Transforming a community

While attending this year’s CNU (congress for new urbanism) in Louisville, Kentucky, I had the privilege of visiting a community that was transformed by the New Urbanism design.

Historically one of the poorest neighborhoods in Louisville, Park DuValle was destitute and riddled with crime. In the mid-1990s, the neighborhood consisted of 1,100 underfunded and unkempt public housing units. Needless to say, Park Duvalle was in need of change. The Department of Housing and Urban Development decided to step in and invest $200 million through its HOPE VI Program. All existing units were torn down and rebuilt in accordance to newer standards.

The 125 acres project was designed by Urban Design Associates, which saw the potential to truly transform this historically segregated neighborhood into a mixed-income and mixed-use place. UDA designed the neighborhood’s Master Plan to include a new commercial center with shops and services, and to form ties with the surrounding communities. The plan also opened up over 5,500 square feet to new commercial development.

Homes in Park DuValle

Park DuValle is devoted to ensuring a mixed-income neighborhood for its residents and it had divided its 1,200 residential units in three: one-third for at-market rate housing, one-third for subsidized housing, and one-third for public housing. Looking ahead, UDA’s Master Plan incorporated codes to ensure that the housing units are all comparable in quality regardless of rent. There is also an incredible variety in the types of houses available, as Park DuValle offers townhouses, sing-families, duplexes, triplexes, and a 59-unit senior building.

Walking through this community, one can forget that this was once an impoverished almost forgotten neighborhood. Instead you are struck by the enormous sense of pride, well-manicured exteriors, bright flowers greeting you on to the porches and families enjoying their community.

Well thought out planning has transformed Park DuValle into a unique place designed for a diverse community.

Credit to for the statistics in this article

Diana Sousa – Marketing Director and Trend/Product Consultant

Diana has always had a passion for color/design and brings that enthusiasm to the Building Products industry on a daily basis. Informing customers on the many options they have, on the advancements in technology and seeing them embrace new ideas continues to be a rewarding experience.