Buffalo Bayou Park is a 160-acre linear park stretching for 2.3 miles west of downtown Houston, along the region’s primary river. A $58 million capital campaign transformed the park from a neglected drainage ditch into a citywide showpiece. Its ten acres of trails wind past seven major public art installations, three gardens of native flora, and over four pedestrian bridges; two festival lawns, a dog park, a skate park, a nature play area, a restaurant, and an art exhibit hall draw visitors from afar. Structures were carefully sited above the path of potential floods, while park elements within the valley were designed and built to be submerged during future floods—requiring cleanup, rather than reconstruction, after the inevitable floods.
The nonprofit Buffalo Bayou Partnership orchestrated a joint effort between public sector partners and private donors: private donors funded the park, in tandem with public sector improvements to the river channel and adjacent streets, and with a plan for ongoing maintenance. The park’s completion was a milestone that launched a broader effort to reimagine the possibilities of streams across the region.
Kashiwa, a city with a land area of 115 square kilometers (44 sq mi) and a population of just over 400,000, is in Chiba Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo in Japan’s Kanto region. Though home to companies in food processing and other industries, as well as a professional soccer team, it is now best known as the home of Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City. Currently being developed on 273 hectares (675 ac) in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City was launched in 2005 with the opening of Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station on the Tsukuba Express train line. The land is divided into 299 parcels, to be subdivided further into blocks with interconnecting streets and pathways. Initial development is taking place in parcels 147, 148, 149, 150, and 151. This 42-hectare (104 ac) group of parcels extends outward from Kashiwa-no-ha Campus Station and encompasses the University of Tokyo Kashiwa Campus, Chiba University Kashiwa-no-ha Campus, Kashiwa-no-ha Park, and industrial areas.
Accessible from Tokyo in less than an hour by train, Kashiwa-no-ha is an area rich in natural beauty as well as the home of a concentration of academic and research institutions. Creation of the grand design for the project was from the beginning a collaborative endeavor, with Chiba Prefecture, Kashiwa, the University of Tokyo, and Chiba University involved in the planning and deliberation.
Sino‐Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu is a retail-driven mixed-use project that weaves old and new, global and local, low-rise and high-rise, and religious and commercial uses into a pedestrian-centered urban fabric within a growing central Chinese city. The 18.25-acre site includes more than 300 retailers within 1.14 million square feet of retail space, a 335,000-square-foot boutique hotel with 100 rooms and 42 serviced apartments, and a 1.3 million-square-foot, 47-story office tower—all wrapped around an ancient Buddhist temple, six adaptively reused heritage buildings, and three on-site plazas. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Neighborhood Development Gold-rated community brought over 110 new retailers to the market.
Chophouse Row is the last phase of a multiyear redevelopment of a cluster of properties in the Pike-Pine neighborhood of Seattle. Completed in spring 2015, Chophouse Row is a small-scale, mixed-use project that includes 25,317 square feet of office space, 6,379 square feet of retail space, and three penthouse apartments totaling 4,795 square feet; total gross building area is 43,543 square feet. The development includes a mix of vintage and modern structures, a pedestrian alley/mews that provides a walk-through connection from 12th to 11th Avenue, and a courtyard and pedestrian plaza at the center of the block that ties together Chophouse Row and the other properties on the block.
Encore is a mixed-use, mixed-income redevelopment of what had been public housing just north of downtown Tampa, Florida, developed by a partnership between a housing authority and a bank-owned community development corporation. Encore currently comprises four apartment buildings with a total of 662 units of housing, 559 of which are affordable to seniors and family households with low incomes. At full buildout, the LEED for Neighborhood Development Gold–rated community will have up to 1,513 housing units, plus 180,000 square feet of office space, 200 hotel keys, and a 36,000-square-foot grocery on its 12 city blocks. Over eight years, the $425 million investment will create 5,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs on a site that previously supported only 18 jobs. Encore uses innovative and efficient districtwide approaches for stormwater management and cooling.
One North comprises three architecturally distinctive, energy-efficient buildings, with a total of 88,857 square feet of office space and 15,712 square feet of retail space, surrounding a 14,000-square-foot common courtyard. Developed collaboratively by two developers on three parcels, One North brings a new public square and new jobs to a historically disadvantaged urban neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.
The well-insulated buildings at One North use less than half the energy of a typical new office building but were built at a comparable cost per square foot. They feature timber construction for its structural, environmental, and aesthetic qualities; the resulting office interiors have proved alluring for fast-growing creative firms.
AF Bornot Dye Works is a loft apartment and retail project in central Philadelphia that involved the adaptive use and restoration of three timber and concrete factory buildings. Located along Fairmount Avenue, one mile north of Philadelphia’s City Hall, the surrounding Art Museum area is one of Philadelphia’s hottest submarkets, accounting for one-fifth of Center City’s new housing in 2015. The four-story buildings include 17 rental residences on the upper levels and 13,210 square feet of retail space across two lower levels, which has been preleased to neighborhood-serving tenants. In undertaking the project, developer, MMPartners, built upon 15 years of experience renovating and building scores of residential and retail properties in nearby Brewerytown. The $10.7 million development was funded through a combination of conventional loans, federal and state historic tax credits, city incentives, partner equity, and a $375,000 mezzanine loan from an online crowdfunding platform.
Developed by Hines Italia, Porta Nuova is a mixed-use regeneration project near the centre of Milan on 290,000 square metres (72 ac) of land, of which 170,000 square metres (42 ac) is a public and pedestrian area, including a 90,000-square-metre (22 ac) public park. The development comprises 140,000 square metres (1.5 million sq ft) of office space, 403 residential units, 40,000 square metres (430,445 sq ft) of retail and cultural venues, and 3,000 parking spaces. Located to the north of the city centre in Italy’s most-connected transportation hub, Porta Nuova is one of the largest urban development projects in Europe, involving more than 20 architectural firms from eight countries. The 29-hectare (72 ac) project’s master plan is designed to revitalize an abandoned area while connecting the three adjacent neighbourhoods.
The 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati is an innovative hybrid of a vibrant contemporary art museum and a 156-room boutique hotel that is at the hub of a growing arts and entertainment district and has contributed to the revitalization of Cincinnati’s downtown. A masterful orchestration of century-old historic details and clean modern design characterizes the project. The building was redeveloped from a property that originally hosted a hotel built in 1912. Visitors to the hotel can enjoy the 3,082-square-foot fine-dining restaurant and 8,000 square feet of gallery, meeting, and event space dedicated to exhibiting art of the 21st century. Open to the public free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the 21c Museum Hotel features rotating curated exhibitions of the work of living artists, including site-specific multimedia installations.
The Rose is a 90-unit mixed-income apartment project, part of a multiphase redevelopment project that includes 47 affordable units and 43 market-rate units in a two building configuration. The Rose is also an example of an ambitious effort to build sustainably, and the developer has set out to meet many of the stringent sustainability standards of the Living Building Challenge within three to five years of opening. Unlike many sustainable buildings, the Rose kept overall construction costs generally in line with comparable affordable housing projects. The Rose succeeds at balancing the aspirational requirements of green building with the need to be cost-efficient and replicable across the affordable housing industry.