Schematic Temporary Design Strategies to Revitalize Downtown Albuquerque

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Abstract

North American cities are now charged with the mission to revitalize their downtowns, especially the ones that lost life from the Urban Renewal and suburban sprawls. However, the lack of resource and control is the main obstacle facing new urban development. Recent emergence of temporary urbanism theories sheds light on a new approach to revitalize dead downtowns. Through a thorough study on recent practices of temporary urbanism, a phased design methodology is developed based on various temporary uses of urban spaces. As a result, a design proposal called “Schematic Temporary Design Strategies to Revitalize Downtown Albuquerque” strives to address these issues.

Content

1. Introduction 1. 1 Urban Vitality 1. 2 Downtowns are dying 1. 3 An Alternative - Temporary Urbanism 2. Literature Review 2. 1 The Ephemeral Nature of Urban Life 2. 2 Temporary use coming into academia 2. 3 The emergence of “Temporary Urbanism” 2.4 Conclusions 3. Design Framework 3. 1 Design Framework 3. 2 Design Strategies 3. 3 Design Toolbox 4. Design Case Study: Albuquerque Downtown 4th Pedestrian Mall 4. 1 Site Selection 4. 2 Demographics 4. 3 Location and Transportation 4. 4 Land Use and District Division 4. 5 Natural Environment 4. 6 Existing Initiatives and Their Efforts 4. 7 Various Art & Culture Communities and Activities 4. 8 Site Inventory 4. 9 Event Programming 4. 10 Partnerships and Networking 4. 11 Two Phases 4. 12 Evaluation 4. 13 Plan 4. 14 Perspectives 4. 15 Conclusions 5. Bibliography 21 22 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 36 37 40 44 45 48 49 1 3 4

7 9 11 18

19 20 20

List of Figures List of Tables List of Images

1. Introduction

1.1

Urban vitality

“In Italo Calvino’s invisible cities, Marco Polo describes one fantastic city after another to the great Kublai Khan. Each city is a society that exaggerates the essence of some human question, and for each there is a form, brilliantly and surprisingly conceived, that fulfills and informs that question. Polo talks about desire and memory; of diversity and routine; of the temporary and the permanent, the dead, the living, and the unborn; of images, symbols, and maps; of identity, ambiguity, reflections, the seen and the unseen; of mazes, traps, and endlessness; beauty and ugliness; metamorphosis, destruction, renewal, continuity, possibility, and change.” Kevin Lynch, Good City Form The complexity and unpredictability of cities are usually fascinating to human beings, yet they have also been seen historically as chaotic “problems” to be solved. A city is a structured complex that is almost impossible for us to fully comprehend and find the balance between order and disorder. Historic, finely grained, and lively, European cities and Asian cities are more respected and valued by scholars, due to their high-density model and efficient resource use. Although the geographic conditions vary, historically successful cities in Europe and Asia, tend to have a comprehensive quality that “makes some places a pleasure to be in and others irredeemably dreary” (Gummer 1995). This quality helps these cities survive social and economic upheavals, allowing them to adapt to new urban conditions and to remain lively and livable over time. Urban vitality is a universal quality that defines a successful city. It is the intensity of the interactions between built forms in a city. Scholars from different disciplines have given their definitions on urban vitality. By definition “Urban vitality is the synergy arising from a ‘variety’ of somewhat ‘unique’ commercial

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and entertainment opportunities, and a dense socially heterogeneous pedestrian population” (Maas 1984). Just as immigrant animals are intuitive to the most abundant forests, we seem to know vital urban spaces when we see them. Often they are characterized by a dense pedestrian population, high diversity, and frequent commercial and entertainment events. We could see these characteristics as the indicators of urban vitality. Moreover, according to William Whyte, more vital urban spaces tend to have a higher ratio of women, children, and people in groups (Whyte 1980). As shown in figure 1 and 2, cities with high urban vitality prove to be the most charming and the most sought out by tourists. Their urban culture is adaptive and consistent. A lively urban life encourages people to participate in more social and physical activities and help to maintain street safety (Jacobs 1995). Apart from the societal aspects, cities with higher vitality tend to be “greener” models, ecologically speaking. Although it might appear contrary to our intuition, Manhattan, the downtown of the New York City, actually might be the “greenest place on earth” (Brand 2010). The energy consumption per capita is much lower than other human habitats due to the concentration of facilities and resources. Not only is it the greenest, but also the healthiest. Life span in NYC increased the fastest in the whole nation, with more walkable and safer streets, and preventive health services found in the subways (RELAXNEWS 2012). Urban issues do not only exist within city boundaries. Cities are powerful machines that can “shape and reshape the economies of other settlements” (Jacobs 1985).Vital urban spaces are not just about joy and entertainment, they are also “the heart of democratic living” and are places where we “learn to understand and tolerate other people” (Shaftoe 2008). In short, the health of cities

Img. 1. Qingming Scroll (Http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Qingming_shanghe_tu_street_life. jpg)

Img. 2. Paris Street Scape in Late 19th Century (Http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jean_B%C3%A9raud_Le_Boulevard_St._Denis,_Paris.jpg)

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is significant to the health of the economy and the democracy. 1.2 Downtowns are Dying

Built on the Native American’s hunting ground, the New World of America has always had a strong tendency to differ itself from the “disordered and chaotic” pattern of Native American settlements. As a result, Cities were laid out on rigid grids and later zoning was introduced from Europe, regardless of the natural texture and resources on the ground. Zoning has “damaged so many cities” (Montgomery 2012) and segregated residences from everyday commercial use. In the early 20th century with the rise of automobiles, the American middle class started to flee away from the downtown, settling down their suburban houses with garages to embrace the “American Dream”. As downtowns decline, cities become less compact and taken over by automobiles. In the 1960s, Urban Renewal swept over North America, displacing most small businesses and low-income residences. As a result, a lot of the American city’s downtowns are left empty and lifeless, with few activities and low pedestrian flow beside the weekends’ nights. Just as a lot of other American cities, Downtown Albuquerque was “slaughtered” (Jones 2004) by the Urban Renewal during the 1960s. Small businesses and residences were wiped out of the downtown area, replaced by a large amount of surface parking. Areas traumatized by Urban Renewal includes: Downtown Los Angeles, Korea Town and Downtown Oakland (CA), Downtown San Diego (CA), Downtown Buffalo (NY), Downtown Niagara Falls (NY) and Downtown Jacksonville (FL)…The list is long. In her book, Life and Death of Great American Cities(1960), Jane Jacobs argues that urban/suburban sprawl directly leads to the loss of urban vitality. This finding is also supported by William H. Whytes studies on the Social Life of Small

