Yesterday our Studio had its final revie (I write Studio with a capital letter… such an important word… a great work environment and an intelligent setup).
Exciting and frustrating.
Exciting to have your work looked into by several competent professionals and frustrating for not finding the time to finish off everything and being able to show in graphics what goes in our minds.
Also not sure about what really goes in my mind, complicating it a bit too much and being surprised at how much more simple some solutions and representations could have been.
A few brush strokes and you are done.
Today I had the opportunity to see last year grads presenting their work for Allen’s Studio.
They were dealing with projects for the Lower 9th Ward in N.Orleans.
Data presented showed me that the neighborhood is losing people and one port business, dealing with metal trade, is thriving next to the water, using the waterway for transportation and transferring materials from their warehouse to trucks.
One of the presentations dealt with the fact that this thriving business was causing big damage to the neighborhood. Too many heavy trucks and a disassociation with the rest of the residential community.
It crossed my mind that the whole approach of the projects was missing out on the fact that perhaps the neighborhood won’t ever go back to what it used to be. Perhaps its calling has turned towards an industrial site, since the land value has gone so far down and the population has abandoned the place voluntarily… of course forced by the tragic events of 1997 and the slow recovery or should I say, no recovery of the whole neighborhood.
Without any deep analysis it seems to me that, since port/commerce is thriving, why not favor those types of activities and shift the site zoning towards that type of use? Why not reseving less space for residential use, occupy land next to the water with warehouses, public parks and services, reserving historical parts separate from the heavy traffic that occurs due to industrialization and perhaps lose some historical heritage in favor of a more robust economy that would, in the end, benefit all types of innitiatives, shifting the face of the neighborhood from residential (today it’s more like a ghost town) to mixed use, better integrated to what it’s calling for?
Just thoughts…

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