Texas Tech University

2020 Texas ASLA
Merit Award

Gardens of the Desert

Uniting nature, health, and the identity of West Texas

This project proposes an environmentally focused redevelopment of an education and regional healthcare facility's grounds. The University Medical Center and Texas Tech Health Sciences Center campus is a prime example of business success turned to urban sprawl. The campus is missing opportunities for health, economic, and nature benefits for its users and the community.

West Texas is seeing less frequent, more extreme storms. Development should consider the health, safety, and welfare of the city. The Ogallala is depleting at nearly 1.8 feet per year and in places of high-production agriculture, is sitting at just 50 feet of water remaining. This design proposes a solution that honors the land's natural processes while creating economic and social opportunities. Green infrastructure is a viable solution to West Texas stormwater issues.

University Medical Center would benefit from green infrastructure economically, and the patients, visitors, and employees would benefit in terms of health and quality of life. Creating an example of proper site development and stormwater reuse can be an example for the Llano Estacado and be a step in the direction of sustainability. Most of Lubbock's landscapes provide only one service (parking, drainage, etc.) and don't provide education or habitat for native plants and animals. The integration of green infrastructure, permeable land cover, and improved circulation could be the difference that makes UMC even more sought after as a healthcare facility.


Leah Nega, DoLA