THE ART OF URBAN DESIGN

PORTFOLIO OF Services

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DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLANS

The master plan is the two-dimensional representation of the overall vision for the site.  The plan shows the street hierarchy, open space network commercial centers and locations of important civic buildings.  Typically, this is the primary deliverable of the conceptual design phase, and guides further development of the project as it proceeds into engineering.  


Project :  Master Plan for Hendrick Farm in Quebec Canada. The plan was produced while Huston was an employee at DPZ CoDesign. 

Illustrative vision for west Ennis, Texas, in conjunction with Livable Plans & Codes.

AREA PLAN - PUBLIC SECTOR

At the scale of regional planning, illustrative plans can be used to communicate the vision for large areas that cross multiple property lines.  By looking at topography, regional storm water, transportation, and other factors of the existing context, cities can make better decisions about capital improvements, land acquisition, ahead of development that may constrain future planning efforts.  The plan also becomes an important tool of economic development. 


Project : A vision for west Ennis, Texas with Livable Plans & Codes.

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URBAN DESIGN

While architecture is the design of  individual buildings, urban design is the design of the space between the buildings. The urban designer uses buildings as architects use walls to shape the open space of the street, plaza and square.  This is a skill which had largely been forgotten over the years, but has been resurrected, in part, by the efforts of the New Urbanism movement.  With good urban design, buildings can be designed more simply and efficiently.  

Project: Commercial Plaza, rendering by Chris Ritter of DPZ CoDesign from a plan by M. Huston

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DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT

 In the past decade there has been a resurgence of interest in America’s downtowns. However, there have been many economic and lifestyle changes in the past five decades since Main Street was the commercial/retail heart of the city.  For this reason, downtowns must adapt.  Using the tools of urban design, including regulating plans, design standards, preservation, and complete streets, Huston can clarify the vision and leverage current assets so that downtowns reach their full economic and social potential.  Give customers a reason to do business with you.


Project: Downtown Owensboro Master Plan & Code, with Gateway Planning Group

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TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT (T.O.D.)

A Transit Oriented Development is a type of development that leverages investments in rapid transit - typically in the form of light rail or commuter rail.  A proposed or existing transit station acts as the anchor of the development with higher density uses located closest to the station.  Huston has participated in the planning of numerous TOD developments for both the private and public sector.  


Project: Trinity Lakes Master Plan with Gateway Planning Group

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URBAN INFILL

Urban Arts provides site design studies for the public and private sector for potential development sites.  These can be in the form of quick hand-draw sketches, or more developed designs such as the one shown here.  These illustrations are invaluable when seeking investor and public support.


Project: Mixed-use and housing infill study for the city of Owensboro, KY.

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CAMPUS MASTER PLANNING

There are very few places of higher education that do not plan to grow.  Therefore, it is imperative to have a well thought out master plan to guide that growth.  The master plan can also be a tool for fundraising, giving potential donors assurance that their investments are part of a larger vision.  In addition, a more functional and beautiful campus is more attractive to prospective students. 


Project: Master Plan for Brescia University

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PLACEMAKING

Many places that we encounter in our daily life, especially in more suburban areas, are rather generic and “could be anywhere.” By contrast, placemaking is the term used to denote the design of a place (whether a city, a neighborhood, or a district) that is unique, memorable, and recognizable.  As such, it is not likely to be confused with any other place. Generally, these types of places are created by using the tools of urban design (how the buildings are assembled) and some consistency in architectural character. Landscaping can also add to the unique character of a place.


Project: Skipjack Landing, South Padre Island, TX 

With DPZ CoDesign, rendering by M. Huston