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Acknowledgement Student Researchers Puru Bhargava Jeremy Percy Jasmin Sangha Jack Schwartz Nic Weber Gensler Advisors David Broz Adam gumoswki Golnar Iranpour Sarah Jones Sarah Marvez Jonas Philipsen Joel Spearman KU Faculty Kadim Al Asady Jae Chang Paola Sanguinetti

The University of Kansas and Gensler Co-op is created for graduate - level architecture students. This partnership gives the students an opportunity to gain professional experience from proven industry leaders, as well as a crash course in working collaboratively, both in individual design studios as well as across the country. The first half of the program is spent in three separate Gensler offices (Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles) where the interns get to work alongside various industry professionals and contribute on a wide array of projects. While most of the internship is spent working on client centric design, 20% of the internship is spent on a proposed research project. The goal of our research was to explore the value of placemaking in today’s elastic urban fabric. The knowledge gained from the project will be applied to a semester long studio in Lawrence, KS. The spring studio will build upon insight gained and apply them to the design of urban spaces.

KU URBAN-SCIENTISTS

Foreword As Urban Scientists, it is our observation that there is a wide range in the quality of urban environments. Looking at three different cities, we realized that there are some spaces that are full of life, and connect us to our greater community. But, there are also many that are empty, unused and do not relate to their place or align with the identity of the city. So we ask ourselves, how can we as designers learn from these spaces, and create quality public space now and in the future? It is the duty of designers to analyze each situation as a new challenge; by examining global trends, cultural values, community needs, and always keeping an eye towards the future, we will define successful places. We believe that knowledgeable and successful placemaking emphasizes the unique identity of the place in which they occur. It is important that we create spaces for all, spaces that connect people, and to celebrate neighborhood and demographic identities rather than diminishing them. While there are baseline features necessary for usable spaces, it is through the lens of human behavior, community needs and local cultures, we can start to appreciate how place affects daily lives. In order to create these rich layers of experiences that, in turn, create an authentic urban identity, it will be necessary to consider local needs and culture, scale, balance of programming, and how these elements are stitched together in the urban fabric.

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Contents

.1

Team

04-05

.2

Approach

06-10

.3

Process

11-17

.4

Synthesis

18-50

.5

Potential

51-59

.6

Conclusion

60-65

.7

Appendix

66-81

Students from the University of Kansas and mentors at Gensler

Define Define Define Define Define Define

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.1 KU URBAN-SCIENTISTS

The Squad

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approach

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GroWTh

2014

It was concluded that the humanization of cities revolves significantly around each human’s proximity to life’s necessary and desirable amenities, proving that the human dimension thrives upon its relationships: social, cultural, environmental, and spacial

2015

Public space, and the entirety of our infrastructure, needs to evolve in tandem with humanity. By increasing the connectivity between the person and the community, by way of improvements in accessible technology, cities will create more authentic spaces and will be more tailored to their users.

2016

In a world where value is almost exclusively measured in terms of dollars and cents, it may be hard to see how cities can benefit from implementing the ideas of placemaking. That, is our mission for this research: what value does placemaking bring in the constantly changing urban environment of today, and how can we measure its success?

Improving technology alone will not build spaces that have the greatest capacity to enrich the lives of those around it. We must also rethink how we design communities within cities, evolving beyond the standard. How can the process of placemaking improve the quality of life in our local neighborhood?

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One desire that is inherent to human nature is the search for connection; to one another, to our community, and to mankind as a whole. Technology is exponentially accelerating the rate at which we are able to establish these relationships. Something else happens when we form a connection, we learn. We learn about different regions, different people, different cultures; And with every connection we are able to use our capacity for culture, to build off the ideas of one another, in order to inform our own personal identity. Now, with technology as the engine, we have started a process of global homogenization, moving toward one global culture. We can connect from across the globe at an instant, charging towards one, inclusive, human race.

A singular, universal culture shared by all seems like a Utopian image of the future. However, homogenization at the global scale can also be viewed as the loss of diversity. Suddenly, the local cultures that people understand as a defining piece of their identity is lost among the amalgamation. Now we have two competing tendencies of human nature: One of connection and assimilation, and another of personal pride and history. How will these clashing ideologies play out in our modern interconnected world? Placemaking can help maintain the sense of community, by crafting spaces that are grounded in the local fabric and saturated with culture. Technology will continue to bridge international boundaries, while placemaking will connect us locally. Can we achieve the proper balance of individuality and inclusion to create enriching experiences for all?

