Town of Airfield : creating a prototype for suburban development at the Naval Air Station site in South Weymouth
Author(s)Panfil, J. Christoph
Creating a prototype for suburban development at the Naval Air Station site in South Weymouth
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Gary A. Hack.The extension improves access to the important business centers of Boston and Cambridge, where a large portion of the area's workforce is currently employed. The commuter train provides an additional mode choice to support the ultimate objective of the new prototype: to create land use strategies in suburban environments that promote travel modes other than the single-occupancy automobile. The proposed Town of Airfield houses up to 10,000 people in a compact, mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented environment that features a variety of housing options at higher net densities than is typical of the majority of suburban locations. An expansion of the site's existing industrial facilities area accommodates office- as well as research and development buildings. Retail and additional office space are located in the vicinity of the train station, forming the town center of Airfield. To maximize access potential without compromising the design objectives, the spatial organization of the town center caters to both the automobile and to the pedestrian. This is achieved through site planning strategies that assemble traditional suburban building types in unconventional ways. The contemporary metropolitan region will retain its current form in the near futur. Large-scale changes in transportation and land use policies are unlikely to materialize any time soon. The new prototype suggested here makes no claim to dramatically improve sprawl conditions at the metropolitan level. This stud; however podiy that change at the local level will improve local condItIons and that collectively, these local improvements may bring about changes in development patterns throughout the metropolitan area, and thus ultimately change settlement policies.
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The accumulation of negative externalities associated with the rapid expansion of many metropolitan areas in the United States suggests that the current suburban development model is no longer a viable option for efficiently managing growth, Because sub~lrban settle~ents , traditionally produce low-densities despIte substantial regiOnal population growth, their requirements for developable land are immense, creating the phenomenon known as suburban sprawl. Another complication, associated with this model of development is its accompanying increased traffIc volume, which has proven to be staggering and has perpetuated the conditions of sprawl. Demographic changes, particularly population growth, and increasing traffic congestion, air quality deterioration, and the rapid dIsappearance of valuable open space necessitate the development of new settlement prototypes for metropolitan growth, This thesis explores the design opportunities for a settlement prototype that tackles the land-use/traffic dynamic by proposing walkable, mixed-use development the form of compact towns as alternatives for suburban settlement. The site chosen for study, a decommIssiOned mIlItary base comprising 1,400 acres of developable land, is located in, the fastest growing section of Boston's metropolItan regIOn, an area known as the South Shore, The site benefits from its proximity to a proposed station stop on a branch line of the recently expanded commuter rail network.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture; and, (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 1996.Includes bibliographical references (p. 76-79).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Architecture., Urban Studies and Planning.