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Archive for May, 2010

On May 22nd West University Neighborhood Association (WUNA) sponsored a public charrette focused along its interface with the University of Arizona.   Bill Mackey of Rob Paulus Architects introduced the forum with a brief historical overview of density comparisons.   WUNA welcomed the suggestion that its transition areas could benefit from creatively placed density increases   It currently has a density  4 to 5 dwellings  per acre compared to our foothills which is 1 unit per acre.  The charrette focus was along the street car route.   Approximately 30 participants split into groups to study the area bordered by Speedway, Park, Euclid and 6th St which is shown in the attached clickable thumbnail. Properties in the area comprise a variety of owners which are candidates for creative re-development and higher density.    Charrette participants discussed pros and cons, ideas, uses, functional issues and transition concerns along existing homes situated at the corner of Speedway and Euclid.  Dean Cervelli of CALA, the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, talked about an upcoming  studio focus on interface design and planning issues.  Jane McCollum of the Marshall Foundation provided input on her concerns for the focus area.   WUNA has taken a bold first step to engage in a dialogue that will encourage many other neighborhoods to get on board, deriving ultimate support from the University and the City of Tucson.   WUNA plans to continue its lead in this discussion as  the modern streetcar project develops, which runs through the center of its historical neighborhood.   Many other sensitive neighborhoods stands to gain increased stability and identity as the momentum for re-inventing Tucson’s core continues.  A dynamic interface between Tucson’s urban core, the university  and historical neighborhoods will benefit all of Tucson.   Join the discussion.  Get involved.

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The May 4th Urban University Interface exploratory meeting sparked some ideas worth pursuing.  With the LUC Committee busy completing its LUC revisions and the Downtown Core District Plan, neighborhoods need to look towards their own improvements using similar incentive strategies.  Individuals from West University, Feldmans, Jefferson Park and Blenman-Elm Neighborhoods converged with architects, planners and community members to engage in a conversation about reversing a 3 decade trend of deterioration and dis-investment in key university neighborhood edges and interiors.  Discussions centered around stabilizing key residential edges around the university through incentive strategies paired with similar  strategies to accommodate compact student housing solutions in appropriate areas outside of neighborhoods .  Hopes are to attract faculty, UA employees married students, upper year students and many potential home owners and families back into university neighborhoods.   Below are some discussion tools that were used during the meeting.  CLICK  ON MAP TO ENLARGE

The remainder of the agenda included thoughts about the 2009 UA campus planning strategies and its stated interest in expanded housing opportunities, current neighborhood pressures and the current status of the LUC planning committees work in downtown core revitalization areas.

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