Mesa Del Sol

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Forest City Covington NM, LLC


2004 - 2006

Timothy Rood was lead author of the initial master plan document submitted to the City of Albuquerque for this 12,400-acre mixed-use project while at Calthorpe Associates. At CD+A, he continued consulting to the developer as lead author of the plan document for the next level of review, covering a 3,080-acre portion of the master plan that includes the initial phases of employment, residential neighborhoods, and mixed-use centers.

Located within the urban development reserve of Albuquerque on the southern side of the city, Mesa del Sol will be a large new district, eventually housing 100,000 residents and 80,000 jobs. Combining job creation and sustainable community planning, the project balances environmental resources, economic objectives and social amenities. Mesa del Sol will be a largely self-sufficient planned community. 

A large-scale employment district in the northeastern quadrant of the site has already attracted a film studio and a LEED-certified solar panel manufacturing facility, in keeping with the development's emphasis on energy and resource conservation.

Key features of the site will be preserved for their natural value and as amenities to residents. Among these are depressions, or playas, that historically capture the rainfall on the nearly-flat mesa, and a dramatic escarpment overlooking the Rio Grande valley. Natural open space corridors running throughout the site will connect these features with trails and paths, open up vistas to distant landmarks, and accommodate sustainable stormwater infrastructure that takes advantage of the site's natural rainfall through water harvesting techniques.

Mesa del Sol's transportation system has been designed for the safety and comfort of pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit users and automobile drivers. Major boulevards serve as multifunctional spines of development and include bicycle lanes and space for future transitways. Within the mixed-use centers, major roadways typically split into one-way couplets, allowing intersections to be smaller, safer and more human scaled while decreasing delays for motorists.

Mesa del Sol received three major planning awards from the state chapter of the American Planning Association, and the project was named a model of planned development by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the President's Council for Sustainability.