Avenue J: Lessons from the Past and from Nature to Heal Lubbock’s Future

By David A. Driskill.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability: Annual Review

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper characterizes an ecologically sustainable downtown Lubbock, which begins to knit the fractured city back together to create a healthy, economically viable downtown. Paramount to this design is the transformation of the existing hardscape of Avenue J into an extension of the Yellowhouse Canyon system, which has served for thousands of years as the path to the plains and the life source for its inhabitants. Envisioned from this design is water harvesting, xeriscaping, and permeable paving to transform a hardscape prone to flooding and pollution into an environment of conservation and health. The extension of the canyon to downtown Lubbock breaks through two historic barriers, a freeway and a railway, between the Central Business District, the Guadalupe Neighborhood, and the canyon system. The new interface of Avenue J becomes a major central park for the city, encouraging bordering properties to be developed as a place for commerce and living. Measurable improvements are expected in lower body fat indexes for residence and adjacent neighborhoods, a lower carbon footprint for downtown Lubbock, and reduced criminal assault incidence.

Keywords: Urban Sustainability, Water Harvesting, Autochthonous Design

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability: Annual Review, Volume 8, 2012, pp.11-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.659MB).

David A. Driskill

Director, Urban Tech - Downtown Center, College of Architecture, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, USA

David A Driskill, AIA, LEED AP holds a post professional degree from Catholic University, Washington D.C. in Urban Design and a professional degree in architecture from Texas Tech University. He is the Director of Urban Tech, the downtown center for the College of Architecture, Texas Tech University. Urban Tech is 1 year old and is partnered with the City of Lubbock, the Central Business District Tax Increment Finance Board, and the Louise H Underwood Center for the Arts in envisioning a transformed and viable downtown Lubbock. Urban Tech is engaged with the public as a participant in the First Friday Art Trail, which brings 4,000 people to the city center each month. Prof. Driskill has practiced architecture/urban design in Washington D.C. and Houston, Texas for 15 years prior to 1987, when he accepted a position at Texas Tech University to teach urban design.