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Drinking fountains : the past and future of free public water in the United States

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dc.contributor.advisor Anne Whiston Spirn. en_US
dc.contributor.author Ivanov, Josselyn en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2015-09-29T19:03:13Z
dc.date.available 2015-09-29T19:03:13Z
dc.date.copyright 2015 en_US
dc.date.issued 2015 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/99098
dc.description Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2015. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (pages 143-150). en_US
dc.description.abstract Drinking fountains have a rich history as pieces of urban infrastructure in the United States. Installed in prominent public squares to reduce disease, help the poor, and promote a temperance agenda, early American drinking fountains often fulfilled dual roles as public art and functional public good. But today's drinking fountains, when installed at all, are purely utilitarian: undesigned in terms of both form and urban placement. Shoved between bathrooms and trashcans and usually broken, drinking fountains have fallen on hard times in the public realm. Many Americans express skepticism of public water sources, reflecting underlying attitudes about distrust of government and public infrastructure. There are compelling reasons to rethink our relationship with drinking fountains. Today, the United States confronts a new set of challenges: neglected urban spaces, lifestyle-related disease, privatization of public goods, socio-economic inequality, and plastic pollution. Drinking fountains may be uniquely suited to help confront these problems by cutting down on bottle waste, providing accessible water for homeless populations, reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, facilitating exercise, and adding interest and beauty to public spaces - but they will only be able to achieve these goals through thoughtful design and maintenance. In surveys, people were more likely to drinking from outdoor drinking fountains if they believed that they were clean, safe, and beautiful; the importance of appeal in decision-making has been understood by corporations like Coca-Cola for decades, but has been little-considered in promoting public water. Further, drinking fountains, seemingly insignificant urban elements, are key indicators of cultural attitudes about the public good: do we care only for ourselves and our families, or do we pool our resources and work together to bring benefits to the entire community? Addressing the problems in current American drinking fountains and drinking fountain perceptions could elevate them to address some of today's most pressing problems. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Josselyn Ivanov. en_US
dc.format.extent 154 pages 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 http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.title Drinking fountains : the past and future of free public water in the United States en_US
dc.title.alternative Past and future of free public water in the United States en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree M.C.P. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 922320745 en_US


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