Designing Resilient Communities at UTA Arlington, Texas, usa

PROJECT OVERVIEW: Since 2013, the Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) has offered a multidisciplinary graduate studio project that integrates sustainable design and planning strategies. Using the campus as the site for investigation, these projects help prepare students for their future roles as practitioners in an era of climate change. With a parallel focus on the environmental demands that rapid growth in the Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan region generates, these visionary projects not only introduce Blue & Green Infrastructure concepts and climate responsive design solutions to the university campus but also provide metropolitan communities with innovative ideas. UTA projects primarily consider SDG’s 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 15 and 17 to improve ecological, environmental, and human conditions to better unite natural and urban systems.

The projects showcased here are informed by landscape performance tools and techniques to unite UTA’s campus and its metropolitan community with sustainable, innovative and environmentally friendly design and planning solutions and stormwater management practices. Students prepare a schematic master plan, detail solutions and performance findings for landscapes and buildings while highlighting educational aspects of design and planning innovations for campus and surrounding communities. The projects aim to deliver exemplary multidisciplinary solutions that provide environmental, social, and/or economic benefits, while helping create thriving, resilient communities for its metropolitan context. ‘CONVEYANCE”, submitted for Stage 1 of the Local Project Challenge, shows an earlier project by this studio. Completed in fall 2019 and shown here as a Stage 2 project, “CONFLUENCE” investigates a new campus site.

CATEGORY: Education SETTING: Urban STATUS: Completed project

BY: The University of Texas at Arlington

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: This community partnership project involved UT Arlington facility management and leadership to identify current problems and future needs of our campus to match our innovative ideas with realistic goals. The project also involved professional & academic experts primarily in the design, planning, engineering professions to explore multidisciplinary innovations and solutions. The project primarily responded to the campus community (students, staff, faculty, and visitors) as well as Arlington community members by understanding their needs and interests on the topic while providing innovative green infrastructure solutions. The project is presented to a mixed group of professionals and community members to review and disseminate our visions. We also submitted the project for design competitions (such as EPA, & ASLA) to demonstrate our findings.

PARTNERS: Faculty Advisor: Taner R. Ozdil, PhD, ASLA, Landscape Architecture Program and Center for Metropolitan Density, CAPPA, The University of Texas at Arlington.

Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Team: Reza Paziresh, B.A., Landscape Design, Master of Environmental Design Engineering, Masters in Landscape Architecture Molly Plummer, B.A. Arts, Printmaking and Art History, Masters in Landscape Architecture Ann Podeszwa, B.S. Political Science, M.B.A.; Masters in Landscape Architecture John Watkins, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, Masters in Landscape Architecture Emmanuel Higa, B.A. Geology, M. Geology, Doctoral Candidate Geology.

Acknowledgement: Bill Poole, Assistant Vice President, Office of Facilities Management, The University of Texas at Arlington; Fouad Jaber, Ph.D., Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Dallas, Texas; Jim Manskey, ASLA, PLA, Principal, and his staff at TBG Partners; UT Arlington Community: Students, Staff and Faculty.