00 AHCH student paper
urban design plan
4 bawling alley 2 motel
3 racquetball club_ss.ooo .<,
4 office_____ 38,800 aq ft
5 town houses.
43,000 aq ft
+ amenity space
7 Office___________58,800 aq ft
Q sports expansion 20.000 aq ft
8 tennis club_____ __ B courts
or town hall, or.......
PAUL THOMAS PAIR AN II
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
FOR COMPLETION OF THE DEGREE OF
The purpose of this thesis is to examine a suburban development situation within a designated activity center, and to generate an hypothetical urban design plan which attempts to work with the desires and goals of the:
Denver was established due to the discovery of gold in the streams of the area, and gold ore in the mountains to the west. Denver's location, and the improvement of access from the development of railroad service caused it to become the trade, transportation and cultural center for the burgeoning area.
Denver's first surge of growth waned with a depression of mining and industry resulting in a period of slow growth lasting until World War II, when industries and federal installations locating in the area stimulated development.
The Denver Region had a population of over 445,000 by 1940. The development pattern was largely contiguous at this time, having the major north-south axes of Broadway, the Sante Fe railroad and Federal Boulevard; and the major east-west axis of Colfax Avenue.
The development pattern of the Denver Region changed significantly after World War II. A dramatic increase in the private ownership of automobiles generated much greater individual mobility,
permitting greater distances to be travelled in commuting. Increasing mobility, coupled with the post war housing boom, and other technological and social changes created a pattern of suburban develoment. The population of the region had increased to 612,000 by 1950, and a more dispersed character was evident, with tract housing being constructed in the outlying areas.
The construction of Interstate Highways in the Denver Region further facilitated and accelerated suburban development. Since 1960, the core city of Denver has not grown significantly, while the suburbs have grown at a rapid rate. The population of the area in 1960 was 921,000, while in 1977, it was 1,546,000; an increase of 60*.
Suburbanization is characterized by dispersed low denisty residential areas, commmercial strips and regional shopping malls surrounded by large ares of free parking. Suburban development has rarely embraced a comprehensive plan as a result of independent decisions made by private developers. Public agencies have been relegated to reactive rather than participatory roles in planning.
The dramatic increase in population, and the characteristics of suburban development have created an urban pattern in the Denver Region that is dispersed and inefficient. Random development has occurred ignoring other development. Business and Industry are concentrated in contiguous areas exclusive of other uses. Strip commercial development has grown along traffic arterials, and residential development has been of the low denisty, sprawl type.
Denver finds itself viewing the problems that many other cities face due to sprawl development. The urban quality of life has been severely influenced and affected by the patterns of Denver's growth. Wasted energy and resources, duplications and inefficiencies in the dellverly of public services, increased pollution and lack of form and community identity are some of the major problems that Denver faces.
The Denver Regional Council of Governments, (DRCOG), has developed a strategy to cope with, and to provide an alternative to sprawl development. They have advanced plan policies to achieve a more satisfactory urban pattern and form. These policies are actually based on principles of locational economics, and are aimed toward a retrofit of Central Place Theory. The two major plan policies which shape the stategy are:
THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT OF DENVER WILL BE ENCOURAGED AS THE MAJOR HIGH DENSITY CORE OF BUSINESS, CULTURAL, GOVERNMENTAL, COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL ACTIVITY.
REGIONAL ACTIVITY CENTERS, WITH AN INTENSIVE MIX OF URBAN ACTIVITIES, SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED IN THE DENVER REGION AND SHALL BE DESIGNATED AND IMPLEMENTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ADOPTED POLICIES AND CRITERIA.
These regional activity centers are to become major structural nodes of development in the region in additon to providing certain efficiencies of scale 1n the provision of urban services and facilities, lessening the growth pressures on the urban fringes, and supporting a high quality public transportation system." (1)
The activity center strategy was
developed ass a means to achieve the goals for the denver region that were adopted by DRCOG, April 19, 1972. The goals are:
1. Ethical management or utilization of the natural resources of the region.
2. Attainment of an optimum population size and population distribution for the region.
3. A diversified and balanced regional economy.
4. Creation of spatially identifiable communities which contain a variety of human activities.
5. An aesthetically pleasing environment for all types of human activities (i.e. living, working, shopping, recreation-leisure or traveling between activities).
