November 19, 2013

Landscape Architecture Class Seeks to Improve West Hill Neighborhood

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A Cornell landscape architecture class is working on a plan to improve Ithaca’s West Hill neighborhood, which has in the past been plagued by crime and tensions between high-density, low-income housing residents and other homeowners in the area.

The class has explored a variety of options from implementing relatively standard urban planning concepts — like the addition of bicycle lanes, better street lighting and greater pedestrian accessibility — to targeting West Hill-specific problems, like the preservation of open space and the problems associated with the lack of a large community meeting place like a neighborhood school or a community center, according to Prof. Thomas Oles, landscape architecture.

The students in Landscape Architecture 3010: “Integrating Theory and Practice I” hope to produce a plan to “preserve West Hill’s character, beauty and community values, while giving residents access to new resources and amenities,” according to the class website.

The West Village Apartments in the City of Ithaca’s West Hill neighborhood have seen an uptick in crime in the last few years. (Akane Otani / Sun Managing Editor)