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NEGOTIATING A MIDDLE GROUND
FOR WALKABLE CITIES
URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AND
DIGITAL INTERFACE
STITCH
COMPLETED AT UT AUSTIN | AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2020
WHITE HISPANIC BLACK ASIAN HWY I-35
STITCH | pg.2
THE PROBLEM
01 | UNDERSTAND
Data provided by US Census Bureau, 2020 Data provided by U.S. Census, proprietary data mapping and analysis
Car Infrastructure Dividing Austin Majority Race in Austin by Area
Since its completion in 1962, highway I-35 has served as
a scar causing a socioeconomic and racial divide
separating East and West Austin and enabling
marginalization of minority communities to the East side.
Austin’s population has increased by 42% since 2000,
growing at a rate over twice as fast as the US average.
To accommodate this growth, the Texas Department of
Transportation (TxDOT) intends to spend over $7.5 billion
expanding highway I-35. This expansion is likely to spur
suburban growth, leading to more commuters and
congesting the highway once again while increasing the
issues of air quality, sound pollution, and physical
separation between the two sides of the city.
HOW MIGHT WE
PROMOTE AN EQUITABLE
AND INCLUSIVE URBAN
LIFESTYLE PRIORITIZING
COMMUNITY AND
SUSTAINABILITY IN A
CAR-CENTRIC CITY?
STITCH | pg.3
THE BRIEF
The Client
The Ask
The UT School of Architecture sought to
develop proposals for alternate futures
for highway I-35 to present to the Texas
Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in
opposition to the highway’s expansion.
Design a proposal that replaces highway
I-35 with a mixed-use development
that promotes equity and inclusivity to
stitch Austin’s two sides back together.
01 | UNDERSTAND
02 | EMPATHIZE
STITCH | pg.4
RESEARCH INSIGHTS - CONDITIONS ALONG I-35
Sound Distribution
Life Expectancy
Greenery Distribution
Data provided by City of Austin GIS, 2015 Data provided by NCHS, 2019 Research conducted by Pranav Subramanian
STITCH | pg.5
02 | EMPATHIZE
RESEARCH INSIGHTS - SMART CITIES
Expanding highways tends to only
mitigate traffic temporarily until
generated traffic catches up.
The most effective way to reduce
highway traffic is through efficient
and accessible public transit.
Ensuring equitable public space
access is critical for fostering
healthy and just cities and regions.
Low-income families are more likely
to live in neighborhoods with fewer
parks and recreational resources.
“A set of physical infrastructures,
digital IT technologies, and other
institutions can be created, applied,
and sustained in concert with each
other to provide a high quality of
urban life.”
Public Space Technology Integration
Car Independence
Research conducted by Victoria Transport Policy Institute Research conducted by Project for Public Spaces Research conducted by SCIGC
STITCH | pg.6
02 | EMPATHIZE
RESEARCH INSIGHTS - EXISTING HIGHWAY REDEVELOPMENTS
Seoul, 2005
10-lane highway transformed into
streets that favor public transit
centered around pedestrian public
space, leading to increased transit
use and visitor attraction and
decreased vehicle traffic.
San Francisco, 2002
Following the 1989 earthquake, the
Embarcadero freeway was rebuilt as a
multi-use boulevard with a new public
plaza. This revitalized downtown, with
housing in the area increased by 51%
and jobs increased by 23%.
Seattle, Ongoing
The Alaskan Way Viaduct, an elevated
stretch of highway on Seattle’s
waterfront is currently undergoing
transformation into a new park
promenade connecting Seattle’s
downtown to its waterfront.
Embarcadero Alaskan Way
Cheonggyecheon
STITCH | pg.7
CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS
03 | DEFINE
Promoting Walkability
Research Conclusions
Inclusive Design
When designing to connect East and
West Austin, considerations such as
public transit, public space, and
technological integration be crucial to
providing accessibility for a range of
social and economic demographics.
Recognizing the harmful impacts of car
dependence while acknowledging
Austin’s lack of transit infrastructure, a
car-moderate approach that promotes
walkability while still accommodating
car travel may be implementable.
INEQUITIES CAUSED BY I-35
Evidence of a vast difference in quality of life on either side of I-35 can be seen when observing
the greenery and life expectancies around Austin, with the higher ends of both factors
concentrated on the West side.
Mapping the distribution of sound along the highway reveals how either side is impacted
differently by the piece of infrastructure, with the West side having Shoal Creek to buffer the
harmfully high-decibel highway noise while the East side is afforded no such luxury.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
When trying to reconnect a segregated community, the components of car independence,
public space, and technology integration can provide opportunities that would otherwise come
with financial barriers.
PRECEDENT INSIGHTS
The observed successful highway transformations exhibit positive social and economic results
from their surrounding communities through public space.
