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City of Prescott Research Presentation | Ecosa Institute 2010


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Prescott Sixth Street Redevelopment

Project Description

The Ecosa students have been asked by a council member of the City of Prescott to create a vibrant new "urban" component in the downtown area of Prescott that will enhance the visitor experience and bring a new economic hub into the core of the city.

In broad terms, the client's vision is:

To create an area near downtown Prescott that will act as a hub for a variety of outdoor activities including biking and hiking, and help develop awareness of the outdoor opportunities available in Prescott. To enhance Granite creek that bisects the site and explore possibilities for an interface between commercial, housing, retail spaces, and nature. To create a walkable neigborhood with multi-modal transit throughout. To explore planning strategies to create a lively area that can complement the downtown and bring additional revenues into the city. To anchor the development with small retail stores and avoid any “big box” retail in the area.

The client hopes to create an identifiable neighborhood that potentially includes a main street/corridor for mixed uses, including small retail with residential and/or commercial above. The City of Prescott is repositioning its marketing program to emphasize the natural resources in the area, such as walking and biking trails and the natural beauty surrounding the area. This redevelopment project should tie into this aspect of Prescott and make the Granite Creek area the hub for biking and walking to other areas in the trail system.

Site Assessment

Located in the heart of Prescott, Arizona, this project is approximately 140 acres in extent. It is bounded by North Montezuma Street on the West, the Yavapai tribal lands on the East and East Merritt Street on the North. The southern boundary is the property line of businesses that are accessed from EZ Street or from North Mount Vernon Street. The Albertsons shopping center and the Springhill suites define the South East corner.

Currently most of this area is industrial and many of these buildings are vacant and the land in the area is not well utilized. The existing infrastucture of roads was to be maintained, however, simple modifications can be made such as median strips, sidewalks and bike lanes.

Granite creek bisects this area and is a highly under utilized resource. There is a great opportunity to enhance this whole redevelopment by expanding and acknowledging the creek as a superb resource for any redevelopment.

Culture, Environment, Economy

Students researched into both the social, economic and natural systems of the area. Students developed an understanding of the whole area, not only its history and the current human impact, but also the climate flows; air, water, vegetation, fauna, people, and traffic in all parts of this area.

To learn more about this project, click here:

Published in: Design, Technology, Real Estate
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City of Prescott Research Presentation | Ecosa Institute 2010