Img. 3. Albuquerque Civic Plaza

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Urban Spaces. In a lot of American cities, the “lack of crowding” (Whyte 1980) turned out to have led to a failure of most urban open spaces. High-density, mixed-use, walkability, bike-friendliness are important qualities to the vitality and livability of a city. Fortunately, the allure of the suburban life style is slowly decreasing among young people, especially the young professionals who are choosing to live in apartment lofts in downtowns to partake in an urban lifestyle. It is important to ask if cities are ready for people to move back. Despite renewed interest in urban living, 75% of the new constructions took place in the suburbs and exurbs in the last ten years (Saunders 2005), regardless of Jacob’s normative planning theories. This is due to a few challenges we are facing: 1. Except in a few progressive cities, strict regulations of activity and land use are still greatly hindering the downtown urban vitality (Montgomery 1997). Areas of uses are very clearly defined by zoning, which allows little overlap of activity or spontaneous events. 2. Although North American cities are now charged with the ambition to revitalize downtown areas, the lack of “power, resource and control (Bishop 2012)” is the main obstacle they are facing. The free market engine is driving cities towards even more suburban sprawl. 3. The mobility of the population is higher than ever and on a global scale, which lead to a constant demographic shift and constant changing needs. “We have now moved to a phase of ‘liquid’ modernity - a phase that, like a liquid, ‘cannot keep its shape for long (Bishop 2012)”. People will see more self-employment, virtual organizations and meetings, higher diversity of workforce, and more playfulness and creativity in future cities.

1.3

An Alternative - Temporary Urbanism

The former mayor of Curitiba (Brazil), Jaime Lerner says: The lack of resources is no longer an excuse not to act (Bishop 2012). In Europe and North America a recent phenomenon is the emergence of “temporary urbanism”, however people have named it: “everyday urbanism”, “tactical urbanism”, “guerilla urbanism”, “authentic urbanism” and other variations. All of a sudden temporary gardens and pop-up shops started to come into the sight. Temporary interventions have become “a structural component of urban development (Maier 2008)”, that have helped revitalize the dead areas in a lot of cities and even some small towns. Individuals, independent organizations, academic institutions and public agencies around the world are leading this temporary movement. With a more democratic atmosphere and more abundant resources, “interest in temporariness is arguably a luxury afforded only to those cities that are part of the post-industrial economy.” (Bishop 2012) The great recession has also lead to limited project funding and more idle time for design firms to be creative and try other alternatives. In the last five years, temporary urbanism has earned success from the grassroots activism such as Chair-bomb, Parking Day, to temporary urban improvement conducted by the government agencies. Temporary urbanism applies to a wide spectrum of concepts, from “one-off events through to seasonal projects and initiatives that were indeed originally intended for a short run, the successive expansion and increasing professionalism of which however, unexpectedly lead them to establish a permanent footing” (Overmeyer 2007). It is difficult to give a definition to temporary urbanism because of the extreme

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diversity of the activities. Author Peter Bishop claims that the term is defined by its temporary intention, rather than its nature, use, or actual endurance (Bishop 2012). In brief, temporary urbanism is urban improvement through the intentional programming for temporary use. The core of temporary urbanism is events. “Research on temporary urbanism is in its infancy (Bishop 2012)”. However, there is a large amount of research mainly focused on case studies. I am going to look deeply into these works and strive to answer the following three questions by critically analyzing available literature and case studies. 1. How did temporary urbanism emerge and develop? 2. How can temporary urbanism help the cities? 3. What lessons can we learn from temporary urbanism?

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2. Literature Review

So far the majority of studies on temporary urbanism are case studies and tool guides. No systematic study has been conducted in academia. Although temporary urban use has existed as long as cities, this paper reviews the temporary practice within its different contexts over the last a hundred years, with an emphasis on the studies in North America. The purpose is to answer questions regarding what conditions led to the emergence of the recent “temporary urbanism” and what factors can make it successful in the future. 2.1 The ephemeral nature of urban life Temporary urbanism is nothing new. The nature of early city forms, transition and transaction, has defined the ephemerality of urban life. In the East, “the concept of impermanence is culturally deeply embedded (Bishop 2012)” In Ancient China, a lot of the historic cities sat on the fertile Yellow River Floodplains. The Yellow River changes its course every couple of decades. People tend to have more of a practical idea of permanence and ephemerality. One result of its philosophy is that most built forms are made out of wood, which is temporary and economical based on the technology at that time. Even the emperors didn’t believe that their glory would last forever. The palaces they built for themselves are wooden too, which can last no more than a couple of hundred years. Temporary use could be divided into two categories by the nature of use: commercial and non-commercial. Commercial temporary use of urban spaces can be tracked back to most cultures. Non-commercial uses include political acts as well as street celebrations, street festivals and other art and culture events. The temporary use of public space has always benefited small businessmen and local residents. Les Bouquinistes (used-book sellers) in Paris(France) has become a Parisian fixture. Each book-seller is given four boxes of a particular size along the River Seine. At night, 250 sellers leave and lock the boxes. However

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Mile Stones of Temporary Urbanism
1914, Police Athlete League established Play streets Program in New York. 1960, Archigram envisions an “Instant City”.

1990, First Burning Man event is held at the dessert of Nevada. 1997, the exhibition of “Portable Architecture” is held at RIBA, Bristol, Britain. 1999, Raumlaborberlin is founded in Berlin 2000, the Young Architects Program is established at the MOMA PS1 in New York 2005, First Parking Day event takes place at Downtown San Francisco 2009, Pavement to Parks starts in San Francisco 2010, Build a Better block is launched in Dallas, TX 2010, Pop-up cafes, a variation of Pavement to plaza are launched in New York 2011, Park Mobile is launched in San Francisco (Lydon 2012)

un-sanctioned events have not always been favored by the people in power. Les Bouquinites were banned in 1649 and received permission and were regulated in size in 1891. Because the price is usually cheaper, the place became a popular place for book lovers and tourists. The waiting list to apply for one of the spots was eight years. With a hint of governmental support and some reasonable control, small businesses have the potential to thrive and prosper. In 2007, Les Bouquinistes were declared UNESCO World Heritage, which is a victory for the historic bottom-up urbanism (Lydon 2012). Events give life to the street in ancient Chinese cities. During the night time in almost every city, hundreds of vendors take over one or a couple of streets selling food and other inexpensive goods. “Families, teens, college students, international tourists, and migrant workers literally rub elbows with each other in order to move from one stall to the next” (J. Hou 2010). These night markets are one of the biggest charms of many Chinese cities. Night markets, which have long been an obscure form of urban public space, have greatly extended the active time of street life. In North America, the function of parks and other public space have long been “conceived and institutionalized (J. Hou 2010)”, making uses of parks relatively permanent and limited. In North America, night markets in Chinatown San Francisco and Vancouver have not only added to the recreational scene, but have helped to revitalize the local community. In San Francisco, the Portsmouth square in Chinatown was temporarily transformed into the market ground, which is challenging the long-existing internalization and control of commercial activities in the urban environment. In Seattle’s night market, traditional Asian street activities like Chinese calligraphy, chess, fishing, fortune telling and martial arts have helped to bring people from different backgrounds together with the cultural experience (J. Hou 2010).

