Transfixed: Leveraging Local Ecology to Create a Thick Transportation Corridor in Minneapolis, Minnesota
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As American cities begin to see the effects of climate change, many are turning to low-carbon transportation as one way to mitigate these challenges. This thesis seeks to explore how transportation can be a catalyst for more socially and ecologically robust cities. In particular, this project asks: how can transportation corridors be for more than just passing through? Taking inspiration from the synergies between streetcar development patterns and landscape ecology, this thesis proposes the solution as a series of thick transportation corridors designed to integrate multiple ecological and social functions. This project develops a framework for analyzing and leveraging local ecology in order to design resiliency back into our urban habitats. This framework is then applied to the Midtown Corridor in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a Midwestern city built in a streetcar pattern plagued with severe implications from climate change. Three sites are identified with a series of detailed design concepts are proposed. These interventions, while site specific, are meant to highlight strategies that transcend scale and time in order to ensure the Midtown Transitway enhances the rich community through which it passes. Transfixed strives to achieve urban corridors that connect people, animals, clean air and water while also grounding design and function in the unique conditions of each locale. Thick transportation corridors have the potential to nurture local and regional ecologic function, providing resilience in this uncertain age of climate change.
- Landscape architecture