Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



The development of a great urban environment is an incremental process. The main hypothesis of this thesis is that development can have adverse environmental impacts but these effects can be avoided or minimized through thoughtful design.

In particular, the thesis addresses the environmental aspects of residential development in the Albuquerque area. The emphasis is on natural resources rather than socio­economic factors.

The thesis serves as an environmental guidebook for such development in the following respects:

Since the National Environmental Policy Act was passed, a few guidelines have been developed on how to prepare an environmental impact statement. The first chapter presents a history of environmental impact legislation and reviews relevant state and local statutes. It also attempts to familiarize the reader with some of the concepts and terminology of environmental related regulations.

None of the guidelines presently available provide some of the necessary data to write an environmental impact statement for developments in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The second chapter provides some of the necessary data. The natural resources of the Albuquerque area are discussed, including the geology, hydrology, biology and air quality factors. Hopefully, it will make a contribution by distilling a vast array of information. It does not purport, however, to furnish all the necessary or available data; the specific site for a proposed project will determine whether or not further information is required.

The third chapter discusses potential environmental problems related to residential construction in the Albuquerque area, and presents alternatives for mitigation of such problems.

The fourth chapter discusses other aspects of resi­dential development such as noise, aesthetics and climatic considerations, and the interrelationships of energy, resource and economic factors in general.

Concepts and information are summarized in tabular form throughout the test, in the last section of each chapter for easy reference, and in the Compendium.

Since any discussion of environmental effects involves many fields with their own terminology, a glossary is provided as a reference to any reader who may not be familiar with a term. Pertinent abbreviations such as EIS or EPA are also defined.

The bibliography gives numerous references for obtaining detailed data.

The thesis is not only intended for the use of developers in the Albuquerque area; it is also written for planners, designers, architects, government officials, and interested citizens, i.e., a diversified audience. Its purpose is to provide the general information necessary to consider the environmental implications of a residential development in the Albuquerque area.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Don Paul Schlegel

Second Committee Member

David George Battle

Third Committee Member

Shelby Smith-Sinclare

Fourth Committee Member

Richard Alan Anderson

Included in

Architecture Commons