Theses Master's

Envisioning Housing for Downtown Brownsville

Hinojosa Ronquillo, Mariana

The City of Brownsville, Texas’ initiatives have encouraged commercial redevelopment projects that elevate a history of long overlooked treasures within an abandoned downtown. Despite recent downtown revitalization efforts, the area lacks support for residential growth as a redevelopment strategy. Thus, preventing the increase of residential density that encourages downtown reinvestment. Recognizing this need, the Planning & Redevelopment Department (Client) is prompted with a comprehensive technical report on the existing residential conditions and suggestions of potential housing development.

First, the project presents a historic and background analysis of downtown growth in the United States and an overview of Downtown Brownsville’s history. It defines Downtown Living by providing a literature review on nationwide housing trends and residential strategies for downtown redevelopment. Then, an analysis on the study area’s relevant demographics, housing trends, and cultural assets reveals Downtown Brownsville’s potential residential demand.

The project exposes existing residential conditions through an analysis on Brownsville’s revitalization efforts and the categorization of current residential uses. Its findings inform on the obstacles faced in developing Downtown Brownsville and residents’ downtown living impediments. Lastly, it presents two sets of recommendations. The first set reveals policy and initiatives recommendations, tailored on providing support for residential growth and improving the development process. The second set reveals a set of schematic design models of residential typologies that help envision infill and adaptive reuse housing units within the study area.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
O'Neill-Hutson, Moira K.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 25, 2021