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avenues volume one

+ liv th a e bi ci lit ty y


livability & the city a publication of the urban design committee (UDDC) of the washington, DC chapter, american institute of architects avenues volume one


contents

08 22 66 90

provocations ethos ideas happenings


letter from the chair: livability and the need for urban dexterity The mission of the Urban Desgn Committee is simple: to improve the quality of cities and people’s lives. To do so, our committee of 52 sought to forge meaningful and impactful paths ahead for our profession, taking specific aim with the following goals: 1. Create a forum to engage peer organizations in urban design. 2. Raise public awareness of the value of urban design thinking. 3. Promote visionary thinking about the future of cities. 4. Advocate for public policy that promotes livability, spatial equity, and environmental stewardship. 5. Develop greater allies among architects, planners, landscape architects, and policy makers. This journal, Avenues, is the first installment of what will be an annual publication – with

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the intent of collecting and distributing the shared urgent challenges, contemporary approaches, and outstanding questions we have uncovered over the year. The journal is organized into four sections. Section one, “provocations”, challenges embedded assumptions about what livability means today, and for whom. Section two, “ethos”, illustrates the livable themes shaping the work of firms around Washington, D.C. Section three, “ideas”, is a collection of competition entries animating the next generation of retail possibilities from opposing points of view. And lastly, section four, “happenings”, exhibits the milestone events that have convened thought leaders throughtout 2017. The Urban Design Committee’s

topic for 2017, “Livability and the City,” has commanded the need to unpack an operable livable definition, situate the goals for livability in a mondern context, and lastly rethink to what end our tools we use today are the same as the ones we will need for the future. Although architects, planners developers and policy makers package their ideas in different ways, I have made three consistant observations that have been an undercurrent for both this journal and the discourse for our efforts throughout the year.

1. the need for reflexive urbanism The first observation is that cities are not static, and neither should be our definition of livability. The challenges cities face are in perpetual evolution, and the goals we set, the tools

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we use, and how cities look and feel must be reflexive to perceive, devise, and overcome never-before-seen challenges. Should access to “light and air” continue to be prioritized over affordability? Should investment in depreciating automobile infrastructure trump the emergence of new mobility types like the hyperloop, urban gondolas, and autonomous vehicles? Should the desire for cities to look and feel like the 20th century take precedence over yet-to-be-discovered development patterns that actually support what people do today? Of course these examples are not always mutually exclusive. They do, however, illustrate the competing nature between the outdated sentiments we have sought in the past, and the need to continually forge new conceptions for our present and future.

anything but. The question first struck me in debates with my colleagues at SOM, “If cities are responding to new issues of climate change, affordability and emerging economies - why do they still look the same?” Although the answer is complex , I have found that a core issue lies with architecture’s predisposition of design. Too often physical and spatial responses to key issues, such as affordability, resiliency, equity, etc, are postrationalized, and are not the generator of design. The friction of shoehorn’ing these responses into preconcieved architecture is what principly creates the unwanted byproducts of unaffordability, inequity, etc. Instead of leaving the tough challenges last, we should be leaning into them first – and leveraging them for even more creative fodder.

2. the discontent for shoehorn’ed urbanism

The third and final observation is that livability and equity are indivisible. The distribution of livability-contributingelements – such as jobs, public transportation, fresh food, and amenities – has never

The second observation is that cities are the product of their time, and we should not have the expectation that our cities now should look or feel like

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before been this uneven. The concentrations and omissions of livability within cities is becoming exceedingly stark. Can a city on the whole really be livable, if there are entire neighborhoods without fresh food?

conclusion Our overarching call to action from the progress in 2017 is the dire need for urban dexterity. The ability for design to be nimble, agile and reflexive. Not to focus on what urban design and architecture is, but what it does. I invite all to join us in solving real, tough problems – and ask even tougher questions.

Justin T Kearnan, AIA Co- Chair, Urban Design Committee

3. the city is not flat

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provocations this section challenge embedded assumptions about what livability means today, and for whom

10 expanding access: toward a livable ROI 12 our cities are growing, but they aren’t growing fast enough 16 livable and flexible?


section one: provocations

expanding access: toward a livable ROI by Kristopher Takács, AIA As professional planners and designers of cities, we face a daily existential question: how can we best leverage our leadership to positively impact urban livability for our generation and beyond? The Urban Design Committee challenges us to examine the mission of livability, and our role in expanding it in the work we do.

that of the beneficiary, and that of the maker. First from the lens of the beneficiary. As the residents, workers, tourists, and actors of city life, we are all ‘consumers’ of livability. Regardless of age, race, income or belief system, we all seek the best place to live for ourselves and our families.

“ In other words, these indexes evaluate a place’s ability to meet consumer demand. So the lists are handy if you’re shopping for great livability, I suppose. ” If there were such a thing a Livability Return on Investment (ROI), would it be a performance measure? Would it measure the return of livability relative to the cost of investing in making cities livable? Or would the ROI calculate the measure of our success as agents of change? In my mind, livability deserves attention from two perspectives:

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We seek the best designed and structured environments, large or small, that provide the highest quality experience and maximum opportunity within reach. Livability in this sense is defined as a set of characteristics; but, can livability truly be quantified? Can it be scored scientifically, indexed as data points and compared?

The World’s Ten Best Places to Live! The Country’s Best Places to Retire! Best Cities for Entrepreneurs! Best Cities for Liberals! Best Cities for Conservatives! These lists are laudable as attempts to organize our world, but they leave me feeling hollow. Maybe because the act of scoring livability is intended primarily to serve the privileged with the means to choose lifestyle over necessity and relocate geographically to satisfy desires. In other words, these indexes evaluate a place’s ability to meet consumer demand. So the lists are handy if you’re shopping for great livability, I suppose. Realizing the best possible urban life, however, is a complex endeavor, and often not a wholly

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self-directed decision. Identifying the ideal place within the social, economic and physical ecosystem of the city requires self awareness, determination, compromise between often conflicting goals and desires, and infrastructure. Not to mention the cooperation of the economy and the harsh reality of the real estate market. Cities offer us different opportunities for livability. The freedom to avail ourselves of the best offerings of the city we choose is itself a measure of livability, and the hallmark of a contemporary civilized society.

official—is even more intriguing. As the purveyors of good living, our mission is to expand livability for others. Regardless of one’s political views, most would agree that expanding access leads to equity, and equity leads to livability. As design professionals, we cannot directly impact equity by controlling the cost of living, distribution of wealth, or healthcare spending. However we can, and must, take on design leadership to make our cities what we want them to be. The single greatest impact we can make is to maximize access:

“ The single greatest impact we can make is to maximize access: to jobs, housing, fresh food, education, healthcare, open space, natural and cultural amenities, emergency services, and civic infrastructure. ” Livability from the perspective of the maker—the professional planner or architect, the social advocate, policymaker or elected

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to jobs, housing, fresh food, education, healthcare, open space, natural and cultural

amenities, emergency services, and civic infrastructure. This is not the conception of “livability” following the Industrial Revolution, the Victorian byproduct of reducing urban squalor. Nor is it the Modernist quality-of-life debate between Le Corbusier and Jane Jacobs. In 2017, we’re at the precipice of enormous new urban challenges, but we’re still using 20th century tools. How can we harness new technology and design tools to reconcile the hidden and visible pressures of rapid change in our physical environment? How can we continually expand choice, access and affordability for the broadest cross section of people? Livability in the 21st Century city depends on this foresight and leadership.

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section one: provocations

our cities are growing, but they aren’t growing fast enough by Mark Simpson, AICP The renaissance of the American City has been a welldocumented phenomena since the beginning of the 2000s, as cities across scales and regions have experienced explosive growth in both households and employment. Sociologists, economists and other critical theorists have praised this rise of urban America, identifying this shift to a “new normal,” where a network of global cities begins to exert an inextricable, gravitational

shifts in preferences across the two largest generations in American history have boosted demand for housing in urban locations. Unfortunately, this rise in demand has been met with an insufficient amount of new housing supply, causing a steady (and sometimes extreme) increase in housing prices in many cities. The question posed here is simple: Why has the supply of urban housing been unable to keep

“ The fact that developers are often building, when they can build, for the top-end of the market is a symptom of dysfunctional housing policy, not the cause of it. ” pull of culture, capital and entrepreneurial energy. Shifting generational demographics have largely driven the growth of most American cities, with the expanding preferences of millennials and boomers for urban-style living. These broad

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pace with the growing demand for dynamic, walkable places? This provocation explores the origins of contemporary housing regulations and how the lack of new supply in the market is not the fault of the developer or banker, often portrayed as the

rapacious villains responsible rising housing prices. The fact that developers are often building, when they can build, for the top-end of the market is a symptom of dysfunctional housing policy, not the cause of it.

euclidian zoning, a utopian project of social engineering, cannot separate itself from its racist origins Legacy development regulations of the early 1900s, specifically Euclidian zoning and other land use controls, continue to guide urban growth patterns, and have tended to exacerbate issues of segregation by race, class and ethnicity, rather than alleviate these outcomes. Euclidian zoning’s origins in the 1900s were superficially based on questions of aesthetics and ideals about the “good life,” but were almost exclusively used as a way to weaponize government

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to structurally reaffirm race and class divisions by excluding people of color from white neighborhoods. The racist tradition of land use planning and controls continued through much of the 20th century, with the practices of redlining and racialized covenants to restrict the places where blacks and other minorities could live. Despite the promise of the Fair Housing Act and additional civil rights victories to dismantle this system, the racially-tinged

the development will be “out of character” for the area. The public process is largely biased towards those with the most resources, which ultimately becomes a reinforcing system of exclusion. Wealthy homeowners have oversized influence on what gets built and for whom. These high-income households have largely negged on their responsibility for growing their communities, content to oppose all new development under the banner of NIMBY-ISM (Not in

“ Our cities are in a historical moment unseen since the turn of the last century, where dense, walkable, urban-style developments are meeting market demands and demonstrating excellent financial returns. ” legacy continues whenever multifamily housing is opposed in an upscale neighborhood because the “wrong kind of people” will live in the units, that

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My Back Yard)-ism and preserve their station in the hierarchy of housing typologies. Our policies continue to operate under this framework that, while less

ostentatiously biased, still has the outcome of disempowering low-income communities of color, who are disproportionally experiencing the greatest burden brought on by rapid increases in housing prices. Overcoming the de-facto racialized outcomes of traditional land use regulations requires a rethinking of the role of government, the private sector and the public.

with cities at a crossroads, antiquated housing policy stands in the way We find ourselves at a new and unfamiliar moment, creating a rare opportunity to grapple with these challenges and contemplate better, alternative futures. Our cities are in a historical moment unseen since the turn of the last century, where dense, walkable, urban-style developments are meeting market demands and

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section one: provocations

demonstrating excellent financial returns. This creates the rather bizarre bedfellows of radical new urbanists and button-up, private equity firms, both of whom are arguing for strong pedestrian and streetscape designs, decreases in parking minimums, and robust bicycle share networks. There are three critical elements that need to align in order to build these new urban places, or any other real estate project:

country, the market and finance factors are aligned towards a more sustainable, livable urban form, one organized around public transport and walkability. This is a broad departure

“ This mismatch in stated policy goals and observable outcomes demonstrates the extreme danger of defining urban livability solely through the lens of aesthetics, rather than the underlining needs of the city as a quasi-organic, economic entity. ”

market There must be demand from consumers for the type of housing developers are interested in building. Developers (typically) will not build a product no one wants to rent or buy.

