About this Project
This demonstration project focuses on the reuse of grayfields. In this case, the grayfield is an underutilized shopping center. Each of the PlanET counties has tens of thousands of square feet of such spaces, which are likely to be redeveloped over time. As aging shopping centers are redeveloped, they can be replaced by a mix of retail, office and housing development, accompanied by ample green space and also street networks that serve multiple transportation needs and connect with nearby developments.
This project is based on the thesis work of Luke Murphree, a landscape architecture graduate student with the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design. PlanET staff and Murphree’s adviser, Brad Collett, suggested the former Wal-Mart site in Halls as a study area. The site has been considered for a future community center.
Develop dynamic new centers
Through the use of mixed-use and compact development, the site can accommodate new commercial, office and residential uses. The project envisions dining and shopping as ground-level uses, while apartments and offices are situated on upper floors. This would create a new town center, accommodating 1,200 new residents and 3,500 jobs over the next 30 years. It should also include civic spaces in the form of squares, commons and outdoor entertainment venues. Their design should be inspirational, fostering a high quality of life for Halls residents.
Create more walking and bicycling opportunities
The project includes a connected network of Complete Streets, that is, streets that provide safe accommodation for all users. The addition of new residents and jobs would help support a transit connection to the points between Halls and downtown. Greenway trails can link to the existing trails in Halls and to nearby destinations.
Enable urban agriculture
Part of the “green infrastructure” of this redevelopment could be community gardens for the residents, providing opportunities for people to connect with nature and grow their own food.
Preserve our natural buffers
As part of the grayfield redevelopment project, there are opportunities to conserve streamside habitats. These creek buffers can be used for greenway trails as well. Artificial wetlands, parking lot cisterns and bio-swales can be created to reduce stormwater runoff.