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Madrid, New Mexico was once a ghost town after the mining company moved out. The whole downtown was once on sale for $250,000, even though no one purchased it. Fortunately, the art community started saving the town by building temporary art installations. Festivals were revived from the past. Temporary museums were built by local artists to tell the tourists the town’s history. Now Madrid has turned into a vibrant artists’ village that attracts thousands of tourists from around the United States every year. Temporary use can also be an important component of civil rights. “Public space is a place for action”(Adrendt 1988). Actions can be divided into two categories: discourse, which is usually peaceful; war, which is violent and often takes place in cities. Protests and other citizen gatherings are two of the most common public actions. But in terms of changing the established structures of urban planning, once against “power and market”, these actions can lead to different results than were intended. Some protests in the public have led to even more severe restrictions on the use of public space (Aurora Fernandez Per, Javier Arpa, Javier Mozas 2012).

Img. 4. Les Bouquinistes in Paris (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Bouquiniste_sur_les_quais_de_la_Seine_(Paris,_2012).JPG)

2.2 Temporary use coming into academia In the classical western urban studies, where “both theory and practice in urban planning and design have been overwhelmingly concerned with permanence (Bishop 2012)”, “standard planning tools are employed to define an end product (Overmeyer 2007)”, temporary use in urban study was never in the academic mainstream. However with a greater mobile population within the rapidly changing social structures, “we have now moved to a phase of ‘liquid” modernity - a phase that, like a liquid, ‘cannot keep its shape for long” (Bishop 2012).

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The New York City established its Play Streets Program in 1914 by the Police Athlete League. Children’s playgrounds are scarce in cities like New York, which have a high density of residence. Initially a few streets were closed off to offer a safe area for the children to play and learn (Alternative Transportations 2012). Across the century since its beginning, this program has developed into a successful model. Led by Transportation Alternatives, NYC Strategic Alliance for Health and Harvest Home Farmers Market, the program aims to provide a fun and safe place for children to perform physical activities as well as arts & cultural learning. Streets are closed off for pedestrian use only to offer a safe and social playground for the community. The program takes place in the summer once a week during July and August, happening at the same time as the farmers market. The kids can go out to play on the street while their parents shop for groceries in the market. Play materials, including those donated by local businesses, libraries and neighbors were gathered for temporary use on the street. Volunteers help organize ball games, yoga, hula hoops as well as teach art courses. Lessons like crime and drug prevention is also incorporated through the playing. The schedule changes from week to week, depending on the feedback from the previous week. During a survey of the visitors to one of the events, 64 percent of people reported that they wouldn’t have been involved in physical or social activities without the program, and 92 percent of people would like to tell their friends and neighbors about Play Street. The program has encouraged physical activities, improved public health and childhood development, expanded public open space as well as slowed down the traffic. Active and consistent programming, as well as wide network building has played a crucial role in the success of Play Street. In the 1950s, following its success in New York, the Play Street Program

spread to London as well. Parallel to urban studies, the study of mobility has always been a romantic pursuit for architects. Urban sociology studies have informed architecture and shook the deep-rooted static foundation of Vitruvian architectural ideals. Mobile architecture however, places more emphasis on the structural and aesthetic aspects and pushes the technical limits of temporary interventions, which lends a solid support to the development of temporary urbanism. In the 1960s a group of architects called Archigram envisioned the “instant city” for the future of the mankind. The city would be set up on a barren ground, laying out basic infrastructure and allowing for community to contribute to the city-building. The city however, only stayed for a limited time and then moves on to the next location (Peter Cook, Warren Chalk, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron, Mike Webb 1972). “Instant City” offered a mobile, hightech and miniaturized alternative to city forms, which challenged the classic ideals of static architecture (Victoria and Albert Museum 2013). The closest realization of this bold idea occurred in the North America in 1990, in the middle of the dessert of Nevada, where the first Burning man was held. Artists and visitors from all around the world drive to the ground, where only bathroom service is provided. They set up their tents and start building a temporary city with numerous art installations, temporary architecture, lights and roads etc. They celebrate the city in costumes for a week. Burning man has now grown into a renowned international event over the two decades. It has showed us the great potential of a community, a community that is temporarily united but highly committed. In 1997 at the Royal Institute of British Architects in Britain, an exhibition called

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“Portable Architecture” attracted people from all disciplines. The exhibition turned out to be the most successful one in the history of the academy, and was reported in numerous radio, newspapers and televisions (Kronenburg 2012). The event proved that portable architecture, with its light and flexible structure, and with little impact on sensitive sites, can be highly responsive to new technology. There is a current trend for architects to design events (Maier 2008). Architecture competitions put a lot of emphasis on temporary urban interventions, since their short-term nature enables maximum creativity on a limited budget. In 2000, the Young Architects Program was established at the Long Island of New York. It is a cooperation of the Museum of Modern Art and MOMA PS1 as the annual event of temporary summer refugee. A competition is held among the nominated architects. The chosen project is built at the designated site (entrance courtyard of MOMA PS1) in a short time period on a limited budget (MOMA PS1 2012). Pre-existing material and recycled material is highly encouraged due to the tight budget. The “Urban Farm” by WORK Architects in 2008 is a temporary outdoor garden that used recycled cardboard tubes, and involved pools and other recreational services on a budget of $70,000 (MOMA PS1 2008). Though temporary, the innovative project demonstrated the high aesthetic potential. It has become a great inspiration for later temporary projects.

Img. 5. Burning Man in 2005 (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Burningman_0033.jpg)

2.3 The emergence of “Temporary Urbanism” Temporary Urbanism attracted doubts and criticism from scholars at first. Some scholars think it is just a fast fashion (Bishop 2012). However the success

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Policy

Planning Approved Authority Key Agents Mucipal/Private Owner

Key Agents

Consumer

User

Fig. 1. Key Players in Temporary Urbanism (Translated and Adapted from Urban Pioneers)

Key Players in Temporary Use
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Common Good, 11

