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Design students contribute to Mesa's future urban plaza

Four teams of Arizona State University students recently met with city council members to present design ideas for a new, improved Mesa City Plaza.

The students, from ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and The Design School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, were asked to create an “architecturally and artistically stunning place that could accommodate up to 25,000 people at one time,” according to an article by the Arizona Republic.

Along with three design firms, the students were recruited by Mesa’s Mayor Scott Smith, who was inspired by places like Chicago’s Millennium Park to create something similar in his city. One of the councilmen commented that the students’ designs reminded him of “the futuristic streetscapes in ‘The Jetsons.’”

Some of the concepts the students came up with include: a pedestrian bridge that would stretch across the plaza and connect a residential tower with a light-rail station on Main Street; portable “event modules” that could be moved around to serve different purposes for a wide variety of activities; an amphitheater; an elevated promenade; and a sunken orchard with fruit trees.