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FOSTERING COMMUNITY REBIRTH [reevaluating homogenous development]

Candice Knight Penn State University Architecture Thesis 2010 Professor: Darla Lindberg


THESIS STATEMENT Surveying urban blocks of Baltimore, it is inescapable to encounter the repeating visual of deteriorating row homes; abandoned, boarded up or marked for destruction. Unfortunately, the model of the row home block was historically a supportive foundation for neighborhoods when people were initially connected by background, culture or social class. Today, this model of homogenous row home block does not facilitate social interaction between neighbors.


This thesis investigates the stability found in Natural Ecosystems, created by diversity of species to protect against extinction from outside forces such as disease, as a model for creating resilience in the urban fabric. By designing with a conscious intention of program diversity, the urban block has the infrastructure to foster neighbor relationships and sense of identity of place which builds immunity against abandonment.

Living on the outside of the city blocks, observing the massive amount of abandoned homes I questioned the cause and wondered why they were not successful blocks? What are the factors that contribute to a successful block? Could this model be applied in Baltimore, a city sitting on the fringe of extinction and come back.


BALTIMORE, MD BALTIMORE is a city of neighborhoods, facing a plague of blighted and abandoned housing along with staggering numbers of job loss, crime, poverty and population decline. Reaching its peak population in 1950 with 949,708 residents. Today it has lost 1/3 of that population stemming from a significant decrease of industrial and manufacturing jobs and suburban sprawl. (Cohen, 2001) The constant thread throughout the city is the row house, varying in style but unwavering in form and significance.


CITY DATA - Major East Coast Port Town - Established as Baltimore City in 1797 - Originally 10 square miles. (Modern city 90 sq. mi.) - Emerged through booming immigration and manufacturing. - Significant Industries included: flour manufacturing/trade, ship building, steel manufacturing, textiles, steam, railroad system, food canning and postal shipping. - Developed housing and industrial buildings around waterfront.

- Initial formal planning, around 1816, protectively laid out a grid foundation with a hierarchy of streets and housing sizes, based on class, introduction of the row house, becoming the staple typology. - Industry increased housing demand, expanding on grid of row houses. - Neighborhoods were geographically colonized by immigrant groups, bound socially. - Hard stigmas of neighborhood zones remained, throughout social and population changes, for decades.

- In 1830, Baltimore was the 2nd Largest City in the U.S. - Peak Population hit in 1950 - 949,708 residents - Between 1950-1990 Lost 75,016 Manufacturing Jobs (Cohen, 2001)

- Many residents moved to the suburbs with highway expansion and relocation of corporations. - Small shops and main street businesses followed the population. - Remaining residents suffered from the decrease in labor jobs, which were replaced with service.


DISADVANTAGED POPULATION CONCENTRATION - 2000 Baltimore in the 21st Century: - 200+ Neighborhoods - 42,481 Vacant Housing Units - 12,700 houses deemed uninhabitable by City Housing. - Following the loss of industry, there was a significant increase of drugs and violent crime. - These areas with high crime and poverty are directly related to the abandoned and vacant housing.

Baltimore City Population Decline 1000000 900000 800000 700000 600000 500000

1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000

1990’s Most Drug Addicted City in U.S. 1999 Most Violent City 2000 Highest Heroin Usage in the U.S. 2009 Baltimore 2nd Highest Murder Rate in U.S. Baltimore City Comprehensive Plan 2000 U.S. Census

Typically West-East band of depleted areas between the harbor and the suburban neighborhoods. SITE - MIDDLE EAST BELOW 50% OF REGIONAL MEDIAN INCOME


ICONIC BALTIMORE

The identity of city character is strong. The row houses are as “Baltimore� as Old Bay, Md Blue Crabs and being eccentric. In recent decades the imagery of abandoned row houses have become the norm and are social indicators of dangerous zones. This must be a start for reinvestment.


SITE An aerial scene of the city shows an endless sea of row house blocks.