  1. 1. Prescott, AZ Research Presentation Sixth Street District Redevelopment Ecosa Summer 2010
  2. 2. Presentation Layout •Project Overview •Economic oEconomic Overview oMixed-use developments oTourism Opportunities •Social oPublic Spaces oTransportation oHousing oCommunity Integration •Ecological oIntroduction to Prescott (History and Ecology) oRainwater Harvesting oEarthworks
  3. 3. Project Overview: 6th Street District •Objective: Redesign the current industrial zone into an extension of downtown through the implementation of a mixed-use development •Goals: oEconomic oSocial oEcological
  4. 4. Economic •Current Economics of Prescott, AZ •Business and Economic components of mixed developments •Opportunities and Strategies for the district.
  5. 5. Economic Overview Estimated median household income in 2008: $42,457 (it was $35,446 in 2000) Prescott: $42,457 Arizona: $50,958 Estimated per capita income in 2008: $28,759 Estimated median house or condo value in 2008: $325,573 (it was $148,600 in 2000) Prescott: $325,573 Arizona: $229,200
  6. 6. The Housing Bubble “Unaffordable housing is a new problem in Arizona.” The Challenge: In 1999, median- income families in most Arizona cities could spend 25 percent of their incomes and pay it off in11 to 13 years. Today it would take 20 to 33 years.
  7. 7. July 1, 2009 Population estimate of 43,573 a 28% increase since the 2000 Census. Household By Income Data 2008 estimate 2000 census Over $250,000 1.62% 1.86% ↓ $150,000 to $249,999 2.50% 0.98% ↑ $100,000 to $149,999 8.25% 5.16% ↑ $75,000 to $99,999 9.42% 7.30% ↑ $50,000 to $74,999 18.39% 16.48% ↑ $35,000 to $49,999 18.74% 18.92% ↓ Overall Revenue Increase for the City by Household (Income) Equals Increased Sales Tax Revenue and Funding from Utilities, Tourism & Recreation Population by age (2008) 5 to 9 years 5.17% 10 to 14 years 5.43% ↑ 15 to 19 years 5.85% ↑ 20 to 24 years 7.89% ↑ 25 to 34 years 4.91% ↓ 45 to 54 years 12.30% ↑ 55 to 59 years 6.39% ↓ 60 to 64 years 6.19% ↓ 65 to 74 years 11.65% ↑ Median Household Income: $35,446 Arizona: $40,558
  8. 8. Labor Force Data The labor force has grown from 33,938 (2000) to ($43280 (2008) An Increase of 9,342 people (almost 22%) Civilian Labor Force has grown by 23% or 4363 workers # of Unemployed people has increased by 46% or 436 workers Unemployment Rate has grown 5.0% The number of jobs available does not meet the current demand for jobs Labor & Migration Indicators These employers supply 37% of Prescott's Jobs (including Prescott College)
  9. 9. Population Restaurants/Bar s Building Permits Taxable Sales Transient Occupancy
  10. 10. Existing Assets oAccommodations (rooms) 1.800 oCampgrounds (Private) 3 oHouses of Worship 74 oCity Playgrounds 6 oCity Parks 10 oYMCA 1 oPublic Golf Courses 4 oLibraries 5 oMovie Theaters (screens) 24 oOpera House 1 oNational Forest Campgrounds 7 oZoo 1 oRestaurants 98 oShopping Malls 2 oShopping Centers 6 oTheatrical Companies 3 oArt Organizations 2 oMuseums 3
  11. 11. Encourage retention of tourists with high disposable incomes Create access to future investors Create opportunities for revenue diversification Create potential for an increased number of jobs Create a natural inflow of tourists and job seekers into the space Increase taxable revenue potential Long term potential to alleviate traffic congestion & increase revenue streams from young & active homeowners and consumers Mitigate Risk for investors for their ROI.
  12. 12. The objective would be to keep money IN the City of Prescott by creating more community connectivity.
  13. 13. 25 to 34 years 4.91% ↓ 45 to 54 years 12.30% ↑ Anatomy of a Young Urban ProfessionalExplaining a Crucial Gap The top cities Washington D.C. Seattle NYC Portland Austin San Francisco Atlanta Boston LA Minneapolis Philadelphia
  14. 14. Economics of Mixed-Developments A mixed use development is a complex investment, some believe its a more resilient investment because it diversifies risk, another theory is that it is more risky because of uncertainty. •most mixed use development's success is relient upon a strong local economy •if the local economy isnt that strong, the success is dependent upon a focus on ecotourism or high income attractors (housing, shopping, etc)
  15. 15. Business Component of Mixed- Developments A walkable community is dependent upon supplying the primary needs of its citizens. The following businesses are examples of places you might need nearby: •affordable, healthy grocery stores •trendy restaurants (ie. the Raven) •coffee shops •convenience stores •community centers •health care •beauty parlors •museums, culture centers •hardware stores •transportation centers (ie. bike
  16. 16. Eco Tourism Opportunities for Prescott's Outdoor Enthusiasts •Rock Climbing •Mountain Biking •Adventure Tours/ Hiking Trails •Arts, Culture & History •Canyoneering •Daily/ Weekend Getaways (i.e. Eco Hostels, Eco Lodges or Bed & Breakfasts) •Eco Adventures (i.e. hiking/ trekking, birdwatching, wildlife viewing tours) •Food & Wine •Learning Vacations •Paddling •Resorts Spas & Retreats
