Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



The thesis began with the question: What process is involved in the shaping of downtown Albuquerque? Consequently, an inductive pattern of research was used in gathering information. For the most part, this information came from a number of Albuquerque City Planning Reports and studies, Urban Renewal Reports, personal inter­views, and field inspection.

The findings indicate that the downtown has been in a continuous state of change throughout its history of development. These changes have taken place in an incremental and continuous manner being modified and altered by trends and influences of the time. An area in change such as this does not easily allow the imposition of a different process on an established system. A change in process, however, was attempted in the form of an Ideal Plan foe the downtown. This concept of wat a “good” downtown should be included changes that would not only provide for a more enjoyable pedestrian environment but increase the tax base as well.

This desirable future condition was what Urban Renewal was faced with when they began work in the late sixties. The renewal program “cleared the way” towards this end through street modifications, demolition, a land use plan, and zoning changes. The resulting development was not a smooth transformation to this future picture, however, as redevelopment took place in an incremental fashion.

This ultimate picture of what we would like our downtown to be, although it may be a good one, is not a realistic approach to improving the downtown. It cannot forsee the changes that continuously take place in the downtown in terms of a future plan. Downtowns are not designed by making pictures of how they should appear twenty years form now. They are created by a continuous decision-making process that goes on a day after day.

The true planning process used then is much more incremental, being responsive to changes in the environment. However, more cooperation is needed by those who participate in these incremental changes if the downtown is to be effectively improved.



Document Type


First Committee Member (Chair)

William Weismantel

Second Committee Member


Third Committee Member

Robert Carl Cohlmeyer

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