Public space as an anchor in suburban commercial development : new main streets and town centers.
Author(s)London, Laura McLain, 1969-
John P. deMonchaux.
MetadataShow full item record
An innovative suburban commercial development strategy is gaining momentum in the 1990s. Its prototype may be called the new Main Street/Town Center (MS/TC). The model reacts to complex economic and social circumstances using a public-space anchored design approach. A major motivation for the trend is the unquantified, but recognizably growing demand for a greater sense of community. This demand may be captured at a profit using a creative development approach, which also appears to generate external environmental and sociological benefits at the margin. Retail industry restructuring is one event triggering the MS/TC's insurgence. Residential uses are found to be a vital addition to commercial ones. This thesis poses the following questions: What are the circumstances in which a public space-anchored, or street-making, approach is successful in suburban commercial development? As a developer, how would one employ this prototype to capitalize on the applicable market and design circumstances? And, what is the outlook for a public space/street-anchored type of commercial development? Three case studies -- Downtown Park Forest, IL; Mizner Park, in Boca Raton, FL; and Redmond Town Center in Redmond, WA -- highlight both the constancy and the diversity of the model. MS/TC projects comprise both redevelopment and new development, and are spearheaded by public, public/private, and private development entities. The new Main Street/Town Center model, which employs mixed uses and varies in scale, is unusual for contemporary suburban development in that it seeks to fortify, or reintegrate, a street network to serve multilateral needs. This audience encompasses autos and pedestrians and sometimes natural ecosystems but does not require connection to mass transit. A comprehensive set of site planning solutions has evolved to address needs of multiple components. There is no singular market context in which the a new Main Street/Town Center model will succeed, but a creative, tailored approach is necessary to optimize financial and social potential.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 1998."September 1998."Includes bibliographical references (leaves 81-83).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning