Y-District: Reinventing the Yamacraw Village

(Student Project)

Ralph Nickles, James Jung, Rasmus Salomonsson
Arpad Ronasegi,
Ralph Nickles
Business Phone: (229) 563-2884

Project Location: Savannah, GA
Completion Date: 03/01/2030
Owner: Savannah College of Art & Design

Project Description

Y-District is an urban design project for Yamacraw Village in the city of Savannah, GA
reimagining how we could live in the 21st Century. This project focuses on examining the
current problems of fragmented lifestyles in a city and envisioning a sustainable ubiquitous
urban fabric. Y-District reconciles the segregated social disconnection between Yamacraw
Village and Historic District of Savannah through evidence-based design, human-centered
experience, sustainability, affordability, and innovative mobility.

Design Challenge

1. Challenge in density and sustainability. How much density in a city is considered sustainable? A high-density area is about creating a more livable community, one that has a lower carbon footprint and is overall a more enjoyable place to be. To create a walkable place without relying on the automobile. To generate this high density requires building up, but how much density is not sustainable? The more people we can have per square foot of building space saves materials, ecological area, and promotes local economies. Having too many people can require external assistance. If this becomes a burden to surrounding infrastructure this should be classified as an unsustainable density. 2. Challenge in future transportation. What technologies should we be preparing for in the 21st century? The radial chart in the project shows the importance of individual technologies through the 20th Century, and charts the 21st century using today’s predictions, Larger is better, the percentage of how common technology was/is/will be. We can not predict which technologies will be important. The best we can do is design with current predictions in mind and hope we are correct. The streets are designed for flexibility for autonomous vehicles and flexible transportation. Passenger Drone is a solution to on-demand mobility utilizing software such as new technology emerging and invested by Uber and Lyft. Hyperloop is a solution to bring modern amenities and can put any city minutes away from economic and cultural city hubs. Savannah will be the node to connect major cities culturally and economically. 3. Georgia Port authority and growing Savannah Economy The extension of the Savannah port will be an economic boom for Savannah and the entire state of Georgia. The ships can carry around 12,000 thousand shipping containers total, a weight near 600,000 tons. The Savannah port is the 37th largest in the world currently, with plans to make it the 7th largest by 2030, and the third-largest by 2040. At that point, it would be handling 30 million shipping containers and employing a little under 3 million people across Georgia. This will bring tons of economic opportunity to the city of Savannah. This urban planning is designed to facilitate the boom of population and urban development sustainably and environmentally.

Physical Context

We used the tower on a base approach to our building design. We kept a 2-3 floor (50-60ft) base height to keep a datum with the contextual Savannah. The towers are then set-back minimum 15ft to be perceived less like a street wall hovering above pedestrians to improve the street experience.