Story Avenue Park BUDAS
Louisville has an incredible network of public parks that are nationally renown, however the city does not stack up as favorably to other cities when looking at the neighborhood level of accessibility to greenspace, which si often rated by walkability measures. In order to improve our community's accessibility to parks and greenspace, the Urban Design Studio has focused efforts on building community and stakeholder support for pocket parks and other greenspaces within neighborhoods.
Building on our work with schoolyard projects as outdoor classrooms and various park and urban agriculture concept plans, the Urban Design Studio offers technical support in concept plan development for interested groups and organizations around the city and region through our Brief Urban Design Area Study (BUDAS) program.
This Story Avenue Park: Brief Urban Design Area Study (BUDAS) report was created by the Urban Design Studio in collaboration with the Butchertown Neighborhood Association to develop a concept master plan for the existing Story Avenue Park, located in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. Through the generosity of local stakeholders and Metro Parks, the park was given new life with the removal of an underutilized structure that occupied a significant portion of the site. With the new "blank slate" that was created, the Urban Design Studio worked with the neighborhood to develop a concept master plan.
View the report here: Story Avenue Park Brief Urban Design Area Study (6.5 MB PDF)
Estimating Canopy Cover for Two Urban N'hoods in Louisville
The following article was created and originally posted on October 18, 2013 on MapGrapher here!
We’ve been thinking about trees a lot in Louisville recently, especially in light of recent research highlighting Louisville as a city experiencing significantly hotter than average temperatures compared to other US cities. We understand that aggressively increasing our urban tree canopy is one of the best things we can do to mitigate these rising temperatures.
In estimating urban tree canopy cover, researchers and analysts often to turn to imagery from the USDA’s National Agricultural Imagery Program to create vegetation models that can help provide canopy cover estimates for a point in time.
This week, in cooperation with the Urban Design Studio, we finally got a chance to sink our teeth into some USDA NAIP data, with a focus on two urban neighborhoods in Louisville: Portland and Tyler Park. We sort of picked these two random, and we look forward to using this data to perform similar analyses for the rest of Louisville Metro. If you’re interested in the sausage-making, the process we used is called the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index… described here. For technical reasons related to the data, we had to use imagery from 2010.
Some caveats: (1) These are estimates, (2) While this imagery is available for Kentucky biennially from something 2006-2012, only the 2010 quarter quadrangles had the necessary Near Infrared “4th Band” that’s needed to pick up leaves on plants and trees. (3) Also, although I kept tweaking the NDV Index, a bit of grass always seemed to make it into the model. (4) I separated out a portion of uninhabited flood plain within Metro’s Portland boundary, and north of the interstate, where no one lives. If that area is included, then Portland’s 2010 canopy estimate would be 25%.
NOTE: For those of you “in the know” this analysis is not directly related to Urban Design Studio’s work on the Downtown Tree Inventory, which is in the final stages of data cleaning, and to be presented in a few weeks.
PLEA: Does anyone know if 2012 NAIP Imagery with the 4th band is available or even extant?
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 11
The eleventh one-mile square of Louisville. What is at the center of this figure-ground map? Look at the scale of the buildings compared to past maps.
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 10
The tenth one-mile square of Louisville. What is at the center of this figure-ground map? There are a few key elements that should make this one a fairly easy one to identify.
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 9
The ninth one-mile square of Louisville. What is at the center of this figure-ground map? The building scale and street patterns are similar to Square 6 which was Anchorage so that probably rules out the streetcar suburbs close to downtown.
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 8
The eighth one-mile square of Louisville. What is at the center of this figure-ground map? Look at the scale of the buildings compared to past maps.
ANSWER: Map centered on Third and Muhammad Ali where the Urban Design Studio is located. The building masses compared to past maps is a stark difference and is a dead giveaway in relative terms to Louisville that this is in the central business district. I-65's hospital curve is a very visible feature on the right side of the map and the massive convention center footprint on the north side is typical of these types of monstrous buildings in many downtown environments.
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 7
The seventh one-mile square of Louisville has some features to the built environment that may give away its location pretty quickly. Look at the patterns of the streets, the size of the structures and the bends in the road. What intersection that has the potential to be a great commercial node in the city lies at the center of this map?
ANSWER: Map centered on the intersection of 18th (Dixie Highway) and Broadway, former site of the Phillip Morris plant. This node has a lot of potential with the cleared land to develop something that could create a commercial node and build a strong community center.
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 6
The sixth one-mile square of Louisville has a form that is very different from the previous five and is a bit more difficult. Can you identify the commercial node at the center of this figure-ground map? There are few highly visible landmarks in this map, but people who live around here probably will recognize it for one specific feature.
ANSWER: Map centered on the commercial center of Anchorage in the northeast corner of Jefferson County/Louisville Metro. The City of Anchorage is a 4th-class city within the merged city-county boundary of Louisville Metro. The rail line running parallel to Ridge Road/146 is a pretty defining feature. The other would be the Anchorage Public Elementary School.
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 5
The fifth one-mile square of Louisville is going to be pretty difficult as compared to previous maps. The first thing to do is get an idea of where a tight street grid like this would exist, then look at the park and railroad features. Who can name the intersection at the center of this map?
ANSWER: Map centered on the intersection of Dixie Highway (18th Street) and Oak Street. The greenspaces of Victory Park and Wheatley Elementary School are prominent features as well as the unusual jog in Oak Street and Dumesnil.
Building Blocks of Louisville | Square 4
For our fourth one-mile square of Louisville, from the Building Blocks of Louisville exhibit, we again have some pretty distinct features that may immediately be recognizable. But, without the aid of street names, can you identify the activity node at the center of this figure-ground map? What features of the buildings set this area apart from the previous three maps?
ANSWER: Map centered on 26th Street and Portland Avenue. The historic commercial node is receiving a great deal of attention lately as investors start to take notice of the great assets and opportunities that the area provides. Anyone familiar with the city would probably be able to recognize the Ohio River and McAlpine Locks and Dam to the north as well as Lannan Park and Interstate 64 that cuts the park and river off from the neighborhood. The Portland Neighborhood has a particularly compact built form relative to Louisville with a significant collection of shotgun houses.