Nearly 60% of Americans live in urban environments and that percentage is rapidly increasing. We are in the middle of an unprecedented age of mass urbanization. Shepley Bulfinch’s Urban Planning and Development practice (planning & design) has been heavily involved in societal shifts as it relates to urban living, work, education, lifestyle, and well-being. We believe the most sustainable way of living is through more dense residential areas in targeted urban districts.
Integrating with city sustainability & planning goals
We actively design urban environments with a focus on driving sustainable practices that contribute to the long-term viability in our cities. These environments promote opportunities for individuals to share spaces, minimize use of non-renewable resources, reduce carbon consumption, lower emissions, and promote healthy lifestyles. We continually find that cities – whether a small town or a large metropolitan area – are desperate to invest in healthy, socially equitable, and vibrant urban cores. In downtown Phoenix, our team has been an active partner in the city achieving these goals. During a fifteen year time period, we have designed nearly twenty projects in parallel to a broader urban transformation in the nations’ fifth largest city.
Through our Phoenix portfolio of work, our design teams work at various building scales with developers, user groups and community organizations that drive the city’s collective urban vision. Each of our design projects — whether at the scale of district planning or multi-phase developments – requires our team to be facilitators, visionaries, collaborators, advocates, and skilled designers. We find that urban design success results from several factors such as robust public outreach, satisfying our clients’ programmatic/financial requirements, sculpting skylines and activating sidewalks. We also harness the magic of great dialogue and creative solutions through neighborhood organization participation, city planning relationships, and artist collaborations.
CAV | RISE at State College
Evolve urban planning, yet remember the basics
Urban development in the U.S. tends to happen in a piece-meal approach with moments of great intensity rather than seamless and gradual change. In rapidly changing districts, architects and urban designers translate city goals and neighborhood ambitions into dynamic urban interventions. The core of our design approach promotes walkability/public transport, accessibility to civic resources, quality housing, sustainability, and social equity. However, there is no universal formula that guarantees success. Contemporary urban development in America is a complicated, exciting, and challenging endeavor. Yet, as the urbanization trend continues to accelerate, the payoff (particularly from a designer’s perspective) of contributing to rapidly transforming neglected neighborhoods and tired downtown districts is well worth the effort.