THE ROW HOUSE MOLD OF CITY NEIGHBORHOODS ARCHITECTURAL AND CULTURAL SYMBOL HOMOGENOUS IN NATURE ADDRESSED PHYSICAL DEMAND OF FAST AND CHEAP HOUSING IDENTITY OF PLACE CULTURALLY DEFINED INSTEAD OF ARCHITECTURALLY


INCEPTION Conceived to facilitate immigrant and worker housing for industrial manufacturing jobs central to the harbor. This model supported the physical needs of the time. Each neighborhood was defined by their cultural heritage and bound socially by those ties. DECLINE After the shift in population, due to loss of industry, many areas became segregated. The social stigmas that remained over the decades, kept people from continually investing in the neighborhoods leading to decline, eventually abandonment. Statistically the areas of homogeneously planned row houses throughout the city are directly related to areas of high crime, poverty, poor health, poor education and high rates of abandoned housing.


CITY LEGEND THESIS SITE : MIDDLE EAST, BALTIMORE INNER HARBOR

Most iconic attraction destination for Baltimore City.

HARBOR EAST

Popular, booming neighborhood recently developed (late 90’s -2000’s). Expanded on tourism of the Harbor, introduced upscale retail and residences.

JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL Teaching Hospital and Biomedical Research Facility of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Significant border to the Middle East Neighborhood. Geographically separates Middle East from the commercial area of the Harbor.

THE MIDDLE EAST

Disadvantaged neighborhood located between expanding development and unbounded row house neighborhoods.


SITE MIDDLE EAST, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, adjacent to the north of Johns Hopkins Hospital, developed like much of the Baltimore row house blocks, as immigrant and worker housing in the early 19th century. Today 30% of this neighborhood specifically is vacant, most of homes are marked for demolition.

Observations: Dilapidated Structures, Most Uninhabitable Zero Retail (for employment or consumption) Zero Access to Grocery (In Neighborhood or Surrounding) Limited Public Transportation Singularly Residential One Elementary School No Park Space Nonexistent Recreation Places


SITE


SITE RESEARCH Total Housing Units - 4057

MIDDLE EAST U.S. CENSUS DATA 2000 Total Population [Sex and Age]

5420 #

%

Female

2430

44

Male

2990

55

Median Age

35.1

-

Under 18

1820

34

[Race]

#

%

Black

5115

94.4

White

160

3.0

Asian

50

0.9

Hispanic

50

0.9

American Indian

15

0.3

[Housing Units]

#

%

Owner Occupied

689

Renter Occupied

2,162

Vacant

1,206

[Income] Median Income Less Than $10,000

$15, 493

Occupied Units - 2851 - 70% Vacant Units - 1206 - 30%

725

37

Families Below Poverty Level

555

43.7

[Rent\Mortgage Per Month]

Individuals Below Poverty Level

1820

45.7

Mortgage Median

#

%

Gross Rent Median

W/ One Vehicle

450

23

[Housing Value]

None

1380

73

Median

[Vehicles]

4,057

#

$

379

$214

2,162

$410 $ $36,700


I-83 N-S Highway 0-1/2 Mile Radius 1

Mile Radius

3

Mile Radius Site

Inner Harbor


SITE - Chase Street


SITE - Eager Street


SITE - The New East Side

The NEW EAST SIDE Campaign reassures prospective clients about the changing neighborhood. These signs are indicators of new exclusive, gentrified grouping of singularly programmed row home blocks which over took the Middle East.

MY NEW EAST SIDE IS:


Looking East and West at the Intersection of Chase and Wolfe Street. To the East are the recently renovated row homes and to the West still stands the original homes set for renovation.

WOLFE STREET ALLEY

CHASE STREET


ANALYSIS

PROBLEMS COMMON SOLUTIONS THEORETICAL QUESTIONS ARCHITECTURAL ISSUES LITERATURE STUDIES - Time Line, Baltimore Developments, A New Home FOREST BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY


PROBLEM Abandoned housing is a symptom of failed community social structure which resulted in areas being overwhelmed with poverty, drugs and crime. Architecture alone is not the solution but it should be acknowledged as a core component of community structure because, fluctuations in society and life cycles of housing are interrelated. For architecture to play a role in the turnaround of communities, there must be an analysis of the connection between architecture and social relationships. The architectural weakness the row house block in Baltimore, is that the whole of the individual blocks and the combined neighborhood groups, are primarily housing. Their homogenous programing prevented them from adapting to demands of residents, including access to jobs and necessities.


