Laura Toups, P.E., LEED AP, is managing partner of Urban Design Group and has been involved in land development projects in Austin since 1983. She has over 28 years experience in the design of streets, utilities, drainage systems, and water systems. Experience also includes site planning, master planning of regional water and wastewater systems, demand projections, cost estimating and financial feasibility studies. For the past eight years, Ms. Toups has focused her project management on UDG's urban design projects. Ms. Toups has performed environmental assessments as well as site planning design. She is active in City of Austin planning efforts for the urban core and very familiar with neighborhood and downtown issues.
Urban design projects require a considerable amount of coordination with other utilities, projects and City departments. Ms. Toups is very familiar with the design challenges due to the varying urban environment. She has been involved in the preparation and processing of license agreements for projects. She has processed zoning cases which have required working with neighborhood associations and concerns of the Planning Commission and City Council. She is extremely familiar with the site constraints imposed by zoning criteria and the effect on design possibilities. As a civil engineer, she has worked with the City of Austin environmental codes since 1983 and understands the need to comply with environmental goals and criteria while creating a more livable city
Selected Consulting Work Includes:
- Downtown Master Plan - Ms. Toups is serving as project manager for UDG's work as a sub consultant to ROMA on the development of a Master Plan for Austin. Work has included preliminary review of existing utility, roadway and drainage infrastructure and identification of upgrade requirements. Work also includes development of cost estimates and recommendation for City process improvements and participation in stakeholder input.
Seaholm District Master Plan - Project manager for UDG’s work in preparation of a district Master Plan for an area bounded by 5th Street, San Antonio, Town Lake and Orchard Avenue. The purpose of the Master Plan was to establish an appropriate context for the redevelopment and reuse of Seaholm as a successful public attraction. UDG prepared a base map of current and future utility locations and emerging projects affecting the master plan, preparation of preliminary cost estimates for site civil improvements, assessment of the available parking of the immediate area around Seaholm, and analysis of street network and redesign.
- Urban Design Criteria Manual - Project Manager for development of an Urban Design Criteria Manual for the City of Austin. Work includes working with City Planning and Public Works Department to develop criteria and details for use in the downtown streetscape design.
- Saltillo District Master Plan - Project manager for UDG’s work as a subconsultant to ROMA. Work included analysis of ROW needs, drainage, utilities, street network, water quality and zoning and ordinance requirements for master planned development.
- City Hall and Public Plaza - Project manager for civil work on City Hall and Public Plaza built in conjunction with the new CSC complex. Work included LEED’s analysis on construction of pedestrian tunnel connecting CSC buildings and development of public interface with the South First Street bridge. UDG was a subconsultant to Cotera, Kolar & Negrete Architects and Antoine Predock Architects on this project. Project included Great Streets design.
- East 7th Street Improvement Project - Project manager for the design of streetscape improvements for East 7th from Chicon to Pleasant Valley. Project includes landscaping, lighting, wayfinding, sidewalks, specialty paving and gateway design.
- East 7th Street Corridor Plan - Project manager for UDG’s work as a subconsultant to The Goodman Corporation in analysis of street and sidewalk access. Work included preparation of construction plans for pedestrian median.
- Austin Corridor Study - Project manager for UDG’s work as a subconsultant to the Barry Goodman Company in the development of a corridor planning evaluation matrix and methodology for the City of Austin Smart Growth corridors. Phase II of the work will involve the development of a corridor plan for a designated street.
- Anderson Hill Redevelopment - Project manager for platting, zoning and site planning of 15 lot subdivision located on E. 12th Street. The project which includes an entire block, is owned by the City of Austin Housing Development Board and will be developed as an affordable housing project. Project required design of rear entry alley, ADA compliance and sidewalk repair. Street block improvements included sidewalk rehabilitation and reduction of driveway cuts. Work also included processing variances through the Board of Adjustment.
- Palmer Events Center and Garage - Town Lake Park - Project manager for civil design of new Community Events Center and parking garage built at Town Lake Park site. This project is the first phase of development of a new urban park. Work included development of water quality plan, grading, drainage, utilities and roadway design, sidewalk linkage and ADA compliance.
- Colorado River Park - Project manager for UDG’s work as a subconsultant to Richardson Verdoorn. UDG will be responsible for design of streets, parking and utility and drainage improvements within this new park on the Colorado River. Work will also include stream bank restoration along a creek.
- 5th @ West Avenue - Project design team for 140-unit downtown apartment building. Design included preparation of site grading, paving and drainage plans. Work included flood plain analysis for adjacent Shoal Creek. Project included Great Streets design on West Avenue.
- Alexan on Congress - Project team for infill redevelopment of an urban multi-family/commercial project located on South Congress. Project incorporated a majority of items from City of Austin Smart Growth Matrix. Project icuded expanded streetscape design.
- Convention Center Chilled Water Lines - Project manager for the design and preparation of the construction plans, including plan/profile, traffic control, construction method details, tree protection and erosion control of chilled water lines in downtown Austin for Austin Energy. The design included routing two 24” HDPE pipes through an existing 66” water line under the new Convention Center expansion. Design required coordination of existing and proposed utilities within Third Street, San Antonio Street and Red River Street and off-peak construction.
- Convention Center Garage - Project manager for new parking garage and Austin Energy Chilled Water Plant constructed next to the Convention Center. Work included all required civil engineering and LEED’s analysis. Project included Great Streets Design.