Inner Loop Urbanism: Phoenix Edition

In the US, population continues to relocate to sunbelt states and Phoenix is one of the fastest growing metros in the country. This influx of new people during recent extreme droughts has pushed water resources and heat impacts to their limits. Phoenix is now the hottest city in the US with months of average temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. For those who still live in the urban core, the lack of shaded landscape and abundance of heat absorptive building materials has produced dangerous living conditions. The joint urban design studio examined the inner loop core neighborhoods of Phoenix to re-imagine how new (theoretical and practical) landscapes, infrastructures and housing typologies can be combined for “a cooler,” safer, and healthier living environment in the future and how these solutions can be applied to other city cores as the world heats up.

The joint urban studio presented a new pedagogical model that brings together planners (DUSP students) and designers (ARCH) around a shared urban challenge. The studio was offered in two modules. The first module, focused on research - ‘reading’ the metro landscape through analytical representation and mapping, and then further programming and writing a design brief. The second module advanced the learnings and briefs created in the first module to work on the design projects.

Co-taught by Alan M. Berger and Rafi Segal.

Read full studio report here.