Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Identifying Sites, Research & Existing Efforts

Project Goal: Working to Identify the sites with the most overlapping needs and resources. Recognizing early on that this project is encompassing several components that are interrelated was very critical in identifying the sites that warranted further in-depth research. Certain resources such as water and defunct land were just as important as job need and intact heritage (historic built environment).
After taking a week to tour the country from South to North the group was able to start to get a sense of place about what Wales was, what it is, and what it can be. This also allowed the group to start to identify what our regeneration area was in comparison to the rest of Wales. We have met with several people involved with the regeneration effort e.g. Dave Adamson, Andrew Dakin , John Buxton, and we have started to narrow in the sites that make the most sense in the terms of needs and resources of the sites. We have begun research at two sites specifically Barry and Aberdare. Barry is a coastal town with a lot of potential as a hub connecting via rail to other locations as well as having an operating dock. Aberdare is located in the Heads of the Valley, it has a rich cultural identity and resources that compliment a regeneration project. I have reviewed the plans of “Rhondda Cynon Taf” local development plan to see where our strategies can be incorporated into what is already a well put together and comprehensive master plan.
                Some of the target goals I identified from the local development plan are as follows:
1 Housing
Reduce discrepancies between requirement availability of affordable and special needs housing stock
2 Culture and Heritage
Reduce number of buildings on at risk register (Maintain/protect locally designated sites of cultural value and areas of high archeological value
3 Communities
Improve access to public transport and community facilities for all
4 Health
Increase access to recreation and sports facilities and the countryside
5 Economy
Broad the Economic base by creating more varied and stronger businesses
6 Employment
Increase opportunities to work within the district
 7 Transport
All new development located to support and encourage sustainable travel choices
8 Built Environment
Promote improved design standards and encourage community participation in the planning process
9 Landscape
 Achieve favorable conditions of nationally and locally important landscape designations
10 Biodiversity
 Protect and enhance biodiversity and geodiversity of the area
11 Water
Promote sustainable water resource management
 12 Climate Change
 Reduce Greenhouse emissions
13 Energy
Improve energy efficiency and maximize the use of renewable energy (Encourage energy efficient design in development)
14 Land and Soils
Increase proportion of development on previously developed land
15 Waste
Reduce tonnage of waste to landfill
16 Minerals
Increase % of secondary and recycled aggregate sources in all developments
 17 Air Quality
Maintain and Improve Air quality
The Barry team will be our showcase facility with a public open space connected with the willow processing facility and the green house. We are also looking at precedents in the area for a training/vocational school that can be incorporated into the design. We want this place to be multi-functional, were already thinking ahead of how we can incorporate different aspects of each students focus into a harmonious and cohesive design.
 The idea that we are working with is to create jobs from the basic blue-collar level to experienced professionals so that we can have a stronger texture or network of people i.e. not only workers, but also teachers, administrators, culinary students, restaurant management. We've also been playing around with the idea of those secondary facilities like restaurants, historic trains, eco-tourism, breweries etc. There is a lot on the drawing board right now but as for our current research we are looking at the baseline things we need to know. This includes demographics, ecology, hydrology, soils, zoning, national trust, current conservation easements, water resources, transportation networks; for both Barry and Aberdare. The majority of target issues related to the Local Development Plan will be incorporated into our design and many of our design solutions are already sensitive to these targets as well as intrinsically fulfilling them. The group is currently engaged in research about these two sites and will have updates coming soon. A two week long charrette is scheduled for the first week in October and we will be beginning the design phase of these two sites.

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