Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
Atlanta has lost the quality of spaces which links the social and physical qualities of its urban fabric. Through its disjointed nature its sense of place and organic public life has dwindled into the background. As it stands Atlanta’s “identity” broadcasts a city whose urban spaces are haphazard assemblages of the social, economic, cultural, and historical elements of the city.
Business has become an overbearing forefront in the streetscape as public spaces such as plazas function in reality as surveilled extensions of corporate space. The cultural and historic attractions, though enjoyable and interesting, are scattered throughout the city, making for a need of a centralized center. The legacy of the Olympics, seeded in the construction and establishment of Centennial Olympic Park, has lost its flair and become more of a half-hearted tourist space. Other attempts at creating interactive environments come in the form of Pemberton Place (World of Coke Museum, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia Aquarium), Woodruff Park, and an assortment of smaller parks. Even in its physical composition, the City of Atlanta has been severed by the development and branching of its superhighway system, 75/85. Despite its current state, I challenge the identity of the City of Atlanta in relation to public space.
Public space should be a construct which arises from the "context" of the city and is fundamentally the embodiment of the people. The way in which we structure the relationships between people and the built environment indicates the identity of our urban environment and therefore influences how space prioritizes and encourages public life and connections throughout a city.
The focus of my thesis therefore interrogates the vitality and connection of Atlanta’s proclaimed main street, Peachtree Corridor, by exploring strategies of place-making within the urban context and codifying and systematizing public life in order to derive the identity of public life in Atlanta.
The goal is to look at the points in space in the built environment we have created through disjointed cultural, historic, business districts, and re-weave them, like a Southern tapestry. Through studies of small and large scale interventions weaving through the topography along the corridor, I aim to provide programmatic spaces for generative civic and cultural amenities- create space for place.
Smith, Jonne, "A Place of Our Own: Investigating the Physical and Social Construct of Public Space in Atlanta" (2017). Bachelor of Architecture Theses - 5th Year. 7.