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), a Vision for the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (Springfield, MA).
For a Vision for the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, the Studio Team of six students was tasked with helping the newly invigorated nonprofit rowing club write a plan that implements their vision and expands their programs the next five years. Historically, the rowing club was an organization with a small budget and devoted following. Recently, the organization experienced an influx of revenue in the form of a public health grant. This new budget presents opportunities for organizational prosperity and sustainability and the Studio Team provides strategies to sustain the organization. The client was Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club.