6. Equitable distribution of government services throughout the region.
(1) Denver Regional Council of Governments, Draft Regional Growth and development Plan, July 1977
1 Northglenn 8 Boulder
4 Denver CBD
5 Weatland B Villa Italia 7 Littleton
S Englewood a Tech Center 10 Bouth Colorado 'll Aurora IS Cherry Creek 13 Medical Canter
7. Efficient performance of an adequate level of government services.
8. Government which is responsive to the needs and seeks out the wishes of all citizens of the region.
9. High quality in a diversity of educational opportunities.
10. The highest possible level of environmental health for the citizens of the region.
11. Assurance of the safety and mental well-being of all people in the region.
12. Maximum opportunity for social and cultural interaction between the various ethnic, religious, and racial groups of the region.
DRCOG defines regional activity centers as; ".... areas with an intensive mix of urban activities. Regional activity centers are multi-purpose centers in that they may include residential, employment, commercial, recreational, medical, cultural, governmental and educational activities. Each center should contain at a minimum; significant levels of intense residential, employment and commercial activity. An activity center should cover a relatively small geographical area."
DRCOG feels that the primary responsibility for the planning and implementation of regional activity centers should rest with local governments and the private market.
In order to support local planning and development of regional
activity centers, DRCOG intends to:
1. Incorporate the activity center policy as a major element in regional transportation planning and regional facilities planning.
2. Provide urban systems funds to projects which increase the accessibility to and the mobility within activity centers.
3. Encourage the provision of high levels of public transportation to activity centers.
4. Encourage the provision of state and federal funds for housing to projects within activity centers.
5. Provide technical planning assistance to aid local governments in the planning and implementation of activity centers.
6. Continuously monitor and appraise the development of designated regional activity centers.
DRCOG has designated 13 regional activity centers which have the potential to become centers of intense, multi-purpose regional activities.
Northglenn is a young suburban city located approximately 12 miles to the north of the Denver Central Business District on Interstate Highway 25. The city is roughly bisected by 1-25, having it's major point of ingress and egress at West 104th Avenue.
Northglenn's land area is comprised of 4,142 acres. The city is contained and prevented from any further expansion or annexation by the City of Thornton to the east, and the City of Westminister to the west.
The suburban community of Northglenn had its beginnings in 1959, as a planned community by a private Denver Area Developer, Perl-Mack Homes, Inc. Northglenn's initial population of 2,500 increased rapidly to over 26,000 in 1969, when the community was incorporated as a self-sufficient home rule city supported by a sales tax base. The current population of the city is estimated to be 33,000 people.
Northglenn is land-locked, and within its political boundaries it is 79% developed, with limited land available for new development. Future increases in the resident population are not anticipated to be greatly significant. Northglenn's Department of Community Development projects saturation occurring around 1990, with an anticipated population of 39,700.
Northglenn is a center of regional importance, which extends it's influence beyond its political boundaries. This factor makes it important to consider broader areas of impact and population in order to structure planning decisions. The Denver Regional Council of
Governments delineates a larger combined service area, (including Thornton and Federal Heights), of 77,000 persons, with an expected increase to 98,000 projected by 1990.
The City of Northglenn is comprised of neighborhoods bounded by major vehicular thoroughfares. These neighborhoods surround a regional shopping mall which is the dominant center of the city. Housing is mainly of the single-family detached type. There are major employment concentrations on 120th Avenue consisting of the Western Electric Co. and a developing industrial park area; and at the regional shopping mall site.
The automobile dominates Northglenn as the primary form of transportation and movement. The city's households have a high rate of automobile ownership. In 1972, two-thirds of all residences accounted for two or more automobiles. Traffic has increased to the point where easy movement is impeded, and access to existing facilities has become much more difficult. The pedestrian has not been very well accomodated.
The city of Northglenn wants to maintain efficient and functional patterns of development, minimizing waste of available land, while improving the efficiency and convienience of vehicular and pedestrian circulation. The city has been very receptive to, and supportive of the Regional activiity Center concept and strategy, viewing it as an opportunity to achieve a strong and viable town center to serve as the functional and symbolic heart of the community.
The city has been very receptive to and supportive of the Regional Activity Center concept and strategy, viewing it as an opportunity to achieve a strong and viable town center to serve as the functional and symbolic heart of the community.
NORTHGLENN ACTIVITY CENTER
The Northglenn Mall area designated as a regional activity center is located to the west of Interstate Highway 25, adjacent to a major interchange at 104th Avenue. It is bounded by Kennedy Drive to the north, extends westward to Huron Street, southward to 104th Avenue, includes a grocery/drugstore on the southwest corner of Huron and 104th, extends eastward on 104th to Melody Drive where it extends south and east to include the Northglenn Greens area.
