Restitch Tampa

In a complicated world of uncertainty and tentativeness, urban planners would propose flexible long-term strategies. They would look beyond the borders of their site to recognize the relationship of one parcel to the whole. They would assume elements of a design may or may not occur, or may only occur in fragments over time. Understanding that many factors will combine in complex ways, they would evaluate and project how a variety of social, technological, economical, ecological, and political factors might affect the city. Isolating solely on a specific area for change may simplify a complex picture, creating distortion or short sidedness. Transformation at only a specific locality may not be enough to rejuvenate a community. In a world where countries, banks, and corporations are volatile, economies, financing, and sponsorship can change overnight. How then would you plan for a shifting landscape?

STITCHES Stitches present urban uncertainties. They highlight architectural devices, commerce, or cultural trends which have a substantial impact on the (re)stitching of Tampa. Each can offer a future towards a more cohesive and ecological Riverwalk and urban core. When realized, these stitches create (urban) fabrics.

FABRICS Fabrics highlight a specific location and project a glimpse into an environment when two or more stitches are crossed and activated. By merging stitches in varying combinations, and coupling these with known facts about the community, variations of plausible futures for the city can be projected. Individually they narrate the urban condition of a specific location, in their totality they provide an overall narrative for a city looking to become ecological and connective through its (infra)structures.


Land-Aid a floating, anchoring, or bridging structure used to bypass areas where current city (infra)structures obstruct the Riverwalk; connecting existing public spaces and allowing a continuous path from the North Street Bridge to Channelside. Ecological constructions of various compositions, they morph as needed thru the Riverwalk into low impact biofilters (mitigating city storm water run-off) , shoreline habitats (natural vegetation and sea reefs), and places of public gathering and movement (paths, amphitheaters, restaurants).

Light Rail an advanced high speed Eco-train line, initially connecting Tampa to Orlando, which will become part of an emerging network uniting the urban centers of Florida with major nodes around the US. Providing fast, efficient, and economical travel, the train competes with air and vehicle travel as the primary mode of transportation between urban centers.

Ashley One-Way the transformation of Ashley Drive into a one-way, south to north, vehicle route . The existing I275 exit ramp is isolated to Tampa Street providing a primary one way, north to south, entrance into the city and a dedicated connection to 618 Crosstown Expressway. Traffic along Ashley Drive is reduced by 50%.

Water Taxi a local and regional shuttle service around Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough River, which brings people directly to the amenities of the river’s edge and adjacencies. The ecological mode of transportation provides direct access between established destination points while offering new perspectives of the city, as well as, introducing new urban typologies and economies.

Big Deal a new three tier partnership between the city of Tampa and land owners aimed to reclaim the large number of vacant and car park lots within the urban core (50% of the land). Using revenue bonds to assist in the construction of parking structures; consolidating existing parking lots, one half of the liberated land is allocated to the city for the development of public parks and amenities. The remaining one half is allocated for new commercial/residential development facilitated by this new relationship.

8 Train an extension of Tampa’s StreetCar system in and around the city center using both existing (CSX and StreetCar tracks) and new rail lines. The train system encourages Transit Oriented Development and provides StreetCar access within a one half mile radius to all users within Tampa’s city center

Sponge Park a consolidation of the 2,000 surface parking spots located at the Port of Tampa into a multilevel car park to liberate the existing non-porous surface into a natural location for bioswales and biofilters to mediate storm water runoff from the eastern region of the urban core. The remediation softens a visual barrier for Channelside adjacencies, adds security and protection for parked vehicles of port users, and becomes an anchor for the southern end of the Riverwalk.

Bandwidth an acquisition of properties between Ybor City and Tampa Heights to develop a green artery directly north of the urban core. The acquirement takes advantage of a sharp financial downturn and stagnant economy, in an area where many of the parcels are under or nearing foreclosure, currently owned by the city/state (right of way land or HUD housing) or vacant. Working in combination with the Hillsborough River and the Channelside shipping canal, the new green belt completes the U-shaped natural boundaries of downtown and (re)defines the urban core of Tampa.

BikeWay an acquisition of properties between Ybor City and Tampa Heights to develop a green artery directly north of the urban core. The acquirement takes advantage of a sharp financial downturn and stagnant economy, in an area where many of the parcels are under or nearing foreclosure, currently owned by the city/state (right of way land or HUD housing) or vacant. Working in combination with the Hillsborough River and the Channelside shipping canal, the new green belt completes the U-shaped natural boundaries of downtown and (re)defines the urban core of Tampa.

Imports an all inclusive in-fill urban renewal development which supplies residents a blend of commerce and community. Offering playgrounds, theaters, retail shopping, and restaurants, adjacent to apartments and homes, the venture hopes to rejuvenate deteriorating neighborhoods. The developments expect to enhance established physical and social patterns and set precedence over prior urban renewal strategies.

Cruise Industry a tourist industry welcoming 900,000 passengers in 2011 (8% increase over 2010), from around the world, which plays a vital role for the local economy. In 2013 the Port will add the NCL Norwegian Star, along with Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas and Carnival’s Paradise. Recent events involving the sinking of Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy, Princess Cruise Line’s outbreak of the norovirus, and Celebrity’s outbreaks of gastrointestinal viruses, have cast a dark cloud over the industry.

