens and schools would be connected to residential areas and accessible through the extensive trail network.

Wilbarger Creek Riparian Trail Network: restored Wilbarger Creek The interconnectivity between the community living and environmental play is evidenced by the 12ft wide pedestrian trails. The 300ft buffer, modeled off of Austin’s creek buffer regulation, protects creek habitat & mitigates flood hazards. This user-oriented place would be an alternative to auto transit and promote active and healthy lifestyles in the community of Pflugerville.

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Metrics

In order to create an a urban agriculture-oriented complete community, there will need to be specialized infrastructure. The current land use of the project area is 47% vacant, 31% residential, 15% open space, 3% industrial, and 4% commercial. Our plan aims to accommodate at least 5,000 new housing units with 5,000 new jobs and three new schools. Improving the jobs/housing balance is a goal articulated by the Pflugerville Comprehensive Plan and will lead to a more economically resilient city. The future employment center, anchored by a hospital, will provide a large concentration of jobs for Pflugerville residents to encourage more people to work locally, rather than having to commute to neighboring cities. Although many Pflugerville residents will still commute to jobs, having a strong employment center will also attract small businesses that provide food and services to the area. Recognizing that Pflugerville is growing rapidly and seeing many new residents who were previously displaced from nearby Austin as rents and property taxes rise. The current and expected influx of young families will necessitate more public schools in the area. Building public schools in walkable proximity to more compact housing will help to establish a more livable, healthy, and community-oriented city. A sustainable and connected community is crucial, so a new 300 acres open space, 6.2 miles of new trails, and a new bus transit line will connect the Pfluger Haus Community Center, Pfarmer’s Market and new healthy grocery stores. Pflugerville already has a large network of trails, which is a strength that our proposal seeks to build on by incorporating the future Wilbarger Creekside District greenbelt and Lake Pflugerville, as well as prospective residential areas and a new employment center.

5,000 new units 5,000 new jobs 3 new schools 300 acres open space 6.2 miles of new trails

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Impacts

The infrastructure proposed will contribute to the development of a “neighborhood unit model” (oriented toward urban agriculture) because “the neighborhood unit has clear boundaries, contains a pedestrian-circulation network that connects residences to … schools, recreation facilities, and incorporate an open-space network, all within a walkable circumference” (Berke 2006, 389). The impact of new green street infrastructure, trails, schools, and buses in Pflugerville will be to create a community where the city can build an identity that celebrates their cultural history, as well as their natural resources. The Pfluger Haus Community Center, Pfarmer’s Market, healthy grocery stores, and three new schools will be serving at least a population between 3,000-15,000 people, both future residents and current residents. The three new schools are planned to satisfy the growing population in Pflugerville, approximately 25% are between 0-19 years old (see fig. 5). Moreover, in order to stimulate the local economy and try to retain labor of force into the Pflugerville, there will be 5,000 new jobs distributed around the new facilities and services of the project area. Finally, the 300 acres open spaces and the 6.2 miles of new trails will accomplish our design value of connectivity through green network by conserving prime land for agriculture, as well as promoting community and creating a sense of place. In order to assure that these goals are achieved, the progress toward metrics described above should be monitored; every 2 - 5 years progress on the projects within the site should be evaluated to ensure that density is being directed in appropriate areas and that the new development is responding to the changing needs of the City within the parameters of the established goals.

New bus transit line Pfluger Haus Community Center Pfarmer’s Market & healthy grocery stores Preserved productive agricultural land 35


Conclusion

Throughout this process, our analysis and the community values of Pflugerville have guided our design and general prescription for how future development should occur in the study area. We hope to cultivate a sense of place and enhance the environmental health and sustainability of the site as Pflugerville continues to grow. Our design elements come together in both the Pfluger Haus Community Center and the prototype of a Wilbarger Creekside neighborhood. By supporting mixed uses and connectivity, these spaces could readily be utilized by the community and local economy as the city builds out eastward. The Community Center revitalizes an artifact from the past, the Pfluger Haus, by incorporating community gardens and spaces for family-oriented activities that speak to the diverse and thriving families of Pflugerville. The Center would connect to Pflugerville’s extensive trail network along Wilbarger Creek, creating more transportation options for the community developments. The hike and bike trail would come through an open space buffer, similar to that shown in the Riparian Trail Network Cross Section (Figure 24). The shade covered trail would serve residents along the path, connecting to streets, and supporting transportation alternatives for mixed use developments. A main street hub would reflect the development values of the Mixed Use Street Section (Figure 23) with the ground floor supporting commercial uses with apartments or office space above. The diversity of these three to five story developments along the creekside draw most of the pedestrian activity and offer residents and visitors access to local businesses and restaurants. Beyond this main street would be housing decreases in density with lovely duplexes and garden court houses. Garden court houses would surround communal open space and gardens to bring cultivate local agriculture and provide opportunities for social engagement. We envision communities like this throughout the study area. Diverse communities and thriving families will be able to enjoy the connectivity to Wilbarger Creek, Pfluger Haus, Lake Pflugerville and downtown Pflugerville, as they have access to healthy food and happy communities. We also recommend the City continues to engage Pflugerville residents in participatory planning processes to gain insight into what residents would like to see their city become. As Pflugerville continues to narrow their vision for the city’s future and further develops sites like the Wilbarger Creekside District, it is crucial for the community utilizing their resources and community character to create vibrant, livable Pflugerville.

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Bibliography

Berke, Philip R., David R. Godschalk, and Edward J. Kaiser with Daniel Rodriguez. 2006. Urban Land Use Planning, Fifth Edition. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. City of Pflugerville. Pflugerville 2030 Plan: A Comprehensive Plan. 2010. Retrieved from http://en.calameo.com/ read/00060638986bee10bbf67?editLinks=1. ----. “Pflugerville Demographic Report.” 2016. Retrieved from http://www.pflugervilletx.gov/city-government/ development-services-center/planning-department/demographic-profile “Elgin Agrarian Community”. 2017. Eaco. Retrieved from https://www.elginagrarian.com/. Missing Middle. “Missing Middle: Responding to the Demand for Walkable Urban Living.” Retrieved from http:// missingmiddlehousing.com/ Mougeot, Luc JA. “Urban agriculture: Definition, presence, potentials and risks, and policy challenges.” 2000. “Mueller Austin”. 2017. Muelleraustin.Com. Retrieved from http://www.muelleraustin.com/. Rakes, K., Ligons, S., Fraser, C., and Roberts, C. “Pflugerville Texas, The History and Planning of the City.” 2016. “Rosewood’s Heritage Creekside, Plano, Texas”. 2017. Gatewayplanning.Com. Retrieved from http://www. gatewayplanning.com/communities.php?page=252. “Serenbe”. 2017. Serenbe.Com. Retrieved from http://serenbe.com/. The World Bank Group. Urban Development & Resilience Unit. 2013. Washington, DC: World Bank. United States Department of Agriculture. “Natural Resources Conservation Service - Prime Farmland.” Retrieved from https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/null/?cid=nrcs143_014052

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Pfarm to Pfamily  

Connecting past to future in Pflugerville's Wilbarger Creekside District. Kayla Rakes, Michael Simmons, Hannah Simonson & Juan Tiney

Pfarm to Pfamily  

Connecting past to future in Pflugerville's Wilbarger Creekside District. Kayla Rakes, Michael Simmons, Hannah Simonson & Juan Tiney

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