Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Recent evidence shows that many more megacities are now emerging; for example, some contend that an urban triangle (a new urban form) is developing in Texas. The growth in these new megacities is largely unguided and unsustainable.

The Texas Triangle (which includes the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antoniomile area will be home to more than 14 million people. Nearly 50,000 new teachers will be needed to educate the 718,000 new students in the area. Truck and rail freight traffic is expected to increase by 60 percent, and air traffic will rise by 40 percent. All this will take place in an area with some of the best farmland in the nation; one of the most extensive and fragile aquifer recharge areas, an area already subject to special protection; the protected habitats of numerous endangered species; and areas that are frequently subject to tornadoes, hurricanes and subsidence. Yet to date, no one has studied this growth as a coherent whole, nor have any design strategies been developed to make the growth more sustainable and minimize its damage to the environment. areas) is expected to double in population over the next 25 years; by 2030, the 57,000-square

We conducted two interdisciplinary graduate-level classes to gather information, analyze it, and use it as a basis for beginning to plan and design for the enormous growth expected in the Texas Triangle. The students collected an unprecedented amount of data on the Triangle, then used the techniques on land suitability analysis to create development templates that would improve the area’s future growth patterns. It was interesting to draw conclusions for interdisciplinary design studios using real-world projects.

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