Scott AvenueHonor Award - General Design
Wheat Design Group
The Gem of Tucson’s Downtown Streetscapes, Scott Avenue exemplifies how exceptional urban environments can materialize when businesses, the community, local governments, and the design team work together toward a common vision: creating a pedestrian-friendly and inviting “strolling street” that links the Modern Streetcar to cultural and historic landmarks along Scott Avenue. Completed in 2009, Scott Avenue was part of the first phase of a larger plan to revitalize Tucson’s downtown through improved infrastructure and associated streetscape improvements. The existing Scott Avenue roadway was narrowed (and on-street parking reduced), affording wide sidewalks and spacious planting areas. Today, visitors can appreciate the shaded walkways linking the Temple of Music and Art, the Scottish Rite Cathedral and the Children’s Museum (the former Carnegie Library). Obelisks at the gateway reveal the area’s cultural history, while ample seating, public art, and embellishments to the existing historic Turquoise Trail enhance Scott Avenue. Sustainable design features include passive water harvesting, reuse of existing materials (concrete from former sidewalks was crushed and reused as groundcover in planting areas), low-water use plants, and solar and LED lighting. In collaboration with the Pima County Regional Flood Control District, Pima Association of Governments, and design consultants, the LID/GI features along Scott Avenue were evaluated using the BCE (Business Case Evaluator) software that assigns numbers to sustainability. Scott Avenue accomplishes quantitative LID/GI goals of stormwater mitigation, increased property value, and improved air and soil quality, while qualitative goals such as creating a “sense of place”, creating a healthier urban environment, and achieving stakeholder and resident support were also accomplished.As the first water harvesting project designed for and implemented by the City of Tucson Department of Transportation, Scott Avenue has become a template for future City projects, ensuring “Ribbons of Green” throughout the City.