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2013 Award of Honor - [Re]thinking [Re]development
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Project Category: Conceptual

Project Name: [Re]thinking [Re]development

Length of Design Effort & Date of Completion: January-April (4 months), Completed May 2, 2013

Student: Stephanie Bou-Ghannam, Johan Andres Bueno, KristinaGayle Bunyi, Viviana Castro, Craig Handley Jr., Laura Snider, University of Florida

 Faculty Advisor: Kevin Thompson

Longwood was established in 1875 as a winter retreat town. Despite many singularly working elements, the sum of Longwood leaves much to be desired in terms of program, culture, and aesthetics. The unsuccessful occupancy of Longwood is expressed through its vacant shops, homes for sale, poorly maintained single family units, and unfilled parking spaces.

The shell of a city that appears to have been built mostly as an afterthought to the two major roads, Ronald Reagan Blvd and SR434, offers little opportunity for comfort, connectivity, and community for the user. Although Longwood is passed daily by many commuters, there is no presence, place, or cohesive identity. The introduction of a new commuter Sun Rail station proposes an opportunity for citywide redevelopment and a chance for Longwood to tap into its potential as a working, and financially vibrant city. 

Longwood’s potential for connectivity is fragmented by its orientation toward the motor vehicle. We have proposed a bifurcation of Ronald Reagan Blvd and a linear development that will form a network of successful nodes and corridors. Instead of developing from a central core, we chose important axes that would provide incentives for the user to move throughout the site, creating a framework that will serve the existing Longwood residents as well as new users.

In order to create manageable areas for planners and developers to begin development, we established districts to appeal to a broader spectrum of current and potential citizens and broke our proposal into three phases. Phase 1 identifies Church Street and Jessup as critical east-west links across Longwood running past the Sun Rail station.

Expanding across Longwood via Church and Jessup links the station with South Seminole Hospital, Reiter Park, and Longwood’s civic buildings to the West and addresses the low-income neighborhoods to the East where a new Longwood Park will be established. Phase 2 emphasizes a north-south development along Milwee St., Oleander St., and Ronald Reagan Blvd. connecting phase 1 with SR434. Phase 3 develops Warren Ave. and SR434 is extend Longwood’s services past the 10 minute walking radius.

Programing was designated in relation to walkable radii. Our method was to determine which services needed to be more readily available within a 5 minute walk, and which services would be worth walking a longer distance within a ten minute circle. These program circles would then repeat and overlap themselves according to the linear growth that we have proposed and activate the bottom level of development.

The goal for Longwood is to establish a mixed-use development strategy which various from phase to phase. Phase one would be the densest development consisting of retail for the first floor, office in the second floor, and residential above. Retail, office, and residential unit space changes also depending on the phase.

The services Longwood will provide are meant to satisfy the needs of the current residents and future residents alike. The goal is to make the streets more walkable therefore activating the street scape. The redevelopment also calls to establish services that will help current residents, especially the older population, with education about computers and anything the residents might need that will allow them to be more informed about the redevelopment of their city.

In order to fight gentrification and allow the current residents of Longwood the opportunity to have a say in how their city redevelops, the redevelopment strategy will leave designated "flex spaces” where the city is open to interpretation in how to develop.

Forms can vary and densities can go from mixed-use to single family housing—the point is to have the residents and developers of Longwood to work off the model this project is establishing but allow them to develop those flex spaces in a more natural way that will hopefully be more indicative of the culture and social fabric that Longwood holds. Through this type of redevelopment, the project is facilitating development that promotes a healthier social fabric and a stronger sense of community, paramount to the future growth of Longwood. 


 Christina Lathrop, Principle, ASLA; LEED AP, Dix.Lathrop & Associates, Inc.

 Javier Omana, Vice President/Associate, CPH Engineers, Inc.

 Chris Kintner, AICP, City of Longwood 

Tad Templeton, Templeton Group LLC

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