Apache Junction has an abundance of natural assets, is affordable, and is well located at the cusp of Greater Phoenix and the rugged outdoors. However, it does not have a cohesive vision for its future. Through Project Cities, Apache Junction invited ASU courses to participate in four projects. These were related to solid waste management, an off-leash dog park, understanding homelessness, and its Positively AJ marketing campaign. The fall 2017 course LDE 361/590 signed up to support the city on all four projects. The faculty and students decided the best way to do so was to create overarching visions for Apache Junction in the context of all the Project Cities projects, and generate inspiring landscape architecture ideas related to these visions.
To do so, students divided into five teams and were assigned specific geographic sections of the city. They reviewed documents from the city’s planning department and ASU archives of previous studies of Apache Junction. They pulled data from various agency sites, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on its flood risk, soils, geology, vegetation, wildlife, transportation, and more. Students attended the city’s visioning town hall and local events, and drove, walked, and biked the city’s streets and open spaces to immerse themselves in the physical and human environment.
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