The Northglenn Activity Center has its regional shopping mall as a primary focus. In 1976 the mall had 800,000 square feet of gross leaseable area, and has since expanded to about one and one half million square feet, making it the principal commercial development in the community. Future expansion of floor area is planned. The Northglenn Mall grossed approximately 60 million dollars in sales in 1976, making it a primary source of revenue for the City of Northglenn.
The Northglenn Activity Center includes a variety of mixed commercial and residential uses in addition to the mall. These uses include multi-family residential units, high rise apartments, medium density apartments, offices, a library and fire station, restaurants, automobile dealerships, miscellaneous retail stores, a motel and a bowling alley.
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) has col 1 aborated with the community in planning a major terminal for busses in the
area to augment the existing mass transit system, and has included the center in its long range rapid transit planning.
The area designated as Northglenn's Activity Center is comprised of approximately 92 acres which are relatively contiguous.
The City of Northglenn has actively participated in the activity center concept. They have worked with RTD, local developers and the community to further development of the center. A downtown plan is currently being developed by professional consultants to provide a framework for development plans.
Northglenn wants to achieve a vital town center that serves as a nucleus for community activity, expands its economic base, and provides a sense of place and identity for the City.
Northglenn wants to achieve a vital town center that serves as a nucleus for community activity, expands its economic base and provides a sense of place and identity for the city.
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FRAME FABRIC FUNCTION ANALYSIS
tha skeleton of tha urban araa thoaa physical alamanta which givs it definition
edgaa; barriers ; nodaa j circulation j opportunities
tha context that buildings and apaoas create by massing,
materials and aoaSa
massing j rhythm ; siting Â§ green apaoea ; pedestrian links; oon* tainment 5 holes
the series of related activities and uses necessary for people to carry out their daily activities comfortably and efficiently
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single-family detached houses
Northglenn Greens Is located within the designated Activity Center, the area bounded roughly by Melody Drive to the west; Brigitte Drive to the south; Interstate Highway 25 to the east; and 104th Avenue to the north.
The boundaries of Melody Drive and Brigitte Drive consist of a row of single-family detached housing, while the boundary of 104th Avenue, (moving east to west), consists of: a motel, a bowling alley, and an automobile dealer.
The remainder of the property was in use as a privately owned golf-course. This parcel was zoned as open 0-1-A by the City of Northglenn. The owners felt that this zoning classification was confiscatory in nature, and by Councilman's Bill No. CN-339, series of 1977, zoning was changed to Conditional Commercial C-5.
Three important conditions of the Bill affecting the property are:
(e) "At a time of commercial development of the golf course, the plaintiff owners shall, at their expense,
establish a 100 foot landscaped buffer zone along the South and West sides of the present golf course property, which said buffer zone shall contain a sprinkler system, it being understood that additional landscaping requirements may not, in the final analysis, require the 100 foot buffer zone as a permanent solution, and the owners further agree to maintain an additional 25 foot landscaped buffer zone along the 1-25 portion of their property lines."
(f) "The owners agree to maintain the buffer zones referred to in paragraph (e), as part of their commercial development costs absent specific agreement between the parties as to alternatives for the buffer zones."
(g) "Public access to the golf course property in the event of future commercial development shall be limited to the present extention of Bannock Street South from 104th Street, unless other access points are approved
by the City Council with the exception of an additional access route may be maintained from Melody Drive for the use of emergency vehicles only."
Plans for the development of Northglenn Greens were announced in the newspaper, the "Dispatch Sentinel", in 1978. The article voiced the concerns of some of the constituency, "The golf course site has been the subject of long and heated controversy in Northglenn, with many residents resisting the change to commercial development because the golf course makes such an attractive entrance to the city and is a beauty spot in the heart of commercial development."
The developer expressed his concern for the planning and developing Northglenn Greens, "as an entity which is in harmony with adjacent residences and, at the same time, complementary to the Northglenn Mall regional shopping center immediately north of 104th Avenue." The developer also brought out the important point that total sales for Northglenn's commercial area
exceeded $90 mill Ion tn 1977 and generated $2.7 million 1n tax revenue for the city.
a. Single-family detached houses
c. Automobile dealer
e. Raquetball Club
a. storm drainage
b. retention pond
c. gently sloping site
1. "attractive entrance to the City"
2. Buffer between existing residential uses and incompatible uses.
3. Vehicular connectivity of the Activity Center.
4. Pedestrian connectivity of the Activity Center.
The single-family detached houses along the western and southern boundaries present a compatibility problem with other uses. The problem is further compounded by orientation, with back yards facing the project. Back yards are private domain and much more sensitive to adjacent uses than front entrances.