Cultural, 11

Public, 17 Commercial, 23

Collective, 6

Volunteer, 32

 

can no longer be ignored while the study of Temporary Urbanism has gradually come to the mainstream. Countless community gardens have become permanent after gaining permission for construction (Bishop 2012). Parking day, a day celebrating temporary parking lot transformation, has bloomed in almost every middle-sized or larger American cities. The Phased Design Approach, in which temporary pre-site vitalization is conducted along the way towards achieving an ultimate goal, has been adopted by city designers in Europe and North America. Berlin has been one of the most pioneering cities since the inception of the Temporary Urbanism movement. Most temporary urbanism studies were from Berlin. First of all this is because Berlin has a large number of centrally located spaces that are available and inexpensive. Meanwhile the progressive political atmosphere generates great soil for artists and activists to take action in abandoned industrial and infrastructure sites. The local government has gradually started to support temporary interventions as a catalyst for innovative development, instead of as a disturbance. Researches has shown that during the years 2004-2005, close to 100 temporary projects have been recorded at abandoned buildings and unused sites. These projects are centrally located in Berlin where there is good transportation with a dense population. Among these projects, up to one third are conducted voluntary. These voluntary projects, although having very limited financial resources, nonetheless maintain a high degree of “energy and commitment, and great willingness to improvise (Schwartz 2009)”. Klaus Overmeyer identified four important players in the practice of Temporary Urbanism: the city council and politics, site owner, users and the key agents. Key agents are local authority agents that help to network and mediate between different parties and maintain close contact with the users and owners. They are indispensable to the success of temporary projects. The establishment of key

Fig. 2. Temporary Urbanism Project Type in Berlin from 2004-2005 Fig. 5.  Temporary use  projects in  Berlin from  2004‐2005  (Overmeyer  2007)  (Information from Urban Pioneers)
   

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agents in a city is the first step to guarantee the success of temporary urbanism (Overmeyer 2007). A defining point for Temporary Urbanism in America occurred when the first Parking Day was launched in Downtown San Francisco by the design group Rebar. The first Parking Day structure consisted of a piece of lawn, a park bench and some potted plants that covered two on-street parking spaces. Parking day participants have since built interventions ranging from urban farming, health consulting, political discourses, art installations, bike repair, even to a wedding ceremony (Lydon 2012). The aim of Parking Day is to reclaim parking space in a city as public green/recreational space, and is restricted to non-commercial use only. Rebar, the inventor of Parking Day explains the non-commercial nature of the event as an intention to uphold “generosity and honesty” throughout this voluntary act. They believe only an honest and generous public service can allow for the playfulness and “creative human social behavior” which they believe has made Parking Day Successful. Today Parking Day has become an international event that takes place on the third Friday of September each year. With the help of the Internet, hundreds of cities around the world have independently joined the Parking Day Festival (Rebar 2011). This phenomenon of “a chain of inspirations (Rebar 2011)” could be explained by the concept of “infectious design”, which was coined by Mark Childs in the book Urban Compositions in 2012. “The second man…determines whether the creation of the first man will be carried forward or destroyed.” Any duplication or deviation is a firm recognition of a new idea. With the pervasive media nowadays, an idea could be spread to every corners of the world to motivate and inspire new designs. Synergy emerges when one project inspires and supports another.

Img. 6. A Parking Day Intervention in Seattle (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PARK(ing)_Day_Seattle_2009_-_01. jpg)

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Parking Day has also inspired the “Pavement to Parks” project in San Francisco”. It is a broad cooperation between small business owners, the government agency and designers. At first the government launched a couple of demo parklets on its own in 2011, which turned out to benefit the surrounding businesses. Later a program was established to allow owners to apply for the use of the parking space with an inexpensive annual fee. The city also helps by providing assistance with the design (Lydon 2012). Other than merely a symbolic action, this is a successful business model that falls into the category of “Tactical Urbanism (Lydon 2012)”. An important branch of Temporary Urbanism, “Tactical Urbanism”, coined by Mike Lydon in 2010, is a term that implies “the use of modest or temporary revisions to urban space to seed structural environmental change (Rebar 2011)”. Tactical urbanists usually work in direct collaboration with community and government agencies, acting as the key agency in temporary use. Instead of an artistic expression, tactical urbanism looks at the potential for permanent improvement of a site, to make phased temporary revisions to reach its goal. According to Mike Lydon, temporary interventions should always envision long term changes. The San Francisco Planning Department is among the very first government agencies to take temporary approaches for its decision making . In 2009, the City Design Group of San Francisco decided to make moves on the Jane Warner Plaza project, which had been under discussion for over ten years. People hold doubts on whether a new plaza would be successful at an important intersection of the Castro District. The city launched the first temporary plaza in 2009, which is merely made up with a couple of chairs and cardboard tube planters. The community embraced it immediately with high enthusiasm. It instantly became a highly social place for locals and tourists to hangout, enjoying a couple of coffee or listening to the live music. It is also reported to Img. 8. Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro District of San Francisco

Img. 7. A “Pavement to Parks” intervention at the Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood in San Francisco

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Formal Planning Process
City Agencies Urban Competition Urban Master Plan Individual Area Planning Realization

Pavement to Parks Play Street Guerilla Gardening Pop-up Shops Build A Better Block Parking Day Parking Mobile

Local Activists Community Groups Entrepreuners

Insta-parks Pavement to Plazas

Pop-up Cafes

Parking Day Artists

Community Garden

Chair Bombing

Temporary Activism

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Img. 9. Tactical Urbanism Development within Last Ten Years

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Leaders

Transportation Alternatives

NYC Strategic Alliance for Health

Harvest Home Farmers Market

Partners

Community Boards Volunteer Residents and other donors Local performers Fire Department Local Libraries

Local Elected O cials

Local Businesses

Neighbors

Users Cyclist clubs

On-site Organizers

Events

Material Support Closed-o Roads

Img. 10. The network of Play Street Program in 2012

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have boosted the adjacent businesses. Having built excellent support from the community , the city hired an architecture firm to turn it into a permanent plaza in 2011. 2.4 Conclusions 1. The success of temporary use and phased improvements Urban environmental design is an important component of landscape architecture and deals with highly complex issues. Urban environmental improvements are often challenged by the complicated social structure and the changing urban context. The failure of a lot of urban spaces has made us realize the imperfections in current urban practices. The ephemeral nature of urban life has long been under-estimated. The recent emergence of Temporary Urbanism has offered us the opportunity to experiment with the most up-to-date theories using the most readily available materials. Temporary urbanism has two meanings, programming for temporary use and adopting temporary (phased) improvements. The essence of temporary use is activity, which is conducted by people, and that is what public space should program for. Not being overly concerned with permanent constructs allows for not only immediate improvements but also easy adjustments later on. 2. The importance of networking and nurturing of community As shown in figure x, temporary urbanism practice has become more successful, largely due to a broad network of collaboration among policy makers, volunteers and various organizations. The “top-down” and “bottom-up” individual and organizations need to be connected and well weaved together. Governmental support helps to provide a stable ground for temporary use to happen. For example, in the Play Street Program, policies were made to stop the traffic and

guarantee the event ground; the local organizations provided on-site organizing work and the adjacent businesses lent support on play materials and neighbors joined the events to give lessons to kids. The research in temporary uses in Berlin also demonstrated that volunteers can also have a high commitment to their projects. The nurturing of a community takes time but it can often become the solid ground for further improvements. 3. The crucial role of key agents The establishment of the key agents is the critical for temporary urbanism. Key agents are organizations (sometimes they can be government agencies) that lead, mediate between different parties, work directly with business owners and organize events. They are the spiders in the network that weave all the essential parts together. 4. The importance of event programming Events cannot simply be expected to happen, especially in less established urban areas with less spontaneity. Consistent event programming is crucial to the success of temporary urbanism. In urban areas where community support is not yet strong, an active, up-to-date programming can keep up public enthusiasm. This requires a lot of effort from different parties but the reward can be enormous. 5. The multiplied effect of synchronization In a lot of temporary use cases, synchronization of events can lead to a multiplied effect. The Play Street chooses to happen at the same time with the farmers market, which gives users more options and draws a larger user crowd. Parking Day has become an annual international festival with numerous events happening around the world that raised a huge amount of public attention.

