The Redesign of one of Tacoma, WA's Neighborhoods
For the last four years, senior architecture students have redesigned a neighborhood in the city of Tacoma, Washington. The primary goal is to design not just sustainable buildings but sustainable neighborhoods, pedestrian-oriented environments with connections to public transit that that discourage crime and encourage positive social interaction between people who live, work, and shop in the neighborhoods. Before designing, students examine the neighborhoods to gain an understanding of the character and integrity of the existing architecture, businesses, and transportation patterns. Objectives include preserving the character of the neighborhoods, maintaining and adaptively reusing historic buildings, maintaining existing single family housing and viable businesses, providing services for existing and new residents, enhancing public transportation and encouraging walking, providing a variety of new housing choices, and stimulating business development by enhancing the urban environment. Students strive to understand, retain, and enhance the unique qualities of each neighborhood.