Hispanic Heritage Park: An Urban Park Proposal for Tucson's Mercado District
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractLocated in the heart of Tucson’s most historic region, the Mercado District offers locals a unique, downtown-like atmosphere through its modern, yet Spanish colonial inspired, shopping plazas and residential complexes. Small businesses, boutiques, and eateries reside within the two popular marketplaces, which increase the tourism draw to this newly developed area. In addition, the Mercado District hosts the All Souls Procession, an annual event celebrating Día de los Muertos, which has made its mark on the community as a symbolic tradition for Tucson residents. Though the Mercado District has become a staple of Tucson and seen successful rates of attendance, it has yet to incorporate green space or a park for its guests to enjoy while visiting. Considering the cultural presence evident throughout the Mercado District, as well as the Hispanic influence present in Tucson’s history and local traditions, a cultural park within the district would not only encourage recreation within the Mercado District but also exemplify a sustainable, desert landscape. For my senior thesis, I am designing a Sonoran-inspired greenspace between W Cushing Street and W Congress Street, along the Santa Cruz River. Though the park will be represented digitally, the Hispanic Heritage Park will be a theoretical urban space that embodies the union of community and heritage, while also promoting natural resources, rainwater harvesting, and landscape design. Themes of sustainability, landscape architecture, and symbolism will be the basis of park design decisions, while specific infrastructure will be determined through research, observations, interviews, and a site analysis. Concept art will be created through hand-drawn sketches and using SketchUp. Ultimately, the Hispanic Heritage Park will allow guests to immerse themselves in a natural, aesthetic environment to commemorate and appreciate Tucson’s unique culture.
DescriptionSustainable Built Environments Senior Capstone Project