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DC's Marble ceiling : urban height and its regulation in Washington, DC

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dc.contributor.advisor Lynn Fisher. en_US Trueblood, Andrew Tyson en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us-dc en_US 2009-12-10T19:14:59Z 2009-12-10T19:14:59Z 2009 en_US 2009 en_US
dc.description Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2009. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 169-179). en_US
dc.description.abstract Washington, DC has a unique urban form that is the result of a century-old law. Through the narrow lens of DC's height limit, I survey a range of topics related to urban height, starting with a review of its history of regulation, highlighting society's tenuous relationship with tall buildings. Placing DC into this broader context shows that its height limit has little to do with monumentality and was very similar to height regulations across America in the early 20th century. Because of its unique governance and economy, DC's height limit has remained in place and its meaning has changed, making it a tradition of urban form rooted in its anachronistic and distinctive nature. The contemporary implications of the limit on DC's form and real estate market are a central business district that is essentially built out to a very unique mid-rise form and secondary centers have had more trouble developing and competing with neighboring jurisdictions. Using density and height measurements to compare DC to other jurisdictions shows that downtown DC takes up about twice as much land as it would if it did not have the height restriction. The analysis contributes to the literature by tying the initial impetus behind DC's height limit to its trajectory over time and current state. The investigation also takes a novel approach to examining densities, looking at both employment and residential density. Finally, it uses a novel approach for measuring and comparing heights across cities. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) The thesis ends with recommendations that the canvas of height created by the limit be used for new monuments, that the core be allocated height up to 160 feet, and that commercial areas outside the core be allowed heights up to 200 feet. These would preserve the monumental nature of DC while allowing for additional density and funding for initiatives that could serve the residents of DC. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Andrew Tyson Trueblood. en_US
dc.format.extent 180 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.title DC's Marble ceiling : urban height and its regulation in Washington, DC en_US
dc.title.alternative Urban height and its regulation in Washington, DC en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US M.C.P. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 463479458 en_US

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