Project Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Project Team: Cassie Frazier, Lauren Stokes
Imagining a future where the Midwest experiences an influx of residents by costal inmigration due to rising sea level, we studied ward systems that could serve as a precedent to provide both short- and long-term solutions for the growth of the Des Moines metro area.
Our initial chosen site capitalizes on farmland along SE Oralabor Road and NE 78th Avenue between Ankeny and Bondurant. The project works as a bridge between towns, located within and building upon the existing Jeffersonian grid. One ward is a half mile square and thus four wards makes up a one mile by one mile Jeffersonian grid square.
Our final ward plan was designed with a specific consideration to density to avoid both the evils of both suburban sprawl and extreme urban density. This ward would be repeated over the landscape to create fast, efficient and prosperous housing and living for residents moving to the Midwest.
We are proposing to transform a portion of this farmland into a system of streets, parks, mini farms, plazas, residences, and businesses that will serve as a bridge between city and town, utilizing the existing organization of the Jeffersonian farmland grid for our Iowa countryside ward system.
A strong urban stance must be taken for a successful, cohesive, and sustainable community to be created through this ward system. Two key ideas are the driving forces behind this new development.
We refuse to succumb to a mundane robotic city, but rather utilize rich variety, diversity, and hierarchy to benefit all members of the community. This manifests itself in our ward through the dispersion of diverse community spaces and amenities that are accessible for residents of all economic and social classes.
We are attempting to achieve an appropriate density for a sustainable community without losing the beloved Midwestern ideals of open space and views of the sky. We recognize that a certain level of density is necessary to meet the demands of an increasing population, but we refuse to sacrifice quality of life in the name of “sustainability,” and we believe the numbers projected for climate migration to the Midwest support us in this decision.
The image to the left breaks down the ward into its six fundamental parts:
INFRASTRUCTURE + CIRCULATION + VEGETATION +
COMMERCIAL + RESIDENTIAL + COMMUNITY
The gallery below details portions of the ward and its functions. Shown from left to right, top to bottom are the Ward Plan and four wards to create a Megaward Plan. The Gentle Masterplan displays the space between Bondurant and Ankey that is utilizedand the Jeffersonian Grid Locator zooms in to reveal contingencies that happen within each mile by mile square.
The Ward-, Megaward-, and Master Transportation drawings detail at different scales how people are transported. The Des Moines Locator zooms out to show how our solution for growth fits within the Des Moines Metro Area.
Finally, the Ward- and Megaward Isometrics show how the Jeffersonion grid is transformed to include parks, retail, and residences, as well as spaces to celebrate farming, a landscape integral to Iowa. The 100 Year Construction Plan looks to the future to gain insight on the ground zero ward and in what direction the wards would expand. The 1 Million Extension Plan speculates on further expansion to prepare for the influx of 1 million residents.
Though this location is strategic in terms of population growth, we recognize the disturbances it will cause. By taking a specific stance on existing conditions, we respond to the question of how to develop the countryside with the least possible disruption. Train lines, the Chichaqua Valley Bike Trail, residences, farmhouses, and creeks interrupt the regularity of the Jeffersonian Grid, and we have opted to weave these irregularities into our ward design.
Jeffersonian Grid Locator
100 Year Construction Plan
Des Moines Locator
1 Million Extension Plan
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