Publication Date

Spring 5-2009

Committee Members

Frank Sleegers, Chair - Guy R. Lanza, Member - Mark Lindhult, Member


The present day challenges facing the post-industrial city are economic reinvention, social equity, and environmental recovery. The urban mosaic of these places is vague and broken, and demands new and innovative solutions for the reclamation of vacant, abandoned, and contaminated landscapes that create a unification of economic, environmental, and cultural healing. A multi-scalar approach is proposed as a strategy for the integration of multiple components in multiple contexts. Particular focus is on the synthesis of community engagement and environmental remediation of these spoiled, derelict lands. Specifically, phytoremediation is explored as a solution for land reclamation, ecological and social recovery of parcel-scale urban open spaces. Discussion of how design intervention at multiple scales can be synthesized, the temporal dynamic of remediation, and the potential for integrating ecological natural attenuation and land-use activation simultaneously as a component of a staged and managed urban land succession, are explored. The problems and opportunities associated with the resurrection of the post-industrial city are vast and multifaceted. This project will propose strategies through design that attempt to merge the elements of sustainability into a new and replicable cultural, environmental and urban cleansing initiative.