The City Square/Power Strip project evolved from an initial study in the Fall 2012 urban design studio at the Downtown Design Center with Gensler. Gensler brought a challenge to the students to envision a new 'Town Square' as part of an initiative by their firm. An 'Art Place' grant submission for an idea for 'energy arts' along a new art trail connecting the City Hall to the 18B arts district was the second part of the study. Though not awarded, we present the project on this page as a vision to incite a discussion about public space in Las Vegas.
A great city needs a thriving downtown built upon civic institutions including a square, city hall, museums and other civic buildings. Most mid-size cities of similar size have an active core with these resources; and all aspirational cities compared to Las Vegas have a core with a diverse set of civic anchors. This proposal is a vision for Downtown Las Vegas to connect the 18B, arts district by way of its Art Trail in the Centennial Plan. This is an urban design vision incorporating arts planning, park planning, form-based code, and sustainability. The plan includes a corridor recommendation for the art trail and a new civic square with a park that generates energy, provides shade and uses very little water.