Shipping Industry Florida’s largest cargo tonnage port and one of the nation’s largest sea ports. The Port of Tampa, known as an energy gateway, posts an economic impact of 8$ billion and supports 100,00 jobs. Striking a dichotomy with the current ecological development of the Riverwalk and Hillsborough River, the port looks to protect maritime land and expand marketing and community outreach while facing the current economic recession. The port is a primary importer of petroleum, coal, and fertilizer, and offers ship boarding and repair.

iCar a current trend of smaller cars which run on renewable low-cost energy (solar and bio-fuel). This movement reduces the parking footprint and allows passengers closer access to final destinations; altering current parking typologies.

Bio-Lane the replacement of an existing vehicle lane, in locations of unnecessary road widths and lanes, with natural vegetation and proper drainage, to provide onsite storm water filtration management in the form of bioswales and biofilters. The swales filter out harmful pollutants, reduces run-off by 80%, and serves as a precipitation release valve during times of heavy downfall when the river is susceptible to sea level rise.


Ybor Beach Providing both areas of shade and sun conducive to a wide range of individual and group programmatic activities, the beach becomes Ybor city’s social mecca and ecological connector via bicycle, pedestrian, and water taxi toTampa’s Urban core. Natural vegetation and biofilters provide storm water filtration systems for the local community. In cooperation with the Port of Tampa, as a means to become a catalyst for an emerging eco-Tampa, shipping related programs (primarily ship boarding and repair) are relocated to available parcels along the east bay. Adjacent industrial warehouses are transformed into an emerging arts district.

Lap-Band Able to acquire a continuous field of land between YborCity and Tampa Heights, a multi-nodal linear transit-corridor develops north of the downtown core. Literally separating the city center from its suburbs via waterways,downtown Tampa becomes a defined geographical identity within a sprawling poly-nucleic metropolis. The green artery becomes a backdrop for recreational activities and mixed-use buildings. The canal extends the Riverwalk around the city, providing a continuous five mile band for pedestrians, bikers, and boaters and provides natural vegetation for storm water mitigation and a flood control channel during times of rapid rainfall.

Tampa Museum A site dedicated to the arts and culture of the region, provides a book end to the Riverwalk. Adaptively (re)using the historic Trolley Barn, Tampa’s Museum serves as a gateway to Tampa Heights and a facilitator for environmental awareness and education in the community.

Boxed In Reclaiming an inefficient infrastructure, a home for “big box” shopping provides retail outlets sought and preferred by transitioning suburbanites. Interstate adjacencies provide efficient shipping and receiving and prevents large trucks from entering the urban core. The district becomes a place of destination and not a place of movement.

Park Place Unable to acquire all parcels to complete a homogenous green artery or during a transition, as land is being acquired, Transit Orientated Developments (TODs) are juxtaposed with pocket parks of various programs to create activity centers north of the downtown core. The TODs serve as pedestrian oriented places with mixed-income residential communities linked to the downtown core via the Tampa Streetcar.

Bike Back Linking downtown Tampa to Hyde Park via a dedicated bridge provides connectivity and extends bicycle/pedestrian travel to Ybor City. The bridge provides a protected calm refuge for new perspectives and recreation within the city.

Channelside Botanical Garden The effects of a retracting cruise and shipping industry support the creation of a local and regional tourist destination. A bookend to the Riverwalk, the garden completes an expansive three mile U-shaped pedestrian/bicycle path around Tampa. The garden becomes a local amenity, an anchor for the community, and redefines the eastern side of the city as a tourist destination rather than an outlying community of the downtown core.

RiverGate The gateway from Tampa’s core to the Hillsborough River, the Riverwalk is widened and extended, softening the existing fractured edge of the downtown core with amenities along the waterway. The reclaimed north-south vehicular four lane is (retro) fitted with natural vegetation (bioswales) and becomes the linear filter for the western side of the city.

Waterfront The Hillsborough River shoreline is continuously connected from the North Street Bridge, to the north, to Channelside, in the southeast. Providing direct cross links to major surrounding nodes (U. of Tampa, Hyde Park, Harbour Island) the river’s edge becomes the ecological infrastructural network of the city. With both soft and hard edge surfaces, the shoreline hosts a wide range of activities, wild life, and vegetation. Existing structures adjacent to the Riverwalk (re)program to offer coffee shops, restaurants, and bars facing the river and the Hillsborough River becomes the day and night life hub for the city.

Urban Gardens An increase of public parks and trending away from automobiles as its primary means of transportation, downtown Tampa’s identity as a “alpha car city” is replaced by “city of gardens.” The pedestrian friendly urban core attracts businesses looking to relocate, and offers amenities to attract commuters back downtown on the weekend. The porous urban core mitigates storm water run-off during times of high precipitation and introduces natural vegetation and wildlife into a once impermeable environment.

Groundport Terminal At the intersection of high speed rail, Streetcar, automobile, bus, and pedestrian/bicycle interchange, this once “non-place” becomes a gateway to Tampa and Tampa’s gateway out of town. The once exclusively car parked underbelly of I275 is (re)programmed with commercial shops catering to the needs of the traveler. Tampa is externally and internally connected reducing a burdened roadway system once heavily dependent on the lone occupant.

Shipping Museum With a trade industry looking to advocate its relationship to the region, the Port of Tampa opens a maritime museum whose role is to preserve and illustrate the history of its industry. Building upon environmental awareness and education, and adding to the established row of museums along the waterfront, the facility bookends the Riverwalk and offers a public space of natural vegetation to the neighboring Channelside community.

Landskating Countering the (pre)programmed emotion of master planned communities, residual spaces of the city become playgrounds for Tampa’s youth. These social attractors provide opportunities for economic growth in previously redundant spaces and amenities of attraction for undecided parents looking to relocate within the urban core.