April 13 and 14 were very busy in the Architecture Studies Library and the School of Architecture. Members of the community and of the Las Veags American Institute of Architects gathered around noon in the ASL for this design charrette. The brainstroming was kicked off by speaker Sim van der Ryn, well known architect and author of books on ecological and sustainable design [for a list of what is in the ASL see http://www.library.unlv.edu/arch/events/lectures/simvanderryn.html
KNPR covered the charrette. In addition, participants and others could add comments to the charrette blog http://aialasvegas.blogspot.com/
Recommendations were highlighted at the session on Saturday. In the audience were Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Henderson Mayor James Gibson -- among many others. Both mayors indicated their appreciation of the work and ideas that were shared, and the hope that they can be used to move the valley forward.
Here are the briefest of highlights on the recommendations. The full recommendations of both the Reno group and the Las Vegas group will be printed and offered to the community (and the governor) as a Blueprint for Nevada.
What is the "value" of each resource -- quantifying may help bring home true costs, and help to change the culture of Las Vegas, which is one of our biggest issues.
Issues revolve around diversity, sprawl, and infrastructure. We need a strong regional planning ggroup. We need to address the five-year gap between McCarran at maximum capacity and Ivanpah Airport opening.
Planning and Development
Look at urban form zoning and a stronger Regional Planning Commission. All public facilities should serve multiple purposes. Leverage: spaces, climate, critical mass. Develop the political will to make a positive change.
Schools should be the heart of the community. There should be neigborhood partnerships and access. Consider these three key concepts: rigor, relevance, and relationships.
Social Infrastructure and Wellness
Improve delivery, reduce cost, address root causes of illness.
Arts and Culture
Develop a unified voice for Las Vegas arts. Three strategies for the long-term: arts education for children; more spaces for arts and rehearsals and exhibits and studios -- clustered Art Spots;
arts groups should enhance communication both among themselves and with the community.
Issues include affordability, density, variety, efficiency, and transit. Human scale is critical.
Public Safety and Transportation
Reduce private vehicles, provide alternate modes of transport, connect nodes, educate the public. Address safety issues and crime prevention through design.
Obviously these are all complicated issues. Kudos to the AIA and all who participated for bringing the discussion to this public forum.