Date of Completion

Spring 5-4-2017

Campus Location

Marietta

Document Type

Capstone

Director

Elizabeth Martin

Chair

Tony Rizzuto

Faculty Advisor

Edwin Akins

Faculty Representative

Edwin Akins

Abstract

“The story of people can be told through our infrastructure. In the rise and fall of cities throughout history, the places best positioned for a thriving future have always been those that offer systems to create the lives that we want. And we can see that as the innovations of canals, aqueducts, railroads, and highways did in their time, the kind of infrastructure that we build today matters to our success. If we do it right, it will forever transform our way of life.”
– Ryan Gravel1

Urban edges are created through interstices, spaces intervening between one thing and another, and are the resultant discontinuities in the urban fabric2. Hybridization of single-use infrastructures can bring systematic resiliency to networks over time. This thesis critiques single-use transportation infrastructures, such as roads, interstates, light and heavy rail, and their relationship to the pedestrian right-of-way. The complexities affecting the infrastructures’ future adaptations to contemporary society require an investigation in architectural response and strategies for reuse and multi-use.

Cities evolve with and within their infrastructural frameworks, and when we seek hybridization of our single-use infrastructures, there is the potential to bring systematic resiliency to networks over time. At the demand of time and technology, the evolution of networks greatly impacts the life and form of a city.

“Very broadly, twentieth century infrastructural projects around the world were largely single-minded initiatives with specialized agendas9.” It is the twenty-first century now, and this needs to change; multi-use sought within infrastructural development can accommodate changes in transportation technology, unused infrastructure in urban settings, and establish a relationship with the built environment to provide connectivity at the pedestrian level in locations that currently cater only to automobiles.

These problems are very familiar to us here in Atlanta, where, programmatically, the automobile dominates the rights-of-way, from our interstates to our surface streets. This problem affects us every day; the persistence of infrastructure that prioritizes the automobile limits our ability to efficiently and safely navigate our dense urban environments by foot, bicycle, or even, ironically, by automobile.

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