COMMON DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS REHABILITATION

DEVELOPER MASTER PLANS

Isolated investments that focus on one house at a time, to enhance the overall block. This is a slow plan, non-aggressive plan to fix failed communities, but can not be applied on a large enough scale for a city wide issue, in enough time.

Typically proposes a significant takeover of zones of the city, one at a time and demolishes the blocks for new row houses or to change the nature of that area completely shifting housing to university/retail/condos/office.

Striving to find a way to re-imagine the row house block for success, the current solutions do not provide an answer to the issue of abandonment. In contrast, these options are either too small to utilize on a larger scale or too radical, only masking the issues and sometimes destroying residential neighborhoods for an increase in tourism or commerce.


THEORETICAL QUESTIONS What are the factors that contribute to a successful block? How much of a role can architecture play in facilitating interaction of people? In such a tight configuration as an urban block, how can a mix of program interject itself and meet the needs of diversity? How can a new identity be given to a place that has been socially burned by negative stigmas? How can an abandoned neighborhood be redeveloped? Is there really a medium between blight and gentrification? What is wrong with homogenous blocks?


ARCHITECTURAL ISSUES URBAN BLOCK PROGRAMMING

Understanding how the blocks were programmed and how re-programming them as a solution will change their outcome.

ARCHITECTURAL EDGES

Defining public, private and in-between space.

DEFINING NEIGHBORHOOD IDENTITY

A large component of a successful street is that there are permanent and impermanent habitants. A neighborhood needs to have an identity to create and anchor its sense of place among residents of the city.

ECONOMIC ACCESS

Construction cost is directly related to living cost, understanding the implications of what is being built and who will be able to utilize it.


PRIVATIZATION - a condition that provides resources to a specific group and creates social boundaries, inhibiting equal access. Privatization of housing is related to economic boundaries and results in single economic class zones.

HOMOGENOUS - something that is uniform in its make-up.

Anywhere there is a homogenization, (planning, programing, design, style, class, ethnicity...), there is a lack of identity and a weakness of ability to expand or adapt.


LITERATURE Jane Jacobs / Death and Life of Great American Cities

What makes a city, a city? “You cannot apply town ideas to cities, or the other way around.” Sterile urban planning results in suburban conditions without the benefits of suburban life. The most important aspect of Jane’s analysis and suggestions about city planning is very clear and simple. Above all things there must be social interaction sustain a community, in order to facilitate that, three qualities must be present. 3 Qualities of Streets in Successful City Neighborhoods: 1. Clear demarcation between what is public and what is private. 2. Must have eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to natural proprietors of the street. 3. Must have users on it fairly continuously. To add the number of eyes on the street and to induce the people in the buildings to watch.

Ray Oldenburg/ The Great Good Place

The 3rd place, the common place is where everyone is at home; the coffee shops, cafes, bookstores, hair salons, bars, bistros, grocery stores, delis and piazzas, they are the heart of the neighborhoods. The automobile suburb had the effect of fragmenting the individual’s World. One observer wrote, “A man works in one place, sleeps in another, shops somewhere else, finds pleasure or companionship where he can, and cares about none of these places.”


Fred Scharmen / Love Letter to Baltimore

Are you a Believer or a Cynic? Baltimore is a city built for a million people, with only 660,000 living in it. We’re either 2/3 full or 1/3 empty: so what do you like, Potential or Decay? Depending how you break, potential means either homesteading or gentrification, decay means either romantic desolation or slow motion urban tragedy. Decide quickly, and don’t forget the race and class angles, either. Baltimore is Postindustrial, Multilayered, Patinated. It’s made of brick. Cold in the winter, hot in the summer, Baltimore is full of colleges, non-profits, art schools, universities, bars, but also, according to the 2000 census, over 40,000 vacant housing units. What’s the proper reaction to these conditions? Resignation? Hope? Irony? Is it possible to appreciate the aesthetic consequences of Urban Decay while decrying the socio-economic forces that have produced it? Is it possible to make a living city that retains its Authenticity without producing a Mono-culture?


