Winnetka Heights, UTA architecture students team up

The 104-year-old Winnetka Heights neighborhood could be on the way to a makeover. Students at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington will be using the neighborhood as a case study this semester.

Professor Taner R. Ozdil and his students will come up with ways to make Winnetka Heights’ green spaces better, as part of a class called Studio V.

Landscape architect Petrine Abrahams, a Winnetka Heights resident, asked Ozdil, who was her thesis adviser at UTA, to collaborate with the neighborhood on the project.

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“It’s not about which plants go in which pots,” she says of the project. “It’s about ensuring that our parks are connected to something, that they’re accessible to all people and especially to people who live in the neighborhood.”

The students will look at the neighborhood’s parks, open spaces, streetscapes, neighborhood entrances and points of connection. They will identify strategies for improving social spaces.

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“They’ll be looking at nodes and edges and give us an overview of their impression for the neighborhood and see where we might make changes that we need,” Abrahams says. “It’s looking for opportunities for people to gather and enjoy urban public spaces.”

The students also will consider whether there is space in Winnetka Heights for a children’s playground or a dog park, she says.

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