Friday, December 02, 2005

Effingham/High Corridors: An opportunity for New Urbanism in Portsmouth, VA

Effingham/High Corridors
Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
Charette from URBAN DESIGN ASSOCIATES: Urban designer Ray Gindroz’s plan for drawing people to the western side of Effingham Street in Portsmouth includes a market square and parks. This charette shows Effingham cutting across the picture; the corner to the right is High & Effingham. The Downtown Tunnel is to the left & Portsmouth Naval Hospital to the right.

I am so pumped. Last night I attended a community meeting at the Hawthorn/Governor Dinwiddie Hotel. I've had this thing about "new urbanism" (and have been meaning to blog about it for a while) and to hear a talk and view drawings (I'm a little confused if the process is a charette or if the drawings are charettes; see hereand here for a little overview).

Anyway, I found it all very exciting.

Here's some of what the paper had to say:
On Thursday, urban designer Ray Gindroz presented a redevelopment scheme to try to change that.

He said Effingham Street has worked as a barrier between the city’s busy downtown and the ghost land right next to it, and he described ways the city could better control the heavy flow of traffic along Effingham and draw people to the western side of the road.

The plan by Gindroz’s company, Urban Design Associates, calls for a m arket s quare of residential, commercial and office low-rise development fa rther west on High Street, distinguished by a square with a pavilion in the center of High Street.

Nearby on Effingham Street, Gindroz suggested creating two parks to encourage pedestrian traffic, flanked with new residential or commercial buildings on vacant land currently owned by the city.

His company’s plan is part of several redevelopment efforts under way in Portsmouth at the moment. As part of another Gindroz-inspired effort, the city is seeking out developers to build several high-rise towers and other buildings on two pieces of property closer to the water.
More to follow.

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