Understanding why homogenous design and program of these abandoned blocks is not relevant today is a case of then and now. Changes in society relative to how we live.


TIME LINE

EVOLUTION of:

Housing Development/ Sociology/ Culture/ Family Structure


Second wave of Feminism.

Baby Boom. National Highway Act

Fair Housing Act 1968

Stigmas DECREASE:

AIDS/CRIME/DRUGS Continued:

Stigmas

Social

1990

1960 Capitalism.

+ Social

1970

Changing Male-Female Roles.

AIDS/CRIME/DRUGS

1980

of Nuclear Family.

Mind set:

“Prohibits the discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing - related tractions.” (hud.gov)

LEVITTOWN, PA

LEVITTOWN

LEVITTOWN, NY

1948

1950

1951

1945

Cold War .

Beginning of

WWII 1939 - 1945

1900

. . . city. town. farm.

DECOMPOSITION

Increase:

Move to suburbs to flee “URBAN” Problems.

RISE/Evolution of Technology. The Internet.

Loss 75000 Industrial Jobs in Baltimore after 1950


GLOBALIZATION: Shift from PRODUCTION of commodities to DESIGN/MARKETING/DELIVERY of GOOD + SERVICES/IDEAS

Immigration.

US Economy RISE $ $ $

IDENTITY OF PLACE CRISIS.

Immersion in social networking.

DEEPEST ECONOMIC RECESSION.

2007-09

Change from priority of social spaces in housing to enhancing private spaces.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

2005-07

INITIAL DOWNTURN.

ECONOMIC FOCUS ON WAR.

9/11.

ENRON.

NEED to: Downsize, Maximize Public Transportation, Sustainable Living. (Brookings Inst.)

DEMAND for: Affordable Housing/ Diversity of Options. INTROVERTED SOCIETY THAT DOESN’T PARTICIPATE IN THE COMMONS OF PHYSICAL COMMUNITY.

EVOLUTION

of:

Housing Development/ Sociology / Culture/ Family Structure.

2010+

2000

2000-2008 Large increase in POOR in suburbs.


SIGNIFICANT BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENTS -HARBOR EAST -EAST BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (EBDI)

Current revitalization plans around the city which promote privatized and homogenous development, brighten the city and make it more appealing for visitors and new residents, but are not a cure for the common blighted urban blocks that still need to be addressed.


FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

F

AND RESIDENCES • 44-story waterfront hotel and residential building • 250 hotel rooms • 125 waterfront, condominium and penthouse homes • 3 waterfront restaurants • Up to 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space • Spa, fitness center and unparalleled luxury pool facility • Waterfront promenade • 1,200 shared, secure underground parking spaces

Few places equal the style, panache and luxury of the Four Seasons. And soon a Four Seasons Hotel and Residences will call Harbor East home, bringing a distinctive level of retail, service, amenities, and splendor to Baltimore’s waterfront. An unprecedented development plan includes the construction of the new global headquarters for Legg Mason in an adjoining 25-story, 650,000 square foot office tower. Nowhere in the region is mixed-use being achieved with such uncompromising standards of excellence. And it’s happening on one of the premier waterfront parcels on the entire East Coast.

the epitome of panache, style and service will soon reside in harbor east THE LEGG mASON TOWER WILL INCLUDE: • 25-story Class-A Office Tower • 550,000 square feet of commercial office space • Up to 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space • 1,200 shared, secure underground parking spaces • Pre-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as LEED Silver Compliant in its Leadership in Energy and Environment Design standards • Waterfront promenade

13

SOURCE: WWW.HARBOREAST.COM

14

15

10

11


HARBOR EAST

East of the iconic Baltimore Inner Harbor, upscale shopping and business district with condominiums. Began construction in 2000, with most buildings completed by 2007. There are additional plans for future construction. Very successful area that promotes commerce and tourism, also highly privatized and exclusive.

