The University of Arizona

Sustainable Cities Design Academy: Linking the Warehouse Arts District

Sustainable City Project Director Linda Samuels traveled to Washington D.C. this June to attend the 2013 Sustainable Cities Design Academy. Along with Tom Fisher (City of Tucson), Eric Scharf (Wheat Scharf Associates), and Brent Kirkman (HDR, Inc.), they were one of 4 teams to attend this session.


The 2-day intensive workshop paired the team with experts specifically selected for their project, initially termed “Linking the Warehouse Arts District.” The project sought to discover methods by which to leverage the extensive investment currently seen in Downtown Tucson while also developing approaches to create a most sustainable transportation network as well as a process by which the City can encourage smart, context-appropriate development in the area.


Following the intensive charrette process, the team emerged with 4 primary concepts that will guide future recommendations for what they now call the WARD (Warehouse Arts and Rail District): Leadership, Identity, Knit Rather than Divide, and O2 - Organization and Outreach.The team hopes to share their conclusions with several groups in the coming months, including the Downtown Links Citizen Advisory Committee. Learn more about the team's conclusions and next steps in Inventing the WARD.


The Tucson team was one of 8 teams selected this year. The American Architectural Foundation has sponsored the Sustainable Cities Design Academy since 2009 in order to provide teams with project-specific assistance that promotes sustainable, responsible design solutions. Teams from Los Angeles, Denver, and Greensboro, North Carolina were also in attendance. Reflection on the event from both resource team members and participants can be viewed on the American Architectural Foundation’s website.





Cover photo courtesy City of Tucson Department of Transportation.

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