Kyoto city hall plaza: redesigning an urban open space

Document Type



Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor's Name

Marta Canaves

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Juan Antonio Bueno

Third Advisor's Name

Michael Del Giudice

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to find how to activate a public open space as a transportation hub in an urban environment with limited open spaces, and to propose alternative designs for an urban plaza.

The public transportation system was used to analyze the city’s condition and to find potential areas for a transportation hub to be developed in an urban space. Using the analyses and findings of the existing public transportation, City Hall Plaza was chosen as the proposed site for its potential and the opportunities it offered. Space uses and their relationship to their surroundings were carefully analyzed in order to design an urban plaza that would provide recreational opportunities and a good quality of life for the city’s residents. Underground spaces were examined for use in the proposed plaza.

The findings demonstrate the potential for a transportation station area to be activated as an urban public space. The proposal for designing an urban plaza improves its space and function and provides new experiences by introducing the use of underground spaces. The proposed plaza may become a prototype for urban plazas within the city area.



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