Figure 1

from the period of divestment experienced by many cities following rapid suburbanization in the post-war period. Instead of leveraging this overlap to create more housing opportunities in

finance The real estate has to create sufficient returns for the capital that was invested to build it. In other words, the revenue the project is expected to generate must exceed the cost to build the project

POLICY Legal to develop

WHAT GETS BUILT MARKET

entity. The affordability problem in cities is a slow-moving crises of our own making caused by this misalignment. A better approach to development regulation should be centered on measureable outcomes (i.e. affordable units created) rather than qualitative concerns (i.e. “building character”). The discriminatory legacy of aesthetically-informed land use regulations should make supporters of progressive FINANCE zoning uncomfortable, Sufficient returns for and these racist origins capital should be further cause to abandon or radically reform the current regulatory framework all together.

Demand from consumers

policy The housing development must be allowable under zoning and other regulations. This includes the explicit regulations (i.e. FAR, setbacks) and the process involved to gain approvals (i.e. public meetings, lawsuits).

these highly desirable areas, policy and other land use regulations have stymied efforts to build more in the areas where people want to live most.

In many cities throughout the

This mismatch in stated policy goals and observable outcomes

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demonstrates the extreme danger of defining urban livability solely through the lens of aesthetics, rather than the underlining needs of the city as a quasi-organic, economic

channeling capitalist selfinterest in the service of a public good We are at a key inflection point for the long-term growth of our cities. The current trajectory under the existing land use system has created rising housing prices in supply constrained city centers, while pushing rapid growth further out into the periphery. Without

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strong leadership from elected officials, business leaders and community advocates, the nation will continue to lurch along the path of least resistance, fueling the consumption of greenfields along the periphery, POLICY exacerbating transportation delays, and further intensifying housing inequities and racial disparities in city centers. Capital recognizes these shifts in the market, as evolving preferences for urban-style living are driven by the underlying demographics of the rising millennials and downsizing boomers. Investors will embrace whatever form capital is permitted take to satisfy this need, a kind of benevolent greed that seeks to create walkable, sustainable environments, that is unfortunately constrained by the existing system of land use controls and zoning

ecologically sustainable, have housing options for households across race and class lines, and provide options for residents of all lifestages to build meaningful lives

Figure 2

POLICY WHAT GETS BUILT MARKET and communities. The “Vienna Model,” which ensures the development of publically-owned, affordable housing units, guarantees a right to stay in affordable units regardless of income increases

“ The affordability crisis in many cities, unlike other threats to public health and happiness, is one entirely of our own making. This gives our politics the tools and power to turn back the rising tide of housing prices. ” regulations. This presents a unique opportunity for architects, planners, and policy makers to guide the expression of capital on the landscape, to ensure that urban environments are

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over time, and a streamlined development process for the private sector, has been championed by many planners, architects and urbanists as a way to ensure the development

and conservation of affordable apartments . Workforce housing rarely arises spontaneously, and, like coral reefs that have developed organically over centuries, needs to be protected. Other sacred cows in the entitlement process, such as height restrictions, historical preservation standards, and exhaustive public review, should also be open to deep, evidencedbased evaluation, FINANCE and the possibility of rollbacks or elimination entirely. There is much reason for optimism. The affordability crisis in many cities, unlike other threats to public health and happiness, is one entirely of our own making. This gives our politics the tools and power to turn back the rising tide of housing prices. It’s not too late to cast aside the vestigial remainders of a racially discriminatory housing policy. We can envision a more equitable, engaged system that creates beneficial outcomes for a wide array of residents, and not just those with the time, money and political capital to continue to spatially exclude those who do not.

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section one: provocations

Opposite: Ellicott, Andrew. Territory of Columbia. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, 2017

livable and flexible? by Susan Piedmont-Palladino, RA “These plans afford an immediate clue to one of the characteristics of American tradition. Certain elements are laid down rigidly and invariably but only so far as necessary to provide a common and indisputable frame of reference: everything else beyond this base pattern is free to vary indefinitely and continually.” Every city plan is a marriage between geometry and geography. The degree to which each partner listens to the other, respects the other, determines whether it will be an enduring and happy relationship or one long argument. Consider the conversation between the unrelenting diamond that delimits the District of Columbia and the ragged geographic edges of L’Enfant’s Cartesian plan for the city of Washington. The diamond marches mile after mile over rivers and ridges, turning

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ninety degrees at each ten mile mark, with no regard for natural features. Yet inside the original hundred square mile District, L’Enfant tucked his capital city between the Potomac and its Eastern Branch, now known as the Anacostia, at the southern edges, and to the north Rock Creek and the fall line, along which the current Florida Avenue wanders, alone among the state avenues in its eccentric direction. (Insert your own humorous metaphor here.) In other words, geography is a given, geometry an imposition. These are examples of Benevolo’s “certain elements” which are “laid down rigidly and invariably” in the initial act of city design. What makes this marriage work is the that this order gives context for the continual evolution of technologies—of construction, communication, mobility, and

environmental control—which enable what we have come to call “livability.” Technology, then, is how we inhabit a place and make a good life for ourselves among others. It is the “everything else” that varies “indefinitely and continually” in syncopation with the geometry and geography. What do we really mean by that word “livability?” As with “sustainability,” have our technological advancements problematized an unselfconscious and common sense relationship with the world? Well, yes, they have, and the very same technologies that make the contemporary city possible also threaten its viability. Livability is a cultural construct, and it too varies indefinitely and continually, just like our technologies. Taken literally, making a city “livable”

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Livability and the City

Figure X: Tiltle, Reference

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section one: provocations

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section one: provocations

through design and planning sounds like too low a bar, like making food edible or water drinkable. That existenz minimum definition is not what we mean when we distinguish between a new, “livable” neighborhood and its alternative-car-dependent, functionally and socially segregated, and bereft of amenities. Livability directly correlates to our current conception of a city as being a place of personal fulfillment, actualization, and leisure. We demand a lot from our cites today. It is not enough that they house us, get us to our workplaces, feed us, and dispose of our waste. They need to entertain us – constantly – and provide us places to spend our discretionary time and capital. Not only on food, but food in trucks. Not only encounters with others, but ubiquitous wifi. Not only markets, but festive market places. Amidst all the tactical urbanisms and pop-up delights, the stodgy foundation of livability actually rests on the rigid and invariable elements of the plan. L’Enfant’s plan was so saturated with information that it has allowed the city to grow into the diamond systematically: counting up as the streets appear east and west; finishing the alphabet and then alphabetizing words moving north; adding avenues named for new states in the Union. And now we have sufficiently grown

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into our diamond boundary that development pressures are pushing on one of the seemingly invariable elements of the city— the century-plus old federal height limit. It is important to add that modifier—federal—because that is part of the conundrum: can we resent the imposition even as we respect the result? So what does our past let our future do? Fidelity to an eighteenth century plan does not imply aversion to progress, nor, I would argue, does allegiance to an early twentieth century height limit. On the contrary, while we are rarely making cities ex nihilo anymore – at least not in the global north – we are doing continual urban surgery, sometimes elective, sometimes under duress. In the District we are remaking entire chunks of the city fabric at once, most notably along the original southern boundaries of L’Enfant’s plan, the waterfronts. Like the human body, a city gradually replaces every cell, every component, in its body over time. The persistence and replicability of the plan ensures that the city remain itself—with its unique non-skyline – even as everything else is changing. And everything will always change; that is the only certainty. Technological change piles up in layers in the city: the delivery drones over the horizon will fly over twentieth century parking

lots, nineteenth century rowhouse rooftops, and an eighteenth century plan. Technological innovation’s purpose is efficiency; it is always, to paraphrase Carl Mitcham, effort to save effort. Efficiency, while necessary for its functioning, is not the ultimate purpose of a city. Technologies – of construction, communication, mobility, and environmental control—will continue to change and will do so at speeds that will always outpace the design and construction of the city. To remain—or become— truly livable, the city needs to remember that technology, low or high, can only answer questions of “how”, never “what” or “why.”

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Previous: Ellicott, Andrew, and Thackara & Vallance. Plan of the city of Washington in the territory of Columbia: ceded by the states of Virginia and Maryland to the United States of America, and by them established as the seat of their government, and the year MDCCC Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, 2017

Above: 2015 Aerial Image of DC. Data retrieved from DC Data Catalog, http://data.dc.gov/. (Accessed November 24, 2017)

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ethos this section illustrates livable themes shaping the work of firms around Washington, D.C.

24 healthy communities, healthy planent 34 space between things 42 people with places 56 enriching communities 64 every city, every community


section two: ethos

Opposite: SOM’s now-under construction plan for the Yujiapu District in China, a new urban district the size of Manhattan Image courtesy of SOM, 2017

healthy communities, healthy planet by Roger Weber, AICP Has there ever been a more exciting time to be an urban designer? Few fields share urban design’s profound ability to influence the ways so many people live and work, and few eras in history as the present have carried as much weight toward shaping the environments that will house future generations of human advancement. As urban designers working for private consulting firms, this poses an exciting challenge: how can we advance livability for increasingly greater urban populations, and how do we deliver planning that embraces the gravity and challenges of the present moment? Faced with the constant need to think responsibly about the health of both our communities and of the planet, how can we also think ambitiously, imbuing as much joy and love into our projects as we

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hope their inhabitants will one day derive from living in them? Faced with these challenges, we at SOM think often through these lenses about how we advance livability within our profession, from how we best work, to how we think, to how we evolve, to how we invest. SOM, because of its global influence, is a crucial case study of a firm responding to these ideas. Over its 80 year history SOM has been responsible for the creation of over 16,000 projects globally, including nearly 250 in the DC capital region, and accumulated a diversity of projects and services that has forced us to continually evolve in ways that reflect a unifying vision of the planet while also advancing flexibility and malleability in our work. Like many firms, our experiences have continually pitted our designers

up against terrific challenges, and they have forced us to think about these questions – working, thinking, evolving, and investing – as representatives both of ourselves and of our entire profession.

working: the power of civic will While urban design is traditionally thought of like architecture as a responsive, project-based field within the consulting industry, the most profound experiences in which SOM has collaborated in urban design are those in which we have advanced the cause of urban design proactively, as through visionary initiatives which promote collaboration between political and human capital to realize transformational improvements around big ideas. These moments are perhaps urban design’s most powerful because they capitalize upon the resiliency of shared civic

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section two: ethos

Above: SOM’s Great Lakes Vision was packaged into a traveling exhibit to promote cooperative leadership across countries and cities on behalf of the health of the world’s largest collection of fresh water lakes. Image courtesy of SOM, 2017

ambition, and are reflective of a concept that at SOM we refer to as the idea of “civic will” – the belief that others look to designers to lead, and that the positive potential when good forces in our cities get together gives design a power to inspire change. This belief in the power of design to coalesce “civic will” is at the core of how we work, and it means the best way to describe our practice might be that of an activist think-tank

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on behalf of big ideas. As a profession, our power demands that we think about ourselves not merely as consultants as practitioners, but as influencers with a powerful voice for change, wielding unique tools to fundamentally serve humanity.

thinking: a global commitment As the world has urbanized over the years SOM has been in existence – the global population has quadrupled since our

founding – it has become more imperative for design to address the challenges of livability globally. In particular, for design to use its power to inspire civic will responsibly, it must do so through the lens of city builders committed to the challenges of an interconnected world. As urban designers, we must think about how projects fit holistically within a larger picture, and how they can contribute to the vital task of global urban regeneration

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Next Page: The 42-acre neighborhood taking shape around Denver Union Station in downtown Denver is one of the most successful examples of shared public and private investment toward the regeneration of a North city in the last decade. Image courtesy of SOM, 2017

– often an ambitious agenda if the project is small in scale. This thinking has helped our profession become attuned to many critical issues. Thinking through challenges from the biggest scale imaginable – that of sustaining and improving the health of our planet through design – we have become cognizant of the fact that the last century has seen more growth in overall global population, as

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well as more people moving from rural environments into cities and suburbs, than ever existed before \. More importantly, we have become cognizant of the fact that the next generation of development that we are shepherding will see even more change, including the doubling of urban development around the world . These shifts themselves are emblematic of great advances in livability for all humankind: fewer people living

in poverty, more people living in urban environments where tasks can be distributed and knowledge shared, but also great challenges and obligations, not the least of which, climate change, portends tremendous impacts on livability should we not step up in responding to it now. The more mundane challenge of ensuring that the living environments of over four billion new urban residents embodies a suitable human

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section two: ethos

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section two: ethos

habitat is equally daunting, particularly when we must address it one project at a time.

shape physical improvements that are responsive to the challenges of our global present.

