Matching Items (4)

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Life Reconnected: Urban Biophilic Microdwelling Communities

Description

While there is a growing desire for sustainable urban living, Downtown Phoenix remains a fragmented landscape with vacant land, underutilized areas, and a detrimental imbalance between commercial and residential uses.

While there is a growing desire for sustainable urban living, Downtown Phoenix remains a fragmented landscape with vacant land, underutilized areas, and a detrimental imbalance between commercial and residential uses. This project aims to fulfill this desire by connecting these landscapes to form a cohesive and ecologically viable urban fabric which will increase the well-being of people and natural systems through increased biodiversity, ecological awareness, and a greater occupation of the public sphere. Biophilic microdwelling communities, strategically inserted into Downtown Phoenix, can recover underutilized areas, create more urban housing, and introduce native species which will begin to transform vacant sites to create a cohesive urban frabric. As water, food, and refuge draw more organisms, a biologically diverse urban ecosystem will emerge and spread throughout the urban area, redefining the future of the city. The increased emphasis on social living in this new biophilic setting will strengthen personal and ecological well-being. After considering many varied interests and looking at what is most concerning in the world today, this thesis is devoted to the sustainable transformation of Phoenix, Arizona. A relatively new city, Phoenix is at a turning point in its development and is poised on the brink of defining itself for the future. The current paradigms of autocentric sprawl and habitat destruction have been challenged and new ideas developed. Phoenix is in a unique position to be able to begin a new sustainable type of progress. The process has already begun with high-density buildings and housing infiltrating Downtown, along with cultural amenities for the new occupants. However, the city currently remains much as it was after the abandonment of the mid 20th century when most residents left for the surrounding suburbs. Vacant lots and underutilized areas fragment the urban landscape, creating an undesirable environment for both humans and native desert organisms. The lack of residential development exacerbates the sense of abandonment as the city shuts down after business hours. The housing that does exist is typically high rise luxury apartments or condos wherein the resident is far removed from city life. The growing desire and need for housing which is affordable for young professionals or students and aimed to engage the city and streetscape has not been developed. The resulting emptiness has created a wound in the urban fabric that is only now beginning to heal, and it is how this wound will heal that will define the future of the city. Will the future development force the traditional unsustainable paradigm into being only to inevitably fail, or will a new sustainable paradigm, guided not by typical planning or thought processes but by unique conditions of the region and input from contemporary users, redefine Phoenix and set a precedent for the redevelopment of other cities? This project seeks to fulfill these desires by providing biophilic micro housing capable of acting as a catalyst for urban transformation. Some of the most underutilized and disruptive features of Downtown Phoenix are the parking garages. They often occupy an entire block and disrupt the streetscape with the detriment of single functionality. The location of these garages, however, is ideal for an urban housing and ecology catalyst based on surrounding resources and they would serve as insertion points for additive development. A greater diversity of habitat for both people and native species through a network of strategically placed, biologically loaded microdwelling communities which leverage these underutilized structures can meet this need and improve the well-being of residents of all species and the natural systems of the urban ecology.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Calle Rasquache: Biomimetically Designing Buckeye Road for Everyday Urbanism

Description

Promoted by the city to increase land values and provide jobs in the barrios of South Phoenix, industry became a force of massive disturbance along Buckeye Road, interrupting the residential

Promoted by the city to increase land values and provide jobs in the barrios of South Phoenix, industry became a force of massive disturbance along Buckeye Road, interrupting the residential scale with large industrial lots, many of which have been abandoned. However, latent in the landscape are remnants of better times in the vibrant gestures of everyday urbanism.
Inspired by this palate of lively, idiosyncratic street designs—created out of necessity by people making-do—this project seeks to bring identity, value, and vitality to this challenging human environment.
This project uses concepts and processes of disturbance ecology and ecological succession, specifically the role played by pioneer species and biological legacies in the immediate aftermath of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, to develop an urban revitalization plan for Buckeye Road.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

Post-Zoo Design: Alternative Futures in the Anthropocene

Description

Public awareness of nature and environmental issues has grown in the last decades and zoos have successfully followed suit by re-branding themselves as key representatives for conservation. However, considering the

Public awareness of nature and environmental issues has grown in the last decades and zoos have successfully followed suit by re-branding themselves as key representatives for conservation. However, considering the fast rate of environmental degradation, in the near future, zoos may become the only place left for wildlife. Some scholars argue that we have entered a new epoch titled the “Anthropocene” that postulates the idea that untouched pristine nature is almost nowhere to be found. Many scientists and scholars argue that it is time that we embraced this environmental situation and anticipated the change. Clearly, the impact of urbanization is reaching into the wild, so how can we design for animals in our artificializing world? Using the Manoa School method that argues that every future includes these four, generic, alternatives: growth, discipline, collapse, and transformation , this dissertation explores possible future animal archetypes by considering multiple possibilities of post zoo design.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Does context matter?: understanding the urban design requirements of successful neighborhood parks

Description

Literature on the design and management of urban parks has been informed by empirical research on the value of public space in terms of economic value, public health, social, and

Literature on the design and management of urban parks has been informed by empirical research on the value of public space in terms of economic value, public health, social, and environmental benefits. Although there is significant value in discussing these benefits, there has been a lack of understanding about the production of public space as a normative goal. Neighborhood parks have been recognized as one of the key urban public spaces that serve the social, economic, and environmental needs of adjacent neighborhoods. However, relevant studies mostly focus on the contribution of neighborhood parks as discrete space, instead of neighborhood parks as built spaces within the urban context. This research provides a better understanding of the relationship between the context of surrounding neighborhoods and the success of neighborhood parks. The research addresses two major research questions. First, what are the major characteristics of the morphological context around neighborhood parks? Second, how do the characteristics of morphological context associate with the success of neighborhood parks? For the first question, the `context' refers to the layout and configuration of urban form including blocks, parcels, and buildings; street network; pedestrian-oriented attributes; and property land uses. For the second question, the `success' of neighborhood parks is defined by property/ violent crime rate. The study is based on a quarter mile buffer area around 150 neighborhood parks in the City of Chicago, Illinois. The research employed factor and cluster analysis to develop a typology of neighborhood park contexts. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to identify the relationship between park morphological contexts and crime rate. Based on understanding the dimensional structure of urban form elements, neighborhood park surroundings were classified into six categories. This study provided an alternative way of constructing public space typology based on surrounding urban form. The findings of regression analysis revealed that variables associated with higher-density, permeability, and mixed-use development do not necessarily correlate with reduced property/ violent crime rates. However, some variables representing `traditional neighborhood' characteristics were correlated with lower property/ violent crime rates. The study provides guidelines for urban design and physical planning strategies for neighborhood park development.

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Date Created
  • 2013