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3. Framework

3.1 Design Framework The conventional role of landscape architects is to provide the physical design commissioned by a certain client. Design is mainly focused on the physicality aspect instead of the actual performance. The writer holds that landscape designers can base the urban landscape design temporary urbanism strategies. A site is going to be chosen within the downtown Albuquerque area, and be transformed into an urban space with high urban vitality. Being a model project for the revitalization of the downtown, the project is going to demonstrate strengths of the practice of temporary programming 1. Identify a space in downtown Albuquerque that lacks urban vitality and conduct a thorough analysis on environmental, social issues and other conditions. 2. Based on the community needs, program temporary events and activities that can help revitalize the space. 3. Identify or suggest establishing key agents for political support, networking and partnerships 4. Identify potential partnerships and their roles in the project. 5. Based on the events programming, transform the visual quality of the space as the activator for activities. Improve physical comfort to accommodate various uses. These two improvements can be done in multiple phases 6. Design an instrument to measure the improvements on urban vitality to evaluate the success and inform the later design process.

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3.2 Site selection criteria 1. Established urban area. Temporary urbanism tends to be more successful in more established urban areas. The resourceful urban context, supportive community and overlapped interests, which are important factors that can support the long-term success of temporary events. 2. Space that has an intimate scale. Scale matters in temporary events (Lydon 2012). Not that large scaled space is impossible to transform using temporary strategies. But due to the practical and economical nature of the temporary urbanism, intimate spaces require fewer materials therefore are more likely to be improved during a short period of time. 3. High visibility and good access to public transportation. Going to serve as a demonstration for future followers, the project strives to inspire new explorations of temporary urbanism and to boost public enthusiasm. Good access to public transportation also has a democratic meaning: although the city’s transportation is highly dependent on private automobiles, Albuquerque still has a large population that cannot afford to own car, with 21.7 % of people under poverty line.

Visual Transformation Surface Inprovements as activator for events

Creating Triangulations (Events) Adding educational experience Adding playfulness Inputing artists/musicians Insert unexpected objects Inputing small vendors

Improving Physical Comfort Shelter for refuge space Creating flexible seating Shades Food Vendors

Expanding Active Time Improving night lighting Improving winter use Urban Projection

3.3 Design Toolbox Img. 11. The Design Toolbox for Temporary Urbanism

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4. 4. Design Case Study: Albuquerque Downtown 4th Pedestrian Mall

4.1 Site Selection Downtown Albuquerque is one of the cities whose downtown got impoverished by the notorious Urban Renewal in the 1960s. Small businesses and residence were wiped out during movement. The Central Avenue, which is part of the historic Route 66 remains active with heavy automobile traffic, while the rest of the area is lifeless most of the time. Just as a lot of other young, spreadout American cities, cars dominate urban life. After downtown was devitalized, a lot of events moved to the Nob Hill District, which is 2.5 miles east of downtown. In recent years a lot of revitalization actions were taken and residence has started to move back into the new apartment lofts. With a large number of bars and galleries, the downtown still host a lot of venues for art, music events. An estimated 450,000 visitors come to the downtown, based on hotel night stays (Downtown Action Team 2013). The Downtown Action Team, which was founded in 1999 as an initiative for the downtown business development, envisions the downtown as “A quality, destination Downtown that is located at the heart of any community and binds together the social fabric of any community” (Downtown Action Team 2013). Opened 30 years ago, the 4th Street Mall is located at the heart of the downtown. Adjacent to the Central Avenue (former Route 66), the pedestrian mall was envisioned to be the front porch of downtown Albuquerque that facilitates both the residents and the business owners. Now the place has become a dreary place as the businesses along the corridor started to decline. People blame the homelessness and drug problems. Stephanie Backer, who is the art director at Amy Biehl High school, which is only one block away from the 4th street, says that Children are often harassed on the 4th street. Although surrounded by of-

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fice buildings, office people rarely lunch here. Most of the time people just past by fast, in order to encounter the large homeless population here. “No loitering” signs was set up, to prevent the homeless people from staying around. But the crime issues seem to be just a delusion. “The perception of crime (problems in Downtown) far outweighs the reality of crime (Chunn 1998),” People usually don’t feel safe at the downtown although the crime rates aren’t particularly high. The issues on the 4th street have long raised public attention. In 2012, a $2 million fund was received to redesign the 4th Street Mall. The original plan was to reopen the corridor to one lane automobile traffic, which is in essence declaring the failure of the 4th pedestrian mall. Construction was supposed to start in the summer of 2013. However, news came out early 2013 that the plan was postponed for unpublicized reason. The future of the 4th Street remains uncertain. It is important to ask whether we can save the only pedestrian strip, with a practical yet innovative approach.

4.2 Demographics Albuquerque has a total population of 552,804 as of the 2011 population estimates from the United States Census Bureau. It is also the 53rd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The majority of the population prefers to live in suburbs, so there is no significant concentration of residence around the downtown area. The downtown district has a higher percent of male residence most part of the city. Although over 80% of the people are over 21 percent, the downtown has among the highest rate of more bachelorettes or bachelors. Not having many on its own, the downtown is surrounded by a couple of poorer neighborhoods.

871 - 2568 2569 - 3754 3755 - 4989 4990 - 6371 6372 - 8914

Img. 12. Bernalillo County Population per Census Tract. (Information from US Census Bureau) 22

16 - 249 250 - 509 510 - 887 888 - 1412 1413 - 286

38 - 4 4% 44 - 4 7% 47 - 5 0% 50 - 5 3% 53 - 6 4%

.000000

16 - 249 250 - 509 510 - 887 888 - 1412 1413 - 286

Img. 13. Bernalillo County Percent of People in Poverty per Census Tract (Information from US Census Bureau) 23

Img. 14. Bernalillo County Percent of Male per Census Tract (Information from US Census Bureau)

5

17 - 41% 41 - 57% 57 - 67% 67 - 78% 78 - 92%

40 - 59% 59 - 68% 68 - 74% 74 - 79% 79 - 90%

1.5

3

6 Miles

Img. 15. Bernalillo County Percent of People in A Family per Census Tract (Information from US Census Bureau) 24

Img. 16. Bernalillo County Percent of People of 21 and Older per Census Tract. (Information from US Census Bureau)

4. 3 Location and Transportation The Central Avenue (former as part of the historic Route 66) cut through the middle of downtown and brings a lot of automobile traffic. Downtown is close to a lot of the historic and scenic sites including the Rio Grande Bosque, the historic Old Town, Albuquerque Botanic Garden and a lot of museums.

