UMass Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning students dive deep into the design of the Route 30 corridor.
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UMass Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning students dive deep into the design of the Route 30 corridor.

Landscape architecture students look at Route 30 with fresh eyes

UMass class will present Route 30/West River Corridor designs, created with support of Windham Regional Commission

NEWFANE-The students of the senior capstone landscape architecture studio of the UMass-Amherst Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) Department will present designs focused on the Route 30/West River Valley corridor.

The public is invited to drop by to meet the students and to view and discuss their designs at the Union Hall in Newfane Village from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1.

The Windham Regional Commission (WRC) invited LARP faculty Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Carolina Aragón and fellow instructor Kate Cholakis to have the 18 students use the Route 30/West River Valley corridor as a lab for their final studio, "with an eye toward better connecting the people and communities of the corridor to one another and to the West River," according to a joint news release from the WRC and LARP.

"Each student developed their own ideas and conceptual design solutions," the team said.

"Students can bring fresh eyes and a different perspective to a place that we, as residents, may sometimes take for granted," said Chris Campany, WRC executive director.

The WRC has also engaged with the LARP program to support a four-town housing planning project in Jamaica, Londonderry, Weston, and Winhall.

Aragón said the experience "has truly been an outstanding opportunity for learning and professional growth."

"The students have been thinking critically about the concept of placemaking, understanding it as a means of highlighting or augmenting the ecological and social parts and systems of a place," said Kate Cholakis.

"They've also considered the role of social infrastructure - those spaces that allow residents to interact with one another and strengthen community ties," she added.

For more information, contact Aragón at [email protected], Cholakis at [email protected], and Campany at [email protected].

This News item was submitted to The Commons.

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