The Francisville Studio Project was the recipient of the 2011 National American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category. The award will be presented to students and faculty at the ASLA National Conference in San Diego in October/November.The studio was taught by Professors Pauline Hurley-Kurtz and Robert Kuper.
The purpose of this project was to teach sophomore landscape architecture students the process
of developing a sustainable community revitalization plan for
an urban neighborhood; to
introduce philosophies of neo-traditional planning and transit-oriented development (TOD); to reveal the community planning process in a large city, and to acknowledge and incorporate recent city planning and urban greening initiatives.
Francisville was the study site - an underprivileged neighborhood in lower-north Philadelphia plagued by urban blight. In the last half-century, it has experienced social and economic depression, including the migration of its residents, decay of its physical form, and the loss of significant commercial activity.
Students were required to understand the social, cultural, economic, and ecological aspects of the neighborhood. They were then charged with applying TOD principals as they developed master plans for a more sustainable Francisville - plans that would restore the urban fabric and create a diverse, successful and active community.
This project was supporting be a generous gift from the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation.
Role of Landscape Architecture Students
The students role was to analyze the site; understand it's inherent opportunities and constraints; learn from local case studies and apply TOD principles in developing community master plans. The analysis phase, included site visits, community meetings and interviews. Studio reading material included a report entitled “Moving Francisville Forward: A Blueprint for the Future,” created by Interface Studio in 2007, The Image of the City (Lynch) and The Next American Metropolis (Calthorpe).
After a comprehensive site analysis, students identified the opportunities and constraints relating to sustainable redevelopment. Several case studies within Philadelphia were assessed for their success in a particular aspect of community planning. These included Chestnut Hill for its thriving commercial corridor, Fairmount for its dense urban form, and Society Hill for its green network. Finally, student groups were required to conceive revitalization master plans that proposed innovative sustainable designs for a new 'green' Francisville.
Connecting students to practitioners of community and city planning, urban infill development, and open-space design.
Connecting students to the community, particularly through interaction with the motivated Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation (FNDC) that has declared a goal of becoming the “greenest neighborhood in Philadelphia”.
Integration of city-wide initiatives including the Philadelphia Water Department’s Green Streets Program, the 2035 Comprehensive Plan for Philadelphia, and Green 2015, for which Francisville was chosen as a featured neighborhood in Spring 2010.
Audio documentaryfeaturing the memories, realities, and hopes of long-term residents.
Community work day where students partnered with the community to construct a fence and plant a vineyard.
Presentation to the community at The Arts Garage, attended by residents, business owners, and members of the FNDC.
Making Francisville Studio work available to the FNDC for use in the redevelopment process.
Establishment of two student internships by FNDC.
Field trips focusing on sustainable design including the 'Rag Flats', Northern Liberties, Philadelphia and the National ASLA Green Roof in Washington DC.
2011 NationalAmerican Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category
2011 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Pennsylvania/ Delaware Chapter Student Honor Awards for Analysis and Planning for "Moving Francisville Forward" - LA Design Studio II Project.
Student and Faculty Project Participants
Sue Ann Alleger