The City and its interfaces: An Approach to Recover the Natural and Cultural Landscape at the Beachfront in St. Augustine Beach, Florida
The fast growth of the urban population affects city life by degrading natural and social resources. Urban developments modify resources such as forest, land, and water, but also modify the intimate relationship of people with the landscape. Many times, the damage of those resources is irreversible, and provokes dramatic changes in the natural landscape and the uniqueness of the place is missing. Despite the intense discussion that landscape architects and scientists worldwide hold about social and environmental aspects in urban environments, many questions about how to support natural and cultural landscapes, or why to keep them are not answered in the existing waterfronts and re-developments at the water's edge. For this reason, the recovering of urban waterfronts is an opportunity to promote ecologically healthy environments, address sense of place, support human gatherings, and encourage economic revitalization. This thesis and its research analyzes the components of the natural regional landscape in recovering waterfronts in order to avoid the loss of the uniqueness of a place. A section of beachfront in St. Augustine Beach, Florida that has suffered beach erosion and development pressures was chosen for the study. The result is an alternative proposal to costly dredging and beach reclamation that includes a series of tools, interventions, and landscape modifications of this threatened site. This proposal aims to return the site to a balanced and friendly landscape. Waterfronts in cities are an opportunity to reconnect communities with their cultural and geographic landscape.