Colorado College students in an eighth block class titled “A City and a Forest: Urban Succession in Colorado Springs” presented their findings to members of the Colorado Springs City Council, Downtown Review Board, and mayor’s staff at the conclusion of the course.
The design course, taught by visiting professor Tom Marble, a practicing architect in Los Angeles, centered on the idea of the city as an ecosystem requiring economic and ecological balance.
Four teams of four students each focused on various parts of the city, looking at ways to foster vitality and vibrancy in the downtown area. Among their ideas: a north-to-south greenway; more community spaces for arts, music, and theater, with rooftop space for a café/bar and greenhouse; vibrantly colored outdoor furniture; more mixed-use buildings; improved public transportation; and the opening of alleyways to create public/private spaces.
Jamie Shapiro ’12 said the hour-and-a-half presentation, the culmination of the class’s research, was the highlight of the course. Audience members were extremely receptive to the presentation, and many stayed for nearly an hour afterward to discuss ideas with the students.
“I’m very happy with the level of work produced by these students in three-and-a-half weeks,” Marble said. “There is a high level of thinking going on.”
Marble holds architecture degrees from UC Berkeley and Yale, and teaches at the University of Southern California and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He said CC’s Block Plan makes it manageable to leave Los Angeles and teach a course at Colorado College.