UACDC Earns Accolade For Tornado Recovery Plan

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The team at the University of Arkansas Community Design Center (UACDC) has bagged yet another prestigious international award. This go-around the honor is the WAN Future Projects Urban Design for 2015 Award for the Center’s “Slow Street: A New Town Center for Mayflower, Arkansas” project.

The WAN (World Architecture News) awards are an international architectural awards program whereby 22 categories are represented throughout the year. To that end, every two months, areas as diverse as adaptive reuse, transport and performing spaces are judged by a panel of international experts.

The UACDC project that earned a WAN accolade is focused on the town of Mayflower’s recovery from a devistating tornado that struck in April 2014.

The plan outlines a new walkable town center, incorporating a city park and floodplain, among other features.

In addition, it calls for mixed-use neighborhoods that would accommodate all income groups, avoiding demographic sorting, through diverse housing types that provide a mix of lifestyle options previously unavailable.

“We think that ‘Slow Street’ is a vital urban model uniquely suited to small towns in Arkansas, and are grateful that an international design jury agrees,” said Stephen Luoni, director of the UACDC.

Under Luoni’s direction, the Center has garnered more than 100 awards for various projects and plans, many of which address urban sprawl and downtown revitalization. 

Of the recognition for the Mayflower project Luoni adds: “I envision an Arkansas of many great and thriving cities once again, whether with 1,000 residents or 200,000. The WAN Award shows that small towns can set the bar for future urban possibilities, and our collective challenge in Arkansas is to find the capacity to implement them.”

For its part, the Mayflower City Council unanimously adopted the award-winning plan. The city is currently working to implement Phase One of the plan around the city park.