Through an innovative partnership, University City Partners, the City.Building.Lab., and UNC Charlotte’s School of Architecture/Master of Urban Design Program will explore the impacts of the Blue Line Extension as it connects the Center City with the University campus, opportunities for new park typologies that may spur local development, and help catalyze a vision for an open space and park masterplan for the University City area.
As a sponsored research and design pilot study, we will launch a series of spring intermediate urban design studios (2015-17) addressing issues such as urban research, analysis, conceptual design, and preparation of reports and/or presentations. Each sponsored design-research studio will use Charlotte’s University City area as a testing ground for an exploration of the potential role(s) of urban parks and associated green infrastructure in sustainable urban development.
Students, working in close consultation with the staff of University City Partners and the landscape architecture and planning firm, LandDesign, will examine the area’s carrying capacity for future urban development and green infrastructure expansion as they develop a conceptual “parks master plan.” Key research activities will be focused on the following areas:
Environmentally sensitive areas
Existing green amenities and recreational spaces
University City-wide framework and coordination for green infrastructure and its relationship within the county-wide system
Existing land development patterns
Current land use regulatory framework
Transportation network / circulation
Population distribution / demographic structure / housing inventory
Socio-economic status and physical structure of existing neighborhoods
Employment clusters and business centers
These and other topics of research and design will enable our students and faculty to address increasingly important questions focused upon sustainable development, green/open-space infrastructure, and urban design. In addition to the studio’s student proposals, the results of this collaboration may result in a number of documents (such as monographs for publication, maps, archival documentation, etc.).