While every project has a role to play in responding to these challenges, we have become particularly interested in opportunities that tackle these challenges at scale. We routinely now design entire urban districts and even entire new cities. In China we operate studios continuously to improve the quality of urbanization through more responsible compact development, and in the Middle East we are committed to urban designs that foster social change and more sustainable living in resource-challenged environments. At home we have pioneered thinking through a trans-national lens: Our Great Lakes Masterplan in 2013 offered a shared vision for the entire Great Lakes watershed, an area encompassing multiple countries and 50 cities.

evolving: addressing north america’s needs in the 21st century

To ensure that our geographically diverse responses to these challenges reflect our shared values about global urbanization, three years ago we established nine urban design themes that we believe encapsulate the world’s most vital challenges today: livability, economy, ecology, food, water, waste, resiliency, energy, and mobility. By addressing these themes in all of our projects across the world, we feel confident we can help

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While rapid global growth is the most pressing issue driving our discussions about livability as a firm, SOM recently recommitted to addressing the urbanization challenges in the United States specifically, a commitment that has led us to re-evaluate design’s ability to help forge a sustainable future in existing cities that are growing less rapidly than those abroad. Of our nine themes, we have identified two: livability and mobility, as the most urgent challenges in need of design thinking. Here, most of the challenges we face are driven by comparative and qualitative assessments: where people want to live, whether they can afford to live there, what kinds of jobs they will have access to, and

investments in livable social and mobile physical infrastructure to attract residents, businesses, and capital to exist in one city as opposed to another. These are challenges perhaps most directly addressed through thoughtful decision-making about urban policy and transportation investments, and thus we have chosen to concentrate leadership in these areas in our Washington, DC office. As a result, some of our most notable urban design projects out of our Washington office recently have included the Denver Union Station District Plan and the Asheville Comprehensive Plan, both complex stakeholderdriven initiatives that are realizing change by integrating thinking about livability and mobility in context with innovations across each of the other nine global themes we tackle. Both of these efforts have been successful: while Asheville is just now being completed, our efforts in Denver have catalyzed billions

“ Unlike in the past, however, the way we engage the idea of “civic will” has evolved from that of a top-down “master planner” to that of participatory advocate: today impacting livability demands we exist most often as synthesizers with the important job of translating aspirational ideas into implementable visions. “ what sorts of transportation they will use to get there. In these environments, improvements are being powered by cities’ responses to competition within a free and open marketplace of cities – the need to make the

of dollars in new investment, but, more importantly, helped to create a whole new destination neighborhood, centered around transit inter-modality, in an area of downtown where none previously existed.

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Above: Capital Reflecting Pool. Image courtesy of SOM, 2017

These projects and others we have completed recently in the United States have forced us to evolve our ethos in response to ever-more complicated regulatory processes as well as cities’ increasing desire to attract and retain residents in the face of competition from their urban peers. To do this, we have sought to advance a softer, kinder, and gentler kind of planning with an even greater focus on resident enfranchisement in the planning process. In Asheville we prioritized equity as a driver, and sought to produce a plan that was, more than any other priority, legible and accessible

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to the public, rather than just to policymakers. Although it was a comprehensive plan, we sought to make it less a policy encyclical than a living manifestation of the effervescent energy flowing forth within their community – a plan of ideas and perhaps the most democraticallyinspired “comp plan” in the country \. In both Asheville and Denver, “civic will” has been front and center advancing the ideas inspired by design in the planning process. Unlike in the past, however, the way we engage the idea of “civic will” has evolved from that of a topdown “master planner” to that of participatory advocate: today

impacting livability demands we exist most often as synthesizers with the important job of translating aspirational ideas into implementable visions.

investing: a new commitment to washington Although we have been working in Washington for 50 years, in 2015 SOM reinvested fundamentally in the future livability of the nation’s capital by establishing a formal urban design practice in the office. We did so in advance of one final component of our urban design ethos: a commitment to “regeneration”: While 80 years’ experience has taught us many things as a firm, the constant

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section two: ethos

SOM’s vision for the Capitol Reflecting Pool (1971), previous page, and Capitol Crossing (2014), above, are working in tandem to heal the scars that I-395 has long left in the City’s urban fabric. Image courtesy of SOM, 2017

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lesson we face in established places like Washington is the near biological inevitability with which communities change, eternally coping with new challenges wrought by demographic and cultural shifts. A half-century removed from our first efforts here – such as the Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative and the Hirshhorn Museum in 1974 and the Bicentennial Plan for the National Mall in 1976 – we wanted to join the story of Washington’s next chapter, one that is leveraging data, design, and engagement through leadership across the City’s civic community, to inspire an even better generation of 21st century reinvestment in the city’s livability. Today, regeneration is felt all around Washington. Although the city is equally as large today as it was when our SOM office was founded here, it is nearly double its size from a century ago, and the region is several times larger. Its infrastructure is being reinvented: once a city of waterways and canals, then a federal campus, then a city of unstoppable suburban growth, the Washington region is finding its footing as one of the great integrated cities of the world. We are fortunate to be contributing to this regeneration through exciting local initiatives: Capitol Crossing, for instance, is a project we have shepherded for the better part of a decade, and its impact on DC’s eastern downtown is

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an impending transformation. Among our most exciting current initiatives, we are working on research to envision how that integrated future can work even better here for residents and for the environment, an initiative we have referred to as “Regenerative DC”. While this research is still in progress, we are committed, under the rubric of “regeneration”, to the bold idea that no system in which we live is too entrenched to change, no element of the city too obsolete not to find a newer and more productive use, no challenge to small not to demand big ideas, and no community struggling too much not to improve from the inside out. We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to contribute to that conversation, and are excited that voices of “civic will” in this city like-mindedly believe that Washington can retain its iconicity and authenticity while also continually improving. Onward to a more livable future.

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Opposite: Image courtesy of Gensler

space between things by Carolyn Sponza, AIA In urban design we shape the space between things. Though essential and complementary to architecture, in some ways urban design is the antithesis of architecture. By nature, architecture is focused on the design of a building, or set of buildings, that can be built and occupied. By contrast, urban design is about design of an experience, creating a framework that holds things together and shaping places that are socially equitable. At Gensler, this condition leads to a certain complementary tension. Our practice is multi-disciplinary – interior designers, architects, planners and consultants all under one roof. Each discipline has different approaches to defining a problem and getting at a solution, different historical frames of reference and different design methods. These different

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perspectives create a productive friction that can spark new, creative and untried solutions. It is this tension that helps us constantly redefine what is most important and essential in our practice. As urban designers, we like to think that our role in the crossdisciplinary dialogue is that of the synthesizer. When Gensler hosted our 2017 Urban Design Open House, we organized our discussion around the regions in which our team has recently practiced - the US, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Gensler’s Planning and Urban Design Centers of Excellence each tend to excel in different varieties of master plans – from neighborhood redevelopment to international new city plans to university campuses. This is motivated by market demands in various locations, but also by the

personal interest and experience of our global team members. Even though every Center of Excellence isn’t necessarily aligned on the types of projects we pursue (the ‘what’), we are aligned on the process (the ‘how’). When it comes to the ‘how’, there are several recurring themes which cut across all regions’ work, illustrating the core ethos that our planners are putting into practice every day. These three themes are: designing for the human experience, respecting context, and integrating sustainable practice.

designing for human experience We create spaces for people. And to plan for people, you need to understand behaviors – how someone walks down a sidewalk or where they like to

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Image courtesy of Gensler

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Next Page: Image courtesy of Gensler

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meet in a park with friends. This observation helps us understand the importance of perception in urban planning, including scale relationships and how to satisfy all five senses. In 2015, we became observers of our own human experience and culture, after we designed and built DC’s first semi-permanent parklet in front of our K Street office. Two emerging designers developed the project, called ParKIT, through an internal competition process. The concept developed a prototypical parklet system that could be deployed throughout the city, using a combination of fixed pieces and flexible modules that users would be able to reconfigure themselves. The project gave us an excellent three-month perspective on how people really use space downtown. DDOT conducted a space use survey that illustrated how our carefully design space could flex, accommodating the traditional needs (such as providing a spot for enjoying a coffee) to unanticipated needs (the parklet was a top location for women to change their shoes when leaving the office) to exceptional needs (such as a training location for push-ups). While the impact of one parklet is fleeting, across the firm, many offices – from San Francisco to Philadelphia – have constructed their own temporary installations, parklets and tiny interventions,

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evidencing the fact that a network of small designs can improve the human experience.

respecting context The idea of designing with context has many dimensions. Although ‘context’ is primarily thought of as a respect for the site and its environment, our international practice has made us attune to the fact that cultural context is extremely important. Depending upon where you are in the world, public space can be used for different purposes, gender roles and expectations in these places may vary and a myriad of other social conditions must be met. As many cities are rapidly urbanizing, context becomes even more complex, as urban planners must question what spatial, social, and cultural components are most relevant to reinvest in entirely new places. This is the question of ‘authenticity.’ One project that illustrates the many dimensions of context is master plan for a large, environmentally sensitive greenfield site outside of Cartagena, Colombia. At almost 1100 hectares, the overall size of the site provided many physical contexts – there were pockets of lakes, four different ecological zones, and varying transportation conditions. The challenge for this project was to meld the natural characteristics of the site with the cultural fabric of both the historic

downtown and the more modern new city. What resulted was a master plan that provided an overall active and green network that was unique to the location. This network provided a spine for a series of smaller town centers that were structured around the form of downtown’s historic squares and provided places for cultural programming and appreciation of the arts.

integrating sustainable practice There are many dimensions to sustainable urban design, none of which present a one-size-fits all solution. That being said, there are some sustainable design approaches that we consider for all projects. One of these is the idea of limiting dependence on personal automobiles. The easiest way to do this is to plan for a variety of mobility options – interesting and engaging pedestrian paths, safe and dedicated cycle lanes and efficient rapid transit options. Layering on mixedused site planning reduces the number of trips that are vehicledependent, reducing overall trip counts. Another sustainable approach is integrating nature into daily life and planning for wellness. Something as simple as providing green space within a five-minute walk of every office and residence can improve individuals’ quality of life. As part of The Next Ten Sandy Springs Comprehensive and

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Image courtesy of Gensler

Small Area Plan team, we were able to deploy both of these concepts as we re-envisioned a busy commercial office and hotel corridor in the Perimeter Center Improvement Districts area. Peachtree Dunwoody Road was remade as a ‘Smart Street,’ repurposing an existing utility right-of-way as an enhanced green spine, with better pedestrian options, a bike path, and networked green gathering spaces structured over bioswales.

conclusion Today, our projects are more diverse, more geographically

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Opposite: Image courtesy of Gensler/ Rhodeside & Hawell

dispersed, and more intellectually challenging than ever before. In the interest of designing around and supporting human experience, we have become keen observers of everyday life, in locations near and far. To appreciate context, we consider the physical, social and cultural conditions that shape our realities. To help realize sustainability, we evaluate how influencing behaviors can be a larger determinant of environmental outcomes than material or systems selection.

sustainability unite everything we do, ultimately helping delivering the most responsive projects to the communities that we serve. Just as there is an inherent tension between architecture and urban planning, there is a duality in seeing these themes exert themselves in practice . Successful integration of these concepts into reality must be rooted in research, and animated by experience and intuition. This combination of proof and intuition is dependent upon the talent and passion of our design teams.

