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The form and use of public space in a changing urban context

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dc.contributor.advisor Michael Dennis. en_US Keswani, Serena C. (Serena Chandru) en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. en_US 2011-12-05T19:50:43Z 2011-12-05T19:50:43Z 1992 en_US 1992 en_US
dc.description Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1992. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-89). en_US
dc.description.abstract Today appropriately designed architectural settings that adequately serve the function of supporting public life are rare. Sociologists and psychologists have consistently observed the alienating effects of modernity, and of modern attitudes to life, on community and society. It is believed that as a result of these attitudes of extreme invidualism, public life in American cities has declined over the last few decades. The urban square, as the classic example of a public space, is studied here in the present context of an American city. While it is clear that the reasons for this decline in public life are much deeper than merely architectural, the underlying premise is that it is at least partly due to the inappropriateness of its physical and programmatic design that the square no longer plays an active role in the public realm. Public space is being designed without people in mind and hence has become merely an empty symbol of public life. The Government Center Plaza in Boston is used as the specific example for the study. A comparative analysis of the various plans proposed for it illustrates that though it is partially the prevailing theories of urban renewal in the 60's and modernist city planning ideals that are responsible for the current unsatisfying square, it is, as evidenced by the plan proposed by Kevin Lynch and John Myer, among others, with the firm of Adams, Howard and Greeley, still entirely possible to design satisfying urban public spaces which attempt to bridge between the planning approaches of the past and those which meet the functional demands of our times. That this plan was not the one eventually built is itself indicative of the problems in the urban design attitudes of that period. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Serena C. Keswani. en_US
dc.format.extent 89 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 Architecture. en_US
dc.title The form and use of public space in a changing urban context en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US M.S. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 26696149 en_US

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