Walkability through Challenging terrain: Connectivity between Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and Anacostia Community Museum

dc.contributor.authorGelman, Daria Lvovnaen
dc.contributor.committeechairHeavers, Nathanen
dc.contributor.committeememberLever, David G.en
dc.contributor.committeememberKelsch, Paul J.en
dc.contributor.departmentLandscape Architectureen
dc.date.accessioned2018-08-18T08:00:43Zen
dc.date.available2018-08-18T08:00:43Zen
dc.date.issued2018-08-17en
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is an investigation of how to achieve walkability over steep urban topography greater than Americans with Disabilities Act accessible 8.33% standard. I studied how landscape architects and architects have overcome challenging topography in a variety of international cities and how to increase connectivity in the steep terrain of Washington D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood. Specifically, this thesis explores the roles of staircases in the city and how staircases can enhance the experience of moving through the city. Topographic changes can be an obstacle to walk on: the steeper the path the harder it is to move through it, which in turn may encourage a person to use a car to travel between low and high points in the city. My hypothesis is that steep topography can be an enhancement to walkability in the city. The experience of traveling through steep terrain is unique as it can provide visually engaging environment of walking, including expansive views of the city, engaging architecture, and physical exercise. To test this hypothesis, I designed two distinct routes over steep topography to connect the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum, a sports field, and the Fort Stanton Recreation Center. The paths respond to L'Enfant's method for laying out the city in "diagonal avenues superimposed over a grid system" (Nps.gov, 2018) and the very steep terrain of Anacostia, which seems to defy in places the orthagonal and axial relationships underlying L'Enfant's plan. Drawing on both L'Enfant's ordering scheme of the city and the given form of the two hundred foot escarpment above Anacostia, the design demonstrates that paths through steep terrain can be a great asset, revealing the larger order of the city through views to the monumental core, bringing people through the native forest, making more direct connections between the civic infrastructure, including the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum. It shows that expanding the notion of walkability to include terrain that is not ADA accessible is important, and can be the impetus for the strategic inclusion of accessible paths where the topography permits.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralThis thesis is an investigation of how to create walkable spaces over steep topography in Washington, D.C. By steep topography, I concentrated on grade changes that are greater than the steepest slopes allowed in construction so that anyone can access the site. I studied how landscape architects and architects have overcome challenging topography in a variety of international cities and how to increase connectivity in the steep terrain of Washington D.C.’s Anacostia neighborhood. Specifically, this thesis explores the roles of staircases in the city and how staircases can enhance the experience of moving through the city. Walkscore’s walkability map presents a unique view of the city where walkable parts follow the topography of the city. Topographic changes can be an obstacle to walk on: the steeper the path the harder it is to move through it, which in turn may encourage a person to use a car to travel between low and high points in the city. My hypothesis is that steep topography can be an enhancement to walkability in the city. The experience of traveling through steep terrain is unique as it can provide visually engaging environment of walking, including expansive views of the city, engaging architecture, and physical exercise. To test this hypothesis, I designed two distinct routes over steep topography to connect the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, a sports field, and the Fort Stanton Recreation Center. The paths respond to the method for laying out the city in “diagonal avenues superimposed over a grid system” (Nps.gov, 2018) established by Pierre L’Enfant, the designer of Washington, D.C., over the steep terrain of Anacostia, which seems to defy in places the orthagonal and axial relationships underlying L’Enfant’s plan. Drawing on both L’Enfant’s ordering scheme of the city and the given form of the two hundred foot escarpment above Anacostia, the design demonstrates that paths through steep terrain can be a great asset, revealing the larger order of the city through views to the monumental core, bringing people through the native forest, making more direct connections between the civic infrastructure, including the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum. It shows that expanding the notion of walkability to include terrain that is not universally accessible is important, and can be the impetus for the strategic inclusion of accessible paths where the topography permits.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Landscape Architectureen
dc.format.mediumETDen
dc.identifier.othervt_gsexam:16665en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/84854en
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.rights.urihttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/en
dc.subjectwalkabilityen
dc.subjectslopeen
dc.subjectstairen
dc.subjectconnectivityen
dc.subjecttopographyen
dc.titleWalkability through Challenging terrain: Connectivity between Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and Anacostia Community Museumen
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.disciplineLandscape Architectureen
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Landscape Architectureen
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