Completion Date: June 2018


Slow Street: A New Town Centre for Mayflower, Arkansas, Mayflower, Arkansas, United States
University of Arkansas Community Design Center

Slow Street: A New Town Center for Mayflower, Arkansas

Mayflower’s (pop 2,314) recovery from the April 2014 Tornado is focused on development of a new walkable town center incorporating an isolated city park and floodplain. The site is hemmed in by limited access transportation corridors—the Union Pacific Railroad and express highways—all unamenable to residents’ desire for pedestrian-oriented urbanism.  Since the thin 4,500-foot long triangular site does not support a traditional block fabric, the design is structured around a novel shared street system that we have designated “Slow Street”.

Slow Street’s shared space reclaims non-traffic social functions found in great streets while accommodating vehicular traffic. Slow Street essentially stretches the civic landscapes and pedestrian spaces common to a town square along its 4,500-foot length as the town’s signature armature. Mixed-use neighborhoods accommodate all income groups, avoiding demographic sorting, through diverse housing types that provide a mix of lifestyle options previously unavailable. Slow Street accommodates a range of housing density (6-25 units/acre) in a town where the average density is three units/acre. The housing mix for the 350 units supports aging in place and the return of middle and low-income families to town centers. The street becomes the town’s park system.

The plan was adopted unanimously by Mayflower’s city council in May 2015, following a year of work between the tornado recovery planning team and the community. Mayflower is currently working on parcel aggregation to implement Phase 1 around the city park.


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