  17. 17. Precedence for Economic Revitalization Strategies
  18. 18. SOCIAL •Public Spaces •Transportation •Housing
  19. 19. Public Space Bringing people into the Picture
  20. 20. Why Create Public Space? •Support Local Economies •Attract Business Investments •Attract Tourism •Provide Cultural Opportunities •Reduce Crime •Improve Pedestrian Safety •Increase Use of Public Transit •Improve Public Health •Improve the Environment
  21. 21. Rethinking Public Space •The 4 Keys to a Successful Public Space oAccess and Linkages oComfort and Image oUses and Activities oSociability -Project for Public Spaces
  22. 22. Place Making The power of 10: ―A great destination has at least 10 places within it, each with 10 things to do.‖
  23. 23. Existing Public Space: Granite Creek Park Utilized Public Space
  24. 24. Existing Public Space: Shopping, Streets, Parking Lots Unused Public Space
  25. 25. Observation •Space around park is not welcoming and does not lead one into the park; the park is not presented as an asset. •Not much pedestrian habitat, mainly built for automobiles.
  26. 26. Gathering on the Waterfront: Reno, Nevada•Encourages river recreation, free community events and use of outdoor space. •Flexibility makes it work: oA variety of events are held here for the public and the park itself is a natural aesthetic connection to the environment in a little city.
  27. 27. Public Market: Pike Place, Seattle, WA •Small shops, restaurants, co mmercial areas. •Community effort is what makes it a success: oRun by constituency membership that handles Market’s services to low
  28. 28. Street as Corridors: Kungsportsavenyn Göteborg, Sweden•Neighborhood shops, a trolley corridor, bike lanes, parking drop-off areas, mid-sidewalk display cases, bike racks, benches, plantings, sidew alk paving, street trees, public art. •Flexibility makes it a success: oEvery two blocks the functions of the space change, providing a variation of things in one space.
  29. 29. Rethinking Intersections: Portland, Oregon •Community Art. •Encourages dual pedestrian and vehicle space. •Strengthens community •Community Initiation of the Project makes it work: oProject was brought about by residents of the area, who were seeking a closer community of people; a place where they could meet their neighbors.
  30. 30. Community Involvement •What do people like and not like about the place? What is their vision? •Creates a sense of ownership and pride in the place •Identify partners for the place- making process. •Asset mapping. Documenting and identifying connections between assets.
  31. 31. Transportation Transportation
  32. 32. Walkable Streets •Many European cities were designed with walkable streets.
  33. 33. Many American cities are designed around traffic
  34. 34. Multi use streets Multi use streets can serve to slow car traffic and encourage pedestrian traffic
  35. 35. Community Pathways Networks of pathways and trails away from roads
  36. 36. Precedents Teton county Wyoming uses community pathways to connect neighboring towns, making pedestrian traffic safer and helping to reduce daily commuter car traffic.
  37. 37. Small Scale Transit
  38. 38. Built Environment History, Ethics, Precedents
  39. 39. History of Prescott Architecture •1880s-simple architecture •Late 1890s to early 1900s--beginning of the "Victorian Melange" style architecture •1910 to 1930s-- Bungalow style residential buildings Source:
  40. 40. History of Prescott Planning •Grid-patterned plan •Block at center for courthouse •East side of plaza set aside for higher class homes •Creek banks and low irregular terraces into mountains left for poorer residents
  41. 41. Current Housing at a Glance •Mix of historic Victorians, apartment complexes, and newer single-family homes
  42. 42. Spotlight on 6th Street District •Mostly businesses that sell industrial/building materials. Most are single story buildings made of corrugated metal •Personal service businesses •Public service buildings •Lower middle-class neighborhood with single story homes
  43. 43. Ethics to consider in redevelopment •Those moved against their will can suffer from: oloss of land assets oloss of jobs omarginalization oloss of access to common property odisruption of social networks Source: Drydyk, Jay. Ethical Dilemmas of Development-Induced Displacement. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 2007.
  44. 44. Development without Displacement • •Ensure low-income residents participate in planning process •Intentional planning and policy-making with meaningful community engagement •Maintaining affordability essential to reduce sprawl
  45. 45. Case Study: Civano, AZ Ecologically-sensitive neighborhood development
