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Re-Live Downtown Pine Bluff, Community Design Center Jan 2018

Re-Live Downtown Pine Bluff, Community Design Center

Project Reports

Once a prosperous cultural urban center in the Mississippi River delta, but now the nation’s second fastest shrinking city, Pine Bluff (population: 42,700) is Arkansas’ Detroit. Indeed, a study of black wealth conducted by famed sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois in 1899 found that Pine Bluff had the fourth highest rate of black wealth in the nation behind Charleston, Richmond, and New York City. The school’s community design center prepared a downtown revitalization plan, Re-Live Downtown Pine Bluff, a housing-first initiative focused on building neighborhoods around downtown “centers of strength”. While the revitalization approach is triaged ...


Willow Heights Livability Improvement Plan, Community Design Center Jan 2018

Willow Heights Livability Improvement Plan, Community Design Center

Project Reports

Willow Heights is a 43-year old public housing complex owned by the Fayetteville Housing Authority (FHA) within the federal public housing portfolio administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The school’s design center was commissioned by a local foundation to study an alternative to the FHA’s plan to sell the downtown Willow Heights complex to a developer of high-income housing, necessitating relocation of low-income residents to another complex outside of downtown. Using equity as a driver of decision making, the studio introduced scenario planning to organize reluctant stakeholders in considering transformations to the five-acre complex.