Amy Jacobi's (MCP '12) thesis came to an important conclusion that the current fiscally conservative climate on Capitol Hill, as the next surface transportation bill is being negotiated, may possibly carry over to a greater dependence on fiscal federalism for funding public transportation. With local governments already straining their resources, an examination of how a greater reliance on local funds for public transit is a prudent topic.
Vasudha Gupta's (MCP '12) thesis explored aging in Place allows seniors to remain in their choice of residence for as long as possible, using local services and conveniences to live safely and independently. The Village Model is a component of this movement, recognized as a community-based and peer-support network, which allows older Americans to age in their homes and remain active in their community.
Jaymes Dunsmore's (MCP '12) thesis argues that ideas about a city are powerful forces, and have lasting impacts on the built environment. While not every vision is realized in the built form, every aspect of urban development is the reflection of a vision about what the city should be. This is especially true in Los Angeles. Today, the ideas and trends that shaped the development of that city, and many American metropolises, in the twentieth century are falling away, presenting the opportunity for new visions of downtown development and civic space to take form.
Kathleen Dahlberg's (MCP/SMArchS '12) thesis explores the mid-size American city and examines the deeply nuanced relationship between city form, landscape and culture. Using Springfield Missouri as a representative case study, the city is viewed as a process of transformation, a reading which is used to build a layered spatial comprehension, interpreting the terrain as a set of limits, cultural production, and space of collective desire; and the city as a negotiation between global economic development and local specificity.
Caitlin Cameron (MCP '12) came to the conclusion that we believe we understand food deserts, but we do not. In the last decade the phenomenon of food deserts has been often discussed, and many solutions are proposed to alleviate food access issues in American cities. However, I argue that the efficacy of these solutions is questionable until the causes of urban food deserts are better understood. Beyond the economics of retail grocery exist systemic, physical factors which contribute to the gaps in food access.
Rachel Blatt's (MCP '12) thesis explored how vibrant multi-use sidewalks are designed in two phases. First there is the design of the physical infrastructure which determines sidewalk widths, materials, and the adjacent building fagades and roadway. Then there is the design problem of organizing objects on the sidewalk: where should the trees be planted, where do the lampposts, benches, trashcans, and signs get placed. Object placement is what identifies the sidewalk as a multi-use environment - making it both a space to move through and a place to gather in.
Allison Albericci's (MCP/SMArchS '12) thesis questioned what is the present role of technical change - particularly change in integrated Information-Communication Technology (ICT) - in facilitating sustainable urbanism in the developing world? Technological advancements are altering consumer demand and behavior, transforming the products, services, entertainment and information consumed as well processes related to consumption.
Ann-Ariel Vecchio, thesis looks at natural systems as a key element of how to design for sustainability. As part of these efforts, academics and practitioners have also begun to explore the ways in which the utilization of natural systems can and should change our approach to the design and function of urban areas and of infrastructure itself. As an entry point to explore the topic, this thesis focuses on stormwater management as one basic building block or fundamental component of multipurpose infrastructure development.
Fall 2012 City Design and Development Forum: The New Urban Interface
Hosted by DUSP Visiting Scholar Aaron Naparstek
Strong Towns: Rising From the Ashes of Suburbia
Date: Monday, October 15, 6:00 PM
Speaker: Charles Marohn (Executive Director, StrongTowns.org)
In the fight to reverse decline and disinvestment in urban neighborhoods, The Community Builders has forged a strategy of neighborhood transformation through catalytic redevelopment, sustained investment, and a focus on resident success. TCB’s approach has evolved along with constantly shifting urban context and U.S. housing policy. Bart Mitchell, Willie Jones and Jeff Beam will discuss what’s worked, what hasn’t, and what it means for the next generation of community-based revitalization strategies.