  46. 46. Overview •attract businesses engaged in solar power and other renewable resource fields. •reduce auto use and air pollution •to create a more livable area with a cooler microclimate •to encourage social interaction and allow for conservation of large natural areas for wildlife •to allow residents to shop, work, and play near home, reducing auto dependence
  47. 47. Community Development Civano Preserving the Ecosystem Sustainable Building Economic De velopment
  48. 48. Case Study: Charter Quay, UK Multi-use Plaza
  49. 49. •used to be derelict industrial site •riverside development, high- density, mixed-use accommodation •completely pedestrian-centered •created new jobs and housing •modern architectural style with traditional building materials •preserve, enhance, and showcase nature of river
  50. 50. Case Study: Spike Island, UK Cultural Center
  51. 51. • •former factory transformed into community art space •70 studios, exhibition gallery, cafe, business space, facilities for art students •focus on contact and networking •some public funding, most turnover from rent •balance between maintaining contact and security
  52. 52. ECOLOGICAL •Introduction to Prescott (History and Ecology) •Rainwater harvesting •Earthworks •Landscaping •Watershed Restoration •Food Systems
  53. 53. Prescott, Arizona History and Ecology
  54. 54. Yavapai People History •From San Francisco Peaks to Granite Mountain •hunting and gathering •Mobile season home: 'whas'--brush huts •More permanent home: 'whambunias'-- dome-shaped thatched houses reinforced with mud plaster and covered with skins •Search for gold was catalyst for bad relations between tribe/anglos •Forced into reservation (1873)
  55. 55. History of Land Use •Gold, Silver and Copper mining •Ranching and herding •6th street history: oRailroad Depot oMechanics Lots oTimber Lots oevidence of chinese gardens
  56. 56. Ecology •Elevation: 5,368 feet •Average Annual Precipitation: 12’’/yr •Climate zone: 6a (can reach a low of -10 degrees fahrenheit) •Ponderosa Pine/Juniper- Scrub Live Oak Transition Zone •Ecological Themes—Survival oPatterns in form:  small leaves  waxy, resin leaves  CAM, C4  spiny, woody barks  huge root systems  rapid growth spurts  short growing seasons
  57. 57. WATER ―Don’t pray for rain, if you can’t take care of what you get‖—R.E. Dixon (1937)
  58. 58. The Water Crisis •Our Current Situation oWe are depleting our aquifers and rivers  Comparable to our current economic crisis: spending more than we have, going into debt o We are in a water crisis! ―The crisis of our diminishing water resources is just as severe (if less obviously immediate) as any wartime crisis we have ever faced. Our survival is just as much at stake as it was at the time of Pearl Harbor, or the Argonne, or Gettysburg, or Saratoga‖ –Jim Wright, US Representative, The Water Famine, 1966
  59. 59. Why is Rainwater so Important? •Rainwater is our primary source of freshwater in the hydrologic system, it replenishes our aquifers and creeks •We currently drain it away from our cities with the use of hardscapes, creating: oFlooding oErosion oSoil Degradation BENEFITS OF RAIN: •naturally pure •natural fertilzer •lowest salt content •its FREE!
  60. 60. Our Current Landscape: The Wasteful Path to Scarcity •In order to infiltrate rainwater, we must change the way we shape the land--this can be achieved through earthworks A landscape on the wasteful path to scarcity. Rain, runoff, and topsoil are quickly drained off the landscape to the street where the sediment-laden water contributes to downstream flooding and contamination. The landscape is dependent upon municipal/well
  61. 61. Earthworks:The Path to Abundance A landscape on the stewardship path to abundance. Rain, runoff, leaf drop, and topsoil are harvested and utilized within the landscape contributing to flood control and enhanced water quality. The system is self-irrigating with rain and self-fertilizing with harvested organic matter. The same site with earthworks implemented
  62. 62. Bioswales Planters that absorb flash flood run- off, filter and clean it, and then gradually infiltrate the water back into the water table. Provides: •Shade and lower temperatures for the street •Reduces the amount of water the city drainage has to work with
  63. 63. Bioswales for parking lots Bioswales for traffic calming Hardscape only where absolutely necessary
  64. 64. Riparian Restoration: A Design Component
  65. 65. Precedents
  66. 66. What is the hook for incorporating riparian restoration and what are the potential beneficial outcomes? What can we learn from the following precedents? (i.e. approaches, values, ethics)
  67. 67. Control Erosion and Reduce Flood Damage Who/Where: The Urban Creeks Council in San Francisco California What they did: •innovative bank stabilization projects •innovative channel design to increase flood capacities •culvert removal correct storm-water management problems •expanded flood plain by acquiring land along river.