STITCH | pg.8
STRATEGIC APPROACH
04 | IDEATE
An Urban Development Strategy
This proposal removes highway I-35 in favor of
a mixed-use development containing
residential, commercial, cultural, and
environmental buildings connected by a public
promenade featuring transit options, social
spaces, and an sustainability considerations
supported by an augmented reality digital
interface. This development will support
complete walkability within itself while still
integrating within Austin’s car-dependent
fabric to create an equitable and inclusive
bridge between East and West Austin, stitching
a divided community back together.
Placemaking
opportunities
Car-independent
Infrastructure
Integration
with context
Iconic
building
envelopes
Safety through
visibility
S T I T C H
a unified and
inclusive identity
Closed loop
ecosystem
STITCH | pg.9
ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES
04 | IDEATE
Providing Inclusivity
Mediating Transit
Building Community
Retention pond
Bus route
Tram line
Bike lanes
Informal courtyards
Sustainable initiatives
Biodiversity
Transit centers, a new type of car
infrastructure, were developed by the
design team to mediate Austin’s car
dependence with the walkability of
the proposed Stitch area. These
transit centers serve as a one-stop
shop for parking, maintenance,
fuel, and loading while connecting
occupants with forms of public
transit used across Stitch.
STITCH | pg.10
05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT
URBAN DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION
Iterative Sketch + Prototype
S T I T C H
STITCH | pg.11
05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT
INCLUSIVITY CONSIDERATIONS - SPACE
Sustainable Initiatives
Informal Courtyards
Retention Pond
Collecting and storing water for
future repurposement.
Serving as informal meeting spaces
for community gatherings.
Allocating space for solar and wind
farms to generate clean energy for the
development.
STITCH | pg.12
05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT
INCLUSIVITY CONSIDERATIONS - TRANSIT
Bike Lanes
Tram Line
Bus Route
Enabling synergy with existing Austin
public transit infrastructure
Providing convenient, high-speed
mobility across the development.
Supporting protected and efficient
individual bike and scooter travel.
STITCH
A City at your
Fingertips
Log In
Don´t have an account? Sign Up
STITCH | pg.13
05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT
DIGITAL PLATFORM
GOAL
Provide a more human centered and
intuitive experience to engage
residents with the Stitch development.
FEATURES
Interactive map
Locate transit options
Access real-time schedules
Event calendar
Participate in local events
Create/promote events
Community forum
Recieve local news
Communicate with neighbors
AR interface
Display info on building exteriors
Decorate physical space digitally
Supporting the Stitch User Flow Diagram
Log in /
Sign up
Interactive
Map
Building
Info
Transit
Options
Select
Tickets
Create
Event
Local
News
Message
Boards
Upload
Post
View
Events
RSVP
Community
Forum
Event
Calendar
AR
Interface
ISO Rice Cooker
3/25/2024, 3:40 PM
BUY/SELL
BBQ in the Park
9th St. Park
Apr 12, 3:00 PM
Amy’s Grand Opening
Amy’s Ice Cream
Apr 12, 8:30 PM
First 50 customers will recieve a free
single scoop.
RSVP
BBQ in the Park
9th St. Park
Apr 12, 3:00 PM
9th St. Park
Apr 12, 3:00 PM
Search all events... Search all events...
See all
See all
42 min
26 min
14 min
You are:
HOME
You are going to:
9TH ST. PARK
63°F
9TH ST. PARK
Search all locations...
STITCH | pg.14
05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT
DIGITAL PLATFORM - MAIN FEATURES
Interactive Map Event Calendar Community Forum
Your Events
Upcoming Events
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
BBQ in the Park
9th St. Park
Apr 12, 3:00 PM
BBQ in the Park
9th St. Park
Apr 12, 3:00 PM
Join us for a friendly neighborhood
barbeque! Food and drinks will be...
BBQ in the Park
9th St. Park
Apr 12, 3:00 PM
STITCH Transit Seminar
Online
Apr 12, 5:30 PM
The City of Austin will be hosting a
seminar to educate residents of...
RSVP
NEW POST
E-Bike For Sale
4/2/2024, 10:16 AM
BUY/SELL
New to the neighborhood!
4/1/2024, 7:56 PM
GENERAL
URGENT - Missing Dog
3/28/2024, 2:32 PM
EMERGENCY
Expected rains this week.
3/27/2024, 9:46 AM
GENERAL
Easter Egg Hunt?
3/25/2024, 8:54 PM
SOCIAL
All Messages Announcements Direct Messages
Today This Week This Month
TICKETS
07 min
TRAM LINE
14 min
21 min
DUNE 2
MOVIE THEATER
4:00 PM | 6:30 PM | 8:00 PM
MONKEY MAN
5:15 PM | 7:45 PM | 9:15 PM
Search all events...
