[methodology – submitted version]


The ultimate goal of this project is to assist the City of Santa Fe in establishing baselines and setting targets for the redevelopment of Saint Michael’s Drive. To accomplish this goal, four objectives were developed that would lead to the most ideal redevelopment design that meets the set targets and goals. The objectives are:

  • Identify relevant issues
  • Perform field studies to fill in data gaps
  • Identify measurable indicators
  • Measure the implications of the charrette’s designs


To identify the relevant issues surrounding the redevelopment of Saint Michael’s Drive, the team will use existing literature and data to resurface documented issues surrounding Saint Michael’s Drive.  We will survey locals to determine feelings and desires of the frequenters of Saint Michael’s Drive.   City officials will also be interviewed to get the city’s views on the current conditions and future redevelopment plans for Saint Michael’s Drive.


The group has done a significant amount of research before arriving in Santa Fe.  The problems of suburban sprawl and apparent issues surrounding Saint Michael’s Drive were examined.  The area of Saint Michael’s Drive suffers from many flaws including but not limited to heavy traffic due to 7 traffic lanes, the area is not pedestrian friendly, and Saint Michael’s Drive is generally only a destination that residents go to by car.

Research has been done by the group in regards to similar redevelopment projects.  Referencing and researching similar projects gave the team an idea of the complexity that the Saint Michael’s Drive redevelopment project could present.  Similar projects are also relevant because the team can see the consequences of redevelopment on a population, and relevant methods and ideas may be able to be applied to the area of Saint Michael’s Drive.

The group also started collecting quantitative data to apply to the redevelopment plans of Saint Michael’s Drive. The team contacted the city officials for all of their data pertaining to the project.  Some data like population growth, traffic counts, and maps of interest can be found on the official city of Santa Fe website.  More specific data pertaining to Saint Michael’s Drive was accessed through city official contacts the team was directed to.  We received many Geographical Information System (GIS) layers to work with for developing visual aids.  We also received results from a previous Saint Michael’s Drive redevelopment specific survey.  The team sorted through the data and chose the data most recent and pertinent to the redevelopment of the area.

3.1.2 Interview the locals

The residents and employees in the area will give us a local insight into improvements that should be made to the area of interest.  Contact with locals will bring us closer to the city of Santa Fe and its residents as opposed to not interacting ourselves and just relying on the research we have collected until now. 

The locals of interest are employees that work in the strip malls on Saint Michael’s Drive, school aged children who go to schools around the area, college students that use the area, citizens that would be trying to access Saint Michael’s Drive during lunch time and after work, and residents near this area.  We will target each group during the day to interview them without being overly disruptive to their routine.  The survey will take about five minutes and the subject can give as much or as little feedback as they desire. 

A trial set of surveys will be done to evaluate the effectiveness of the survey layout and details. The survey document we will initially test can be found in Appendix A, Figure 1.

Any data the team generated will be put into an easy-to-use, accessible database.  Data put into this electronic database may be from performing interviews, profile of local retail stores, and performing any field studies of our own.

This database should be updatable to other people that may need to use it in the future for similar projects, and it should also be simple to understand and navigate for subjects who would just like to view or apply the data.  Data should be catalogued according to date and type.  The data will also be in a usable format for anyone that may find the data of interest to their projects or research.

3.1.3 Meet with city officials

City officials are beneficial to get into contact with for our project because they can take into account what is plausible and best for the city.  Integrating the ideas of the residence with the knowledge of the city officials will show the team the big picture and integrate both the residential and government side of the project. 

When meeting with an official or a person of interest the team will fill out a “Person of Interest Meeting Goals and Notes” form before the meeting.  The form is to ensure the team will be prepared and to make sure to hit upon all topics necessary during the meeting.  A record of these forms will also keep track of important information talked about in the meeting for referral later in the project time period.  This form can be found in Appendix A, Figure 2. 

Some city officials that the team will be in close contact with are:

Lee DePietro, Special Projects Manager of Santa Fe

Kathy McCormick, Director of Housing and Community Development Department

Roy Wroth, local urban planner

3.2    Perform field studies to fill in data gaps

  After the team has sorted through all data, the gaps of data and information must be filled to accurately interpret data.  Gaps could be qualitative or quantitative information that is needed to make educated decisions for the redevelopment of Saint Michael’s Drive.  To fill in these gaps the team must perform the necessary field studies resulting in the missing data.  These field studies could be of different magnitudes depending on what gaps, major or minor, surface during the project time period.  After all needed data is present, it can be visually represented in an effective, public manner.

3.2.1 Profiling Retail in Area

The first field study the team will take on is profiling retail stores in the area of Saint Michael’s Drive Village West plaza.  The team first constructed a profile that will result in a short description of each store or business in the area of interest in Appendix A, Figure 3.  This profile can be applied to any new commercial business that may come in or out of the area, but we will be doing a sample profile of the specific strip mall named above.

Before the time comes to profile the stores, the team will make a strategic plan to profile businesses of interest in the most thorough and quick method possible during the business day.  After the plan is put into place, the targeted commercial spaces will be profiled.  A letter from the local government, Appendix A, Figure 4, will be carried by group members at all times to explain to business owners and employees the purpose of our project and our affiliation with the local government.

