El Paso, Texas
El Paso has grown rapidly in recent decades and is continuing to grow with expansion of the United States Army’s Fort Bliss. Additional housing is needed, but auto-oriented patterns of development has not engendered pride of place with El Paso citizens. The City set out to rewrite its comprehensive plan hiring Florida urban design firm Dover, Kohl & Partners. DK assembled a team of consultants for multiple charrettes to help citizens rethink the City’s future. Steve Price of Urban Advantage joined the team to produce photo-simulations demonstrating how development could be positively guided with new urban standards. The visualization above shows how the modernist city hall and surrounds could be transformed into a walkable civic neighborhood with more transparent and inviting buildings. Plan El Paso won the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.
Mt. Rainier, Maryland
Mt. Rainier is a small town along Rhode Island Avenue not far from Washington, DC. It has a good historic urban form, but in recent decades has suffered from the gradual erosion of attention to the safety and needs of the pedestrian. Planning and architecture firm Cunningham | Quill was hired to create a mixed-use town center development plan, and enlisted Steve Price of Urban Advantage to create multi-step photo-simulations demonstrating plan ideas. Steve produced three visualizations: the humanizing of a major arterial, the creation of a civic center park, and the revitalization of a neighborhood commercial center. The plan won a 2012 Congress for the New Urbanism Charter Award.
San Francisco, California
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor adopted a “Better Streets Policy” in 2006 setting down a vision of City streets not just as vehicular thoroughfares, but also as public spaces serving pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, shoppers, and residents desiring a beautiful urban habitat. The Better Streets Plan was drafted to implement that vision by establishing a city-wide set of thoroughfare standards. Steve Price of Urban Advantage created photo-simulations to demonstrate what streets would look like following those standards. The Plan was adopted in 2010 and received a CNU Charter Award in 2011.
San Jose, California
The Alum Rock/Santa Clara corridor in San Jose will be developed by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as a major Bus Rapid Transit corridor connecting east San Jose neighborhoods to the downtown. This will provide efficient and quick transit connections for low income neighborhoods at the outlying stations as well as catalyze new dense development closer to downtown. Steve Price of Urban Advantage created three photo-simulations showing different transit stop configurations and likely development results. The station platform design—constructed and rendered as a 3D model—was based on conceptual and engineering drawings done by other consultants and engineering staff with further refinements done by Steve. Steve’s image files have served as working documents revisited over several months as the design concepts evolved.
The Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC is just across the Anacostia River from national centers of government, business, and culture. Nevertheless it has suffered from neglect and disinvestment in spite of its proximity. Its historic housing stock and street network make it a neighborhood with great potential for revitalization. Steve Price of Urban Advantage was hired by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition to create photo-realistic visualizations for the area to demonstrate the value of local physical assets if they are renovated. Steve worked with DC planning staff and local community leaders to imagine the neighborhood if development built upon the historic fabric that exists.
East Port of Spain, Trinidad-Tobago
East Port of Spain is the home of caribbean calypso and steel pan music with a wealth of music groups practicing and performing throughout this extensive neighborhood. But East Port of Spain also suffers from crime, poverty, and inadequate water/sanitation infrastructure. Steve Price joined an urban design charrette team that located in the neighborhood for a week working with the local residents to come up with a neighborhood plan. Residents were skeptical of yet another planning exercise with little prospect of being implemented. With that in mind, the team worked hard to devise attainable milestones of change that would significantly improve neighborhood life. Steve produced three visualizations, including the one above enhancing the visibility of a public market as a public gathering place and place of commerce.
Walnut Creek, California
The Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART Station was at one time considered a model “transit village” with office and apartment buildings located near a BART transit station. Only problem, the components of a transit village were there—work places, housing, and transit—but nobody walked. Parking lots dominated and the car was king. Steve, as an illustrator, joined a stellar team of designers and planners for a week-long charrette that produced a truly urban walkable plan for the area. Later Steve produced a PowerPoint presentation that explained in simple visuals how a form-based code would work that would assure development adherence to the plan. Now, ten years later, the transit village is 90% built out with 7,000 employees and 6,000 residents living and working within a quarter mile of the BART turnstiles. It won a 2012 APA National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation.
Links to additional projects