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.3 KU URBAN-SCIENTISTS

proceSS

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collaboraTion

Stormboard

GoToMeeting KU URBAN-SCIENTISTS

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Los Angeles has been dominated by the Spanish communities since its inception. But over the years various other ethnic communities have made their presence felt. Its is the diversity of these cultures that drive the characteristics of Los Angeles today. With a beautiful terrain and lovely weather immigrants have chosen to stay therefore when we look back, cultures that came, stayed.

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History of Los Angeles

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History of Denver

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Migration to Denver occured during the gold and silver rushes of Colorado. The city grew and declined with the rise and demise of the railway industry. Oil and gas companies relocated to here during the energy crisis fueling a building boom in downtown. Efforts have been made during the last couple of decades to revitalize downtown. making Denver the 20th largest city in the US.

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Chicago has a rich history of urban planning, architectural design and place making. The fire in 1871, the Burnham Plan released in 1909, the great migration after the First World War through the 1950’s have all impacted the city in ways that are still evident today, both in terms of the built environment, and the cultural identity of the city.

History of Chicago

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SucceSSful placemakinG

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unSucceSSful placemakinG

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.4 KU URBAN-SCIENTISTS

SynTheSiS

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Scale:

After &

exploring

visiting

a

our

wide

respective

variety

of

cities,

spaces,

we

were able to determine four metrics that help

resolve

the

question:

What

makes

placemaking successful?

BALANCE:

Scale, in the urban context, is the relationship of built environment to their surroundings; the proportion. In metropolitan areas, scale is

LAYER: LOCALITY:

often

overlooked.

As

the

population

increases, the size of buildings follow suit, often ignoring the most important relation: that of the building to the people. Smaller structures and their associated spaces are typically

better

at

addressing

the

needs

of the community and putting culture on display. How can we create more personal, culturally driven spaces in highly developed regions?

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DTLA is a product of financial development. Tall, imposing buildings dominate the eye sight. Though this could be called culture in its own way, it fails to resonate on a personal level. Concrete jungles that awe at first, slowly become monotonous, creating a sense of disconnect. The human factor is almost lost in the enormity of the place. People become numbers.

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DTLA Scale

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From signage to people working in businesses, Koreatown creates a very intimate experience on the street level. Although this is exciting for visitors it becomes overwhelming for residents.

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Koreatown

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Variety of scale and diversity of building types creates a pleasing place to be for The Arts District. It relates to the human scale better than DTLA and Koreatown just by the fact that it has breathing space, which in turn results in a relaxed environment.

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Arts District

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Analyzing the various scale in Los Angeles we realized that places with smaller scale had a more profound effect on its surroundings. Areas surrounding it were refered to it. Its identity is stronger than those who fail to address the activity and culture it is promoting.

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Los Angeles Neighborhoods

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16th Street Mall, Denver

Republic Plaza

Skyline Park

Denver scale text goes here.

Union Station

Larimer Square

Future Development

14 ST

WYNKOOP ST

WAZEE ST

BLAKE ST

MARKET ST

LARIMER ST

LAWRENCE ST

ARAPAHOE ST

CURTIS ST

CHAMPA ST

STOUT ST

CALIFORNIA ST

WELTON ST

GLENARM PL

TREMONT PL

COURT PL

15 ST

Skyline Park

Larimer Square 16 ST

Republic Plaza 17 ST

Future Development Union Station

18 ST

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The Loop

Chicago’s urban core is dominated by tall and super tall structures. At the same time, historic and contemporary efforts have been made to humanize the city’s scale. From the river walk, the lake front, Grant Park, and urban plazas scattered throughout the loop, one can recognizes the desire to address how scale impacts inhabitants of the city.

Riverwalk

Art Institute

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Daley Plaza

Lake Point Tower

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A city can be viewed as a living organism,

SCALE:

searching for a harmony between its many smaller parts to make the entire machine run efficiently and with purpose. Architecture is one of the few fields that has the capacity to shift this balance in any direction, due to

balance:

the sheer scale of the projects. Many times, it seems as though spaces were designed in a vacuum, with little consideration for the existing context. Without examining the spaces in the immediate environment, the

LAYER: LOCALITY:

balance of a city can become lopsided. Today,

too

functions

many

saturate

spaces urban

with

similar

neighborhoods.

Cities require a variety of places to enrich the lives of those who inhabit it. Avoiding like minded spaces in close proximity may seem like a simple concept, but the problem still plagues our cities. How can we reverse this trend and begin carving a coherent journey through our city?

