Page 1



ASLA 2009 Student Awards Analysis and Planning Category Descriptive Data Summary

Entry Number: 077 Level of Study: Undergraduate Individual or Team Entry: Team Entry Project Title: Post OP: Recovering Prado Project Location: Chino, California Project Type: Community Master Plan

Project Summary:


period. Post OP is therefore an abbreviation of post-operative, a period of recovery after physical Post OP is a master plan design strategy for a trauma. The goal of the Post OP project is to focus on the relative performance of the incorporated theoretical post-peak oil community elements that function to heal the damaged focusing on sustainable design and self ecological infrastructure on the site. The sufficiency. Through the use of cutting edge technologies and intelligent design decisions, implementation of this new framework can be this project forms a symbiotic relation with its seen metaphorically as a surgical procedure, natural surroundings and capitalizes on them intended to stem the degradation of our environment by petroleum-based development without degrading them. By encompassing natural, cultural, technological, and economic strategies. This operation is necessary to restore the natural ecosystem to a thriving, healthful state. strategies, Post OP strives to be a feasible Before this healing can occur, the system will have development model for the future of urban to under go a post-operative state and will require settlement. a period of recovery. Recovery implies that something once lost, devalued, injured, or misplaced has been found again with renewed vitality. In this case, the community surrounding the project site will regain a previously lost natural resource and improve their own quality of life in the process. Everyone who undergoes surgery is subject to a recovery period to which medical All of the elements to be implemented in this deprofessionals refer to as a “post-operative” sign are based on the concept of optimization of

Project Narrative:

Introduction to Project:


land for per formative reasons, resulting in the development of both ecological and economic capital. Ecological capital, in this case, specifically refers to the creation of systems which positively affect air quality, water quality, soil quality, habitat quality, and various other components and systems within our natural environment. The idea of merging the concept of capital and the natural environment creates an alternative perception which transcends traditional conceptions of what is considered capital. Developing a perception of natural elements which relates to economic incentives allows for a increased value to be placed on nature. However idealistic, the ultimate goal of ecologically-based capital should be to not only parallel financial capital in importance, but surpass it. This strategy of optimizing land use also addresses a new form of capital creation which is non-hydrocarbon based. The underlying strategy is the creation of capital which is regenerative, sustainable, and, most critically, realistic.

Project Context: The settlement typology currently utilized, specifically that which exists in Southern California, is comprised of development and planning attributes that are maladaptive to natural systems and processes. The development of this typology has been fueled mainly by humanity’s “I/it” relationship with nature, making the strategy unable to coexist in a sustainable way with nature. This project challenges us to create new typologies for settlement; strategies which are self-sustaining and symbiotic with nature from their inception. The goal is to capitalize on all that nature has to offer to help create a primarily self-sufficient community framework while preserving and enhancing natural elements.

The project site is located in the city of Chino, California, nestled within the the Prado Basin, a part of the Santa Anita River watershed. Specifically, it is located at the inlet of Chino Creek into the greater wetland, which is formed by Prado dam downstream. In 1941, Prado dam was completed in the basin as a response to the catastrophic flood of 1938. This addition to the site’s landscape was what allowed for the proliferation of the current auto-centric settlement strategy across the lower Santa Ana Watershed downstream of the dam, more commonly known as Orange County. Given the opportunities and challenges presented by this project site, we have devised a new model of land occupation that is juxtaposed to the initial operational intent of the dam and its wetland reservoir.

Incorporated Systems: Post OP is conceived as an adaptive community model focused around the development of green infrastructure which is inherently ecologically sensitive. Post OP seeks to synthesize natural and artificial systems and processes in ways that optimize the performative function of the land to render ecologically and economically viable models of development. The utilization of natural systems to benefit the project, such as utilizing the wetland for water treatment and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices derived from the fluvial patterns of the wetland, create a strong foundation on which the community can develop.

Where possible, the project embeds sustainable technologies to further its low-impact design. For example, structures will be laden with photovoltaic arrays and vertical farm systems to maximize the use of every inch of potential real estate, as well as take advantage of the huge amount of sunlight in Southern California. Lastly, one of the project goals is to eliminate the need for automotive transit for the residents of the project. This is accomplished by ensuring ties from the site into existing regional mass transit systems and the inclusion of an on-site tram network. To limit the reliance on these mass transit systems and decrease the need to travel away from the site, all elements necessary for a successful community are incorporated into the site plan through the implementation of mixed-use zoning.


Project Value:

This proposal for a post-peak-oil community is not an academic flight of fancy. All of the systems proposed in project are derived from proven technologies and processes which are already being utilized on a varying scale. Each of these elements, ranging from organic farming to compact fluorescent light bulbs, have been promoted by their creators and advocates as a possible answer to society’s current unsustainable nature. However, the reality is, there is not any single product that will have a significant enough impact to correct all of the shortcomings of traditional design typologies. To this end, Post OP endeavors to combine the most progressive technological, social, natural, and economic strategies into a singular, cohesive design framework.

