HousingNOLA – Implementation Strategies

Asakura Robinson worked with HousingNOLA and the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance to move forward several key Implementation steps of the HousingNOLA 10-Year Strategy and implementation Plan. The context for the HousingNOLA effort, and for these projects, is a rapid increase in housing costs in post-Katrina New Orleans that has left many low-income and middle-income residents paying more than they can afford, and often being pushed further from job centers and services in the city and region. Part 1: Transit-Oriented Development Areas and Regulatory Framework. Our work included a memo documenting opportunity areas for establishing transit-oriented development regulations and design...
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Vacant Lot Toolkit

One of the legacies of Pittsburgh’s economic shift is a large amount and wide variety of vacant and distressed property. The reversion and accumulation of properties coming under public responsibility has placed an enormous burden on the City while contributing no taxes to pay for public services. The estimated cost of maintaining these properties in 2011 totaled $20,457,155. Through the City’s Open Space Plan, it was determined that the City find suitable uses for these lands. Asakura Robinson was engaged by the Department of City planning to review the existing programs and policies relating to vacant land disposition, develop policy recommendations...
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METRO Bike & Ride Access and Implementation Plan

Bicycle connections to transit service are a growing component of the METRO transit system ridership.The overall growth of cycling and expansion of bicycle infrastructure in the METRO Service Area means developing strategies and recommendations to improve the integration between cycling and transit is critical to continued growth and expanding ridership for METRO. To support METRO in improving bicycle access to the transit system, the METRO Bike and Ride Access and Implementation Plan studied existing system users, key factors driving users to access transit by bicycle, current barriers to access, and developed recommendations that capitalize on opportunities to improve access to...
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Washington Avenue Livable Centers Study

The Washington Avenue corridor is truly one of Houston’s most unique places; one that we’re happy to call home. The corridor has experienced significant growth, benefiting from a large influx of new residents, businesses, restaurants and bars, and artists, but has also felt stresses to the area’s transportation and open space networks and housing affordability. The Houston-Galveston Area Council, in partnership with Better Houston, the City of Houston and TIRZ 15, is conducting a Livable Centers study of Houston’s historic Washington Avenue Corridor, bounded by I-45 on the east, I-10 on the north, Westcott Street on the west and Buffalo Bayou...
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Willow Waterhole Access Plan

As part of Harris County Flood Control District’s restoration of a native prairie at the Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Facility, Asakura Robinson developed a Public Access Plan for the Prairie Management Area. Starting from the goal that the prairie should not only be well integrated with the adjacent basin park area, but also with the surrounding community, AR’s work was as much about crafting a plan as building consensus and support for the prairie among a diverse group of community stakeholders. To do this, ARC organized a series of public meetings in collaboration with HCFCD, led discussions of the opportunities...
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The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country Master Plan

The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country is a regional resource for fostering awareness of the unique natural and cultural history of the Canyon Lake area, education through collection, preservation, interpretation and display. The purpose of the Master Plan is to create a physical framework for the programs and operations of the museum. It is important to identify the location of the proposed facilities to optimize usage of the available level areas because the terrain of the site is generally steeply sloping. Recommendations include an expansion of programs that will attract visitors across the region, a site plan for museum facilities, and environmental and landscape features. By broadening and tailoring the...
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Five Corners District Environmental Design Master Plan

This Environmental Design Master Plan presents strategies and recommendations to help the Five Corners District strengthen its identity as a beautiful, safe and attractive place to live, shop, work and invest in. The plan has been developed with the support of community members, business owners and other stakeholders, with the goal of envisioning how the district can best create an environment that builds on the district’s assets as well as anticipates, guides and encourages this future development. The plan includes concepts for new development, mobility, parks and open space, landscaping, and branding. Through engagement efforts, including community meetings, stakeholder workshops, and business surveys, a set...
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Disaster Recovery Target Areas

In 2012, the City of Houston invited residents, businesses, and CDCs from four areas (9 Superneighborhoods) to identify “nodes of opportunity” within their communities.  This process was sparked by devastation from the 2008 Hurricane Ike that left many homes in a state of dilapidation and struggling communities in further disarray.  Four areas, Acres Homes, Independence Heights, Northside Village/Fifth Ward/Denver Harbor/Magnolia Park, and OST/South Union/Sunnyside/South Park will be receiving HUD funds ($151 million) to make home repairs and redevelop areas that will generate further investment, and ultimately move them towards a more vibrant community. Through a series of public workshops and...
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Clear Lake Pedestrian and Bicyclist Study

This Houston-Galveston Area Council funded plan sought to engage local residents and stakeholders in the Clear Lake area of Houston in providing a framework for improved bicycle and pedestrian connectivity in the district. Asakura Robinson Company was engaged to assist in the development of conceptual and implementation plans and to develop and lead public charrettes, which included leading bike rides and walks within the neighborhood. The project included a series of meetings with local stakeholders and residents to assess current conditions, concerns and needs which were the basis of our recommendations. Download the full report here. View project sheet here....
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East End Mobility Study

Houston’s East End is one of the cities oldest neighborhoods. Historically Latino and in the shadow of downtown, this neighborhood has seen significant population decreases over the past fifty years. Although the population has now stabilized, significant land use changes are still occurring: industrial to residential; single-family to townhouse; warehouse to loft. In addition, the area will be transformed by the addition of two light rail lines, both slated to open in 2014. As such, there are significant concerns about the area’s complex transportation system, how modes will work together and what type of community the East End will become. In order to develop mobility options...
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City of Houston Urban Corridor Planning Study

Asakura Robinson Company joined The Planning Partnership of Toronto, Canada, to address successful connectivity and sensitive transit-oriented-development between METRO’s proposed Light Rail/Rapid Bus Transit lines and the surrounding neighborhoods. Project agenda includes critical issues of design, funding, policy and coordination/facilitation. Close collaboration with METRO, City of Houston Planning Dept., Municipal Management Districts (MMDs), Tax Increment Redevelopment Zones (TIRZs), and area developers enabled success of the study. The initiative will change how the City regulates development and designs its streets and other infrastructure in order to create a high quality urban environment in areas along the corridors: Main Street, Uptown, East End, North, Southeast and University. Public input was encouraged...
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