Westbury Community Garden Master Plan

Founded seven years ago in the Westbury area of southwest Houston, Westbury Community Garden (WCG) has become, in almost every measurable way, a model for community-initiated and community-led parks and open spaces. The Westbury Community Garden Master Plan, completed in 2016, is an effort to both take stock of this place as it exists today and provide site planning recommendations to guide the future of this highly valued community resource. While it is customary for institutions to plan for their future, this master planning effort began from everyday needs. As long as it has been the Westbury Community Garden, this 7-acre...
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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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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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Sawyer Street Vision Plan

The Sawyer Street corridor, in the First and Sixth Wards in Houston, connects Memorial Drive and Buffalo Bayou Park with IH-10 and the MKT Hike and Bike Trail. The corridor changes character significantly, including both a historic residential district and a quickly changing industrial area.  The area is notable for its historic urban fabric, which is experiencing rapid change and increasing market pressure due to its proximity to Downtown Houston and the increasingly desirable Market Square area.Following on the recommendations of the Washington Avenue Livable Center Plan, Asakura Robinson, along with Traffic Engineers, Inc., developed a new complete streets plan...
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North Main Street Rebirth

Born out of a desire to help an underserved community take a plan off the shelf and move towards lasting community change, this neighborhood revitalization project sought to build community capacity to implement some of the recommendations of the community’s Livable Centers plan. Working with the Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC), we worked with local stakeholders in the historic commercial corridor along North Main Street to develop and implement a long term strategic plan. We developed a strategic plan that seeks to use cultural capital and vision of community instutitions to guide and encourage economic development through new commercial and residential development....
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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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FM 1092 Access Management Study

FM 1092 (also called Murphy Road) is the main north-south corridor within the City of Stafford, providing access to regional destinations through freeway and transit connections, including US-59/I-69 and the METRO West Bellfort Park & Ride. Asakura Robinson provided public involvement and streetscape design expertise for the FM 1092 Access Management Study, as well as document design. The project went beyond the scope of conventional access management studies to provide guidance on placemaking techniques, develop a vision, and inform how entities can play an integral role in transforming the quality of spaces along the corridor. Recommended streetscape design elements accommodate all...
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Upper Kirby Livable Centers Study

The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Livable Centers program provides opportunities for urban communities to focus on enhancing walkable, mixed-use places that provide multi-modal transportation options, improving environmental quality and promoting economic  development. Planning Studies apply program goals to a specified study area. Asakura Robinson Company worked with Van Meter Williams Pollack to provide pedestrian enhancement guidance to the Upper Kirby District consultant team. Implementable projects were identified within the district that connect area destinations by utilizing cross streets enhanced with a Complete Streets concept that cater to all users, pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular. These projects provide multi-modal connectivity and promote a reduction of vehicle miles traveled. View project sheet here...
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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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Northside Livable Centers Study

Livable Centers are walkable, mixed-use places that provide multimodal transportation options, improve environmental quality and promote economic development. Planning studies apply program goals to a specified study area. Asakura Robinson Company provided pedestrian enhancement guidance as part of the consultant team. Enhancements included existing pedestrian market areas, bike lanes, ped/bike trails, wayfinding signage, rail and bus stop furnishings enhancements, lighting, graphics, trees, vegetation and stormwater filtering devices. These enhancements will clearly delineate Little White Oak Bayou Nature Corridor, Moody Community Park, multi-modal areas, pedestrian connections between area destinations, and enhance the district as a whole....
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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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