The developer is responsible for establishing and maintaining a buffer zone appropriate to mitigate this problem.
The uses compatible with back yards are varieties of open space, and/or other back yards. The developer would like to maximize useable land area, and can effectively do this by facing back yards with back yards. The gross land area available, and the intensity of development precludes the use of single-family detached housing.
Town houses are the closest housing type to single-family detached housing. They provide
families with direct access to the house at grade, and an individual yard or garden, while making much higher density possible.
Due to the higher densities, an additional common landscaped buffer space should be provided for pedestrian use and visual separation.
Until the last phase of the development, access to these houses can be provided by a residential drive from Bannock Street ending 1n a quasi cul-de-sac. Pedestrian and secondary emergency access are provided from Melody Drive. Vehicular access changes to residential drive between Bannock Street and Monterey Drive 1n the last phase.
The town houses are two story units to be compatible with the scale of the existing houses, but providing more verticality to reflect Increased density.
All living rooms abut greenspace and are oriented to face east, west, or south, with no northern exposures.
Parking is provided at the rate of 2 spaces/unit.
Prototypical Town House Plans
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The retention pond and storm drainage within the development are significant natural features. The retention pond 1s located at a focal point at the toe of the slope leading toward the remainder of the activity center.
Enhance the retention pond through the use of landscaping. Make it a pedestrian destination by extending the existing pedestrian connection from Melody Drive along the storm drainage. A1through water is intermittent in this drainage it can be clarified as a watercourse through the planting of trees adjacent to it. If stagnation becomes a problem in the retention pond, it could be aerated by a decorative fountain.
The existing office building is a two-story linear building adjacent to the amenity space.
Its major dimension lies east-west. It is faced with exposed aggregate panels and has recessed reflective glass. It is a building that the developer has been successful with in another location. It is characteristic of current suburban office buildings.
Parking is provided at a rate better than 1 space per/300 sq.Ft.
A formal composition can be achieved by locating a similar building with an additional story at the head of the slope. The building can be situated with its entry feature on an axis with entry feature of the existing building, passing through the amenity space. Parking can be terraced down the slope and landscaped to maintain an openness and visual greenspace for the "entry to Northglenn." Pedestrian and visual connectivity should be maintained between the two buildings.
The building is sited to provide a future visual terminus for Monterey Drive.
The retail space should be located at an active location. "
The retail building can be located adjacent to the amenity space at the juncture of the two pedestrian arterials. It can promote movement between the two office buildings and further clarify the amenity space as a destination.
The building is low profile, and its form can be a visual gateway to provide a further sense of entrance to the City.
The City of Northglenn would like to achieve greater connectivity throughout the Activity Center, and have two major points of vehicular access to Northglenn Greens. The City is also concerned about land consumptive uses such as automobile dealerships within the designated higher density area, but is sensitive to the revenue they generate.
Provide a program for an "automotive park" in vacant land outside of the Activity Center area. Automotive parks have been very successful in other cities, with the dealers benefiting from cross-pollination. Implement a land-trade, land acquisition policy. Establish Monterey Drive to provide a connector loop.
urban design plan
1 bowling alley
3 racquetball club__30,000
4 office_______ ____ 38,800 sq ft
5 town houses.
_ 70 units
13,000 sq ft
+ amenity space
7 office_______ ___68,800 sq ft
8 sports expansion 20.000 sq ft
9 tennis club______ B courts
IO restaurants^___ _32,000 sq f t
or town hall, or..
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1 amenity space, retail
destination, visual focus
racquetball tennis, bowling billiards
town hall; or...
2 racquetball club
3 bannock street
3 MAINTAIN ANCILLARY ACCESS FROM MELODY DRIVE
loong) a pgnragjio s
4 IMPLEMENT POLICIES FDR
II phase S
1 town houses
3 bannock street residential drive
O emergency access pedestrian
3 sports expansion
4 amenity space
3 bannock street residential drive
WICUL OE -SAC
O emergency access pedestrian
existing: i 1 underway:
town hall, or...
2 tennis club
3 sports expansion
4 town house infill
3 bannock street Q monterey drive e residential drive pedestrian