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Portfolio Ronald Woudstra

Portfolio Ronald Woudstra

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Published by Ronald Woudstra
Urban Planning and Design: A Portfolio of Creative Work
Urban Planning and Design: A Portfolio of Creative Work

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Ronald Woudstra on Jul 17, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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urban planning and design: a portfolio of creative work
the following is a representation of academic and internship work from 2008 through 2011


spring 2011 16 weeks


For a graduate-level course in physical planning, a site design was made for a small area near a commuter rail station. Analysis revealed that the area around the Long Island Railroad Station in suburban Farmingdale is disconnected from the surrounding urban fabric and lacks a sense of place. Building on existing typologies, a site plan was created that would integrate the redeveloped brownfield site with the surrounding context and provide a pleasant corridor along which pedestrian travel between the station and Main Street Farmingdale was accomodated.

A Lynchian analysis revealed the major paths, nodes, landmarks, edges and districts in Farmingdale. There appeared to be a two fragmented districts: the station area, and Main street Farmingdale. Travel between these two hubs of activity was complicated, since no clear connecting between the station and main street existed. This disconnected state became a guiding factor in the design of a site plan for the area immediately south of the Long Isand Railroad station.

[Lynchian Analysis of the site and its vincinity]

Using Google Sketchup, a number of design concepts for the site were explored. Using Sketchup, a quick visualization of the experimental design concepts was generated. This allows one to grasp the volumes of the proposed buildings, as well as to get a sense of the look and feel of the proposed site plan.

[study area]

[site plan: experimental design concepts modelled in Google Sketchup]

[first site plan; scale 1:40]

[second site plan; scale 1:40]

[third site plan; scale 1:40] [figure ground drawing of final site plan in its context; scale 1:40] The final site plan proposed a series of individual buildings, whose footprints resemble the footprints of the buildings in the immediate vicinity of the site. Since the shapes of site plan’s buildings echo the pre-existing building footprints of Farmingdale, the site plan’s proposed buildings [encircled in orange] seem to integrate into the urban fabric of Farmingdale seemlessly. Indeed, a figure ground drawing of the area reveals that the proposed development mimics the existing typologies.

[final site plan; scale 1:40]

fall 2008 3 weeks
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service conducts a soil survey for each county in all of the 50 states. In a soil survey, the soil types in a county are classified and other soil properties are documented and geo-coded. Using the USDA’s soil survey of Sarasota County (Florida), the soil types for a study site of one square mile near the town of Venice were analyzed for their suitability for development. Furthermore, the study site’s relationship to its immediate vicinity was examined and existing land use patterns were reviewed. These efforts were made for a course in “Site Analysis” at the University of Florida’s Department of Landscape Architecture in the Fall semester of 2008. LEGEND


suitable for open space activities suitable for roads and construction [recommended use of developable land] The soil on the one-mile by one-mile study site is very sandy and is characterized by a high water table. The suitability of the site for recreational land uses, as well as for construction are very low. Two square sites of approximately four acres possess an agromonically suitable soil to establish recreational uses or other activities which depend on open space. At these two sites, the current land use is agricultural, which implies that measures to stabilize the soil have already been taken. A study of existing land uses reveals that the northeastern section of the study site is predominantly agricultural. Also, this is the only section of the study site where there currently are structures and roads. This implies that this part of the study site is suitable for the construction of roads and other developments, given the characteristics of the soil at that location, as well as the fact that the existing agricultural use could not have occurred without any soil stabilization. The remainder of the site consists of fragile nature and should not be considered for development. The soil also prohibits development there, since costly soil-stabilization measures would be required. Also, Hatchett Creek, which flows through the southern section of the site, is a natural habitat for the area’s flora and fauna and should not be disturbed. The northern section, however, lies adjacent to an state highway 772, making it more suitable for development given its connectivity to the existing development.

[existing land use patterns near the study site, overlaid on the USDA soil survey map]
watershed boundary upland wetland site

[hydrological analysis]

spring 2011 2 weeks
Working for The Street Plans Collaborative (a consulting firm that specializes in transportation planning and urban design) as a Research Associate, design support was provided for a study of a major traffic corridor in downtown Allentown. Two one-way streets, Turner street and Linden street, form the main east-west thoroughfares in the downtown area. As a city with a growing cycling population, the municipality recognized the need for safe bicycle infrastructure along its auto-dominated streets. The Street Plans Collaborative, along with Sam Schwartz Engineering, was commissioned to conduct a design study of potential accomodations for cyclists along Turner and Linden streets.


[design solution #1: shared-use markings]

[design solution #2: advisory bike lane]

[Turner street: existing conditions]

A variety of bikeway types were proposed for the streets. Additionally, traffic calming techniques were applied to the corridor, in order to create a safer and more livable environment.