In practice, these three lenses of human experience, context, and

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Opposite: The Wharf, Washington, DC; Downtown Newport News Vision Plan, Virginia Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

people with places by Scott Kilbourn, AIA When thinking about the future of cities and the challenges that come with their design: their need to provide people with places to work, live, and play in

of projects, you will see how the challenges facing us were made into opportunities for unique solutions. Historic places, physical challenges

“ The affordability crisis in many cities, unlike other threats to public health and happiness, is one entirely of our own making. This gives our politics the tools and power to turn back the rising tide of housing prices. “ an engaging 21st century sort of way, we often think of new buildings and new spaces, but what we might sometimes forget about are the places already existing in our cities that might be able to serve these needs if we can creatively reimagine their use. This collection of current Perkins Eastman work will share our approach to the common theme of revitalization – bringing new and future life to urban sites that have been neglected and under-utilized. In this collection

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associated with site constraints, an abandoned downtown…each of these challenges forced us to create unique solutions, and in the process, make the cities in which each project exists that much better for the effort. Here, we begin with large waterfront projects in Washington, DC, Mumbai and Qingdao that have found new life after industrialization had left the waterfront. We then look at a nearby downtown along the water where industry and mixed-use urban fabric work

together. Next we take a look at infrastructure and how it can be transformed, strengthened, and given new life by looking at a transportation hub evolving from an underused historic district of San Antonio. And finally we explore the transformation of an abandoned water treatment facility in Washington, DC. Rusting waterfront precincts, neglected parks and squares, vacant industrial zones and dilapidated tourist venues – these conditions serve as the genesis for these reinvented urban destinations, enduring living communities, and places to celebrate human experience.

the seam: where the city meets the water As cities around the world grow, land that was once utilized for industry, shipping and storage is often no longer required for

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The Wharf, Washington, DC. Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

its original uses. Waterfronts in particular are often candidates for re-purposing – in both developed as well as emerging economies – producing new commercial and civic precincts. Through a complete reimagining of the way in which people use the edge of the city as it meets the water, we have been able to transform entire districts of large cities from desolate abandonment into vibrant, mixed-use, dense, busy places. The edge of the

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city, where it touches the water, is often the birthplace of a given city, the point in space where a need was met by the city which was built. Shifting economies and an ever changing world often leaves these places forgotten, abandoned, derelict. Using these places in new and exciting ways brings a pulse back to a city like few other projects can. Our waterfront work in the United States, China and India

show many similarities. When redeveloping the Wharf in Washington DC’s southwest quadrant, city officials came together with private developers and architects to define a vision for 25 acres of under-utilized land along with 50 acres of water. Recently opened to the public, the first phase of the Wharf contributes significant improvements to Washington DC’s relationship with the water’s edge. The Wharf offers

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a mixed-use environment on the water and stands in stark contrast to the water’s edge to the immediate west where a federal presence dominates. The Wharf brings the experience of water to the city’s neighborhoods and defines how the waterfront can continue to engage neighborhoods for years to come. Building on the lessons learned from the Wharf, our waterfront

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designs for Qingdao, China and Mumbai, India strive for similar success. In each locale, industrial and port related activities that had become defunct have been relocated or otherwise phased out to make room for publicly accessible waterfronts and private development. Both examples include the integration of major transportation infrastructure (land and water side), the creation of significant new open space

for cities starved of green, and a long range plan to unite neighborhoods with the water’s edge. In Qingdao we redesigned over 250 acres of industrial and port related land to create a new mixed-use development serviced by new city streets and a monorail system. In Mumbai we redesigned 1,200 acres of land that is controlled by the Mumbai Port Trust to provide open space,

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Qindao Harborfront Masterplan, China ,Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

Mumbai Port Trust Masterplan, India Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

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Newport News Waterfront Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

water based transportation, and high density mixed-use development – all integrated with new city transportation infrastructure including metro lines and trans-harbor bridges. Our waterfront work in the US, China and India reflects similar overlaps in other global project types elsewhere – lessons we learn about successful design find relevance, when adapted to local conditions, in a number

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of different settings around the world. Each solution has its own uniqueness, but all are rooted in our belief that design must further the human enterprise. When industry has completely left the waterfront and the public is allowed to fully embrace the water, projects such as The Wharf, Quingdao, and Mumbai Port Trust illuminate the ability of vibrant mixed-use developments to serve as reclaimed public

places that directly engage with the water’s edge. In other cases, where the water still serves industry, such as in Newport News, VA we can still imagine a vibrant city that is allowed to both work and play at the water’s edge.

grit, memory and industrial might An issue facing American cities is how to attract and support the next generation

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Newport News Waterfront Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

that are increasingly looking to return to the city. Many young professionals are leaving the suburbs behind, looking instead to live in urban environments with easy access to public transportation, neighborhoods that are walkable, and have an array of amenities within reach. Many American cities were once vibrant walkable communities, but the anti-urban influence of the automobile have left their

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downtowns fragmented, empty, and undesirable. These cities are now questioning how they can attract the next generation of city dweller and how they can leverage their existing urban infrastructure. Virginia’s Downtown Newport News has a similar fate of falling largely uninhabited with the rise of the automobile, yet an important industrial infrastructure has remained in the downtown: the Newport News shipbuilding

facility. Serving the United States Navy, shipbuilding has remained an important part of the local economy and integral to the identity of the city. Our Vision Plan for Downtown Newport News looks towards an optimistic future by returning to some of the lessons learned from the past; by reshaping the downtown as a vibrant, livable urban community – one with walkable streets, a robust

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Downtown Newport News Masterplan Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

Newport News 28th Street Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

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multi-modal transportation system, a mix of retail and residential buildings, and strong connections to the rest of the city and region – it can embrace its history, building upon its unique character, and celebrate the ongoing industrial might of the city. A major factor in the decline of Downtown Newport News is its isolation and inaccessibility, caused by the interstate, railroads, and port, all which sever the downtown from its context—a fate many downtowns have faced. Our Vision Plan reconnects downtown to the neighborhoods to the east via a reimagined 28th Street Bridge and to Norfolk and Portsmouth via a new Public Pier. The 28th Street Bridge draws pedestrian, bicycle, and automobile access into the heart of downtown, acting as a multimodal link that is both a community destination and a reenergized gateway to downtown. The plan takes advantage of the existing, walkable city blocks to transform the concrete sea of parking lots into vibrant neighborhoods; gaps of the city fabric are infilled with rich, textured urbanism. Within this mid-rise fabric, the idea of village-scaled neighborhoods are encouraged by locating modest parks throughout the city, allowing each area of downtown

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to create its own identity. By enhancing connections, increasing transportation options, and creating meaningful places for people, downtown Newport News can become a viable place for people to live. With this Vision Plan in place as a goal, Downtown Newport News can grow into the vibrant, active, and sustainable community that can support and nourish people as they work, play, and live.

the opportunity of the past Well-planned and well-designed infrastructure is essential to the health of a city. It is the connective tissue that allows daily life to happen with ease. One way to reimagine places of neglect is to leverage historic infrastructure in ways that both respect the character of its history and breathe new life into it. Two examples of leveraging infrastructure is in San Antonio’s Centro Plaza where a new civic square brings new life to a forgotten historic district and Washington DC’s McMillan, where historic water filtration infrastructure is incorporated into a mixed use development that weaves the past and present together in a thoughtful way. Centro Plaza, the new VIA bus transit facility on San Antonio’s near west side, leverages an investment in transit infrastructure to provide a valuable public amenity – a new civic square - that

encourages the transformation and development of a largely underutilized historic district. The plaza and associated structures are designed to accommodate the full range of existing and potential future transportation services, including local bus and bus rapid transit, while providing San Antonio with a place to meet and celebrate. It includes a conditioned public waiting area and customer service office, as well as a community meeting room, public restrooms, retail space, restored historic building office space, and a tall, iconic light tower that operates at the scale of the city. With a full array of audiovisual support, special lighting, bespoke art and cultural elements, it is a place for gatherings – large and small. Centro Plaza provides a new public asset that encourages the development of a more walkable and sustainable city. Like much of our building design work, our design for the sustainability considerations of Centro Plaza takes a careful look at its Texas context. For example, all rainwater is captured on site and is then either absorbed into the ground through permeable pavers to irrigate a new stand of 58 indigenous Cedar Elms, or channeled to a 20,000 gallon cistern to provide irrigation during the driest seasons. On the roof of the large scale curved canopy

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Centro Plaza Transit Hub, San Antonio, Texas; McMillan, Washington, DC Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

Centro Plaza Transit Hub Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

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Centro Plaza Masterplan Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

McMillan Entry Court Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

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272 photovoltaic modules are positioned to take full advantage of the sun’s energy.