$3 Billion 9 hotels with 3,000 rooms +10 million square feet of office, retail, + 2,500 premier residences Restaurant and residential space 70 acre waterfront development + 9,000 structured parking spaces, in addition to on-street parking


EAST BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (EBDI) HOMOGENOUS PRIVATIZED STERILE HISTORICALLY RELEVANT UBIQUITOUS BANAL


OLD MIDDLE EAST:

NEW EBDI PLAN:

ABANDONED

NEW/REHABBED

ROW HOUSES

ROW HOUSES

The current plan being executed in the Middle East Neighborhood, was created in conjunction with the East Baltimore Development Initiative with Johns Hopkins University. The proposal prescribed a clean-up and partial demolition to the blocks between Chase and Eager Streets.

The EBDI plan replaced the failed model with the same homogenous plan, which promotes a cycle that leads to disinvestment and abandonment. It also defines a privatized boundary to the surrounding abandoned zones.


ARCHITECTURE PRECEDENTS A Home for the “New” Economy Designer Marianne Cusato’s celebrated proposal addresses major shifts in American housing demands and lifestyles. A “2-story 1,771-square-foot home that can accommodate the changing needs of a family, from young, first-time buyers to a family caring for an elderly parent.” (http://www.calgaryherald.com/)

Features:

4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms Adaptable Suite : M. Bedroom Guest Bedroom Studio Apartment Large front porch Shared living and dining room $96 per square foot Detached Single Car Garage Energy- and water- saving features: Tankless water heater High performance windows. Increased insulation, durable, low-maintenance fiber cement siding and trim


KITCHEN

STUDIO APARTMENT

LIVE/DINE

FAMILY ROOM

A study of the single family home creating options for families in our economy and for the future, is an interesting comparison for the design of row houses, which also act as single family homes. With the lessons of this home, the row house could adapt through flex spaces which open up options for rental spaces, accommodating adding extended family, or housing a business.


What is Forest Biological Diversity? Forest biological diversity is a broad term that refers to all the life forms found within forested areas and the ecological roles they perform. As such, forest biological diversity encompasses not just trees but the multitude of plants, animals and micro-organisms that inhabit forest areas and their associated genetic diversity. In biologically diverse forests, this complexity allows organisms to adapt to continually changing environmental conditions and to maintain ecosystem functions.


“Degradation lowers the resilience of forest ecosystems and makes it more difficult for them to cope with changing environmental conditions.� (Source: Convention on Biological Diversity)


TYPES OF FORESTS When there is a lack of diversity of species the entire population is equally susceptible to becoming extinct; by disease, infestation, lack of resources, deforestation and natural disasters.

Pure uniform

sterile

vulnerable

controlled


Mixed natural

unique

resilient

adapatable


FOREST ECOLOGY // URBAN STRUCTURE HIERARCHY OF THE FOREST In nature there is a complex, innate structure of biological diversity that is essential for survival and resiliency. Looking at forest biodiversity as an analogy for urban redevelopment, there is a clear model for

building immunity and resistance.

Each level of the forest species members are interdependent and strengthen the forest resiliency against blight. Without this diversity, the system is very susceptible to complete extinction by any one disease. This is the driving force behind the physical manifestation of this thesis, as a proposal for building resiliency into the urban fabric, creating strong places of community that adapt with sociological, economical, cultural changes and having an innate immunity against becoming privatized or repeating a cycle of disinvestment.


Dominant CoDominant Intermediate Suppressed

Dominant

Housing Retail: CoDominant Informal Public Space Intermediate

Public Space

Suppressed

Streetscape


THESIS

This thesis claims that a different approach which embodies can be applied in planning and in architecture, to promote of diverse housing options, programming, resources for


the lessons of survival through diversity found in forests, longevity of urban row house blocks by facilitating a need living, informal public spaces and the social living room.


