Title page for ETD etd-05052006-135933

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Dougherty, Dana
URN etd-05052006-135933
Title Embodying the City: Identity and Use in Urban Public Space
Degree Master of Landscape Architecture
Department Landscape Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jacobson, Wendy R. Committee Chair
Clements, Terry L. Committee Member
Yglesias, Caren L. Committee Member
  • diversity of use
  • place attachment
  • cultural identity
  • urban public space
Date of Defense 2006-03-22
Availability unrestricted
Certain urban public spaces seem to embody the cities in which they are found, helping to make those cities the vibrant places they are. This project explores how urban public spaces can be created to reflect the vitality of the city by embracing the culture and the people who reside in it.

Through literature review and case studies, a framework is developed focusing on the areas of identity and use in the design of public spaces. Identity is looked at in terms of place attachment, spatial identity, and how surrounding uses affect the identity of a space. Use is explored in terms of designing a public space to encourage a diversity of uses at different times. Identity and use are inevitably linked: much of a space’s identity depends on the uses that take place there and whether or not the space meets the needs of its users. In the same way, a space will not be used unless potential users can identify with it and feel a connection to it.

A design project is carried out in an urban neighborhood based on this framework to create a space that is connected to its users and its city.

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