Downtown Tucson EcoDistrict 2050 Wins Awards!

Over the spring of 2017, GLHN sponsored a semester long upper division studio at the University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA). Twelve students, with a variety of architectural, landscape and planning backgrounds took on the challenge of envisioning how downtown Tucson could evolve into a far more sustainable and resilient urban core by the year 2050. Under the direction of  Assistant Professor Courtney Crosson AIA, the student team developed numerical and graphical models of an economic zone along Congress Street, an arts district surrounding the Community Center, and  high density housing along the west bank of the Santa Cruz in the Mercado District. Particular attention was paid to reductions in energy and water use intensity in new construction, open spaces, and along roadways. The audacious vision of the project is described in a summary report which includes a series of high quality graphics depicting the broad range of improvements to infrastructure and land use. GLHN hopes ideas formulated by this millennial group will become seeds of a more comprehensive community planning effort intended to encourage investment, economic development and population growth in downtown Tucson.

The plan received the Association for Environmental Science and Studies (AESS) President’s Award for Educational and Environmental Collaboration and Excellence, the Arizona Forward Award for Environmental Education & Communication, and an AIA Arizona 2017 Urban & Regional Planning Citation Award. Image courtesy of University of Arizona CAPLA.