Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.Arch.

Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Theodore Trent Green, R.A.

Keywords

Architecture, Transportation, Travel, Technology, Aerotropolis

Abstract

"Airports will shape business location and urban development in the 21st century as much as highways did in the 20th century, railroads in the 19th and seaports in the 18th" - John D. Kasarda, Ph.D. Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina http://www.aerotropolis.com/author.html I say, spaceports will shape the urban development of the 21st century, more than airports, bringing about an aerospace revolution. Just as new technologies triggered the global revolutions of the past, so the invention of reusable spacecraft will revolutionize transportation. The invention of such spacecraft suggests the need for a different kind of transportation hub: a spaceport. Not unlike an airport, a spaceport would be a center for transportation, but both terrestrial and extraterrestrial. Commercializing space travel would improve the efficiency of world travel and impact the cultural perspective of the world at large.

This new transport nexus would not only need to accommodate new modes of operation, but would need to respond to the emerging global society. An all-inclusive spaceport, it would become a city unto itself. A study of the changing world and the spiraling correlation between technological advancement and cultural development, in relation to the architecture of transport facilities, is the focus of the following thesis investigation. A correlative study of airports, airport terminals, and the evolution of airports into aerotropoli due to globalization, provides the ground work for the development of an urban spaceport. Restrictions and opportunities relevant to spaceport and aerospace terminal design are explored. An extensive investigation in the field of urban planning, transportation, and space travel, along with some speculation, reveals the implications that a commercial space program might have on society and architecture.

Then, research into the programming and design of spaceports acts as a spring-board for the design process. Though no commercial spaceports exist as of yet, a conceptual study provides insight into the extraterrestrial side of the operations. Finally, a spaceport masterplan and aerospace terminal that responds to the needs and concerns of the global community, as well as attempts to fulfill its dreams, is proposed as a precedent for redevelopment and implementation in the near future.

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