AUPD Students Win APA Outstanding Student Project Award

Fall 2018 Planning Studio class develops plan for the Westside
Annamarie Weddle and Michael Frisch accepted the APA Award from Jason Ray, Missouri APA Chapter President.

Eight UMKC Architecture Urban Planning + Design students received the Missouri State American Planning Association Outstanding Student Project Award for “Visions for The Westside.”

The project was part of the Fall 2018 Planning Studio class, and was completed in collaboration with the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation. The award recognizes an outstanding paper or class project that demonstrates the contribution of planning to contemporary issues; best applies the planning process; or applied planning research.

Through research, the Planning Studio class found that the Westside, as other inner-city neighborhoods and particularly minority neighborhoods, has historically been affected by urban renewal, freeway construction projects and disinvestment, creating challenges that persist today. In addition, the Westside is experiencing gentrification as it attracts interest from contemporary downtown planning revitalization efforts and real estate pressures. Their findings showed as a demographic group, Latinx people face specific challenges that also demand planning interventions.

The students synthesized the challenges and selected a few to focus on more deeply. They then searched for precedents of planning interventions that were successful elsewhere, distilled from those precedents lessons to be used in this project, tested multiple ideas for intervention and settled on the ones that made the most sense.

The students learned scenario planning techniques and developed three different scenarios to envision a more sustainable and equitable Westside by 2030:

  1. Status quo remained within the current constraints and within the confines of current regulations and political mindsets and traditions.
  2. Reform gently pushed for improvements in regulations, traditions and/or typologies.
  3. Revolution radically pushed to transform the status quo so as to fully resolve the urban challenges identified in the neighborhood.

The Missouri APA Student Project Award was presented Oct. 10 at the Awards Banquet of the Quad State Conference, the annual conference of the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas chapters of the APA. Annamarie Weddle, AUPD alumna who worked on the project; and Michael Frisch, Ph.D., AICP, department chair and associate professor of the AUPD Department, accepted the award on behalf of Clara Irazábal- Zurita, Ph.D., UMKC AUPD professor who taught the studio course. AUPD students who worked on the project included Saphirah Pociluyko, Jesús Fernández, Rebeca Quiroz Villacis, Maitland Mehlhaff, Annamarie Weddle, Samantha Kaiser, Jenna Baker and Tyler Lehde. 

“This is a wonderful achievement for our students and faculty,” Frisch said.

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Published: Oct 15, 2019

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