McMillan Development Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

Our goal for Centro Plaza was to create a place that is uniquely tailored to its site in San Antonio. Founded on a need to plan for growth in a sustainable way, and with input from all stakeholders, Cento Plaza will become an increasingly integral part of the city for a full range of anticipated uses from supporting daily transportation needs to hosting special events and festivals. In the same vein of creating a place unique to its site is the masterplan of McMillan, located in Washington DC, that proposes a first step into transitioning a currently abandoned historic water filtration site, into a vibrant, walkable community. The McMillan Reservoir and Sand Filtration Site played an important role in Washington’s history as it was one of the city’s first steps toward becoming a modern metropolis. Fresh water delivered from outside the city was filtered via the “slow sand” method, stored in the adjacent McMillan Reservoir, and eventually delivered to the city’s growing population. Its key location within the extended boundaries of the city, as envisioned by the McMillan Commission’s Plan of 1901, and its concomitant demonstration of the influence of the City Beautiful Movement on

Proposed McMillan Masterplan Image courtesy of Perkins Eastman, 2017

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civic works, is implicitly tied to its vital role in the technological advancement of public health in the District of Columbia. However, the site’s immediate surroundings have grown to include diverse neighborhoods, institutions, landscapes, and infrastructure. This duality— between the site’s historic use and its evolving urban context— informs our design approach. The opportunity to create a truly unique place, not by scraping the site clean, but through the exploration of history by highlighting the historic resources not as precious objects to be merely admired but as integrated elements in the urban fabric, to be touched, used, changed over time, was one we sought to take. Above ground sand bins become park follies, snack bars, coffee shops, and art installations. Below grade filtration beds become elements in a parkscape, meditative spaces, perhaps even a day spa. The architecture of the community center, the only public building in the development, connects to the larger history of public architecture in Washington. It is a gleaming white box, like so many in the capital, with an abstract colonnade that gives a civic presence. But it, too, connects very directly to the industrial history of the immediate context. To enter the community center

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one passes through an historic portal door, a remnant of the past reimagined not as an entrance to a subterranean filter bed, but into a community center, which includes a pool at the level of the historic filter beds, recalling, in a direct and physical way, the past.

channeling janus: understanding the continuum of civic history and urban change What ties all of these projects together must be explained both by looking back and looking forward, much like the Roman god Janus. What is our place in time? How do we connect to the past, and to what is yet to come? One way to understand the approach each of these projects takes is through understanding what, philosophically, the approaches reject. Another way is to understand how each project, in its own way, embraces the past and respects it by the process of inclusion.

cleanliness. This, philosophically, is the opposite of our proposals and projects. This brings us back to Janus, and how we have chosen to both look back and to look forward. By including the grittiness of a true waterfront, or highlighting the industrial might of a city that builds battleships, turning sand storage bins into places for art and small businesses, or using the practical need for transit in an historic downtown, we have chosen, deliberately, to use the physical elements of the histories of cities as places from which to look into the future.

We have discussed themes of waterfront, industry, infrastructure, and their urban history. They each can be viewed through the lens of pragmatism - none, seemingly, are precious. These are not capitol buildings, or galleries, or religious buildings. These are the buildings and places Le Corbusier eliminated in his Plan Voisin. These are the pieces of history so often tossed aside to make room for the future, for automobiles, for towers in the park, for order and

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enriching communities by Cody McNeal, AIA When we say we enrich communities, we mean it. EDENS is a nationally leading retail real estate developer who owns and operates 120+ shopping destinations around the country totaling 15.4 million square feet concentrated in seven major markets from Boston to Miami, across Texas, and with human capital in Denver and San Francisco. But for over 50 years our work has been bigger than real estate or the cities we inhabit: we are in the business of humanity itself. We create the space for communities to come together in ways that make us think, feel,

that animate them. We are storytellers at the human scale, defined by the details and textures of the places we create and the urban fabric that weaves them together. The stories we tell are grounded in three fundamental beliefs: community matters, inclusive prosperity, and the creative process. Communities are at the core of our life’s experiences, folding together in dynamic ways within a thriving city. At the intersection of these communities exists a powerful opportunity for people to share in the benefits of a city’s richness through culture, canvas, and

“ We create the space for communities to come together in ways that make us think, feel, and engage with one another ” and engage with one another. We are shameless promoters of public space and the people

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conversation. This is inclusive prosperity. It is iterative in its application and both the reward

of our work and the pride of our people. Infused throughout all of this is our dedication to the creative process, a dedication that pushes our people to pursue what’s new and next. This pursuit is taking place all across cities and their suburban satellites founded on trade but now thriving on creativity and its authentic byproducts.

community matters Community matters because when we feel a part of something bigger than ourselves we take care of each other and prosper socially, economically, and culturally. Cities are home to a dizzying array of overlapping communities each centered around a set of commonalities or shared beliefs. Understanding what makes each community unique, while establishing connections between these overlapping layers is what allows

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Rudy’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, the cultural cornerstone of Closter. Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

Closter Plaza’s Whole Foods Market hosts a Fall Farmers Market. Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

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Yoga in Strawberry Park, the communal gathering space at the heart of the Mosaic District in Fairfax, VA. Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

each EDENS project to be both a unique expression of our values and a reflection of the local community. In northern New Jersey lies a prime example of just how important communities are to what we do. Rudy’s Ristorante & Pizzeria has for generations been the cornerstone of Closter, a small but historic borough across the Hudson River from New York City and often overlooked by

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redevelopment. EDENS acquired the shopping center Rudy’s called home after its bankruptcy and decades of neglect in 2012. It was clear to us that while the opening of a new Whole Foods Market as grocery anchor filled a much-needed void in the local community, the cultural and charismatic anchor of the renovated Closter Plaza needed to be Rudy’s. To do this we prominently located their new home at the focal point of a new

central public space surrounded by outdoor seating, interactive signage and native landscaping. The redevelopment’s architecture is now clean-lined and contemporary, but the feel is familiar and rooted in the legacy of a community staple.

inclusive prosperity A relentless commitment to community enrichment elevates our purpose as a retail real estate company to create shared value.

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Vender counters, garage doors, & flexible seating offer an enticing setting for people to come together. Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

This idea of inclusive prosperity permeates our portfolio through the culture of our people and

possibility to deepen our understanding and empathy in each other. An empathetic city

“ Cities have a unique ability to facilitate the convergence of diverse people, public space, and shared experience � places, the canvases we use to craft experiences, and the conversations we engage in. Cities have a unique ability to facilitate the convergence of diverse people, public space, and shared experience. In so doing cities possess the

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is a more livable and mutually prosperous city. Union Market in Washington, DC is the apex of how EDENS weaves these narratives together to create a holistic setting where people, place, and ideas come

together to thrive. Union Market’s design and place in the greater Ward 5 community embodies the idea of inclusive prosperity. The Market repurposed an ageing warehouse and garage into a sensory wonderland designed using deaf space principles in partnership with neighboring Gallaudet University, a national leader for the hearing impaired. Every line of sight is visually clear

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Opposite: Community gardening is one of many neighborhood engagement programs hosted at Union Market. Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

to aid in direction, navigation, and most importantly interaction for the hearing impaired. With its curated offerings of quality, locally-sourced food, textiles and groceries, Union Market has also enabled community members to shop where they live. Our curation of entrepreneurial vendors is yet another source of prosperity in the community, so while diners and shoppers can enjoy innovative brands like Rappahannock Oyster Bar and Salt & Sundry, fellow retail partners can also learn from and engage with local entrepreneurs like Robb and Violeta from Dolcezza. Taken together, Union Market and its namesake neighborhood have sparked a pride of place for innovators, foodies, and neighbors alike.

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the creative process At their best cities are engines of creativity fueled by people hungry to innovate, reimagine, or solve for our most challenging problems. This ambition mixed with a city’s intellectual resources and tangible infrastructure breeds innovation and urban energy. Employment, economic gains, neighborhood amenities, and

hardwired to notice what is different and appreciate what is authentic. Our company creates value through that differentiation and adherence to authenticity. In both the culture of our people and character of our communities we foster a unique sense of urban-minded and impactful style that craves inspiration from unexpected

“ We understand that humans are hardwired to notice what is different and appreciate what is authentic ” streetscape vibrancy inevitably follow. At EDENS we believe in this same creative process as a vehicle for thought and execution. We lead with our people, a collective team of passionate individuals who care about the mark we leave behind and maintain that design is more than aesthetic. We understand that humans are

places. We collaborate with leading designers across all mediums to promote engagement through compelling visuals, language, and creative intellect. We aren’t just developers; we’re communitybuilders. And while great care is taken to the architectural design and environmental stewardship of our physical spaces, our creative

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Union Market Sunday Supper Gathering Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

Union Market Dolcezza Counter Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

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Union Market Drive-In Image courtesy of EDENS, 2017

process is proven when we create the motive for people to engage in real life. Yoga in the park, art exhibitions in a historic warehouse, kids running through a splash fountain, author events hosted by a local bookstore, a farmer’s market on the square, thought-leading panelists dissecting topical issues in the heart of our nation’s capital, or a guitar player on a Friday night. These real moments happen in tangible places outside of the digital realm and represents the tailoring of our time. We design these places and curate their programming to cultivate

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meaningful human engagement, and in the process seek to inspire communities to call our places their own.

conclusion Many communities have many choices these days when it comes to where to spend their time. It’s no secret that our country is over-retailed or that the rising tide of technology is changing how we interact with one other. But all the screen time or swipes in Silicon Valley cannot replace the service offerings of inperson, the beauty of impromptu interactions, or the reward of human connection. And as

the retail landscape continues to evolve with single-click convenience and consolidating commodities EDENS is uniquely positioned to thrive in urbanminded environments by providing activated places for people to engage. In the words of Maya Angelou, people will forget what you said and what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel. This is how EDENS does work, this is how we build, this is how we enrich communities.

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every city, every community by Gary Odum From the time I entered the U.S. Air Force, I knew my mission in life was about serving a purpose greater than myself. Like my father before me, I decided the time was right to enlist. After completing two years of college, I wanted to pursue a better life than the one I was offered at that time. But like so many others who joined, we all came to serve from different religious, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds to forfeit our civil liberties and to defend this great nation, in the name of democracy and freedom. After witnessing the rigors of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was easy to see how America gave up its sons and daughters to advance the agenda of our Commander-In-Chief. However, not all returned from war and the military to beautiful communities thriving with resources but

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rather, many returned to rural and poor communities, often forgotten. I found this to be quite troubling because many communities sacrificed loved ones for war, and yet there were a finite amount of resources available for these communities. The need for new infrastructure in the form of streets, houses, playgrounds, schools and more, paid for by tax payers, is quite evident. Neighborhoods are left destitute with little resources to survive and empower the people to become positive contributors to society. Some war veterans who survived became homeless, unable to live with their families, and suffering from PostTraumatic Stress Disorder, often associated with seeing the horrors of war. Upon the completion of my tour of military service, my goal was to serve in a different

capacity. While stationed in Europe, I had the opportunity to travel to different countries, often admiring the architecture and beautiful landscape of cities that existed long before the founding of America. The sentiment of being very fortunate, through my service, resonated with me. I enjoyed seeing people walking slowly and enjoying the atmosphere as if time did not exist; they were fully present and living in the moment was everything. To the poor and communities that were disenfranchised, I wanted to restore hope and inspire the residents through beautiful architecturally inspiring developments, and restore the social services to heal communities in need. This ethos was the birth of BG LionStar! The question we must answer,

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“If all communities sacrifice loved ones to serve our country, then why should any community lack human dignity, if we are all created equal, as stated in our Constitution?”

in the success and willing to share ideas on how we build and improve upon the one key piece that matters—sustainability. My military career has taught me to plan to succeed through bringing

“ By starting first with empathy and compassion, we can start the first building block of restoring hope. ”

our approach Community must come first; it is the foundation for human interaction and wellbeing. Our approach focuses on understanding what the community needs and wants in order to ascertain how BG LionStar can help. In order to help, we must understand the pain, frustrations, and anger of communities who have been waiting so long for resources, while seeing other nearby communities prosper. We also want to hear and understand stories that generate a sense of pride of yesteryear, when jobs and resources were abundant. By starting first with empathy and compassion, we can start the first building block of restoring hope. As we start to have conversations and learn about the history and struggle for social justice and services, I am reminded that great opportunities are defined by the ability to plan and define the “why” to restore hope. The key is, I know I can’t do it alone. So, in our planning, we’ll collaborate with stakeholders who are vested

Urban Design Committee

in the right expertise after defining the most critical needs of the mission. Defining the plan means looking at every angle and ensuring we have the right people to move forward.

moving by faith The vision of BG LionStar begins with a unified approach of people first and understanding the fundamentals of a healthy

service, of our men and women who deserve to come home to healthy communities with access to the resources for them and their families. BG LionStar can work to foster change through a united effort, with stakeholders at all levels, to improve and inspire communities in our world. The mission of united we stand, as Americans, must be echoed in all communities. The divisive policies, lack of funding, eroding of industries, and cutting of social impact services has taken its toll on our communities. We must come together, and start working toward helping every American, particularly those disenfranchised with opportunities to restore

“ We, as Americans, have a fiduciary responsibility to empower our citizens toward their pursuit of happiness. ” community. We know real estate development can be an economic catalyst to move a community forward and the architecture can tell the story of times past while embracing optimism for the future. We, as Americans, have a fiduciary responsibility to empower our citizens toward their pursuit of happiness. We can use real estate development as a tool to address these socio-economic issues to create change and foster communities with the ability to thrive as citizens and live with dignity. There is heartfelt compassion of seeing the sacrifices made through duty and

hope and faith toward a brighter future. BG LionStar is committed to change and fostering the ethos of all men are created equal and have the right to the pursuit of happiness.

