About stephanieleonard

Stephanie Leonard is a graduate student at Boise State, an outdoor enthusiast, aspiring thrill-seeker and book-reader. As a Community and Regional Development student her interests lie in the built environment, its effect on the human experience and discovering the secret to combining both to create unique spaces. Born in the West and raised in Idaho, she hopes to stick around the Pacific Northwest to experience everything the region has to offer.

Neighborhoods: Windows into Boise. The plan, the progress and the exhibit.

Preliminary brainstorming process on neighborhood capacity.

For the past five months we have delved into three Boise neighborhoods. The City of Boise approached our Community and Regional Planning graduate program with one broad task: help us understand how to increase and build neighborhood capacity. Provided with three different (and surprisingly similar) neighborhoods, we began a process that would be tiring, frustrating and most importantly, rewarding.

For a more comprehensive look at our initial goals and implementation steps, take a look at our blog on the beginning of our neighborhood project.
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The forgotten and discarded Chinese: Idaho’s version



Throughout planning history it has not been uncommon to “forget” certain groups of people. In fact, throughout the United States’ history this has been recurring, both within the planning profession as well as outside it. Idaho was not left out in exercising this trend. Idaho’s planning history, although short in comparison to other American cities, has experienced its share of ebbs and flows, successes and failures. Embracing diversity and equity planning, especially in regard to the Chinese immigrants of the area, has not been among Idaho’s triumphs. Continue reading

Westward Ho! How Connectedness Facilitated (and Nearly Destroyed) Boise’s Agriculture

State (Valley) St. looking west, Boiseartsandhistory.org, Accessed 3/4/2014

State (Valley) St. looking west, Boiseartsandhistory.org, Accessed 3/4/2014

Boise was settled and developed as an agricultural community. It all started with canals, water and trees of course.

Once early-settlers were able to construct irrigation trenches facilitating orchards and family farms, expansion west of what had been known as Boise’s core, was foreseeable. Next, came the Inter-Urban Railway. With the intention of quick and efficient access to and from agricultural areas the Inter-Urban Railway was crucial in Boise’s expansion west. Just three miles west of the urban center of Boise, Collister Neighborhood was formed as an agriculturally-based community. However, the allure of commerce coupled with this new expansion threatened a vital part of Boise’s cultural foundation: agriculture. Continue reading

How the Market Was Won

Residents and visitors perusing Pike's Place, accessed 2/18/2014, dazzlingplaces.com

Residents and visitors perusing Pike’s Place, accessed 2/18/2014, dazzlingplaces.com

As the first proposed project slated for Urban Renewal in Seattle, the Pike Plaza Redevelopment Project had big plans for what is now one of the most recognizable landmarks in Seattle.

So, how exactly did this once “blighted” area escape its slated doom and transform into the beloved neighborhood commodity enjoyed by residents and visitors alike today? Continue reading

Dolores Hayden: The Cycle of Suburbia

"Dolores Hayden", accessed 2/3/2014, www.doloreshayden.com

“Dolores Hayden”, accessed 2/3/2014, http://www.doloreshayden.com

Dolores Hayden is an accomplished academic, author, poet, historian and urbanist. Her career has been speckled with success and notoriety; the notability of her publications would make some of the most-read authors cower with respect. Hayden is most known for her work delving into the antithesis of “idealistic” living: the Suburb. Continue reading