Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

Major

Landscape Architecture

Major Professor

Brad Collett

Committee Members

Avigail Sachs, Tracy Moir-McClean

Abstract

This thesis seeks to promote industrial reuse and sustainable planning principles as catalysts for adaptive redesign of public space in Kingsport, Tennessee. During the middle to late decades of the 19th century, the southeastern United States experienced a period of extreme industrial acceleration, stemming from the mining, manufacturing, and transportation advances of the Industrial Revolution. Concurrently, a transatlantic transition toward utopian planning principles was being cultivated by Briton Ebenezer Howard under the Garden City movement. Garden cities were planned, carefully zoned communities, containing designated areas for commerce, industry, and living. In 1919, American landscape architect John Nolen developed a plan for Kingsport, Tennessee motivated by the principles of Howard’s Garden City model. However, as the town’s industrial, commercial, and residential centers expanded and its population increased, newly enacted zoning sanctions led to instances of sprawl and a digression from the core values on which the “Model City” was founded. Today, in an era of post-industrialization, Kingsport’s once thriving factories are now idle landscapes of social, economic, and geographic detachment, occupying valuable property that could be reclaimed as public space. The objective of this project is to create a new sense of place for Kingsport through the reclamation of derelict vacant lots and abandoned industrial space as landscapes of economic prosperity, environmental stability, and social and cultural connectivity. The redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites in downtown Kingsport as parks and public spaces has the potential to integrate isolated neighborhoods, revitalize a struggling downtown, and reconnect the city and its people to the industrial heritage and cultural diversity that helped shape it into the town that it is today.

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