Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUN 2015

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Page 107 of 157

108 site amenities welcome to the marketplace I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 3 7 1 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 3 8 7 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 4 0 3 Over the last year the planners and landscape architects of GAI Consultants, Inc. (GAI) have been working closely with the city of Charleston, W.V. and its stakeholders by providing master planning services for Slack Plaza. Charleston (50,821), the capital of West Virginia, is the state's largest city and sits at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers. The plaza is planned as the hub of the downtown's entertainment district, linking the historic and business districts. It represents one of the first major planning and construction projects that have evolved from the "Imagine Charleston" study that GAI was also involved with several years ago. As a "spin off" from the design work that is currently underway for Slack Plaza, the landscape architecture and planning group has been asked by the Kanawha Valley Rapid Transit Authority to redesign their transit mall, along with a 3-block stretch of Laidley Street in downtown Charleston. The goal of the design is to move the transit mall to the south of the plaza so it will no longer be in conflict with the pedestrian circulation through the plaza. The design will also create a needed linear greenway connecting Haddad Riverfront Park to the downtown entertainment district. The origins of improving Slack Plaza go back to 2010 when Charleston applied for assistance from the Greening America's Capitals . An EPA team and landscape architects Origin 4 Design engaged the community in a three-day design workshop to gather input, and presented the city with design concepts and strategies to consider. The city of Charleston, W.V. seeks to redevelop a 16-acre downtown thoroughfare that connects the business district and Charleston Town Center into a green space and entertainment district. The existing brick paved area offers a raised linear water feature and seating, but currently police regularly patrol the space to keep people from loitering and panhandling. In addition to a $652,000 federal grant and a $163,000 city grant, the city council gave the city approval to apply for a $2 million grant for plaza redevelopment. RENDERINGS COURTESY OF GAI CONSULTANTS, INC. Taking the Slack out of Slack Plaza

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