I-40

Old Town

Central
Le g e n d Traffic Flow (daily)

I-25

Avenue

biketrails Downtown

0

- 6305

R

io

6305 - 18443 18443 - 40913 40913 - 109017 109017 - 213359

G

ra n

de

R

0.8 Miles

iv er

Img. 17. Figure Ground Map of Downtown Albuquerque and Traffic Flow (Information from US Census Bureau) 25
Le g e n d Traffic Flow (daily)

4. 4 Land use and district division

Downtown Albuquerque is where a lot of government offices, institutions, commercial organizations are located. Along the Central avenue is where a good number of restaurants, bars and other entertainment businesses are anchored. A good amount of surface parking is also a feature of the downtown. Downtown is divided into six districts. The warehouse District, which only takes a small portion; the Plaza District, which is home to a lot of historic homes; Transportation Center District, where the Main Bus Station and Train Station are located; Courthouse District, which hosts the main Albuquerque governmental offices; Plaza District, where you can find the biggest plaza in Albuquerque and the enormous Convention Center; the Arts and Entertainment District, which anchors a lot of art galleries and music venues, and is also where the 4th Street Pedestrian mall is.
ui

Land use Residential Institutional Commercial Parking

1th 2th St

St

District division

Warehouse District Plaza District Arts and Entertainment District Transportation Center District Casa District Courthouse District

tA ve

3th 4th
Av e om Av e a

St

St

Fr

5th
Av e

St

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6th
Av e pp e Av e

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as

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7th
lA ve

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Av

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9th
ad Av e

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Av

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Img. 18. Land Use and District Division of Downtown Albuquerque (Information form the Downtown Action Team) 26

Le

4. 5 Natural Environment

Albuquerque has an arid climate, with mild winters which can support outdoor activities all year round. However, the long summers can get really hot with the highest temperature above 100F. With annual precipitation less than half of the evaporation, Albuquerque is an extremely dry city. Xeriscape is the main landscaping method in New Mexico. Located along high rise buildings, the 4th Street Pedestrian Mall is well shaded most time of the year. However, orienting towards south, during noon time the shades are sparse. Extra shades need to be provided. 6/22 9 AM 3/21 1 PM 3/21 5 PM 3/21 9 AM 3/21 1 PM 3/21 5 PM

9/21 9 AM

9/21 1 PM

9/21 5 PM

12/20 9 AM

12/20 1 PM

12/20 5 PM

Fig. 3. Annual Temperature/Precipitation/Sunlighthours/Humidity/Wet days of Albuquerque

Img. 19. Shade Study of the 4th Street Mall

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4. 6 Existing initiatives and their efforts

2. New Mexico Mainstreet Funded in 1985, New Mexico Mainstreet Program is a stated funded program

1. Downtown Action Team In 1999, businessmen gathered together to start the discussion on Downtown Revitalization. This resulted in the Establishment of the Downtown Action Team. The Downtown Action Team has an annual budget of $700,000 from the private investment (Downtown Action Team 2013).
 

to revitalize traditional commercial neighborhoods. Mainstreet help affiliated downtown organizations to revive local businesses as well as preserving cultural and historic resources. The program serves the 6 state-authorized Arts and Cultural Districts. The Downtown Art district is one of them. 3. City lab
Natural Environment 

Downtown Action Team acts as the key agent that initiates and leads the revi-

Located at the center of Downtown, the city lab is collaboration between the   talization projects, as well as mediating between the city, owners and the other and  effort made:   and UNM School of Architecture and Planning. The City Existing initiatives City  of Albuquerque users of downtown. It is funded by an additional tax on the property owners   in the downtown. It intends to “provide the foundation for private sector im1.

revitalization. Established in early 2013, the first project includes students’ work   provements in the 56-block Downtown core” (Downtown Action Team 2013). In 1999, businessmen  gathered together  start  the discussion  on 66. Downtown Revitalization. This resulted  on the revitalization of to the historic Route Downtown Action Team established the Downtown grower’s market, Pop-up $700,000 from the private investment (Downtown Action Team 2013).   Retail program, Downtown Façade Improvement program, etc. Held every Saturday morning, the grower’s market is particularly successful by attracting thousands of shoppers during each event.
Salaries, 114,036 Advertising, marketing and public relations, 77,234 in the Establishment of the Downtown Action Team. The Downtown Action Team has an annual budget of 

 Downtown Action Team 

Lab aim to address and solve the issues around the Albuquerque’s growth and

Hospitality & Clean Service, 284,340

Development, 191,330

Fig. X. The annual Budget of Downtown Action team in 2012 

Fig. 4. The Annual Budget of Downtown Action Team in 2012

 

(Information from http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2013/01/08/a(Information  from http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2013/01/08/a ‐look‐inside‐the‐ downtown‐look-inside-the-downtown-action.html) action.html)      Downtown 28   Action  Team  acts  as  the  key  agent  that  initiates  and  leads  the  revitalization  projects,  as  well  as  mediating  between  the  city,  owners  and  the  other  users  of  downtown.  It  is  funded  by  an  additional  tax  on  the  property  owners  in  the  downtown.  It  intends  to  “provide  the  foundation  for  private  sector  improvements  in  the  56‐block  Downtown  core”  (Downtown  Action  Team  2013).  Downtown  Action  Team 

4. 7 Various art & culture communities and activities

Located at the downtown Arts & Entertainment District, the 4th Pedestrian Mall is surrounded by a rich art & culture community. Numerous bars and clubs open until 2 AM, helping maintain a vivid night life culture. Galleries are active with constant events, which attract art fans especially the New Mexican art lovers. New Mexico is also known for flamingo dance and salsa dance, due to the Hispanic cultural influence. The Main Library of Albuquerque is also close by. The historic landmark, Kimo theatre, which is only one block away from the 4th Street, is a destination for high-end theater shows. The grower’s market on Central Ave and 8th Street, has become a favored place for Saturday fresh & healthy food shopping. The Amy Biehl High School is very concerned and supportive to the artistic nurturing of its students. The students have assisted the Downtown Action Team on various projects. The City lab and Downtown Action Team are also located in this area.

