Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.Arch.

Degree Granting Department

Architecture

Major Professor

Michael Halflants, M.Arch.

Keywords

Riverwalk, Green, Public, Private, Landscape

Abstract

The Tampa River Walk project is one of great importance for revitalization of the waterfront of downtown Tampa. This Riverfront development will be even more important when it becomes a vital example of how a riverfront can stretch and pull together downtown Tampa and its surrounding areas: Hyde Park, Harbour Island, and Historic Ybor. The purpose of this master's project is to explore an ecological ex pansion design approach for the Tampa River Walk as a master plan and then zooming into to an area to design in detail of what the riverfront can be. It will start by concentrating on the areas that were not dealt with in the proposal by EDAW: the west side of Hillsborough River, and areas that are immediately adjacent. Furthermore, it will investigate future expansion of the River Walk as downtown Tampa potentially expands and connects out to the suburbs in thirty to forty years.

The main focus of this project will be to create an iconic design that gives the Tampa's riverfront a character and identity. This unique characteristic will be created by knitting nature into the urban fabric and using the River Walk as a natural seam. The connection throughout the riverfront will be made by a natural green strip. It will explore the idea of stretching and pulling of public zones vertically and horizontally to create connectivity and identity with the River Walk. Two resarch methods that will play important roles in this investigation are Design and History Research, and Case Study and Multi-method Approaches to Research. The research timeline will concentrate on mainly the history of development and use of Tampa's riverfront starting from 1600's when Tampa Bay was discovered by Spanish explorers, through the River Walk development proposed today.

Also, case studies of Chicago Water Front, San Antonio River Walk, and others will inform various strategies taken in different geographical locations and impacts they've had on the growth of the cities. This project will provide an expansion design approach that is not only a concern for the present time, but also looking ahead at what it might provide for the future. The result of this project will hopefully serve as a stepping stone for a new way of revitalizing Tampa's downtown and surrounding areas through knitting of nature into an urban fabric.

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