A critical issue for the success of Innovate ABQ is how easily people can move between the University of New Mexico, the site at Broadway and Central and downtown Albuquerque.                                  

Representatives of Perkins + Will are in Albuquerque and at UNM this week to talk about the master planning process for Innovate ABQ. In a presentation to the UNM Economic Development Forum on Wednesday, David Green, Perkins + Will, laid out some general ideas for the recently purchased site at Broadway and Central, and the broader innovation district.

Green, his associates Kevin Bacon, and Steven Spalding along with Dale Dekker and Will Gleason, representing Dekker/Perich/Sabatini and Andrew Cullen, associate vice president, Budget Office; and Roger Schluntz, professor and former dean, School of Architecture and Planning; representing UNM, will meet with members of the UNM community, including faculty and deans. They will also meet with local government representatives, national laboratory representatives, MRCOG representatives, neighborhood and cultural groups, and representatives of UNM student government. A public presentation to the UNM Board of Regents is set for Friday, Aug. 8 at 9 a.m. in Ballroom C of the Student Union Building on campus.

Green points to a major trend shift in where and how research hubs develop. Communities that once competed to build expensive master planned research parks in one suburban area are now rethinking and moving research development and commercialization activity toward the city center.

Current thinking shows innovation and startup companies do well in the midst of a thriving cultural, business and residential landscape. That, he said, makes Albuquerque well positioned to attract developers interested in building space to capitalize on research in progress at UNM and in the community.

The core principles for such include making them accessible, walkable, flexible and sustainable. Green said UNM will have to work closely with everyone to consider ways to realize the potential this project represents.