Avenue J: Lessons from the past and from nature to Heal Lubbock’s future

David A. Driskill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper characterizes an ecologically sustainable downtown Lubbock, which begins to knit the fractured city back together to create a healthy, economically viable downtown. Paramount to this design is the transformation of the existing hardscape of Avenue J into an extension of the Yellowhouse Canyon system, which has served for thousands of years as the path to the plains and the life source for its inhabitants. Envisioned from this design is water harvesting, xeriscaping, and permeable paving to transform a hardscape prone to flooding and pollution into an environment of conservation and health. The extension of the canyon to downtown Lubbock breaks through two historic barriers, a freeway and a railway, between the Central Business District, the Guadalupe Neighborhood, and the canyon system. The new interface of Avenue J becomes a major central park for the city, encouraging bordering properties to be developed as a place for commerce and living. Measurable improvements are expected in lower body fat indexes for residence and adjacent neighborhoods, a lower carbon footprint for downtown Lubbock, and reduced criminal assault incidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-27
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability
StatePublished - 2013


  • Autochthonous design
  • Urban sustainability
  • Water harvesting


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