Title page for ETD etd-10012008-063151

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Leavitt, Trenda Carter
URN etd-10012008-063151
Title Alternative drainageway design :a case study analysis
Degree Master of Landscape Architecture
Department Landscape Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
No Advisors Found
  • landscape design
Date of Defense 1996-07-05
Availability restricted

Numerous scholars are outlining design approaches to reweave natural and cultural landscapes together to restore and enhance the quality of both. Typically they identify the following exigent issues within the contemporary landscape which need solving: fragmented, dysfunctional ecosystems;1 low wildlife and plant diversity; resource consumptive design; divorce of the human/cultural environment from natural ecosystems; infrequent human interaction with the ecosystem; and lost landscape legibility and regional identity. Strategies to solve these issues are varied, however most strategies include the following: reestablish ecosystem balance and function; increase wildlife and plant diversity; enhance and promote regional identity and landscape legibility; reconnect human landscapes with ecosystems; promote human interaction with the ecosystem; use nature as a design model; and redefine aesthetics. Many writers suggest combining identified components within a single design scheme for successful amelioration of cultural and ecosystem damage.

Alternative drainageway design projects are typically concerned with ecosystem restoration, enhancement of regional identity features, and civic space design within public landscapes. As such, this design genre offers an idea] venue to actualize criteria outlined by scholars: restore ecosystem health, reconnect people to ecosystems, and promote regional identity. However many alternative drainageway design projects address only ecosystem restoration and ignore public space, while others address public space to the detriment of ecological balance. The potential of alternative drainageway design to address multiple issues at once is tremendous, yet are there existing projects which match demands set forth by scholars?

This thesis seeks to answer that question by critical evaluation of a series of built alternative drainageway design projects. Criteria identified by scholars in the literature review are used as a framework to critically analyze and topically discuss selected projects. Because the same set of criteria is shared by reputed scholars, the derived criteria serve as a pertinent benchmark to evaluate the projects. Discussion and comparative analysis illustrates whether the projects embody identified criteria and identify if any projects meet rigorous multiple demands framed by scholars. By critically analyzing and identifying successful, multiple-solution projects, this thesis provides germane information to develop a foundation for twenty-first century drainageway design. The derived framework offers clear stepping stones for designers, based upon current theory and built projects, to effectively address pressing cultural and environmental issues of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century landscape. The derived framework thus forwards a methodology to re-weave natural and cultural landscapes together for the benefit both.

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