Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning Studio and Student Research and Creative Activity

Publication Date

Fall 2020


Professor: Frank Sleegers. Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

LARP Senior Design Studio Fall 2020

This project was sponsored through the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of Springfield in collaboration with the City of Springfield Office of Planning and Economic Development and the UMass Amherst Design Center in Springfield.

Project: Location: Springfield, MA, United States

Editors: Joshua Lemieux and Frank Sleegers


Transforming Downtown Springfield, MA: The Green and Equitable City of Tomorrow

This urban design studio is a community service project that developed visions for the downtown in Springfield, MA, as a revitalized mixed-use walkable neighborhood. The project emphasizes neighborhood connectivity through walking and biking and creating a green mosaic of places to sit and gather outdoors. We understand cities as active, vibrant, and inclusive places that are accessible and inviting to all. The project covers 7 team projects from Dwight Street down to the Connecticut River.

Main Project Goal:

Create visions for a green downtown district and ways to foster the creation of an equitable neighborhood that reflects Springfield's diversity.

Main Design Objectives:

  • Provide better walkability and bike-able streets
  • Design a diversity of places to eat, play, and relax outside
  • Create a downtown that promotes public health and community well-being
  • Include local residents and underrepresented youth and teens
  • Provide places that welcome people of color and traditionally underrepresented communities
  • Develop opportunities for small entrepreneurs to create a more equitable economy
  • Apply strategies that limit impervious surfaces/storm water
  • Create places of diverse arts that express diversity.

Process and Outcomes:

A thorough community engagement process included online discussion and collaboration with the downtown neighborhood council AQCA (Amoury Quadrangle Civic Association) and personal and online engagement with the Arts for the Soul Gallery. Students learned about the exciting art from local and international artists of the Black and Latinx community and the necessity of amplifying their voices.