Date of Submission

Spring 5-3-2019

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

M. Saleh Uddin, ph.D

Secondary Advisor

Professor Zamila Karimi


A city begins as a small, centralized community where everybody knows each other. Social events take place in the city square, or even on sidewalks, creating a street culture. As a city grows, so does the demand for larger roads, and eventually highways. In the late 1940’s President Eisenhower initiated the interstate system, capable of handling large amounts of traffic, creating connections to larger cities with economic centers. Over the next forty years, the interstates were installed across the United States, either bypassing, or crossing through cities. Although necessary, at what point does the interstate, if taken through a major city, become a barrier to those on the streets, diminishing street life? It was when Robert Moses failed to take a super highway through lower Manhattan Island that Jane Jacobs wrote about the importance of street life, itself necessary to accentuate sidewalks, buildings, and the people. This thesis is about how to restructure a fragmented city through stitching, incorporating a design typology to activate dead zones and empty lots resulting from interstates to reinvigorate street life. The site: Midtown Atlanta, where in the 1950’s the initial construction of the Downtown Connector, I 75/85, rearranged Techwood Drive and Williams Street, and tore 15th and 16th streets in half. Documented site conditions show the remaining historical buildings, slowly being built over by new, contemporary development. Abandoned open lots are either crumbling or becoming overgrown. Around the site is a high heat island effect, contributing to respiratory problems amongst children. Pedestrian activity is scarce along the east side of the site, even on weekends. I will show a series of sections of Midtown Atlanta before, during, and after the installation of the connector, and its affects. The result: a morphological typology for Atlanta, allowing Midtown to reach out into other fragmented neighborhoods.

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Architecture Commons