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Av en ue

Downtown Action Team

The Civic Plaza

Ce nt ra l

Gallery Imagination Salsa Baby

National Institute of Flamengo

Main Library

Kimo Theater City Lab Blackbird Buvette Summer & Dense Gallery

Downtown Contemporary

Boro Gallery

Amy Biehl High School

Richard Levy Gallery 516 ARTS E ex

Raw Music El Rey Theater

Holocaust Museum Laughpad

Grower’s Market El Chante Gallery O Center Arts
lA ve n ue

Ce nt ra

Av en ue

Arts and Entertainment District Performing Arts & Entertainment Literary Arts

ld

Go

ve r

Img. 20. The Art & Culture Communities Around the 4th Street Mall

Av en

ue

Sil

30
Visual Arts

4. 8 Site Inventory

Hyatt Regency Hotel The Largest Hotel in Albquerque and the tallest building in the city.

7-Eleven & French Bakery Shop

The Northern Strip Connected to the Civic Plaza, the 4th Pedestrian mall is an important passway.

Parking Building

AT& T CO. A business building that has no interaction with the 4th street

The Southern Strip The southern strip is visually disruppted by the elevated patios and plannters.

BlackWater Music Venue The music & art venue is supported by an active group of musicians and artists, that host a monthly event, which includes concerts and live art shows

Empty Businesses at the south entrance of the 4th Street Mall

Img. 21. Site Inventory 31

Maloney’s Tavern Compared to the other businesses on the 4th street mall, Maloney’s Tavern Bar is maintaining a good business with live music and an outdoor patio.

Arena

4.9 Event Programming
Outdoor Film Series & Other Outdoor Activities

Organized events are activators of the 4th Street Strip. A survey (see figure x.) Conducted by the Downtown Action Team found out that the residents would like to see more grocery stores, art, outdoor film series, and particularly ice cream shops and children’s playgrounds.

Sports Venue

Office Supply Store

Bowling Alley

Suitable activities favored by the community will be realized on the 4th Street Mall. Six categories of activities are listed here as, education, arts and crafts, dance and yoga, organized sports and games, festival and performance, and food. Below these categories, specific activities are listed as outdoor reading, anti-crime lessons, art lessons, artists’ market, outdoor dance classes, outdoor yoga studio, basketball, ping-pong, street chess, pool play, live music, outdoor film series, parades, food vendors and ice cream vendor. These activities are based on the needs of the community and successful cases from temporary urbanism practice in other cities. Weather and cost aspects are also taken into consideration.
Retail Parades

Ice Cream Shop

Museums

Art

These activities will be tested out through the practice of temporary urbanism process, which is going to be fully explained in the next chapter.
Green Space

Yoga Studio

Children’s Playground

Grocery Store

Img. 22. Survey on Preferable Uses in Albuquerque Downtown (Information from Downtown Action Team) 32

Outdoor Reading Anti-crime Lessons Art Lessons Artists’ Market Outdoor Dance Class Outdoor Yoga Studio Basket Ball Ping-pong Chess Pool Play Live Music Outdoor Film Series Parades Food Vendors Ice Cream Vendor *Main Parades in Albuquerque Albuquerque Twinkle Light Parade Albuquerque Pride Fourth of July Parade Saint Patrick Day Parade Martin Luther King Parade Mardi Gras Parade Dia de Muertos Educational Activities

Jan.

Fe b.

r. Ma

Apr.

Arts and Crafts

Dec.

May

Dance and Yoga

Organized Sports and Games

v. No

Jun .

Festival & Performance

Food

Img. 23. Suitable Events and Best Operation Time of A Year

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Jul.
Aug.

Sep.

Oc t.

The north session of the strip is shaded by the a seven story commercial building and the tallest skyscraper in Albuquerque. With less businesses facing the strip, this area is suitable for quieter activities such as art lessons, anti-crime lessons, and outdoor reading. Given the fact that the city already started giving permissions to mobile vendors in this area, it can also be used as an artists’ market with the slender shape and the adjacent art community. The businesses on the south strip are mostly dead out. The spatial improvements need to be flexible and open to new changes. However activities can be conducted with the help of portable equipment, such as pool play and street chess. Traditionally indoor activities can also be carried outdoors, to enjoy the more social atmosphere of the public space. Uses can be overlapped to keep the space active. For example, a basketball court can be used as a concert space or an outdoor movie theater at night.

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Artists’ Market

Outdoor Film Series

Outdoor Yoga Studio

Art Lessons

Live Music

Ping-pong

Outdoor Reading Basket Ball

Outdoor Dance Class

Pool Play

Chess

Food Vendors

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Parades

Img. 24. Event Programming

4. 10 Partnerships and networking

Art galleries (Blackwater, 516 Art, etc.) Public Health Department

“ Do as much outreach as possible” (New York Academy of Science, 2010). The Downtown Action Team will play the role of the key agent here, as well as taking leadership. The Downtown Action Team will also mediate between the government agencies and business owners, between the users and the property owners. The leader should also reach out for as much partnership as it can, for the events to be carried out. Some business owners will also be willing to donate materials and provide organizers and performers. Amy Biehl High School The Flamingo Institute Permission: Planning Department Mayor’s Office Leader: Downtown Action Team Partners: New Mexico Mainstreet Program City Lab Salsa Babe Kimo Theater Inhabitants of Burque (for advertising) Volunteers New Mexico Arts, Cultural Affairs Department New Mexico Tourism Department Adjacent Businesses Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Albuquerque Main Library

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4. 11 Two Phases

Improvements of the 4th Street Pedestrian Mall will be executed in two phases. This is due to a couple of reasons: the dead businesses will come alive as the environmental conditions get healthier. Design strategies should accomodate and adjust to these changes. A flexible and experimental first phase will test out the design methodology and inform the second phase by conducting user surveys. The first phase will last for approximately a year, with temporary improvements such as ground painting, instant seating, shades, and activity materials such as a basket ball pole, street chess, inflatable pool etc with a weekly activity schedule. On site organizers and surveyors will be mainly voluntary. The Downtown Action Team will be able to cover the budget of the first phase with a lot of outreach for material donations. Materials and equipments can be stored in adjacent empty business buildings. If the first phase goes well and surveys appear positive, the second phase will be launched with government’s funding. The goal of the second phase is to make the 4th Street Pedestrian Mall an iconic urban landscape of the downtown Albuquerque, as well as remaining a friendly space for various temporary uses. More permanent features such as custom made shades and site furnitures will be implemented to facilitate activities that are most favored during the first phase. Flexibility and openness to changes are still the primary design principles of the second phase.

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Phase 1
Advertizing This includes advertizements through the Internet media and posters.
facebook
VISIT THE NEW VISIT THE NEW 4th STREET! VISIT THE NEW 4th STREET! 4th STREET!