  68. 68. Enhance the Neighborhood and Recreate a Sense of Community Who/Where: Friends of the LA River What they did: Incorporated the following into their master plan: •Create a Continuous River Greenway •Connect Neighborhoods to the River •Enhance River Identity •Incorporate Public Art http://www.theriverproje
  69. 69. Attract Tourism and Revitalize Downtown EconomyWho/Where: Paseo Del Rio Association in San Antonio Texas What they did: •The river was turned into a main feature of the downtown. •Shops, Restaurants, and Hotels face the river. •Huge Success. •80% of population see it as a benefit to the city. •96% see it as a tourist attraction.
  70. 70. Preserve History and Cultures Who/Where: Friends of Deer Creek, Nevada City, CA What they did: Collaborated with the Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe on projects including the Deer Creek Restoration Plan, the Deer Creek Tribute Trail and Restoration Project, and on many local festivals and ceremonies. (
  71. 71. Other Benefits • •Reclaim Ecological Values (City of Berkley California) •Restore Water Quality (Lake Tahoe, California) •Create Trails and Greenways (Raleigh, North Carolina) •Create Jobs, Job Training (Snohomish County, WA) •Create Educational Opportunities (Snohomish County, WA) (
  72. 72. Riparian Revitalization and Restoration in Prescott Values: •Natural open spaces. •Neighborhood scenic areas that provide places where we can connect to creeks, forests, etc. •The historic, economic, and cultural benefits that open spaces offer communities. •Trails that provide recreation, transportation, and connection to the greater community and environment Mission to promote, protect and celebrate the ecological integrity of riparian systems and associated wetlands in the central Arizona watersheds through conservation, restorati on and education.
  73. 73. Current/Past Projects in Prescott •Watson Woods Riparian Restoration Project (expanding riparian corridor to improve processes of functions) •CreekWatch Network (Creek Observation Guide, Creek Identification Signs, CreekWatch Groups) •Watershed Monitoring (water quality) •Greenways (The Greenways Committee includes Prescott Alternative Transportation, Prescott Creeks Preservation Association, the local Audubon chapter, City of Prescott, and other organizations- Goal=3.5 miles of Greenway Trails) •Community Outreach (Creekside Almanac Newsletter, Fundraising, Events, Creek Cleanup)
  74. 74. Food Systems:
  75. 75. • •Growing •Harvesting •Processing •Packaging •Transporting •Marketing •Consuming •Disposing What is a food system?
  76. 76. Characteristics of Modern Industrial Food System: •High fossil fuel input •Relies heavily on technology and machinery •Monocrops/Mass Production •High use of chemicals (over 5 billion pounds of pesticides used globally annually) •Linear system produces mass amounts of pollution •Food travels great distances (average american meal travels about 1500 miles)
  77. 77. What is an alternative to this unsustainable food system? Local + Community + Organic + Polycultures = Sustainable Food Systems
  78. 78. The 4 Main Strands of Sustainable Food Systems: Food Security: Addresses food access within a community context, especially for low-income households. Proximity: Food grown as close to community as possible. Self-Reliance: Community provides for its own needs Sustainability: Ecological and regenerative farming/gardening practices.
  79. 79. Community Food
  80. 80. Current System
  81. 81. Community Gardens •Community farms and gardens help bring communities together and provide nutritious food.
  82. 82. Farmers markets •Farmers markets and open air vendors provide community access to locally grown food.
  83. 83. Restaurants and Cafés Restaurants and cafes can work with community farmers to offer locally harvested food to consumers.
  84. 84. Farm to School •Farm to School brings healthy food from local farms to school children nationwide. The program teaches students about the path from farm to fork, and instills healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime
  85. 85. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) • Enjoy Fresh, Healthy, Safe and Locally-Grown Produce Every Week. • Invest in the Success of Environmentally- Conscious Farmers. • Support the Local Economy. • Greatly Reduce the Wastes Produced in Transportation and Packaging. •A food system approach where consumers buy a share directly from farmer, gener ally for weekly pick-ups. There is no ―middle man.‖
  86. 86. Organizations the Community Food Security Coalition and Community Food Connections, Two organizations dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure acces to affordable, nutricious and culturally appropriate food.
  87. 87. Conclusions Together: •an ecological multi-use development •sustainable food system •thriving riparian environment •flexible public spaces •efficient transportation system •regenerative economic opportunities can create an ecologically mindful, economically resilient, and community-driven district.