Due to the maladaptive, ecologically unsound, and inefficient land use typologies of Southern California, the relevance of Post OP lies in the project’s ability to envision a future community that is adapted in ways that accommodate nature while not neglecting the need for creating economic capital and a comfortable human e nvironment. Post OP is based on a framework that puts in place systems that respond to the shortcomings of our current typologies, such as air and water pollution and the environmental degradation of plant and animal biodiversity and habitats. The reclamation of the Prado Basin is significant in the regional context of Southern California as the model for future sustainable development and settlement typologies.


Hybrid Systems

Wetlands + Creeks Riparian Activation Zone

Organic Agriculture + Green Industry Sequential Drainage System

Synthetic Systems

Mixed-Use Community Development Cultural Center Educational Facilities Transportation

Our framework for the implementation of Post OP references a trajectory of performative systems which range from natural to synthetic. The natural systems implemented in the framework, namely integrated uvial wetlands and natural wetlands, serve as systems that simultaneously clean the river while reactivating the previously diverse riparian ecosystem within the Prado Basin. These natural systems are followed by hybrid systems, fusing natural processes and artiďŹ cial processes, in the creation of food, energy, and biodegradable consumer products. These hybrid systems seek to address economic capital generation that moves the region away from the current hydrocarbon-based approach. Here, agriculture is organic and non-fertilizer based, attention is paid to livestock quality of life, and energy and consumer goods are created in a clean manner. Following hybrid systems are synthetic elements that address the pragmatic requirements of human use, such as residential spaces, recreation, eco-tourism, and native cultural history. The goal of combining these systems into one multifunctional project will provide a base for economic viability and ecological sustainability.



Ecological Restoration 3,125 Acres

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Fluvially Integrated Wetlands Natural Wetlands Sequential Drainage System Sky-Walk Agriculture Land Bioplastics Manufacturing Facility Chino Golf Course Prado Lake Euclid Avenue Interstate 71 Pedestrian Overpass Existing Chino Community New Urban Settlement Transportation Hub Cultural Core Re-forestation Area Open-Space + Flood Control Resort Hotel along Wetland Native American Cultural Center Chino Hills State Park

10 7 15


16 9


17 11




14 5 18 14


3 20 5 NORTH






Expanding upon the existing wetland, this area is a synthesis of the naturally occurring riparian corridor and artificially created wetland areas to meet the performative needs of the project, the first step towards developing the site. This area is valuable to the project on several levels, including aesthetic enjoyment, habitat preservation, and water filtration. The zone includes water treatment in 3 major portions of the river: Fluvially Integrated Wetland, Natural Wetland, + Sequential Drainage System Creating sustainable economic engines is the second objective of the project, manifesting in the site’s agricultural spaces and a bioplastics manufacturing facility. The creation of sustainable agriculture and manufacturing on the site provides employment and economic input that propels the remainder of the projects development.

Providing a place for residents, this portion of the site is occupied by a mixed-use, transit-oriented community development. Unlike the widespread tract home model in place nearby, this community would provide residents with amenities within walking distance and have a relatively high average population density.

Showcases for regional and community art and history are severely lacking in the Southern California region. In this project, a diverse cultural center complex has been devised to preserve and display the art, history, and cultural artifacts of the region and its people to local residents and visitors.

Moving individuals away from the current dependence upon automotive transit is a fundamental project objective. This is accomplished by cohesively linking the site into existing regional transportation networks, providing an on-site tram network, and by providing the majority of necessary services and amenities within walking distance.


The diagrams included with this zone display ecological growth over time, the functions of various wetlands, and the form these systems would take. The planting types that will be utilized to activate the zone will be derived from a native plant palette and reflect the natural planting patterns. A variety of specimens sizes will be introduced to ensure a more balanced and natural perception.

Riparian Stream Bank Vegetation

Riparian Shrub Zone Vegetation

Riparian Forest Trees


Fluvially Integrated Wetlands

5-10 years

10-15 years

Natural Wetlands

15-30 years


Sequential Drainage Wetlands


The sequential drainage system is a catchment system designed to maximize utilization of the naturally occurring nitrification cycle to help cleanse water runoff of harmful compounds. These catchment basins also act as beneficial spaces for the development of wetland or bog habitats for local plants and wildlife.



A conceptual rendering depicting a possible view from the boardwalk system passing over the wetland. Below, others enjoy a more personal interaction with the natural systems by utilizing the hiking trails. In the distance, the bridge designed to raise Euclid Avenue above the wetland space can be seen.


