Master of Architecture (MArch)
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether public space in the suburbs has the same settings as that of a central city or if it has its own characteristics.
In order to approach this problem the area of Kendall was thoroughly studied by examining aerial maps, historic images and writings of local historians such as Donna Knowles Born. Heavy emphasis was placed on the transformation of the original one-mile grid characteristic of the city of Miami. As the area of Kendall was being developed, the grid was transformed into an irregular and organic method of laying out a street system that directly affected pedestrian life. It became evident, therefore, that Kendall is primarily geared toward automobile movement, thus affecting the setting of public space. This also restricted social events forcing them to concentrate in specific places like the malls.
These findings demonstrated that malls are centers of social interaction concentrating many social activities in one place. In other words, a mall serves as a common meeting place in the otherwise vast spread of the suburbs.
This thesis also explains how public spaces in a suburban context can affect the community by working as filtering agents between the immediate context of a particular site and the overall city. The project, a "Wellness Center and Park" for the Kendall area, was an exploration of these filtering agents and the transitions they engendered. The research upon which this project was based recognized the important role of the site's history as well as extrapolating as to its future potential.
Bendana, Fabio J., "Theorizing suburban public space in Kendall" (2001). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1504.
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