CALA is now CAPLA: College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Changes Name to Include Planning

Friday, November 16, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 16, 2012 – The University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA) has received unanimous approval to change its name to the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA). The change was made in order to represent all of the professions housed within the College, and indicate the planning program’s importance to the strategic future of the College, the University, and the State of Arizona.  Originally called the College of Architecture when it was established in 1964, the College has undergone several name changes over the years, representing a long history of evolving programs.

Dean Janice Cervelli, FASLA, FCELA, is a strong supporter of the planning program and the role it plays within the College and the three professions. “The mission of the College is the education of highly skilled interdisciplinary design and planning practitioners,” states Dean Cervelli. “Accordingly, it is fitting to formally recognize the profession of Planning in the college name.  Highly skilled urban planners are more essential now than ever before, as Arizona and the Southwest U.S. face the challenges of being the second fastest growing region in the nation.”

For the planning students and community, the new name is an uplifting change and is representative of the College’s commitment to the program. Arlan M. Colton, FAICP, graduate of the UA Master of Science in Urban Planning program, and current member of the Friends of Planning group, states: “All of us in the professional planning community, especially those of us who are UA grads, are excited to see Planning return first in program and now in the title of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. This shows the strong commitment of the University to the urban planning profession and the recognition of its importance to our community and our state.  Dean Jan Cervelli and the College leadership are to be commended for following through to reunite our three related professions under one roof.  The professional cross collaboration,  the new programs being instituted and the active presence of the college at UA’s downtown campus and thereby working in our communities and neighborhoods will provide opportunities for current and future students that only the most foresighted could imagine.”

“Inclusion of the ‘P’ in the CAPLA acronym gives the planning program something to be enormously proud of,” adds Garrett Smith, Master of Science in Planning student and current president of the Graduate Planning Students organization. “With formal acknowledgment, the planning program here at the University of Arizona takes on an added dimension where the new CAPLA represents a true recognition of the relational bonds established between architecture, landscape architecture, and planning both academically and in the real world. Ultimately I believe this formal recognition will lead to greater exposure of the program, which in turn will have a positive effect on past, current, and future students alike.”

CAPLA will be implementing the change through branding, materials, and its website over the upcoming months.

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UA Professor Co-Creates Tool to Measure Economic Development Success

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gary Pivo, a UA professor of planning, has helped create an online tool to measure the economic, environmental and social success of economic development projects.

A University of Arizona professor has co-created an online tool designed to evaluate the merits of economic development projects and help developers understand the social, economic and environmental impact of their plans.

Traditionally, the success of an economic development project has been measured first and foremost by the number of jobs it creates or how much capital investment it attracts, said Gary Pivo, professor of planning in the UA’s College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

The Triple Bottom Line Tool looks at a variety of other factors, in addition to capital investment and job creation, to indicate how successful a project might be.

“It broadens the conversation about how to define good economic development,” Pivo said.

Users of the tool enter details about a particular project online and receive feedback based on about 50 different measures. They are then given a score indicating how well a project supports three key goals: economic vitality, community well-being and natural resource stewardship, which together represent the “triple bottom line.”

“Some of the measures relate to the quality of jobs these projects will create and their contribution to regional economic resilience, some of them relate to whether they use natural capital efficiently and maintain ecosystem health, and some of them relate to how well they preserve culture, promote health and cultivate well-functioning communities," Pivo said. "There are different measures designed to assess the triple bottom line performance of a project.”

The online tool, which is in beta release, is intended for use by project designers and developers, as well as state, local and federal agencies considering projects submitted to them for funding, Pivo said. It might also be used by members of the general public interested in learning about the impact of projects planned in their communities.

Anyone can sign up for free online to use the tool. As users enter information about a project, they are provided with relevant data, pulled from a variety of federal databases, to aid in project assessment. For example, when a project’s geographic location is entered, users might be notified whether it’s in a critical habitat for endangered species or whether it’s in a flood hazard zone, Pivo said.

“It’s a way of helping to bring a lot of the information resources of the federal government into one place to make them easier to access,” Pivo said.

Pivo worked on the tool with a team led by Portland State University that also included representatives from the Reinvestment Fund and PolicyMap. The team worked in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, along with an advisory board of policymakers, practitioners, academics and industry leaders, including the National Association of Development Organizations, the International Economic Development Council and the Ford Foundation.

The goal was to develop a faster and easier way for those involved with economic development projects to assess the merits of a project and to encourage them to think beyond traditional parameters of success, Pivo said.

“This gives people a tool they can use to design their economic development projects at the front-end, when they’re thinking about elements that would make those projects as good as possible for the natural environment, as well as for social goals like worker safety, living wages and other concerns,” Pivo said.

“If projects are evaluated on a broader set of criteria like this, they will be shaped in a way that makes the best use of our investment dollars, in a way that achieves not just one dimension of success but three dimensions of success.”

(Alexis Blue, University Communications, September 21, 2012)

 

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CALA Faculty Ryan Perkl Published in ArcNews

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Over the last decade, wildlife corridors have become a cornerstone for promoting species persistence within conservation planning. While corridors have become an increasingly viable conservation strategy, issues still remain in translating modeled corridors beyond plans into implementable designs. Although modeled corridors result in the delineation of boundaries, they lack planning and design guidance for programming the appropriate vegetative types and patterns that may be desirable throughout the corridor. This represents a considerable implementation gap for practitioners interested in employing corridors as part of a conservation or land-use planning strategy.

This University of Arizona team proposes that a modeled corridor by itself is not a design but rather a first step toward design. Design requires attention to site-specific characteristics; functions; and even more qualitative variables, such as aesthetics, as a means of informing the fine-grained decisions necessary for implementation. Further, the team believes that the growing field of geodesign holds promise in moving toward this end, as it strikes the needed balance between developing the analytically based methods required in conservation planning and the graphic and communicative language necessary for design implementation. As a result, this article illustrates and discusses the development of a new tool while showcasing the marriage of geodesign with real-world applications in conservation planning and design.

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CALA Students Look to Revitalize Downtown

Thursday, May 31, 2012

TUCSON- For years city planners have looked at ways to revitalize downtown, now some University of Arizona architecture students may have the answer.

For the past couple of years the grad students have been working on a project called "The New Old Pueblo". "We did a lot of research on successful strategies used in other cities," UA Grad Student Julia Roberts says.

Roberts is one of 17 students who worked with Architecture Professor Mark Frederickson to design the plan. It includes creating more green space, pedestrian paths and even a soccer stadium near the base of "A" Mountain. "That was in response to a lot of information we're getting from the popularity of soccer and the likelihood that we'll get a professional team here," Frederickson.

The other major part of the plan involves water. It calls for bringing water back to the Santa Cruz River between Congress and 22nd Street. "We had looked at some old photographs of the Santa Cruz River and my gosh there were people on boats and it was just beautiful," Frederickson says.

The group already ran some of their plan by Tucson Water and city leaders, who they say are optimistic about the project.

The collaboration gave Roberts a chance to see what it would be like to have a career in landscape architecture. "It challenged me to look at not only the ecological and biological issues with landscape architecture, but also really focus on functional issues and economic ones," Roberts says.

They're all skills the students will hopefully use again the future to make Tucson the city of the Southwest.

The students are planning to present their official proposal to the City of Tucson in the fall.

(KVOA News, May 31, 2012)

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