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ideas this section is a collection of competition entries animating the next generation of retail possibilities

68 urban locker 76 purchase dc 84 cornerstone


section 3: ideas

All image courtesy of Nazanin Mehrin, 2017

urban locker

Current E - Commerce

Amaz

by Nazanin Mehrin Trade and the evolution of urban form of cities have been historically intertwined since the formation of bazaars millennia ago. Though trade and commerce have manifested themselves in different typologies since the beginning of cities, one commonality throughout this long journey is the social interactivity that commercial space has provided to urban life. Recently, however, online shopping has slowly taken the reign as the dominant form of shopping, as people are simply buying more goods online than they used to. With the convenience of getting things delivered to our doorsteps or to lockers near where we live, online shopping has already made shopping easier, faster, and much more convenient.

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On the other hand, it is likely to diminish social, humane interactivity and vibrancy generated by the shopping in more traditional brick and mortal shops or busy commercial streets that are the quintessential components of the urban life as we know it. We do accept the notion that online shopping is likely to stay as predominant shopping mode in the years to come, however we argue that the last mile delivery involved in the current system can be further improved. In Amazon’s current logistics system, local fulfillment centers are designated places where sorting and distribution happens.

Warehouses for storing and sorting centre

Freight

From warehouse to mailbox

- Trucks are cuasing the big portion of 45% rise in traffic by 2042 -They create noise and air pollution in neighbourhoods Icons on this page created by Vectorpocket - Freepik.com

AIA | DC


Livability and the City

Process

1h 22 min 7 h 15 min

zon Fulfilment centres

BWI1

BDL1

Connecticut BWI2

1h 30 min

Maryland

Mailbox

Packages go directly to mailbox - Missing packages if you are not home - Long queue at post office to return the package

Amazon Lockers 4h RIC2

11h 27 min Lockers are easy to use and save a lot of time

Urban Design Committee

Virginia

RIC1

Urban Locker 1

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section 3: ideas

Urban Locker Urban Locker Urban Locker 1. Green Delivery

Improving the experience of online shopping and urban life Improving the experience online shopping and Improving the experience of onlineof shopping and urban lifeurban life

Delivery 1. Green Delivery 1. Green

Mail box delivery Mail box delivery Mail box delivery

11 Main warehouse Main warehouse Main warehouse

Local fulfilment centres Green delivery to lockers, 5 center for 40 neighborhood bicycle, cart. E vehicle Local fulfilment centres Green delivery Green delivery to lockers, Local fulfilment centres to lockers, 5 center for 40 neighborhood cart. E vehicle 5 center for 40 neighborhood bicycle, cart.bicycle, E vehicle

Local fulfilment centres are places that sorting and distribution happens. By placing these centres in walking distance of metro stations, current metro lines can be used for transporting good from main warehouse . Local fulfilment centres arethat places thatand sorting and distribution Bythese placing theseincentres in walking Local fulfilment centres are places sorting distribution happens.happens. By placing centres walking metro stations, current metro can for be transporting used for transporting good from main warehouse . distance distance of metro of stations, current metro lines canlines be used good from main warehouse .

2. Urban Lockers Lockers 2. Urban Lockers 2. Urban

Mazza Gallerie 4500 Wisconsin Avenue Shopping Centre Mazza Gallerie

Spring Valley shopping center Mazza Gallerie

Heights shopping center

DC USA 4500 Wisconsin 4500 Wisconsin Avenue Shopping Centre Avenue Shopping Centre Spring Valley shopping center Rhode Islandshopping Avenue shopping Spring Valley shopping center Dupont Circle Heights center center Heights shopping center U and 14th Street Cady’s Alley Georgetown Washington harbour DC USA Companies The Rappaport DC USA City Vista Hechinger Mall shopping center Rhode Island Avenue Dupont RhodeCircle Island Avenue shopping center Dupont Circle Georgetown Gallery Place 2000 Pennsylvania 14th Street and 14th Street AvenueU and Cady’s Alley Georgetown Cady’sUAlley City Centre DC Bencho shopping Washington harbour Washington harbour The Rappaport Companies The Rappaport Companies L’Enfant Plaza City Vista City Vista Hechinger Mall Hechinger Mall Pennsylvania Avenue Gallery Place Gallery Place 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue 2000 City Centre DC City Centre DC Bencho shopping Bencho shopping Fashion centre L’Enfant Plaza

Pentagon L’Enfant Plaza City

Crystal city shops Fashion centre

Current amazon locker system Current amazon locker system Current amazon locker system

City Current amazonPentagon locker Crystal city shops locations Current amazon locker Current amazon locker locations locations

Fashion centre Pentagon City

Shopping centres,/ commercial streets Shopping centres,/ commercial Shopping centres,/ commercial streets streets

Crystal city shops

We aim to make the new lockers as much more visited, flexible, temporal and social components of the daily life in Washington, D.C. By placing locker inside shopping centres and commercial street we encourage We aim the to make the newaslockers much moreflexible, visited,temporal flexible, temporal and social components of the daily We aim to make new lockers much as more visited, and social components of the daily people to visit these places and make these places more livable. Urban lockers also can allocated inside life in Washington, D.C. By placing locker inside shopping centres and commercial street we encourage life in Washington, D.C. By placing locker inside shopping centres and commercial street we encourage existing brick and mortatr stores. people to visit these places and make these places more livable. Urban lockers also can allocated people to visit these places and make these places more livable. Urban lockers also can allocated inside inside existing andstores. mortatr stores. existing brick andbrick mortatr

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13

14

13

Geo


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Green delivery logistics Washington D.C.

16 17

10

19 12

18 15

20 2

1

4 orgetown 5

6

3

24

22

21

7

29

23 8

30

25 26

9

32

27

31 33

34 37

28 36

35

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These centers are far from central areas of citie and large amount of trucks are required to deliver goods from the main regional warehouse to these centers. Instead, we propose to locate the new smaller footprint fulfillment centers in more central locations near major transit nodes, such as metro stations. Furthermore, we propose to utilize Washington, DC’s existing transit network to transport goods from main warehouses

to these new fulfillment centers, causing less congestion and carbon emissions. Second part of our proposal is to change the ways in which the Amazon lockers are perceived and used by the public, as the last mile delivery nodes in the online shopping experience. At its current form, these lockers are far from providing any level of social interactivity and not as a significant component of urban environment in Washington, DC.

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train station with 800 meter pedestrian access buffer Metro lines Main warehouse Local fulfilment center

Urban Locker 2

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section 3: ideas

Urban Locker Typologies Storage

Seats

Street stands

Existing store

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Amazon locker

Counter

Bicycle parking

Parklet

AIA | DC


Livability and the City

Electrical vehicle charging station

Firstly, we introduce a new location logic for the new lockers,:locate them in walking distances from metro stations, where they can benefit from larger foot traffic and better accessibility from the new fulfillment centers via new freight lines using the existing metro lines. In this way, they can gain much more urban character by being at the center of where more activities are concentrated. Secondly, different typologies we introduce here for these new lockers are meant to enhance the integration of these with everyday life experience.

Combining the lockers with other uses (such as using them in parklets, or as part of small popup cafes, or next to EV charging stations), we aim to make the new lockers act as much more visited, flexible, temporal and social components of the daily life in Washington, DC. People not only go to these lockers to pick up their package, but they also get involved in another activity at the same time, making more lively places.

Urban furniture

Urban Locker 3

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section 3: ideas

Urban Locker Locations Georgetown is a charming area with Federal-style architecture, cobblestone streets and fashion and design shops. We used Georgetown as a pilot area for Urban Locker proposal to show the possibilities of implementing this idea. This commercial street has a variety of opportunities for integration of online shopping and urban life.

Placing locker inside existing stores

Integrating urban locker and furniture

ue

Using parking areas for placing lockers and parklets

n ve nA

si

n sco Wi

Georgetown Neighbourhood Washington D.C Placing locker beside bicycle parkings

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we introduce a new location logic for the n them in walking distances from metro statio benefit from a larger foot traffic and bette the new fulfillment centers via new freig existing metro lines. In this way, they can urban character by being at the center of wh are concentrated.

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Livability and the City

Georgetown

new lockers, locate ons, where they can er accessibility from ght lines using the n gain a much more here more activities

Proposed urban locker locations Train station with 800 meter Pedestrian access buffer

Urban Locker 4

Urban Design Committee

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section 3: ideas

All image courtesy of Tameka Sims, 2017

purchase washington D.C. by Tameka Sims This project proposes the future of the retail industry through the scope of a fictional application which tracks consumer’s shopping habits and changes in the industry as a whole across a single city. While organizing a consumer’s shopping experience is an intended outcome the end goal of the application is to make users aware of the effects a strong or weak retail industry can have on a community. This app introduces three concepts all of which have been implemented or in the process of being implemented in one form or another. What makes this application unique is its use of known planning methodologies tailored to the needs of the consumer to keep them shopping locally. The complete street is well known throughout the design community, but not as well know by the everyday

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person. By explaining this concept to the general public, they become aware that these redeveloped spaces are created for their right to transverse through the city by any means necessary. Small groceries, salons, boutique clothiers, and more call major thoroughfares home, these places are often clustered together to support surrounding communities for their everyday needs. As consumers follow brand name retailers to more massive shopping centers, retail corridors have suffered. Over the last 50 plus years, we have been conditioned to drive 20 minutes to the nearest shopping center rather than walk six minutes to the nearest grocery or market. The complete street especially those that run the length of the entire city, is absolutely needed to connect one storefront retail cluster to

PURCHASE Washington D.C.

Welcome to Purc

The retail application that lets y Anytime, Anywhere, for Anyt CREATE LISTS Food

GENERATE ITINERARIES

5 O

Product Service

SEARCH PRODUCTS

FIND

SCAN BAR-CODES

SP EV

Rum

Holid

Farm

C

AIA | DC


E E

hase ou shop chase hing.

you shop thing. DEALS

0% D DEALS OFF 50% OFF

ECIAL ENTS

mage Sale

ay Markets PECIAL er’s Market VENTS

r Show

mmage Sale

day Markets

mer’s Market

Car Show

Livability and the City

Washington D.C. This is your city’s retail map! Washington D.C. This is your city’s retail map! you’re here!

