Department of Urban and Regional Planning   
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign   

UP 503: Site and Physical Planning

Final Report: Site and Physical Planning

Due: Sunday, December 15th by 11:59

Objectives: 1) Understand the framework used to guide sustainable development decisions at multiple scales, starting from a region-wide suitability analysis and concluding with the site-level considerations of contemporary physical planning and 2) use these concepts and principles, along with the skills of analysis and communication covered throughout the semester, to create a plausible master plan for your chosen area.

Requirements: The Final Report builds on the analytical concepts and skills used in your Natural Systems Suitability Report to create a master plan for your chosen infill and/or redevelopment site. Throughout the semester, we have moved from a regional perspective on physical planning, to the selection of a small area for development and understanding how the surrounding context shapes engineering and design decisions on the site. We have discussed the principles of good site engineering and we have studied how different design paradigms inform and influence physical planning as a way to achieve certain objectives and outcomes. The report is a culmination of the work done during the semester and each assignment will be included in part or whole. Summarize your analysis for each step in the site-level physical planning process and highlight tradeoffs that may have occurred in arriving at the mix and arrangement of uses on the site. Clearly explain any assumptions you have made that support the performance of different design elements or the economic feasibility of the project. Do not simply compile your weekly assignments into a single document – create an overall structure for your report and ensure that each section supports the overall framework with appropriate transitions between the different sections. Each section should include a mix of text, figures and tables as appropriate to communicate your analysis and recommendations. In particular, the use of maps, diagrams, and images are encouraged as a way to visualize the design of streetscapes, structures, and neighborhood types throughout your site.

The report should address the following substantive areas:

  • Regional Analysis and Context: Provide a concise summary of the relationships between physical planning decisions and characteristics of the natural systems as a way to prioritize the suitability of areas to accommodate future development. Comment on how the areas identified in your analysis relate to existing urban environments and what this says about future land use change in the region. This section should be used as a way to provide context for physical planning in the region using the prism of sustainability, but the bulk of your report should focus on the site-level analysis of the second half of the semester.
  • Small-area Plan: Briefly analyze the social, demographic, and economic forces and issues specific to your site to better understand the local infill and redevelopment context and needs. Propose a master plan for your site detailing the spatial arrangement and mix of land uses and infrastructure on site. Identify a vision and guiding principles for your site based on a design paradigm. The goals and objectives of this paradigm should inform the physical design for the area along with the principles of good site engineering practice to include storm- and wastewater management, and your design of the street network. Discuss how these systems will function and whether or not the site’s existing contours will require significant grading to achieve the desired effect. In addition to planning for vehicle access and circulation, consider alternatives like walking trails, bike paths, and transit linkages (stops and routes) as a way create a safer, more inviting pedestrian environment. Your proposed development program for the site should be based on plausible assumptions with regard to market conditions and the mix of development types that have been analyzed using the Pro Forma tool. Explain the assumptions used in your analysis and discuss the project’s expected rate-of-return. Finally, highlight elements of green infrastructure on your site. Discuss how they function and the benefits they provide. Explore the possible linkages between your site’s network of green infrastructure and the larger region-wide network you identified in your suitability report.

Reports will be graded based on the substance and clarity of writing in addition to the graphic quality of maps, figures, and the report itself. Pay attention to prior feedback in your weekly assignments and continue to refine your concepts and ideas. The following five areas will have equal weights in the evaluation of your report:

  • Clear and concise writing
  • Strength of analysis
  • Following assignment guidelines
  • Organization, graphic quality, and formatting
  • Overall completeness of task

The maximum page limit for the report (including the appendix) is 20 pages. The end product should be a professional quality document that demonstrates your knowledge of the substantive areas addressed throughout the semester as well as a competency with the software applications used by planners to communicate planning information (e.g. GIS, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign). The report (7_lastname.pdf) should be submitted to the assignment drop box folder by 12am on the 15th of December.

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