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ranGe of SpaceS

XS

S

M

L

XL

Small, human scale spaces, often organic. Many setbacks and transitional zones between private and public. Good walking cities have there in abundance.

Connecting spaces in local area of small scale and many variations in the built form and structure.

Collective public spaces with a clear geometry and medium scale which mediates between various functions.

Large scale spaces that hold many people at one time. Surrounded by large and often mono-functional units.

Extra large scale spaces with little consideration for the human scale. Each city only needs a few of these spaces for events.

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Downtown Los Angeles A

microcosm

for

American

metropolitan areas, DTLA suffers the same

issue

that

beleagues

cities

across the country: too many large, open, plazas with no determined purpose. These large spaces saturate the financial district, only becoming urin l ut nc htn i m eo f hour euxs epf ul la di n sga tt huer a io r k awleee ks. pAa t c ae l mso sw t iet ve loaf rt hge ewso c hr ye ro h u rt , o aw n dn elv e i ont hd wo n ar .y w e e k e n d , these

spaces

sit

empty,

unused,

and provide no benefits to the city, or to any person. arose

due

to

a

Many of these zoning

loophole,

which allowed developers to build taller structures if they offered a certain

amount

of

public

space.

With no smaller spaces to balance the

scale,

DTLA

stands

lopsided,

searching for a solution.

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Arts District With

more

emphasize

small

spaces

that

cultural

values

over

larger public gathering areas, the A r ts su d ic s tc r i cet shsa so af c hs i ep ve explain adca- s t r o n g e s i n a bratl asn cdei s wt irt hii cn t i tis n c o m m u n i t y . r ho o ow d n h- a s clearly c o m pa rT hies onne i gthob od s t ra i clt elde rt h s e c aabli l iet y t o d e s i g n t o w n . sr em e re i n gbse pe ac w i to hr n oe i n t e n t i o n , s pa c e s gha tah v ne m o ftm o s u c c e s isn ff auvlo r a prle ai nct i m e amt ea, kc u- l t u r a l l y driven places. Where in downtown ing. you would see a hard-scape plaza,

here you encounter a German style beer hall. By installing temporary events like the Smorgasburg food fair, the community utilizes popup

placemaking

to

address

the

glaring need for vibrancy and life in public spaces outside of the work week.

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e1x6pt lha Si nt r e s aett uM r aatl il o n i n denver. extra plaza e 16th Street Mall suffers from sT hpa c e s t a k e a w ay f r o m similar problems as DTLA; an overthe significance and ated us ant ui rqa tui oenn eosf s dferdoi cm t h ep u b l i c space. It is vital for cities to have relief m all and riverfront spaces open to the public, giving pa r k people a chance to connect both socially and with the environment. The outdoors are such an integral part of Denver culture, but without proper balance between places, the significance is reduced and they are unable to be truly appreciated. The entire length of the mall is dedicated to pedestrians, but along the way, spacious gathering zones litter the journey.

If

these

became

smaller

spaces, or went away entirely, more intelligently designed places, such as Skyline Park and the Riverfront, would

be

able

to

breathe

and

succeed.

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The Loop One of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods, The

Loop

has

established

itself

as

the heart of the city. The balance within this community is immediately evident.

Grant

outdoor

concert

Museum,

a

Park,

a

venue,

cultural

supreme the

icon,

and

Field the

bustling central business district sit within a short walking distance of each other.

A diversity of scales

and activities add to the richness of

this

neighborhood,

making

it

a

popular tourism destination as well as a local favorite.

The few large

spaces sprinkled through downtown give enough room without becoming overwhelming. If there was a missing element, it would be those smaller, more personal places that could see more emphasis in the future.

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SCALE: BALANCE: layer: LOCALITY:

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People make the place. Without people creating an active environment, place does not happen. This was evident from the very beginning. We need a reason to go anywhere; What is your destination? However, having only one service, or one type of destination, without establishing connections with other spaces, results in an isolated environment and a shallow experience. By adding layers of different amenities, with different purposes, places gain depth; They gain complexity; They gain activity, and ultimately a more rewarding and enriching experience. Districts within cities have too strictly segregated building types with different functions. But, having a range of available destinations tightly stitched together begins to cultivate a more diverse community. How can we break free from the throws of tradition, and design cohesive communities rather than divided spaces?

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What is Placemaking...? (part 1)  

Gensler Internship

What is Placemaking...? (part 1)  

Gensler Internship

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