The green industry zone is the financial backbone supporting the site and what allows it to perpetuate. Through the creation of bioplastics, the site will generate revenue to deal with costs on site for maintenance and expansion. This facility will p produce local “green-collar� jobs and decrease the regional need to oleum-ba import petroleum-based plastics. Loading + Shipping Facility


Production Campus

Vertical Farm Research + Production

Transit Stop

A conceptual rendering of the central vertical farm facility at the heart of the bioplastics research and manufacturing campus. This facility reaches a worldwide community with biodegradable plastic materials derived from locally grown produce.


Mixed-use development declined during industrialization because of the substantial disjointing of residential and manufacturing spaces. This time frame experienced mass migratory movement of people into cities from rural areas due to the available work in factories. The flood of additional workers required housing accommodations. With the influx of mass transit systems, dominance of the automobile, and cheap oil, significantly lower-density cities began to develop. Los Angeles is a perfect example of urban sprawl and a dysfunctional settlement typology based on cheap fossil fuels. With low density development all around, Los Angeles relies on the automobile to move masses of people from point A to point B. As the price of oil continues to soar, the independence once experienced in the 20th century will no longer be attainable. Mass transit will begin to reemerge as the shift to re-occupy the city starts to occur. For Los Angeles, this process will not be a reiteration, simply a new-found course of action. By providing a dense environment for people where they are able to obtain the necessities for survival within walking distance is crucial.

However, re-utilizing the systems of the past for future development is flawed in nature. Unless we adapt the typology to the issues of tomorrow, our tra jectory leads us to degredation of life on earth through pollution and global warming. Post OP strives not to redefine mixed use development, but to transcend the notion of it by optimizing the occupied land use for comprehensive functionality. Infrastructure connectivity will be pivotal in moving people from one occupied space to another. Creating dense urban pockets that allow for free migration from the workplace to the dwelling; encased in the fabric of the site while functioning around the principles of sustainability, avant-garde park space, and a sense of community that will transcend the existing paradigm of urban development to an optimized land performance.

1 2 3 4

The community is developed about an existing tract home community on a hillside. This image displays the spaces in between the community homes. The community is self sustaining. This shows the food production greenhouse. A space for people to gather and mingle. A photo realistic rendering of the site from a distance.









A ground level rendering of the mixed use communities retail and promenade space including a view of one of the stops for the on-site tram network.


The Cultural Core is the final aspect of the Post OP framework and is intended to create a space where art and cultural history can be preserved and shared amongst residents. This dynamic social interaction is key to creating a thriving and successful community environment. The Cultural Core provides residents and surrounding communities with a place to gather and socialize. Various components of this zone are specifically intended to bring a broad cross section of people together. This space can be characterized as the new “downtown” for the 3,000 acre development.




This image displays the central gathering space within the Cultural Core. The space is located between the Native American Cultural Center and the Genetic Native Seed Bank.


REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION One of the primary objectives of the project is to tie the site into the existing regional transportation infrastructure, as well as improve the function of what is existing. By constructing a light rail line along Euclid Avenue, the three existing east-west commuter rail lines can be interconnected. To service this new line, the Citadis Dualis has been proposed, a hybrid train-tram system developed by Alstom. These electric-powered trains are capable of running on either light rail or heavy rail infrastructure, making them highly adaptable to existing transit systems. Ideally, these trains could eventually replace the existing diesel powered MetroLink commuter trains as demand called for it. COMMUNITY TRANSIT Site transportation between ma jor community elements, such as the mixed-used development, university, cultural center, and bio-plastics plant, will primarily be accommodated by an on-site tram system. The concept for this design is to have a minimal visual impact while providing prompt point-topoint transportation for passengers. By using high-tension cables to define the track, there can be large spacing between support structures, minimizing visual and environmental impact. Propulsion will be provided by in-hub electric motors which gather power from the cable way. Additional systems, such as lighting and ventilation, can be powered by 2 solar panels on the roof of the cabin. NEIGHBORHOOD TRANSIT Neighborhood transit, which is that occurring on the individual level within the various areas of the site, is designed to be car and carbon emission -free. Several steps have been taken to promote the use of these types of systems, such as easy pedestrian and bicycle access to all elements of the project and frequent locations for renting bikes and surreys (4 person bikes with 4 wheels). Anticipated in the transportation system design is that, despite elimination of the car in daily life, vehicular transit will still be a requirement for service and security needs. To this end, small electric cars will be utilized on a limited basis to serve specific needs such as security and maintenance.


This image depicts Euclid Avenue in its new form, being raised above the Prado Wetland to allow for free movement of water and wildlife beneath it. The roadway is split by the Citidus lightrail line and suspends the tram network below.

Post OP  

Award Entry for Post OP. Refer to Post OP: Recovering Prado Volume 1.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you