Temporary Shades Patio unbrellas can be an economic way to provide instant shades for all the activities.

Instant Seating Chairs from the donations are painted in di erent colors to match the ground.

Events Organizor+ Activity Material + Signage

izor Organ

Basketball Hours

Schedule for Today

Ground Paint The visual transformation of the ground acts as the the activator for new uses and other events. Community and volunteers can join this process.

Img. 25. Phase 1 Improvements 38

Phase 2

Custom-made Shades Steel framed canvas shade structure will be constructed along the strip, to provide a cool environment against the bright New Mexican sun. In addition, it is going to represent a playful and lively image of the 4th Street. The canvas is detachable so during the holidays they can be switched to other patterns to add to the festival atmosphere. Street lights are also attached to the structure. Custom made street furniture The custom made furniture will be a relatively permanent feature of the Downtown 4th Street Mall. They are designed to accommodate various activities. The bookshelves with wheels can be turned into display shelves for the artists’ market. The benches can form different shapes of enclosures to accommodate various activities.

Other Facilities Other facilities such as drinking water fountains and bike racks will be installed during this phase too. An outdoor movie projector might be permanently set up.
Img. 26. Phase 2 Improvements

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4. 12 Evaluation

The evaluation of events can help the organizer to modify the event schedule according to the feedback from the public. The evaluation of events consists of two instruments: Observational Survey and Intercept Survey. The intercept survey will also be translated into Spanish. Intercept surveys will be conducted on participants over 10 years old, so observational surveys will be implemented to collect data from people under 10 years old. Participants will not be asked about their age but an age range will be estimated by the surveyors. Observational surveys include two parts: quantitative observations and subjective observations. Observers will be responsible to collect data every day at a certain time. They will record participation by different age groups across a variety of activities, both programmed and un-programmed activities, socializing, visiting the artists’ market and other activities. In addition to the daily tallies, the observers will also answer various questions including weather conditions, the most successful and the most unsuccessful events, the comments from the public etc. Number of people participated, ratio of men/women, ratio of individuals/groups, diversity of age ranges, sense of safety will be tested out as important indicators of urban vitality. People’s comments on specific activities will inform directly on the next event schedule (New York Academy of Science 2011).

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Observational Survey

Fig. 5. Observational Survey Form
Observer’s Name: Date: Time: 1. 2. 3. 4. Age Range Programmed Activities Un-programmed Activities Is it a special day (holiday, etc)? Estimate the total number of people who attended activities on the 4th Street. Write down estimated number of people participating each type of activity in boxes below. Socializing/Talking Visiting Artists’ Market Other (write number and describe in box) How is the weather like today? Is it affecting the activities, is so how? Under 10 11-15 16-20

Information from New York Academy of Science 41
21-30 31-59 60 or above 5. Does it appear that people shop on the 4th street and engage in activities on the street? a. Yes b. No c. Not sure 6. Did you feel that the 4th street was a safe social environment for all ages and both genders of people? Did you see any activities that may be considered dangerous or illegal? Describe if so. 7. 8. 9. Describe one successful activity on today’s 4th Street. Describe on challenge or difficulty that you observed today on the 4th street. Note anything else of interest or comments from the public that you heard today.

Intercept Survey

Fig. 6. Intercept Survey Form
Observer’s Name: Date: Time: Ask: Would you mind if I ask you a few of questions about why you are here today? Your name won’t be written down on this survey. Your answers will help improve the 4th Street better. You can skip questions of end the survey anytime you want, though we will really appreciate it if you can answer them all. It should take 3 minutes. Thank you! 1. 2. 3.

Information from New York Academy of Science 42
4. 5. 6. Will you come back to the 4th street for events? a. Yes b. No c. Not sure How long do you plan to stay today? a. Less than 1 hour b. 1-2 hours c. 2-4 hours d. Not sure/prefer not to answer What activities are you doing/did you do today? a. Doing sports or playing games b. Taking a class c. Visiting with friends d. Watching other people e. Visiting the artists’ market f. Other_ How often do you use do you use the public space in the downtown? a. Everyday b. Once a week c. Few times a month d. Once a month e. Few Times a year f. Never g. Not sure/prefer not to answer Will you tell other people to come to participate in events at the 4 th Street? a. Yes b. No c. Not sure/prefer not to answer Does the downtown feel more lively with the new activities on the 4th Street? a. Yes b. No c. Not sure

Demographic Information 1.

2.

3.

4.

What’s your age a. Under 18 b. 18-30 c. 31-59 d. 60 or above Did you come here with other people? a. No b. My kids/someone else’s kids c. Friends/Family d. Other_ e. Prefer not to answer How did you get here today? a. On foot b. On a bicycle c. By bus d. Driving e. Taxi Gender a. Male b. Female c. Prefer not to answer

Thank you!

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4. 13 Plan

Existing Trees Existing trees are preserved to the largest extent. Trees removed (because of the planters that block views) will be donated to other public parks.
5th St.

Shade Structure The shades consist of steel frames and detachable fabric. The fabric will be removed during the winter. Custom patterned fabric will also be attached during events and festivals.

Artists’ Market + Outdoor Reading & Outdoor Classrooms (see perspective 2)

Bike Path Projection Wall Hanging Sculpture (see Perspective 3) Basket Ball Court + Outdoor Performance area + Outdoor Movie Theater (See Perspective 3) Kimo Theater

Projector For projecting movies and other urban projection uses. Ground Paint Different ground paint colors can be used to separate uses. Storage Empty businesses can be used to place the equipments for events and activities.

Centra

l Ave.

N

0
Img. 27. Plan

200

400
44

800 ft

3rd St.

Business use + Activity ground (see Perspective 1)

4.14 Perspectives Perspective 1

Img. 28. Perspective 1

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Perspective 2

Img. 29. Perspective 2 46

Perspective 3

Img. 30. Perspective 3 47

4. 15 Conclusions

Urban issues are complicated and the term urban landscape design is hard to define. Conventional physicality design strategies alone can not solve urban issues in many occasions. It requires designers to think outside the box, yet to root their designs on the very basics. The basic goal of urban landscape design is to accommodate uses. With the future of urban centers more and more difficult to foresee, uses, particularly in urban centers, are complex, temporary and unpredictable. Schematic temporary strategies, being more experimental and emphasizing uses, offered a new methodology to generate new uses. Establishing leadership and networking is inseparable to the success of temporary urbanism. It also requires urban landscape designers to scheme designs on a more wholesome level, rather than being constrained within producing drawings. Implemented by an evaluation process, event programming plays a key role in the Downtown 4th Street Pedestrian Mall Project, followed by physical environmental improvements in two phases. Once successful, this methodology can also be applied to other part of the downtown and inspire other initiatives, to finally make it “the region’s most irresistibly positive urban experience” (Downtown Action Team 2012).

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