Peoria Southside Revitalization

ARCH 572: Realizing a Healthy “Heart of Peoria” –  Spring 2016

Graduate Students: Jacob Forby , Gaoda Jiang 


Promoting Safety and Walkability by Developing a New Social Identity

This proposal addresses the intersection of Lincoln and Western Avenues in the South Side of Peoria. Through extensive analysis, walkability and safety were identified as the key ideas driving this project.

Neighborhood analysis revealed there were no police or fire stations in close proximity to the intersection of Lincoln and Western Avenues. This stimulated the initial design strategy of this project by creating a central safety station to serve the South Side.


Infill Strategy 
The initial approach is to enhance the safety and walkability in each residential block. Identifying existing vacant lots and dilapidated parcels is the priority as these become location for infill construction.

In addition, the existing blocks do not have street lights or continuous sidewalks. Therefore, those infrastructure developments are required in each block and the greater south side of Peoria to meet the requirements of safety and walkability.


Current vs. Proposed Usage
Currently, the organization of the blocks encourages strictly linear movement, generally with a straight line between a single starting point and a single destination. This block organization does not enable movement through the interior of the blocks.

This proposed program aims to transform the once desolate and poorly lit alleyways and streetscapes into walkable spaces that enhance resident experiences of the exterior environment of the neighborhood. This strategy originated from observations during an initial site visit to the South Side Neighborhood when residents were choosing to walk down the alleys because the sidewalks were often hazardous, too narrow or nonexistent. Therefore this design proposal enhances the areas that are already in use by developing the interior of the block for enjoyable and safe pedestrian traffic, while also improving the condition of existing sidewalks.

The alleyway development is combined with the infill of a new building called “substations” or “neighborhood anchors” into the identified vacant lots and parcels. Block anchors provide identity to these blocks and stand to deter crime as well as ease the perception of crime in the area.


Current Block Strategy

Site analysis showed a large number of vacant lots with varied sizes. The first phase of the design strategy is to infill these lots. Each block is anchored by a substation, placed in a currently vacant lot. These neighborhood anchors are duplicated in different blocks, but vary in size and function depending on needs of the block. Additionally, this scheme creates a program that can be replicated in more blocks throughout the South Side.


Central South Side Safety Station   

The central station consists of programmed spaces for police, fire, and health clinic facilities. There are also spaces supporting community interaction, including a cafe with outside seating connecting to a central park between the two buildings. Additionally, there is a basketball court for community recreation. The motivation behind this court is to facilitate dialog and promote a renewed and healthy relationship between the residents and the health and safety service people of the South Side.


Neighborhood Anchor 

These anchors address the needs of young adults and provide places of respite and support. The Young Adult anchor is conceived to provide users with tools for independence such as a community kitchen and other workshop areas. The general neighborhood anchor is designed to be smaller in order to promote its potential to be implemented on small sites.

Block-level anchor facilities  are  the  main design concept. These increase connections between the  proposed  new  development  and the community’s needs. These anchors or “substations” shown below,  provide  the  basis  to reimagine the South Side. The Early Childhood anchor is designed to aid the large percentage of single parents and younger couples with children by providing necessary amenities. The Teenage anchor is primarily designed to host after school activities and programs. It aims to provide programs that can keep teens busy and out of trouble while preparing them for life’s next steps.