Urban Leftovers

Baga, Dorothy
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Urban leftovers are dissociated fragments of the urban network, left behind from changes in the transformation of the city and its infrastructural networks; they are the awkward spaces created as a consequence of urbanization and the constant shifting of urban conditions. This thesis is an investigation of urban leftovers within the context of Honolulu’s metropolitan area. In recent years, there has been increasing interest from architects, urban planners, local governments, and citizens of the community to transform and reintroduce leftover spaces as viable resources for instigating positive change. Innovative initiatives such as the Boxpark, PopupHood, and Proxy SF, prove the potential of urban leftovers as assets for economic development and neighborhood revitalization. A physical survey of five neighborhoods in Honolulu’s Primary Urban Core led to the development of a cataloging system, resulting in an inventory of urban leftovers. Through typological analyses the documented sites were classified into four major categories of urban leftovers found in Honolulu: isolated, sandwiched, adjacent, and enclosed. In order to determine appropriate strategies for further investigation of urban leftovers, direct observation techniques borrowed from Jan Gehl and William Whyte were explored. To further exemplify the potential value of urban leftovers, urban analysis was carried out for four different sites in Honolulu. The resulting “design proposals” should not be seen as the solution for the site, rather as one response to a particular site specific condition. Each design investigation proposes one alternative vision for use of the site, while making an effort to enhance the existing urban infrastructure and address neighborhood specific issues. The research concludes that similar interventions could benefit places like Hawaii where there is limited land availability, allowing the city to expand within the existing infrastructure – enhancing, reconnecting, filling in the existing urban footprint.
99 pages
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