Heart of Peoria
The historic street grid of Peoria reveals a strong underlying structure of walkable neighborhoods. The charrette team observed locations of neighborhood centers by studying historic maps and existing conditions, in an effort to establish what is currently or had once been neighborhood-related commercial activity.
Based on these observations, the team developed a map of neighborhood centers and their surrounding pedestrian sheds—the quarter-mile, 5-minute walking area within which a person will choose to walk over drive. Some locations are suited for a more intensive mix of uses, capable of serving a broader neighborhood with a greater selection of goods and services. These locations fall at the center of a wider pedestrian shed, defined by a half-mile radius or a 10-minute walk. The resulting map identifies specific opportunities for completing and strengthening the existing neighborhoods.
One of the first tasks undertaken by the charrette team was a review of the current zoning codes and future land use map. The general recommendation is that the City should pursue a reorganizing and streamlining of its zoning code using a transect-based system. Toward this end, the Heart of Peoria Plan proposes a series of specific interventions that would enable a translation of existing zoning into transect-based classifications.
The Transect is a system of classification of human habitats based on a conceptual continuum from the most rural to the most urban conditions. This system makes it possible to specify the character of the typical elements of the built environment—streets, buildings, landscaping, etc.—in a way that is appropriate to different kinds of places located at different points along this continuum. For example, a street is more urban than a road, a curb is more urban than a swale, a brick wall more urban than a wooden fence, and an allee of trees more urban than a picturesquely arranged cluster.