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Corpus Christi. A Productive Downtown for a Productive City

Oswald Jenewein (PI)
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture
University of Texas at Arlington
Diane Jones Allen (Co-PI)
Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
University of Texas at Arlington
Ivonne Audirac (Co-PI)
Professor, Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy
University of Texas at Arlington
Graduate Assistants:
Isaiah Sigala
Alden Obenita
Samar Hussain
Melissa Farrell
Bryan Hernandez
Climate Change Adaptation, Vulnerable Communities, Environmental Injustice,
Sustainable Cities, Urban Ecology
This proposal builds upon the community input gathered in workshops with Corpus Christi residents and several stakeholder meetings conducted in 2019 and 2020. In response to the community input, five major take-aways informed the design proposal. Downtown should (1) reflect the regional biodiversity of fauna and flora, (2) be more resilient during storm- and flood-events, (3) be a destination for residents, tourists, students, and business people to live, work, relax, and play, (4) benefit from the current industrial growth enabling infrastructural improvements, and (5) be further developed and better connected as the local and regional center of the Coastal Bend.
The proposed canal is an integral infrastructural component for flood- and stormwater mitigation in Downtown. It will be a habitat for numerous species in the water, land, and air. The canal is also proposed as a continuous walkable loop serving as a connector between Bayshore, Marina Arts, and Sea District. As a central infrastructural element throughout these districts, the canal aims to be a catalyst for development, enabling an even more productive Downtown. From McGee Beach, along the Hotels on Water Street, across the former Harbor Bridge grounds to the Harbor Playhouse, the museums, and the Port of Corpus Christi, this water body highlights the diverse types of productivity within the city. Ending the dead-ends at Shoreline Boulevard and Harbor Drive and reconnecting Staples Street to the Bay will ensure that vehicular traffic and public transport can connect all parts of Downtown more easily to other parts of the city.
Downtown will be a District of Bridges, an infrastructural type native to coastal cities. With the Watergarden as an existing plaza, two new plazas are proposed to provide public anchor spaces as destinations for residents and visitors when walking along the canal, learning about the city’s history, enjoying a boat-tour, shopping, dining, or working in Downtown.


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