Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.Arch.

Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Vikas Mehta, Ph.D.

Keywords

Architecture, Water runoff, Public space, Pinellas Trail, Green corridor

Abstract

Many downtowns in North America have been severed from the rest of the city and from the contextual relationship to their surroundings. Sundered from their context, the ecological characteristics of a site are frequently taken for granted, and the disengagement of its public spaces erodes the downtown's character as well as the urban fabric. Downtown Clearwater has lost the vitality and vibrancy that once characterized it as a lively district. Because of recent developments in the downtown area, public spaces have been lost between parking lots, high rises and a small number of sporadic residential pockets. Some of the most important streets fail to create connections for the pedestrians to the surrounding public spaces and areas of interest; as a result some local businesses have dried up, affecting Downtown Clearwater's economy and its community. There is also a disconnection of the downtown with its context and it is evident that some of the major ecological and environmental characteristics of the site have been ignored through its development. This thesis studies how the ecological characteristics of a site can be integrated into the core of its design and experience. The Thesis proposes to revitalize Downtown Clearwater with a new system of green corridors that will promote activity and circulation. The corridors will define a new invigorating framework of points of interest supported by surrounding land uses. The main objectives of the project are to create a new urban destination, enhance the pedestrian experience, reconnect public spaces, cleanup water runoff and organize circulation of bicycles and pedestrians.The thesis emphasizes the design and development of a specific node and section of the green corridor system to explain the design.

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