Degree Granting Department
Architecture and Community Design
Vikas Mehta, Ph.D.
Multimodal, Transit, High speed rail, Light rail, Tampa
Re-tool: v.tr. re-tooled, re-tooling, re-tools 1. To fit out (a factory, for example) with a new set of machinery and tools for making a different product. 2. To revise and reorganize, especially for the purpose of updating or improving. The American ideals inherent in the suburbs are the promise of space, affordability, convenience, and traditional family life; conversely the public realms of the suburban typology become disconnected from each other as well as the larger city. The Generic City condition in which the periphery is no longer captivated by the center from which it was created is pervasive in the American landscape. Public space within the city has been consumed by their auto-centric infrastructural requirements, creating a loss of activity and identity.
"Lowly, unpurposeful and random as they may appear, sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a cities wealth of public life may grow." Connecting people and places to one another and the metropolis that feeds them is essential for a properly functioning society. One example of an American city afflicted by auto-centrism and pedestrian marginalization is Tampa. The solution to Tampa's disconnection is a transit oriented development model in which there are localized areas of higher density that become nodes along a public transit route, thereby connecting areas of low density. By creating transportation nodes, places will become better connected in time and space. Establishing a more social form of transit in the Tampa Bay region will provide the opportunity for the creation of a secular cathedral of transportation.
The Infrastructures we erect, just as the monasteries in the Middle Ages, must seek to enliven the communal and artistic traditions that make civilization and culture meaningful. The network of light rail connecting disjointed areas in Hillsborough will be linked to a high speed rail connecting major metropolitan areas across the state. This central downtown node will be manifested as a multi-modal station which incorporates multiple functions into an existing single use environment to densify the urban core of Tampa, create denser housing, and reconnect people to places. The main area of focus is the rail station and its overlap of program to create density and intensity so that connections with places and culture will be reinforced. The station will become a major public space of amenity and gathering point for the community.
Scholar Commons Citation
Hott, Robert Shawn, "Re-tooling an American metropolis" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.