“Listening to the City”:Imagining the El Cerrito of Tomorrow
"Listening to the City" Professor of Architecture, Margaret Crawford, and lecturer in Architecture, Rudabeh Pakravan, led a yearlong course titled "Listening to the City, a course that called for UC Berkeley architecture students to formulate "possible tomorrows" for the city of El Cerrito, a small, yet urbanizing city of 25,000 along the Richmond BART line. While many towns like El Cerrito are similar in their ordinariness, Crawford explains that its inhabitants are aware of their unique characteristics--"It's important we find a way for them to develop with their own specificities and character," she said. A variety of student proposals focused on the issues of increasing population and high housing prices--one student concentrated on the Ohlone Trail, a green path for bicycles and pedestrians beneath the BART tracks, and widended its spots to create a recreational corridor, while another added density by placing a linear village of single-story additions modeled on 1950s tract housing nearby on top of existing businesses on San Pablo Avenue. Each of Crawford and Rudabeh's sixteen students formulated project proposals that sought to accomodate population growth and urbanization in El Cerrito, but in ways that did not overwhelm the city's context.
Professor of Architecture, Margaret Crawford, Lecturer in Architecture, Rudabeh Pakravan, students Yasamin Shushtarian, Matthew Almendarez