From 2019 to 2020, The City of Spartanburg (South Carolina) hired APD Urban Planning and Management (APD) to work on the neighborhood redevelopment plan for the Highland neighborhood. During the time I worked at APD as GIS Planner from July 2019 to March 2020, I was very lucky to work on this meaningful project and lead a few tasks including developing the Highland Transformation Plan Masterplan.
The Masterplan. Image source: APD Urban
The Highland neighborhood Masterplan provided the vision for redevelopment. I factored in the findings from the residential market analysis that I worked on as well as the opinions of community leaders through a masterplan workshop session into the masterplan design. I proposed new development and redevelopment opportunities that reflected the needs and desires of community residents concluded from previous community engagement activities, and supported the vision and goals established by the community. The masterplan promoted pedestrian accessibility, appreciated the appropriate scale of the community, and provided more housing and commercial opportunities. Both the residential market analysis and the masterplan are key components of the final report of the Highland Transformation Plan, which was then reviewed by public officials.
I also participated in the first and the second community meeting, which was held in the community in late 2019. Before the community meeting, I helped with preparing presentation slides, activity boards, and sign-up sheets using ArcGIS Survey 123. During the meetings, I talked with the community members, introduced the plan, guided them through the activity boards, and collected their votes and opinions.
Community Meeting 2. Image source: APD Urban
Furthermore, I worked on the residential market analysis of the report where I gave an overview of the current housing market for Highland. When working on this report, I identified potential opportunities for multifamily and single-family development in Highland by summarizing general housing trends, population and housing characteristics, housing stock and values, and challenges and opportunities for future residential growth. The gaps between housing supply and demand were quantified for both homeownership and rental scenarios.
Norris Ridge Apartment. Image source: GoUpstate
On November 23, 2020, the City approved the Highland Transformation Plan and incorporated the neighborhood plan into the City’s comprehensive plan. After the plan’s approval, immediate next steps for implementation have been initiated. These immediate next steps include creation of the committee for the community quarterback; redevelopment of neighborhood sites; and continuation of public engagement. The implementation of the Plan will help with resident retention, equity promotion, and economic development - all of which improves the well-being of the Highland residents, as well as the general public.
Stewart Park. Image source: GoUpstate