The goal of Planning Studio is to develop a student’s techniques for collecting, analyzing, synthesizing spatial and non-spatial data and presenting that collective data in a manner (i.e., report, video, presentation, charettes) that is understandable to academics, professionals, and the public. Planning Studio allows students to integrate knowledge from coursework and research, and apply such knowledge to resolving representative planning problems. At UMASS Amherst, these problems are found in neighborhood, rural, urban, and/or regional settings. In Fall 2013, the course completed three projects: Master Plans & Land-Use Elements, the Revitalization of the Lower Worthington Street District (Springfield, MA), an Asset map and plan for Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (Springfield, MA).
For the Revitalization of the Lower Worthington Street District (Springfield, MA), the Studio Team of nine students was tasked to deliver well-researched suggestions for initial strategies that could revive this area into a 24-hour, trendy, market-rate neighborhood that would attract young professionals seeking both residential amenities and a walkable, urban lifestyle. Also important to the authors of this report are methods to preserve diversity and include the current residents within aspects of our approaches, specifically to provide opportunities to join in the economic benefits of revitalization and to avoid the typical trade-off of displacement as growth increases. The client for this project was DevelopSpringfield.