[design solution #3: buffered bike lane]

[cycletrack featuring a planted median and a parking lane]

[design solution #4: cycletrack]

Streets form the largest component of the public realm. As such, they perform the dual function of both accomodating traffic as well as providing an important and accessible public gathering space. Attractive streets are not just designed to accomodate traffic, but also create a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Street trees, generous sidewalks and street furniture such as benches all contribute to making streets an inviting component of the public realm.

Allentown has two types of cyclists: the vehicular cyclists, who prefer not to use seperated bikeways and generally prefer to mix with vehicular traffic; and the more traditional cyclist who desire a designated, seperated bikeway. To accomodate both types, shared use markings have been proposed for the travel lanes, in addition to a seperated bikeway.

[design solution #5: cycle track featuring a bicycle box at the intersection]

summer and fall 2010, winter 2011 nine months


Partnering with BICI Planning, The Street Plans Collaborative has created a bicycle master plan for the municipality of Westminster, located outside of Denver (Colorado). For each type of street, several bikeway types were proposed and adapted to fit within the existing street. In June 2011, the City Council of Westminster passed a resolution that called for the adoption of the bicycle master plan. [Lowell Blvd: existing conditions]

[Lowell Blvd: proposed treatment]

[collector road: proposed treatment #3]

[collector road: proposed treatment #1]

[collector road: proposed treatment #2]

[collector road: proposed treatment #3]

2010-2011 18 months
The Street Plans Collaborative, in partnership with the Alliance for Biking and Walking have formed “The Open Streets Project”. Open Streets initiatives temporarily close streets to automobiles, allowing residents to walk, bike, skate, dance and utilize the roadways in countless creative and active endeavors. The Open Streets Project features an in-depth overview of all known Open Streets initiatives in the United States and Canada. The overview includes more than 55 case studies and highlights the growth of the movement in compelling graphics. The case studies convey information about the organization of the open street initiative of a particular city; as well as about its funding and the route where the initiative took place.

[map of the route of the open streets initiative of Miami, Florida]

[route of the open streets initiative of Chicago, Illinois]

[map of the route of the open streets initiative of Long Beach, California]

[route of the open streets initiative of Fargo, North Dakota]

[route of the open streets initiative of Los Angeles, California]

[the routes of various open streets initiatves, drawn to scale and classified according to the length and shape of the route]

fall 2008 16 weeks
Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite applications was gained during a course titled “Computer Graphics in Design” at the University of Florida’s Department of Landscape Architecture in the Fall semester of 2008.

[photoshop sample #1: aerial image with paths]

[photoshop sample #4: rendering]

[photoshop sample #2: colors overlaid on aerial image]

[photoshop sample #3: cross-section]

[photoshop sample #5: presentation board]

summer 2010 2 weeks
The Street Plans Collaborative, partnering with the Project for Public Spaces, conducted a placemaking study of two heavily trafficed corridors in the town of Brunswick, Maine. The study focussed on the improvement of the public realm for non-motorized traffic, and aimed to make the two corridors concerned, Main Street and Pleasant Street, a more attractive environment. In support of this study, a series of hand-drawn maps were made of both streets, that were digitally enhanced later. A map of the larger planning context, downtown Brunswick, was also made. Subsequently, a model of the two streets was made in Google Sketchup.

[hand-drawn map of properties and lots along Main Street, Brunswick]

[hand-drawn map of properties and lots along Pleasant Street, Brunswick]

[model of the existing conditions on Main Street, Brunswick]

[model of the existing conditions on Main Street, Brunswick]

[digitally enhanced map of downtown Brunswick, showing city blocks, streets, railroads and the village green]

[digitally enhanced map of Main Street, Brunswick including street width and land uses]

[hand-drawn map of downtown Brunswick, showing transportation infrastructure such as streets and railroads]

[digitally enhanced map of Pleasant Street, Brunswick including street width and land uses]

summer 2011 12 weeks


At a summer-semester studio at the Pratt Institute, the task was to design, in detail, a potential rooftop urban agriculture system, working with the opportunities and constraints of a specific site and client. A green rooftop had been designed for a client on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The rooftops of the property, situated at various elevations, presented challenges and opportunities. Ultimately the challenges presented by the different heights of the rooftops were turned into assets and insipred the green rooftop proposal. The studio has yielded valuable experience of the practical aspects of urban agriculture and green-roof design.

[final green roof design]

[water feature of initial design]

[initial green roof design]

[subsequent proposal]

[final green roof design]

[explanatory water systems diagram for the final green roof design]

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