Public engagement is a large part of the work RHA and Gorman and Company have done. This approach is no different at Orton Keyes as it goes through a RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) redesign. To date, RHA, Gorman and DPZ have met multiple times with the residents of Orton Keyes as well as staff and key individuals. The goals of these pre-planning meetings were to identify site challenges and determine how to leverage the DPZ philosophy, incorporate key strategies in reconnecting Orton Keyes and its residents to the neighborhood and to build a physical framework that build community.
About the DPZ Philosophy – “We believe great places add to the sum of human happiness. DPZ designs economically and environmentally resilient communities that foster physical and social well-being.” DPZ creates benevolent urban places in the form of cities, towns and neighborhoods, which encourage walking, diversity and complexity. DPZ projects generate the physical framework for a fulfilling human existence. Safe, pedestrian-friendly streets encourage people to walk in and interact with their built and natural
surroundings. A well-designed public realm, including “third places”, where people hang out beyond home and work, facilitates the creation of social networks and affiliations. Recent studies correlate the impact of the physical environment on human health and well-being.
With pre-planning assessments and interviews complete, design meetings will take the lessons learned and existing site conditions and weave them into a holistic redevelopment plan and strategy for the redevelopment of Orton Keyes. The effort is aimed at doing more than rebuilding bricks and mortar; the goal is to create a sustainable and well-connected community that allows housing to serve as a platform of opportunity for the residents of Orton Keyes AND the surrounding neighborhood. Using the tool kit from a similar redevelopment effort in Little Rock goals will be addressed at the unit, site, and neighborhood levels to ensure cohesive results.
Early site sketches show existing conditions… stay tuned to see the results of the full planning efforts. Next steps and drawings from this work will be presented with additional input from Orton Keyes residents on January 18th, 2017.