Minimizing Urban Sprawl through Open Space Design Strategies: The Case of Tucson, Arizona

By Shahzia Shazi, Mark Frederickson and R Larry Medlin.

Published by The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Urban sprawl refers to the change in land use outside an urban center that results in a relatively dispersed form of residential or commercial development and causes the loss of open space, farmland, or wildlife resource. Alternative methods of development, such as “smart growth” techniques and “New Urbanism” principles are being promoted as a set of ideas to mitigate urban sprawl, to encourage sustainable growth and facilitate infill development. The purpose of this paper is to address the problems due to the current urban sprawl in Tucson, Arizona. The paper further analyses a suitable site for redevelopment and offers open space design strategies to maximize the use of the undeveloped open spaces within the existing urban fabric by creating activity centers with sustainable development. The paper will also seek the possibilities of creating a connection within the city that would offer a continuous and perceptible urban environment through redevelopment of potential sites. Through various concept alternative developments, a final proposed master plan for the chosen site is generated by connecting three potential areas redeveloped to accommodate mixed-use functions through alternative modes of transportation, linking Tucson in the East-West direction in an attempt to minimize the current urban sprawl.

Keywords: Urban Sprawl, Connectivity, Open Space Design, Alternative Modes of Transportation, Infill Development

The International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.107-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 34.284MB).

Shahzia Shazi

College of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, The University of Arizona, Hillsboro, Tucson, USA

Shahzia graduated from the Department of Architecture at BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh with a Bachelor in Architecture (B.Arch) in 2007 and a Master of Architecture (M.Arch) from College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA) at the University of Arizona, Tucson AZ, USA in 2009. A recipient of Graduate Fellowship award, Tuition Scholarship (2008–2009) and also won Arizona Builder’s Alliance (ABA) Portfolio Competition Award at CALA. Interests include research led design in the field of architecture, landscape architecture, sustainable urbanism. Recently published a paper titled “Land Use Requirement and Urban Growth Implications for the Production of Biofuel in Bangladesh” in the Canadian Journal on Scientific and Industrial Research Vol. 2 No. 6, June 2011.

Dr. Mark Frederickson

Associate Professor, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, USA

Dr. Mark Frederickson is tenured faculty with the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. He received his B.ARCH. and M.ARCH. from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of California in Los Angeles/UCLA. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer, the recipient of three Senior Fulbright Scholar Awards, and an ORS Scholar with Edinburgh University, U.K. Dr. Frederickson has taught and practiced Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design in a range of cultural, environmental, and professional contexts in the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. He is internationally recognized for his award winning projects in urban design and small town revitalization, and has presented keynote addresses in both Latin America and the Middle-East. He is also the founder and Director the Tejido Group, an international and interdisciplinary community outreach design and planning program at the University of Arizona. Dr. Frederickson and the Tejido Group are the recipients of four Master Plan of the Year Awards from the Arizona Planning Association and two national design and planning awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The Tejido Group continues to be an important source of outside funding and design and planning awards for the College through its efforts in community outreach and applied research projects throughout Arizona, Central America, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Dr. Frederickson is a LEED accredited professional.

Prof. R Larry Medlin

Professor, College of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, The University of Arizona, Tucson, USA