Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

Major

Landscape Architecture

Major Professor

Sam M. Rogers

Committee Members

Ted Shelton, T.K. Davis

Abstract

In 1956, the U.S. federal government enacted the Federal Highway Act, and the interstate system would change the face of cities across the nation. (Weingroff, 1996) These highways were great opportunities to rapidly bring people to and from the city (Kreyling, 2005). While the interstate system does serve an important transportation role in today’s automobile reliant economy, it also functions as a great divider of the urban fabric in many cities. During the planning of the interstates, many people argued that they should not run through cities. They argued that the highways would divide neighborhoods, bring unwanted pollution and noise, and increase vehicular congestion (Halprin, 1968).

Today, interstate highways run through most metropolitan areas. It is rare that highways can be removed. Many cities build deck parks over highways to reconnect the urban fabric, increase public green space, reduce unwanted noise, and to help encourage further development, but is this method of using landscape infrastructure to cover transportation infrastructure effective in achieving these goals? By using Nashville as a case study, I seek to understand how a deck park could serve as a connection between urban districts. I will use precedent studies in existing and proposed deck parks over highways to further understand how these parks are achieving these goals. I will also plan for and design a park to stitch connectivity through program elements.

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