You are currently located at Georgia Row in the Takoma neighborhood. You can save this location as your place of residence and we’ll generate your list and You aretocurrently at Georgia itineraries keep youlocated shopping locally. Row in the Takoma neighborhood. You can save this location as your place of residence and we’ll generate your list and itineraries to keep you shopping locally.

you’re here!

Walk-ability

Use the circles to determine the radial distance from a given location. Walk-ability A quarter mile walk will takes about 6 the circles toadetermine minutesUse to complete and mile aboutthe radial distance from a given location. 24 minutes. A quarter mile walk will takes about 6 minutes to complete and a mile about 24 minutes. 1/4mi

1/2 mi 1 mi

store fronts

These places of retail often line major thoroughfares within the city. Clustered together they with other uses be it office or residential are the life source for urban areas. Most are locally owned and haveplaces suffered from shopping These of retail often linecenter major developement and online retail. thoroughfares within the city. Clustered together they with other uses be it office or residential are the life source for urban areas. Most are locally owned and have suffered from shopping center developement and online retail.

store fronts

grocery stores

The are plenty of independent grocery stores, markets, and convenient stores in the city. Every neighborhood needs a good grocery store, but too often neighborhoods are left without; these places are know as The are plenty of independent grocery food deserts. stores, markets, and convenient stores in the city. Every neighborhood needs a good grocery store, but too often neighborhoods are left without; these places are know as Depending on the scale foodshopping deserts. center are often destination retail locations. They take more planning and are often most active during the weekend. Shopping centers such as malls often attract more retail creating overpopulated retailDepending hubs, we can such cluster in the are onsee theone scale shopping center Friendship Heightsretail neighborhood. often destination locations. They take Unfortunately if one center fails the others will more planning and are often most active during likely follow suit, which has the potential to ruin the weekend. Shopping centers such as malls an entire community. often attract more retail creating overpopulated retail hubs, we can see one such cluster in the Friendship Heights neighborhood. Unfortunately if one center fails the others will likely follow suit, which has the potential to ruin an entire community.

grocery stores

shopping centers

shopping centers

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1/4mi 1/2 mi 1 mi


section 3: ideas

Let’s Create a List

Let’s Create a List

Your list will help you keep track of the items you want, and where to buy them.

Your list will help you keep track of the items you want, and where to buy them. To begin please answer a few questions about each item you wish to purchase.

To begin please answer a few questions about each item you wish to purchase.

What would you like to purchase? What would you like to purchase? towels You can begin by typing in the item you want or by towels clicking on the appropriate departments in the list You can beginshedule. by typing in the item you want or by clicking on the appropriate departments in the list shedule.

Hit the skip button anytime you which to move ahead.

Hit the skip button anytime you which to move ahead.

When do you need this item?

When do you need this item?

11/8 - 11/10

SKIP

11/8 - 11/10

If you need an item fast within a day or two itSKIP might be to find storefast close by toacomplete If best you need ana item within day or two it your purchase. can be by slow and might beOnline best toshopping find a store close to complete costly if shipped next day. your purchase. Online shopping can be slow and costly if shipped next day.

WillWill thisthis be aberegular purchase? a regular purchase?

yesyes nonoSKIP SKIP

PURCHASE PURCHASE

If an item is purchased regularly it might be best to an itemwe is purchased it might be best to order itIfonline; can set upregularly a delivery schedule order it online; we can set up a delivery schedule for you, in just a few easy steps. For items such as for you, in just a few easy steps. For items such as fresh produce we suggest shopping locally, you fresh produce we suggest shopping locally, you can identify these items as regular purchases and can identify these items as regular purchases and they will show your bi-weekly, they will on show on list yourweekly, list weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or yearly. monthly, or yearly.

Your List nov 6th 2020

Your List

What

FOOD

What

nov 6th 2020

fresh produce FOOD bakery fresh produce meat & seafood bakery floral meat & seafood drinks floral alcohol drinks pharmaceuticals alcohol

wine_cabernet prescription

pharmaceuticals PRODUCT

home PRODUCT bed home bed bath bath furniture furniture health & beauty health & beauty clothing clothing sports fitness sports fitness toys toys electronics electronics entertainment entertainment arts arts pet care

towels

shower curtain towels bath rugcurtain shower laptop_lenovo bath rug book_Option B_ laptop_lenovo book_the Leaver book_Option B_ pet bed_cat_red book_the Leavers pet bed_cat_red

pet care

Service industries are fe

SERVICE SERVICE

salon salon car carmechanic mechanic electronic electronicrepair repair

Washington D.C. Washington D.C.

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milk eggs milk bread_sourdoug eggs pain reliever bread_sourdough crackers pain reliever wine_cabernet crackers prescription

AIA | DC

Service industries retail app becauseare theyfea a retail app because theyreta ar within or share within or share retail


Livability and the City

another.

Needed By

11/15/2020 11/15/2020 11/15/2020 12/24/2020 12/01/2020 12/01/2020 11/10/2020

gh

_ rs_ d

11/15/2020 11/15/2020 11/15/2020 12/24/2020 12/01/2020 12/01/2020 Anytime

Regular Item

Cost

yes_weekly $5.00-$35.98 yes_weekly $2.99 $16.48 $1,237.99 $2.99 $20.48 yes_monthly $25.38

$5.00-$35.98 $2.99 $16.48 $1,237.99 $26.87 $36.48 $25.38

add item Purchase Here Safeway: 6500 Piney Safeway: 6500 Piney Maya’s Baked Goods Safeway: 6500 Piney Safeway: 6500 Piney Morris Miller Pharmacy at Safeway

Bed, Bath, and Beyond Bed, Bath, and Beyond Bed, Bath, and Beyond Best Buy Barns and Nobel(online) Barns and Nobel(online) Amazon

New Store

New places to shop will show in orange on your list.

eatured in this are often reside ail spaces.

When you have completed your list click Generate Itinerary to develop a map for your next shopping adventure.

Urban Design Committee

Once these urban retail zones are made accessible, shoppers will need places to shop. The percentage of vacancy along major retail corridors is staggering. Closed and wasted spaces detract consumers from an area; this pattern can eventually lead to the death of a community. At this point, local government has the power to step in and mitigate the problem before more harm is done. Tax incentives can be used as leverage to help building owners lower leasing prices. With lowered leases, new businesses and startups can afford to market themselves in physical space, not just online. With money saved through tax incentives, building owners can put it back into their property, in turn rising property values.

Generate Itinerary

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section 3: ideas

Shop Locally Shop Locally Strong communities depend on Strong depend consumer like communities you to support both on consumer like you to support both small and big businesses. small and big businesses.

As brick and mortar retailers close their doors due to an increase in online shopping, vacancy along majorclose retailtheir corridors risen. To As brick and mortar retailers doorshave due to an increase in mitigateonline this problem thevacancy city hasalong developed newcorridors programhave which shopping, major aretail risen. To offers tax incentives to building who offer alowed leasing which mitigate this problem the owners city has developed new program prices to tenants offers tax incentives to new building owners who offer lowed leasing Taxprices deduction to new tenants District of Columbia Tax deduction Building Owner

District of Columbia

Reports business Reports expenditures andbusiness expenditures and pays local taxes pays local taxes

Building Owner

Offers lease reduction leasetoreduction for theOffers first year the first year to newfor tenants new tenants

Shopping Itinerary nov 6thShopping 2020 Itinerary nov 6th 2020

Morris Miller Morris Miller Wine & Liquor Wine & Liquor wine_cabernet wine_cabernet

10 minute walk North on 10 minute walk Georgia Avenue North on Georgia Avenue

Maya’s Baked Goods Maya’s Baked Goods bread_sourdough bread_sourdough

Home Home

Georgia Row at Walter Reed

Existing Tenants Existing Tenants Maya’s Baked Goods Maya’s Baked Goods

Georgia Row at Walter Reed

14 minute walk South on 14 minute walk Georgia Avenue South on Georgia Avenue

NewNew Tenants Tenants With money saved owners With money saved owners can make improvements can make improvements to the their buildings to the their buildings

Safeway Safeway milk milk eggs eggs pain reliever pain reliever crackers crackers prescription prescription

PURCHASE Washington D.C. PURCHASE Washington D.C.

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Livability and the City

Caution Roadway Construction Expected

Parking Zone

Bus Stop

Parking Zone

Bus Loading Zone

d bia an yl lum ar o M fC to ric st Di

B

Parking Zone

Works has begun to turn Georgia Avenue into a Complete Street, construction scheduled to begin in the spring.

B

Using tax incentives to incite change is one method, but doing it through government is not the only way to build a better retail industry. The last concept lays out an idea to get retailers to sustain themselves and help small business. The showroom is a method being tested currently. It is expected that big brand name retailers are shrinking. In turn, big retailers will need more spaces throughout the city to sell their product. So instead of creating small cookie cutter stores, why not just use the spaces already in existence, helping another business along the way. This concept is modeled off of the living museum. Consumers get to walk within the space, talk with workers, and see how products work off the shelf.

Complete streets are great for retail corridors. Multi-Modal streets allow more patrons to reach local stores and restaurants by car, bus, bike, or on foot. With vehicular traďŹƒc reduced to two lanes movement along these major retail hubs are restricted enforcing lowered speed limits, and gained awareness of the surrounding context.

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section 3: ideas

Showroom Retail

A new style of experiential shopping Showroom Retail

Ikea

A new style of experiential shopping Sponsors

Maya’s Baked Goods

Sponsor retailers offer Sponsors start-up businesses products to furnish newoffer Sponsor retailers retail spaces. start-up businesses

Ikea

Maya’s Baked Goods

products to furnish new retail spaces.

The showroom Items in the showroom will be markedThe with a bar-code. By showroom Items the showroom scanning thisincode customerswill canbe marked withdirectly a bar-code. purchase the item fromBy scanning this code customers can the sponsor retailer.

Fully furnished with the most modern decor, Maya’s is generating Fully furnished with the mostofmodern decor, plenty business. Maya’s is generating plenty of business.

BJÖRKSNÄS $299.00

High back bench with p birch, Ullevi gra

BJÖRKSNÄS $299.00

High back bench with p birch, Ullevi gray

purchase the item directly from the sponsor retailer.

VEJMON

Consumers

Coffee table, br

VEJMON $

Consumers

Coffee table, bro

Customers can buys fresh baked goods and test out new products from big brand names retailers. Customers can buys fresh baked goods and test These out products can be viewed used in anretailers. new products from bigand brand names everyday setting, ensuring areand trulyused wanted These products can bethey viewed in an beforeeveryday making asetting, purchase. ensuring they are truly wanted before making a purchase.

The showroom (After the Show) Retailers update their(After inventory regularly, so what happens to The showroom the Show) Retailers update theirnew inventory regularly, so what showroom products when inventory is brought in?happens Simple, to products when new inventory is brought in? Simple, they’reshowroom sold!! they’re sold!!

Old items are marked down and sold them right off the show Old items are marked down and sold themof right off income the show room floor. This arrangement allow consumers lower room floor.quality This arrangement consumers brackets to own products forallow a reduced price.of lower income brackets to own quality products for a reduced price.

PURCHASE PURCHASE Washington D.C.

Washington D.C.

