Date of Submission

Spring 5-9-2022

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture

Department

Architecture

Primary Advisor

Ermal Shpuza, PhD

Abstract

The city of Atlanta lacks public spaces. Atlanta is characterized by many high-rise buildings, and a bare urban fabric that is accessed by automobile-oriented roads rather than pedestrian streets. Dense city centers such as Buckhead, Midtown, and Downtown, lacks proper public places that support social cohesion. While the city is renowned for its green spaces and the tree canopy, much of the public space is dedicated as green parks rather than plazas as extension of the street network. When the development of Atlanta began, it was designed as a railroad city. This took the focus off its natural course of emerging as a river city. With its proximity to the Chattahoochee River, it’s surprising that it remains nonexistent. Cities like Richmond, San Antonio, and Greenville, have all developed around the river and have created vibrant places for their people. Water is often a wonderful asset for urban life as indicated by successful water features incorporated in spaces like Centennial Park and Piedmont Park. How can Atlanta reinvent its interface with the river and how can we bring water back to the public spaces? The thesis tackles this question by proposing the extension of a public space at the intersection of the major and historical arterial road connecting Atlanta to Marietta with to Chattahoochee River. The site also coincides with an important historical layer of the city: the location of one the most important Creek native American villages in north Georgia. This project proposes the design of a new public space which brings together lessons from best practice examples across the world with a thorough analysis of the site both from the physical standpoint and the socio-economic needs. The project views the intervention as a catalyst that will draw further development and growth in the area. Given the expansive segment of the Chattahoochee across the north and north-east metro area, the thesis suggests planning and design principles that can be applied to the revamping of public space along the river in the future.

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