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MLA and CPLN Continue APLA’s Montgomery, Alabama Partnership with Peacock Community Revitalization Project

The Peacock Community Revitalization Project (formerly called Renaissance Community) is a cooperative public and private community redevelopment project venture in the City of Montgomery, Alabama. The project encompasses Mobile Street, a historic street associated with the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and the Selma to Montgomery National Voters Rights March of 1965. The project will redevelop six contiguous blocks around Mobile Street with sixty to eighty residential units, 100,000 square feet of retail/commercial space, office and residential loft units, and parks and green spaces. The project vision is to restore and revitalize the Mobile/ Mildred Street area while preserving the last miles of this historic trail.

In Spring 2012, Charlene LeBleu, ASLA, AICP, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, engaged the LAND 5330/ 6330 Studio III to provide outreach assistance to this historically significant community revitalization project. The objective of the studio was to promote restoration and livability to this historic urban community that once was a thriving middle-class neighborhood devastated by the construction of 

two interstate highways, I-85 and I-65. Studio learning outcomes included the gathering of physical, experiential, and cultural information about the site through physical site reconnaissance and digital sleuthing; graphically mapping and theoretically framing existing ecological and social networks; evaluating the experiential, ecological, social impact of design strategies, with each student effectively communicating final design strategies, both graphically and verbally, to City of Montgomery officials.

LeBleu’s studio showcased the trail as a national tourist attraction and historic destination while suggesting economic opportunities by creating a viable mixed-income, mixed-use community for work, shopping and entertainment. Each student worked on a separate site within the six-block area and employed methods of site inventory and analysis, formation of a concept plan, the examination of precedent studies; master planning; schematic drawings; construction details/sections/ elevations; site plans and planting plans, and a final site model. The studio work has been used by the City of Montgomery to provide graphic visualization to developers and to support the development of  grants for this project.

In Fall 2012 students in Rebecca Retzlaff's historic preservation planning class will work on a semester-long project to create historic preservation plans for the community. The plans will include a community character analysis, comprehensive buildings and historic resources survey, data analysis, futures analysis, and strategies for protecting, preserving, and adaptively re-using historic resources in the community. Students will work in teams of three to four, with various backgrounds and year levels. Graduate community planning students will work in teams with undergraduate environmental design and architecture students, in order to offer the community plans that address the full range of planning scenarios and expertise.

View the Gallery of student work.