STITCH | pg.15
05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT
DIGITAL PLATFORM - AR INTEGRATION

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STITCH: HOW MIGHT WE PROMOTE AN EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE URBAN LIFESTYLE PRIORITIZING COMMUNITY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN A CAR-CENTRIC CITY?

  • 1. NEGOTIATING A MIDDLE GROUND FOR WALKABLE CITIES URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AND DIGITAL INTERFACE STITCH COMPLETED AT UT AUSTIN | AUSTIN, TEXAS | 2020
  • 2. WHITE HISPANIC BLACK ASIAN HWY I-35 STITCH | pg.2 THE PROBLEM 01 | UNDERSTAND Data provided by US Census Bureau, 2020 Data provided by U.S. Census, proprietary data mapping and analysis Car Infrastructure Dividing Austin Majority Race in Austin by Area Since its completion in 1962, highway I-35 has served as a scar causing a socioeconomic and racial divide separating East and West Austin and enabling marginalization of minority communities to the East side. Austin’s population has increased by 42% since 2000, growing at a rate over twice as fast as the US average. To accommodate this growth, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) intends to spend over $7.5 billion expanding highway I-35. This expansion is likely to spur suburban growth, leading to more commuters and congesting the highway once again while increasing the issues of air quality, sound pollution, and physical separation between the two sides of the city.
  • 3. HOW MIGHT WE PROMOTE AN EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE URBAN LIFESTYLE PRIORITIZING COMMUNITY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN A CAR-CENTRIC CITY? STITCH | pg.3 THE BRIEF The Client The Ask The UT School of Architecture sought to develop proposals for alternate futures for highway I-35 to present to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in opposition to the highway’s expansion. Design a proposal that replaces highway I-35 with a mixed-use development that promotes equity and inclusivity to stitch Austin’s two sides back together. 01 | UNDERSTAND
  • 4. 02 | EMPATHIZE STITCH | pg.4 RESEARCH INSIGHTS - CONDITIONS ALONG I-35 Sound Distribution Life Expectancy Greenery Distribution Data provided by City of Austin GIS, 2015 Data provided by NCHS, 2019 Research conducted by Pranav Subramanian
  • 5. STITCH | pg.5 02 | EMPATHIZE RESEARCH INSIGHTS - SMART CITIES Expanding highways tends to only mitigate traffic temporarily until generated traffic catches up. The most effective way to reduce highway traffic is through efficient and accessible public transit. Ensuring equitable public space access is critical for fostering healthy and just cities and regions. Low-income families are more likely to live in neighborhoods with fewer parks and recreational resources. “A set of physical infrastructures, digital IT technologies, and other institutions can be created, applied, and sustained in concert with each other to provide a high quality of urban life.” Public Space Technology Integration Car Independence Research conducted by Victoria Transport Policy Institute Research conducted by Project for Public Spaces Research conducted by SCIGC
  • 6. STITCH | pg.6 02 | EMPATHIZE RESEARCH INSIGHTS - EXISTING HIGHWAY REDEVELOPMENTS Seoul, 2005 10-lane highway transformed into streets that favor public transit centered around pedestrian public space, leading to increased transit use and visitor attraction and decreased vehicle traffic. San Francisco, 2002 Following the 1989 earthquake, the Embarcadero freeway was rebuilt as a multi-use boulevard with a new public plaza. This revitalized downtown, with housing in the area increased by 51% and jobs increased by 23%. Seattle, Ongoing The Alaskan Way Viaduct, an elevated stretch of highway on Seattle’s waterfront is currently undergoing transformation into a new park promenade connecting Seattle’s downtown to its waterfront. Embarcadero Alaskan Way Cheonggyecheon
  • 7. STITCH | pg.7 CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS 03 | DEFINE Promoting Walkability Research Conclusions Inclusive Design When designing to connect East and West Austin, considerations such as public transit, public space, and technological integration be crucial to providing accessibility for a range of social and economic demographics. Recognizing the harmful impacts of car dependence while acknowledging Austin’s lack of transit infrastructure, a car-moderate approach that promotes walkability while still accommodating car travel may be implementable. INEQUITIES CAUSED BY I-35 Evidence of a vast difference in quality of life on either side of I-35 can be seen when observing the greenery and life expectancies around Austin, with the higher ends of both factors concentrated on the West side. Mapping the distribution of sound along the highway reveals how either side is impacted differently by the piece of infrastructure, with the West side having Shoal Creek to buffer the harmfully high-decibel highway noise while the East side is afforded no such luxury. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT When trying to reconnect a segregated community, the components of car independence, public space, and technology integration can provide opportunities that would otherwise come with financial barriers. PRECEDENT INSIGHTS The observed successful highway transformations exhibit positive social and economic results from their surrounding communities through public space.
