News

School of Architecture Outreach Program

Some students in the University of Miami School of Architecture are taking what they learn in the classroom to help improve communities in Miami and as far away as the Caribbean and Latin America.

Senior Xenia Nicasio was one of several UM students who took part in an outreach project in a historic neighborhood in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The group, along with students from a local university, worked on urban planning proposals that would help the economic revitalization of the Santa Barbara neighborhood, while preserving its cultural heritage.

“It gives you the opportunity to learn about techniques which you will apply later on,” Nicasio said.

Sonia Chao, director of UM’s Center for Urban and Community Design, agreed.

“These projects help the students to engage with real-world problems,” Chao said.

The center was established in 1992 and has been involved in a variety of projects locally and abroad. Student participation is voluntary.

“With the focus of the center, both students and faculty are establishing bridges with Caribbean and Latin America,” Chao said.

Through a variety of outreach projects, students get to participate in planning charrettes and community meetings involving local government officials, citizens’ organizations, developers, lawyers and others.

The students and faculty have also worked on a number of projects in their own backyard, including designing homes in West Coconut Grove. In 2007, the school took on a major project involving more than 300 students to create a promenade along Miami’s seven-mile stretch of waterfront.

Another large local project involved the restoration of the Miami Marine Stadium, which was overseen by architecture professors Jorge Hernandez and Catherine Lynn as well as prominent Miami architect, Hilario Candela, who originally designed the stadium in 1963.

Students researched and documented the history of the Virginia Key stadium, which was recently designated one of the 11 most endangered sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Additionally, the students suggested development alternatives for the properties surrounding the stadium. Their work was presented to the city.

In fall 2008, a group of students joined faculty members Adib Cure and Carie Penabad in Barranquilla, Colombia, to study one of the most pressing problems facing Latin American cities: the abandonment and degradation of the historic city center. The group worked on designing housing projects and urban blocks and retrofitting historic buildings to help stem the decline in the population of the downtown area.

This fall, the school will conduct a new design studio project for areas in Barranquilla.

October 13, 2009

Reporters

Nikolaus Rizos

Contributing News Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday evening: ▪ UM coach Mark Richt has explained his decisi ...

The Miami Hurricanes had traveled half the field to start the second half when coach Mark Richt enco ...

Jeremiah Payton was one of those prospects the Miami Hurricanes coveted from just about the time he ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ secondary continues to get stronger. Miami, which already holds a pair of comm ...

Mark Richt said he’s spending the bye week evaluating everything about Miami’s offense, a process th ...

University of Miami changes program title of Women’s and Gender Studies to Gender and Sexuality Stud ...

Two families with deep ties to Miami—the Millers and Fains— celebrate two endowed faculty chair appo ...

A fabulous team of staff and volunteers labors long and hard, primed with school spirit, behind the ...

The University of Miami remembers alumnus Erik Hauri—the man who discovered water on the moon. ...

Through an innovative program, Miami Law students are empowering local high schoolers to think like ...

University of Miami head coach Gino DiMare released the Hurricanes' 2019 baseball schedule Thur ...

Senior Dew Weber of the University of Miami golf team continued to march towards her professional go ...

The University of Miami soccer team dropped its ACC road match against NC State, 1-0, Thursday night ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team will take part in the ITA Southeast Regional Champion ...

The University of Miami women's swimming & diving team returns to competition this weekend, ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.