Chase Street Birds Eye View “New” Urban Row House Block


DESIGN COMPONENTS: -URBAN PLAN -HOUSING TYPOLOGY

A) SINGLE FAMILY ROW HOUSE B) RETAIL + APARTMENTS C) LIVE/WORK D) RETAIL + LOFT APARTMENTS


URBAN PLAN

WOLFE STREET

RUTLAND AVE.

CHASE STREET

EAGER STREET

ROOF PLAN NTS


WOLFE STREET

RUTLAND AVE.

CHASE STREET

ROOF PLAN NTS


LEGEND

The dominant base of this model is housing; diversity begins with new typologies of living options.

Dominant CoDominant Intermediate Suppressed

HOUSE A ROW 2-3 Bedroom + Roof Deck 1-2 Car Parking Optional Garage, Rental, Office

B STREET FRONT Dominant

Housing Retail: Informal Public Space

CoDominant

Intermediate

Public Space

Suppressed

Streetscape

Providing a variety of options opens access for diverse formal and informal residents. Combining housing with retail spaces mediates public and private of the neighborhood and facilitates social interaction and common place ownership. Each type can work in the modular nature of the city block. This plan is a proposal of layout options which can be remixed in many ways or interjected into existing conditions of other blocks.

RETAIL + 4 APT(s) Studio or 2 BR Apt + Roof Deck

C LIVE/WORK

Street Front Retail/Office 2-3 BR + Roof Deck 1-2 Car Parking

D RETAIL + LOFTS Street Front Retail/Office (2) - 1 Level 2 BR Apt


Chase Street

B

A

A

A

A

C

D

D

A

A

C

A

A

B

SITE PLAN NTS


ROW HOUSE (A)

2-3 Bedroom + Roof Deck 1-2 Car Parking Optional: Garage/Office/Rentable Space

ROOF 1

2

2

1

8 3

4

LEVEL: 3 5

2

LEVEL: 2 6

LEVEL: 1 0

8

2

7

9

0 Entry 1 Bedroom 2 Bathroom 3 Kitchen 4 Live/Dine 5 Bedroom/Office 6 Family Room 7 Adaptable Suite 8 Mechanical/Laundry 9 Parking


Adaptable Suite Options: Bedroom Suite, Guest Room, Family Room, Studio, Rentable Apartment, Office, Parking/Garage

Natural Light Diagrams:

Heating Diagrams:

Wall Section:

Domestic Hot Water : Flat Plate Solar Thermal Panels Summer Solstice

Solar Thermal Panels

Green Roof

ot ic H

C

ity

at W

er

Hot Water Tank

est

Dom

Bearing Cavity Wall Exterior Facade Glazed CMU Block

r Wate

Double Glazed High Performance Windows

Winter Solstice or

ant Flo

Radi

ant

Floor

Radi

Boiler

or

ant Flo

Radi

Heating System : Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant Heated Floors


STREET FRONT RETAIL + 4 Apartments (B)

(2) 500 SF Studio Apartments (2) 1100 SF 2 BR Apartments

10

0 Entry 1 Bedroom 2 Bathroom 3 Kitchen 4 Live/Dine 5 Bedroom/Office 6 Family Room 7 Adaptable Suite 8 Mechanical/Laundry 9 Parking 10 Retail

0

0

Level:

1

1

2

4 2 3


3

3

4 8 2

21 1

R


LIVE/WORK (C) 9

1

4

10

3 8 2

2

6

1

2

0 0

0 Entry 1 Bedroom 2 Bathroom 3 Kitchen 4 Live/Dine 5 Bedroom/Office 6 Family Room 7 Adaptable Suite 8 Mechanical/Laundry 9 Parking 10 Retail

GROUND LEVEL RETAIL 2-3 BR + ROOF DECK GARAGE AND PARKING

Level:

1

2

3

R


RETAIL + LOFT (D)

GROUND LEVEL RETAIL (2) 1100 SF 2 BR LOFT APT ROOF DECK

9 0 4 3 8 1 2

10

1 0

Level:

1

2

3

R


Chase Street - Mix of Traditional Row Houses with new Retail and Rental Components


North West Corner of Chase Street - Anchoring Space - Retail + Loft Apartment (D)


SUMMARY Baltimore has lost 1/3 of its peak population in the last half of the century. The architectural icon and mold of the city housing, the row house is literally the fabric of the city plan; covering all corners and organizing neighborhoods. Historically, the row house block was a viable facilitator of community; where the community life source was sociological. Today, there is an increasing plague of abandoned city housing. These desolate and vulnerable neighborhoods do not have the element of “community,� left to sustain their vitality.

