An African-American community founded in the early 1900s on a hill next to downtown Benton (pop. 30,680), Ralph Bunche Neighborhood, is still a close-knit community with deep social capital. The neighborhood has experienced decline due to lack of reinvestment by recent generations who have moved to middle class suburban neighborhoods. The revitalization plan begins with selective aggregations of affordable housing ($100K units) around two neighborhood parks: one existing, and one proposed, each on topographically-challenged sites. Since the city cannot afford the required street and drainage improvements (over $3.5 million) to accommodate new investment, the proposal integrates Low Impact Development landscapes in the open space network to remediate urban stormwater runoff and control flooding, as required of new development.


2011 Residential Architect Design Merit Award


Ralph Bunche Agape Community Development Corporation

AuthorMatthew Petty