  • 8. STITCH | pg.8 STRATEGIC APPROACH 04 | IDEATE An Urban Development Strategy This proposal removes highway I-35 in favor of a mixed-use development containing residential, commercial, cultural, and environmental buildings connected by a public promenade featuring transit options, social spaces, and an sustainability considerations supported by an augmented reality digital interface. This development will support complete walkability within itself while still integrating within Austin’s car-dependent fabric to create an equitable and inclusive bridge between East and West Austin, stitching a divided community back together.
  • 9. Placemaking opportunities Car-independent Infrastructure Integration with context Iconic building envelopes Safety through visibility S T I T C H a unified and inclusive identity Closed loop ecosystem STITCH | pg.9 ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES 04 | IDEATE Providing Inclusivity Mediating Transit Building Community Retention pond Bus route Tram line Bike lanes Informal courtyards Sustainable initiatives Biodiversity Transit centers, a new type of car infrastructure, were developed by the design team to mediate Austin’s car dependence with the walkability of the proposed Stitch area. These transit centers serve as a one-stop shop for parking, maintenance, fuel, and loading while connecting occupants with forms of public transit used across Stitch.
  • 10. STITCH | pg.10 05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT URBAN DEVELOPMENT IMPLEMENTATION Iterative Sketch + Prototype S T I T C H
  • 11. STITCH | pg.11 05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT INCLUSIVITY CONSIDERATIONS - SPACE Sustainable Initiatives Informal Courtyards Retention Pond Collecting and storing water for future repurposement. Serving as informal meeting spaces for community gatherings. Allocating space for solar and wind farms to generate clean energy for the development.
  • 12. STITCH | pg.12 05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT INCLUSIVITY CONSIDERATIONS - TRANSIT Bike Lanes Tram Line Bus Route Enabling synergy with existing Austin public transit infrastructure Providing convenient, high-speed mobility across the development. Supporting protected and efficient individual bike and scooter travel.
  • 13. STITCH A City at your Fingertips Log In Don´t have an account? Sign Up STITCH | pg.13 05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT DIGITAL PLATFORM GOAL Provide a more human centered and intuitive experience to engage residents with the Stitch development. FEATURES Interactive map Locate transit options Access real-time schedules Event calendar Participate in local events Create/promote events Community forum Recieve local news Communicate with neighbors AR interface Display info on building exteriors Decorate physical space digitally Supporting the Stitch User Flow Diagram Log in / Sign up Interactive Map Building Info Transit Options Select Tickets Create Event Local News Message Boards Upload Post View Events RSVP Community Forum Event Calendar AR Interface
  • 14. ISO Rice Cooker 3/25/2024, 3:40 PM BUY/SELL BBQ in the Park 9th St. Park Apr 12, 3:00 PM Amy’s Grand Opening Amy’s Ice Cream Apr 12, 8:30 PM First 50 customers will recieve a free single scoop. RSVP BBQ in the Park 9th St. Park Apr 12, 3:00 PM 9th St. Park Apr 12, 3:00 PM Search all events... Search all events... See all See all 42 min 26 min 14 min You are: HOME You are going to: 9TH ST. PARK 63°F 9TH ST. PARK Search all locations... STITCH | pg.14 05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT DIGITAL PLATFORM - MAIN FEATURES Interactive Map Event Calendar Community Forum Your Events Upcoming Events Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 BBQ in the Park 9th St. Park Apr 12, 3:00 PM BBQ in the Park 9th St. Park Apr 12, 3:00 PM Join us for a friendly neighborhood barbeque! Food and drinks will be... BBQ in the Park 9th St. Park Apr 12, 3:00 PM STITCH Transit Seminar Online Apr 12, 5:30 PM The City of Austin will be hosting a seminar to educate residents of... RSVP NEW POST E-Bike For Sale 4/2/2024, 10:16 AM BUY/SELL New to the neighborhood! 4/1/2024, 7:56 PM GENERAL URGENT - Missing Dog 3/28/2024, 2:32 PM EMERGENCY Expected rains this week. 3/27/2024, 9:46 AM GENERAL Easter Egg Hunt? 3/25/2024, 8:54 PM SOCIAL All Messages Announcements Direct Messages Today This Week This Month
  • 15. TICKETS 07 min TRAM LINE 14 min 21 min DUNE 2 MOVIE THEATER 4:00 PM | 6:30 PM | 8:00 PM MONKEY MAN 5:15 PM | 7:45 PM | 9:15 PM Search all events... STITCH | pg.15 05 | PROTOTYPE, TEST, IMPLEMENT DIGITAL PLATFORM - AR INTEGRATION