Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Final Thesis Document

Over the past few months, I have focused on my final thesis project to complete my Master's degree in Urban and Rural Design. The project resulted in an Urban Design strategy for a 12-block area in the Sherman Park Neighborhood of Milwaukee. Please feel free to view and share the final document (below), which I have delivered to Queen's University in Belfast as well as my client groups (Common Ground and Sherman Park Community Association). I was well supported in my efforts for this project and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the residents of the area. It is hoped that this project will assist the fundraising efforts for improvement projects in this area moving forward.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


As of 5pm yesterday I my work in Belfast is done... With the final submission of my project on North Belfast I begin a month-long farewell European tour before finally making my indefinite return to US soil. Here's the itinerary:

5-day trip to Denmark & Copenhagen

10-day trip with the family around Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland

Another 10-day trip with my girlfriend's family in the opposite direction around the island of Ireland

And finally, a 5-day trip to the architecture and beaches of Barcelona

The past two years have provided me with timeless memories and life-long friends. I've also grown a tremendous amount personally and academically, and I've achieved things I never thought possible only a few years ago. These travels and experiences have left an indelible mark on my life and I consider this to be a fantastic beginning to an adult life full of adventure and an undying hunger for exploration.

Thank you all for your steadfast support throughout these years because, as many of you already know, it wasn't always easy. I couldn't have done it without you.

Moving forward, I will be developing a master plan for a low-income, under-served area on the west side of Milwaukee (Between North and Center along 44th and 45th streets). Following the submission of my thesis project in September, I hope to establish myself in a community and make a difference through design or community and urban activism. I am currently looking in Chicago, Milwaukee, and the Twin Cities.

Please note, this does not mark the end of my blog. I plan to post about the other design projects I worked on this year as promised and I plan to continue my updates through my summer thesis design project and into the real world. Please forgive the lack of posting over the next few months as I transition back to life at home.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Design Project: New Lodge Towers

My postings had been sparse over the past few weeks during a long break for Easter and a heavy work period for a final project and exam. In the next couple of posts I'll highlight some of the project's I've worked on this year:

The most recent project asked myself and a group of team members to analyze the change in the built environment in North Belfast over the past 40-50 years (pre- to post-troubles). Through a series of maps and photographs we discovered that through systematic slum clearance and the implementation of motorways through the area, the landscape today has become pockets of insular/'cul-de-sac'd' housing developments and disconnected from the surrounding hillside, waterfront and city center. Our goal was to increase the permeability through the area while also improving movement patterns for cyclists and pedestrians into and through North Belfast. Through a path network system and a long-term cul-de-sac redevelopment proposal among other suggestions, we proposed a more inviting and accessible North Belfast.

The following are an existing and rendered image of the area surrounding the New Lodge apartment blocks transformed from a vehicular dominated space, to a pedestrian friendly area with a walking path system between the buildings and concentrated parking area out of the picture. 



Notice the close proximity between the tower blocks and the city center.

We are currently completing the project with a final report that will be used in ongoing research on "Planning for Spatial Reconciliation" at Queen's.