Consequently, the homogeneous nature of residential blocks does not compensate for the lack of social bonds. In an effort to re-populate the city and beautify the blocks, reinvestment plans have taken effect. This thesis claims that the course of façade improvement is a shallow attempt to make an intervention in a degrading cycle that is dependant upon the relationship between architecture, planning and society. As a critique of privatized, homogenous redevelopment of urban row house blocks the proposal, illustrates how natural biological systems can act as a model for redevelopment of those urban blocks. In nature there is a complex, innate structure of biological diversity that is essential for survival and resiliency.


Looking at forest biodiversity as an analogy for urban redevelopment, there is a clear model for building immunity and resistance. Each level of the forest species members are interdependent and strengthen the forest resiliency against blight. Without this diversity, the system is very susceptible to complete extinction by any one disease. This is the driving force behind the physical manifestation of this thesis, building resiliency into the urban fabric, creating strong places of community that adapt with sociological, economical, cultural changes and having an innate immunity against becoming privatized or repeating a cycle of disinvestment.

The Middle East Neighborhood, is a prime example of an abandoned row house neighborhood. This condition is replicated throughout the region. Situated between the isolated, successful area of Johns Hopkins Hospital and the sea of abandoned housing; it rests in an opportunity to adapt to either condition. Geographically there is clear potential to converge the available space of Middle East with the privatized development surrounding Harbor East. Where the change in sociological scene and singularly programmed housing has failed this area, new plans are set to replace existing row houses with new row houses, expanding a sterile, uniform and privatized zone, impervious to outside community interaction.


CONCLUSION

Homogenous residential areas are susceptible to the disease of devaluation and abandonment. Developments, which have homogenous plans, uniform economic status, and are void of public and private community elements, are conditions of gentrification and privatization. These areas of privatized zones create sociological boundaries and prevent communities from reaching fruition, continuing a cycle of investment and depreciation.


Solving the future density in Baltimore should not mean eliminating the sovereign identity of place by replacing the innate neighborhood system with privatized developments of row house blocks or high-rise condominium apartments. This should be supported in design intentions and policy arrangements that allow for built in program diversity; a mix of housing types, retail, commerce, public and private spaces. Responsible development is creating healthy viable communities with a sense of place and identity. This thesis claims that architecture and diverse planning are key components of molding healthy urban communities resulting in developments with equitable access that are resilient against the disease of abandonment.


References Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance - The Jacob France Institute Baltimore City Department of Planning Baltimore City Data Collaborative Baltimore City Department of Planning Comprehensive Master Plan 2007 Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse - Harbor East Development Plan East Baltimore Developers Inc. (EBDI) Live Baltimore U.S. Census 2000, 2008 Data Estimates U.S. Forest Service Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Center for Biological Diversity Abandoned Housing: Lessons from Baltimore, James Cohen, 2001 Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies Population Dynamics In Baltimore Neighborhoods The Urban Institute Promoting Neighborhood Diversity - 2009 Margery Turner and Lynette Rawlings


The Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program The Great American Migration Slowdown: Regional and Metropolitan Dimensions - William H. Frey - 2009 Restoring Prosperity - 2007 Jane Jacobs - Death and Life of Great American Cities Ray Oldenburg - The Great Good Place Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream The City Reader Third Edition The Urbanite Magazine Metropolis Magazine Time Magazine - The Younger Generation, 1951 Johns Hopkins Newsletter - 2005 Biopark Relocating Residents Personal Interview - Charlie Duff - Jubilee Baltimore August 2009 Hord Coplan Macht


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Fostering Community Rebirth  

Reevaluating homogenous development in Baltimore.