When the profiling is complete, the profile information will be documented in a fashion that will be easily accessible to people that may have interest in the data, and it should be easily updatable as businesses close and open in the area of Saint Michael’s Drive to keep a current index of the business types in the area.

3.3    Identify Measurable Indicators

After the team has put together all necessary information for the background of Saint Michael’s Drive as it stands presently, and the visions of local residents and government are collected.  We must work on determining the most ideal charrette designs by selecting important variables involving the present and future designs of Saint Michael’s Drive.  We will identify the most relevant variables to measure and make criteria within the variable that can be quantified.  Then, the group will create a standard system of measurement for each characteristic.  From these measurements we can create baselines of where Saint Michael’s Drive is right now and targets of where the area should be in the future in accordance with popular and logistical demand.

3.3.1 Identify most relevant variables to quantify

To identify the most relevant variables for quantifying purposes in regards to Saint Michael’s Drive, the team must explore the common themes in the six Saint Michael’s Drive charrette designs and compare them to survey results from people in the area of Saint Michael’s Drive.  All the similarities will then be put into broader categories such as walkability, eco-friendly, aesthetics, and other categories that may be needed.  The categories will then be ordered by importance and 3 to 5 broader categories will be picked to proceed with measurements.

3.3.2 Create system of measurement for each variable

To create a system of measurement of each category deemed important in 3.3.1, the team must first break each larger category into subcategories that will be measurable to ultimately rate each broader category.  For example, if walkability was a category, some of the subcategories to be measured may be width of the sidewalk, number of curb cuts from point A to B, and cross walk availability.

After subcategories are established, a specialized measurement system for each subcategory must be composed.  These measurements may be qualitative or quantitative depending on the subcategory, but all measurements will have a scale to easily interpret data at a later time.

3.4 Measure the Implications of the Charrette’s Designs

After scales are put into place, they can be applied to all existing charrette designs to make the final selection of the most effective redevelopment design.  With one specific charrette design to look at, the team and people of interest can then identify and fill in gaps and improve upon qualities found in the selected redevelopment plan.

3.4.1 Apply Measurement Systems to the charrette designs

Applying the quantitative system developed is one of the last steps in the process of selecting the most ideal redevelopment design.  This measurement system will first be applied to Saint Michael’s Drive to serve as a control and baseline for future measurements.  From this baseline the team can identify ideal targets to be looking for in the measurements of the six charrette designs.  Then the measurement systems can be applied to the six charrette designs as precisely as possible.  When all systems are applied then the data and finding will be catalogued in an accessible location is an understandable, organized format to any outside reader.

3.4.2 Present Measures data visually

When all the data needed is collected, the team must represent the data visually to make it easy to understand and make it an impressive spectacle for people not involved in the project.  Well visually presented data will create a sense of urgency and importance for the redevelopment of Saint Michael’s Drive, and individuals looking at the data for the first time will easily understand what the team is trying to convey.  The data visualization should ultimately persuade observers towards redevelopment and changes in the area layout.

 The visual data can be posted or displayed in many types of media that pertain to the team’s project.  It can also be given to the local government to be used as a persuasive and educational tool as the project moves forward when the team finishes our part of the project.

An ambient computing mock up will be made to present the team’s findings to people involved in the project.  Ambient computing will be an effective method to eventually model redevelopments like Saint Michael’s Drive.  It will allow teams of people brainstorm and manipulate the area in questions and apply ideas to see the effect in real time.

3.4.3 Identify most effective redevelopment design

To identify the most effective redevelopment design the team must analyze the results from the measurements taken and scales put into place.  The redesign that comes closest to all targets in the categories will be selected as the most effective design.

3.4.4 Identify gaps in selected charrette design

After the team decides on the most ideal charrette design, the missing qualities in the design must be addressed.  The team will address targets that may not have been met after the measurement process.  Plans will be developed to make the design the best it can be in accordance with all the research that has been done during this project.  The team will also take into account other charrette plans that may have scored better in some target areas than the selected design, and we can adapt those specific plans as best as possible to produce a the most desirable redevelopment design for Saint Michael’s Drive.


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WPI Urban Planning Team

Santa Fe Term D 2010

WPI Logo

WPI Logo

Team Info: Information about our team and the project

Individual Info Information about our team members and their individual entries archive

Mission Statement

The ultimate goal of this project is to assist the City of Santa Fe in establishing baselines of the current state of Saint Michael’s Drive and providing tools to visualize the future redevelopment of the area.

Project Objectives

To accomplish this goal, four objectives were developed that would lead to the most ideal redevelopment design that meets the set targets and goals. The objectives are:

1. Collect, organize, and integrate Saint Michael’s Drive data.

2. Identify relevant issues and local preferences.

3. Identify measurable indicators to assess current and future designs.

4. Visualize impacts of current and future designs.

Important Pages

1. HowTo: A Quick Guide to our Blog

2. Proposal (submitted to advisor, 3/22/2010)

3. Presentation (final, updated 05/05/2010)

4. Announcement

     • 03/21/2010:

     _ Moving from Blogspot to Wordpress

     • 03/24/2010:

     _ Proposal submitted, 03/22/2010. Online version posted.

     • 05/05/2010:

     _ Final Presentation Uploaded, 05/05/2010. Click here to view.

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