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Livability and the City

Bar Code Scan

See a product you like? Simply scan the bar code, the item will be automatically added to your list.

The building stock of Washington D.C. is sound; brick and mortar retail will be around for years to come. The way we shop and interact within a community must change. Ours is a society that is dynamic; we must prepare ourselves to transition as factors in our everyday lives change around us.

ay

$129.00

rown

Urban Design Committee

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section 3: ideas

All image courtesy of Gregory Luongo, 2017

cornerstone by Gregory Luongo, AIA It’s 4:30 in the morning and the flutter-buzz of delivery drones wakes me from a shallow haze of sleep. The drones have left the hive-like Amazon drone dock and fulfillment center at Union Station, delivering GMO-free milk packs and other goods to the neighborhood. Back in 2018, Capitol Hill was one of the first beta tested neighborhoods for what is now a ubiquitous drone delivery network. It helps that Jeff has a house here… I roll out of bed with a groan and, before my feet hit the floor, Alexa 9000 greets me with a “Good morning Greg!” in a voice that’s a strange mix of stern and sexy. She’s made my first cup of hyper-caffeinated cold brew made from the artisanal coffee beans I picked up yesterday at the HyperMart Pop-Up, one of several places in the neighborhood that offers cheap

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space for neighborhood vendors to sell urban farm produce and merchandise. These places are at the forefront of the fight against the mega-Corps for neighborhood authenticity and the banality of a Starbucks, Shake shack and PetCo on every other corner; Generification and gentrification disguised in fabricated authenticity. Things really came to a head last year with activists and hipsterpunks rioting in the street to wrestle control over neighborhood development and the establishment of the first NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) to address affordability and equity in one of the country’s most expensive cities to live in. My eyes half open, I realize I’ve squeezed the life out of the toothpaste tube, and toss it into the waste can. Alexa automatically adds Toms of

Maine Fluoride-Free Botanically Bright toothpaste to the Whole Foods Auto-Replen shopping list. As I shave, the latest news scrolls across my reflection on the Apple i-mirror. The weather, overcast with a 60% chance of freezing rain… We haven’t seen the sun in over two weeks… More bad news about that bubble of radiation fallout circling the globe from that aborted North Korean nuclear missile launch, and the smog and acid rain index is high. We’re still trying to recover from the disastrous misguided policies, deregulation and climate change denialism of a decade ago. “The next X-2000 arrives at H and 4th in 3 minutes.” Alexa proclaims. I head to the door and make a run for it. “Shit!!...” The driverless streetcar doesn’t “see” me waving my arms frantically and it buzzes right past. I decide

AIA | DC


Livability and the City

X - 2000

Urban Design Committee

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section 3: ideas

to walk to the office. It’s a bitter cold morning and the weather flicks between mist and spittle, but the streets are already buzzing with activity. Hipsters, resies, politicos, drones, bots and driverless vehicles all jostle for space along the H Street corridor that stretches from Bladensberg to downtown. Amazon seems to have taken over this town, absorbing what were once a string of mom and pops. Along the way by mobile buzzes constantly, with retailers using IoT (Internet of Things) Beacons to let me know about new products and discounts on all kinds of junk I don’t need. The one that does catch my attention is from the Adidas PDOS store (Production on-Demand On-Site). My custom 3D printed T-MAC 5 sneakers are ready for pick-up! “Good morning Greg!” Kim, an

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actual real live person, greets me as I walk into the office. “You’ve got a message from Chad in Singapore. Apparently, the community meeting he virtually attended in Portland yesterday went really well.” We’ve been working on a new mixed-use master plan and vertical city proposal in downtown Portland that could be a possible beta test for development here in DC. For decades, developers and policy-makers have had competing objectives that are sometimes challenging to reconcile, especially when you add affordable housing to the mix. These conflicting interests require a collective consensus above and beyond any technological innovations or creative design solutions that are being developed. There’s also a growing realization that

traditional tools—such as housing vouchers, rent control, and developer requirements— have not been able to resolve the nation’s housing affordability crisis. We’ve been tracking and testing a number of policy driven design strategies, but a few that seem to have traction are Infill Densification, Adaptive Re-use, and Inclusionary Upzoning. I sit down in front of my monitor wall and buzz Chad for a download…

a new cornerstone For over 100 years, the corner store was the “corner stone” to neighborhood commerce, culture and identity – a place where middle class families and entrepreneurs could set up shop, work and live. Washington DC’s neighborhoods have struggled to maintain a corner store legacy, often priced out by larger providers and developments, ever-increasing income gaps and

AIA | DC


Livability and the City

lack of affordability. Is there a place for the corner store in 21st century urban neighborhood? What would the corner store of the 21st century look like? And is there a place for it in the future of a healthy, livable Washington DC? The diagonal boulevards of L’Enfant’s original Washington, DC plan define a unique and rich urban fabric - a connected network of public spaces, monuments and majestic vistas. The overlay of a rational street grid creates a number of unique corner conditions

Urban Design Committee

throughout the city fabric that extend into the Districts urban neighborhoods. This proposal looks to identify a distributed network of small to mid-size Live|Work|Sell developments that will supplement downtown retail cores. These developments will in part be propelled by the adoption of two design driven zoning and policy strategies:

infill densification + adaptive re-use This strategy typically involves policy reforms that allow 1) land reconfiguration by way of parcel subdivisions or consolidation;

2) higher densities and building heights; 3) conversion of industrial or office space to residential use; 4) relaxation of minimum parking requirements; and 5) the streamlining of the construction approval process. By putting more land into the developable marketplace, we can reduce housing costs while preserving key aspects of neighborhood character. The key will be a shift away from if development should happen

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Livability and the City

(NIMBYism) to empowering residents to determine how it should happen.

inclusionary upzoning This strategy offers an optional floor area bonus in exchange for creating or preserving a component of affordable housing. Inclusionary Upzoning policies increase the FAR (Floorto-area ratio) limits of a given property to capture part of the resulting added value to address affordability requirements. Often times this means the developer sells or rents a portion (10-20 percent) of the units they build at below market prices. This approach can be used to help subsidize a new Live/Work/Sell

Urban Design Committee

typology to be imbedded into a mixed-use development. While not a new idea, Inclusionary Zoning can result in higher densities to meet market demands while addressing the affordability challenge. Secondly, the inclusionary nature of this strategy facilitates the introduction of affordable housing in areas where market forces or legal/political hurdles have historically been a barrier. This approach works best in areas that have hot housing markets and where there is a consensus on greater development density for the greater good.

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happenings this section exhibit the milestone events that have convened thought leaders throughout 2017

92 open house 94 the human scale 96 shop x meet x thrive


section 4: happenings

All image courtesy of the Urban Design Committee, 2017

urban design open house The Urban Design Committee organized a series of four open houses at leading architectural and urban design firms showcasing their urban scale projects of their own selection. SOM, Perkins Eastman, Gensler, and Stantec were featured. Each firm took a unique approach to presenting their work and reflecting on the theme of livability. Taken together, the open houses displayed an ambition and sensitivity to the task of citymaking, weaving together diverse project narratives with fundamental issues of livability, including equity, safety, affordability, and sustainbility.

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section 4: happenings

All image courtesy of the Urban Design Committee, 2017

livability in the district: the human scale The Urban Design Committee organized a film screening bookended by a panel discussion focusing on the livability of urban places around the world. In the first part of the event, panelists engaged in a discussion about the specific livability challenges DC faces today. Immediately thereafter particpants enjoyed an outdoor screening of “The Human Scale,� a film highlighting the barriers to people-centric urban places and case studies of imaginative public processes and design solutions across the globe. The panelists then addressed questions from the audience with impressions from the film and implications for life in the District.

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section 4: happenings

All image courtesy of the Urban Design Committee, 2017

shop meet thrive: livability in the new american city The Urban Design Committee organized an ideas competition that tasked participants to reflect on the changing nature of retail in contemporary city life, questioning how that change could be harnessed to improve drivers of livability. Participants imagined different futures for retail in the New American City and proposed a variety of DC-focused interventions based on their vision. Finalists presented to a live jury at the CityAge conference in Washington, DC. The jury gave public deliberations, framing the competition entries in a broader conversation about the future of retail, the challenges to creating livable cities for all people, and the potential of design to tackle these issues and create positive change.

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Livability and the City

From left to right: Justin Kearnan, Celine Larkin, Jennifer Pehr, Adam Lubinsky, Bobby Boone, Tom Dallessio, and Delma Palma

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section 4: happenings

sources our cities are growing, but they aren’t growing fast enough 1.Ed Glaeser’s “Triumph of the City,” Enrico Moretti’s “The New Geography of Jobs,” Joel Kotkin “The New Geography” and Richard Florida’s “The Rise of the Creative Class” and “Who’s Your City” 2. “The Racial Origins of Zoning in American Cities” by Christopher Silver 3. http://reason.com/archives/2014/04/02/zonings-racist-roots-stillbear-fruit 4. “Euclid Lives? The Uneasy Legacy of Progressivism in Zoning” by Eric R. Claeys 5. http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/research/publications/projectingtrends-severely-cost-burdened-renters-2015%E2%80%932025 6. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_featd_ article_011314.html

livable and flexible? 1. Leonard Benevolo. History of Modern Architecture, Vol 1. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999. p 196 2. Mitcham, Carl. Thinking Through Technology, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994. p 221

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healthy communities, healthy planet 1. United Nations, “World Population Prospects”, 2015 Revision 2. United Nations, “World Population Prospects”, 2012 Revision 3. Proctor, Cathy, “Denver Union Station area draws $1 billion in private development”, Denver Business Journal, April 2, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2017.

enriching communities 1. Maya Angelou, quoted in A Conversation with Dr. Maya Angelou, BEAUTIFULLY SAID MAGAZINE, July 4, 2012

cornerstone 1. Real Trends; The Future of Real Estate in the United States (2017) - Authors: Albert Saiz and Ariana Salazar, MIT Center for Real estate, Urban Economics Lab, World Retail Congress; 2. The Future of Retail (2016) - Author: L5 Retail; 3. The Future of Retail: How we’ll be shopping in 10 years (2017) Author: Lin Grosman, Forbes Communication Council; 4. The Future of Retail; How to make your bricks click (2014) - Authors: Pascal Grieder, Raphael Buck, Francesco Banfi, Veit Kment and Jil Fitzner, McKinsey & Company 2012

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contributions Urban Design Committee AIA | DC: Washington, DC Chapter, American Institute of Architects

editor-in-chief Justin T Kearnan, AIA

editorial review

authors

Katherine Tiarsmith, AIA Delma Palma, RA Mary Eveleigh Anna McCorvey, AIA Saakshi Terway

Kristopher Takรกcs, AIA Mark Simposon, AICP Susan Piedmont-Palladino, RA Roger Weber, AICP Carolyn Sponza, AIA Scott Kilbourn, AIA Cody McNeal, AIA Gary Odum Nazanin Mehrin Tameka Sims Gregory Luongo, AIA

graphic review Katherine Tiarsmith, AIA Jinesh Jain Alex Ayala Delma, Palma, RA


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Avenues, Volume 1: Livability + The City  

This journal, Avenues, is the first installment of what will be an annual publication – with the sole intent of collecting and distributing...

Avenues, Volume 1: Livability + The City  

This journal, Avenues, is the first installment of what will be an annual publication – with the sole intent of collecting and distributing...

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