Developing Olmsted: Combatting Contemporary Health Problems through Century Old Design Ideas.
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This thesis analyzes the health motives which influenced Olmsted when designing parks and park systems. It focuses on the influence that rapid industrialization and urbanization and the health issues that stemmed from these two processes in the 1800s had on his designs. Design elements including `cleansing' open space within a city, promenades and lawn space for gathering are examined. "Developing Olmsted" applies the design strategies utilized in Olmsted's park systems to current open spaces in Seattle in an attempt to address contemporary health problems such as obesity and depression. From these findings this thesis studies ways in which architecture and design can support Olmsted's aspiration to foster healthy communities. The Department of Transportation is currently implementing a system of greenways throughout Seattle. The development of greenways shares the design intention with Olmsted of creating a safe place for walking. Developing the street experience along greenways and linking that development with park space could create a contemporary promenade for Seattle citizens. In this thesis the design ideals that Olmsted held are applied to a planned greenway segment which will connect the residential neighborhoods of Beacon Hill and Mount Baker. Scheduled for development in 2018, this future greenway passes through an area which has been identified by the Parks Department as lacking open space. Targeting design interventions to emphasize existing view corridors along the length of the greenway provides a contemporary interpretation of the solutions that Olmsted implemented.
- Architecture