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THE WILD ANACOSTIA cultivating a thick edge typology through everyday experience By Kate Hayes, M.L.A. University of Virginia; B.S. Stanford University Master of Landscape Architecture Thesis, May 2013


Cultivating a thick edge t ypolog y through ever yday experience Many urban rivers today can be labeled as “thin parks,*” physically and spatially separated from their surrounding communities. This design thesis harnesses the momentum from President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative and the narratives associated with Anacostia River in Washington DC, to cultivate a “thick edge” typology for urban rivers. By catalyzing human appropriation and drawing on everyday activities, this thick edge, expressed in the form of a trail, walk, and path network, acts as a guide for discovering and fostering a stronger, reciprocal relationship with the urban wild. With a trail, walk, and path network that both adds and adapts to the existing Anacostia River Trail, this design is site specific yet replicable to other urban national parks through four main thickening strategies. The four “thickening” strategies addressed in this book bring renewed life back to a river that has historically been misconceived and branded as the “Forgotten River.”

a thin park

*  This  term  was  adapted  from  Karl  Kullman’s  article,  “Thin  Parks/thick  edges:  towards  a  linear  park  typology  for  (post)  infrastructural  sites,”   in  the  autumn  2011  Journal  of  Landscape  Architecture

+ historical context

ABSTRACT 2 | Hayes

+ hydrology

+ park network

+ infrastructure

+ community


“Wildness is in our own back yards, of the nature that is all around us if only we have the eyes to see it� - William Cronon

A special thanks to my thesis advisors, Leena Cho + Elizabeth K. Meyer

photo credits: Kate Hayes

Hayes | 3


Final review, May 2013

CONTENTS 4 | Hayes


Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s

Abstract

2

Background

6

Narr ative s of th e Forgot ten River T h e A n a c o s t i a To d a y Wilderness vs Urban Wild A C r i t i q u e : T h e A n a c o s t i a R i v e r Tr a i l

Design 22 A Tr a i l , W a l k , P a t h N e t w o r k Thickening Strategies

Process 4 8 Ongoing Research 54 Hayes | 5


Existing Conditions The Anacostia River, an urban river in Washington D.C., can be characterized as a “thin park,” devoid of its context and separated from much of its surroundings. The Anacostia flows just over 8 miles from Bladensburg, Maryland off the DC border, through a marginalized Southeast D.C., before emptying into the Potomac River. Physically cut off from its surroundings by highways and vegetative barriers, many people are naively unaware of the Anacostia’s location or potential as an urban river in our nation’s capital.

BACKGROUND 6 | Hayes

source; Kate Hayes


8.3 miles

Bladensburg, MD

Potom ac Riv er

National Mall

The Anacostia River flows through Southeast Washington DC Hayes | 7


An Urbanized Watershed At 176 square miles, the Anacostia River’s watershed is highly urbanized. Flows of sediment, water, and species that originate in the MD suburbs are quick to flow down and empty into the Anacostia River. Like the river’s location, however, many people are naively unaware of the impacts in the Anacostia’s greater watershed. Washington DC can be most fundamentally defined by its topography. Pierre L’Enfant’s original 1791 plan for the city bases its street grid on the topography, from the subtle microtopography to the steep ridges. As evident in the following diagram of DC, the Anacostia is generally defined by two sides of the river: ridges to the east and floodplain to the west. Through a series of reclamation acts beginning in the late 19th century, the river was dredged, the marshes were drained, and a seawall was built to contain the river. Today’s shoreline is much “thinner” than it used to be, reinforcing this thin park typology.

clear  the  forests tidal  marshes develop  the  marshes

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19 14 19 : An 16 ac 19 : Kin osti 28 gm a R ive a 19 : tw 30 o i n + r Fl at H ’s: sla wa nd erita s Ac te s in ge t rg at Kin Isla e g m nds to m Ki an a ng L m ake de f an ro m La ad m d e ke fro red ge m m ne a w br teri a id ge l dr ed ge s

An a e th

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ge rid

Pe te ba r C th . H ym ai et n’s ry M su ap rv ey of

Whitney Young Memorial Bridge East Capitol Street (1955 extented)

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fill  the  “flats”

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8 | Hayes

Jo h

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deepen  the  channel

20 1968: K 13 enilw : e orth L xis andf tin ill in o g perat co ion nd iti o

tidal  mud  flats

Ma

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1861  Benning  Bridge  constructed


176 square miles

176  square  miles 800,000 residents 200 bird species

800,000  resid

43 fish species north  to  Maryland  regional  trails

at

er

a w

a

An

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0.5

1 Miles

on iti co nd g 18 91 :e xis tin

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Washington DC and the Anacostia watershed host an existing trail network that draws on the area’s natural features, including topography and hydrology

a

0

Pe te ba r C th . H ym ai et n’s ry M su ap rv ey of th

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tP fa n C. L’E n ier

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south  to  Blue  Plains

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ne wat sh tw ers a ed orkhed a waof ne of tw teflo tra or rsw ils hs e ank o d uf trr o ff baial sn low ize s d wa te rs h

Bladensburg,  MD

Hayes | 9


Th e Forgot ten River: Environmental Justice

“Now  we're  married

The Anacostia has a unique history of unrealized ambitions, dreams of children’s museums, airports, jails,Never  to  part gay rodeos, low income housing, a dammed recreational lake, and Little  Anacostia aquariums (to name a few) that were consistently pushed Is  my  sweet  heart.” aside for development in other areas of the city, notably -Washington Evening Star, 1890 Northwest DC and along the Potomac River. Additionally, the Anacostia is subject to environmental injustice, receiving a disproportional large amount of stormwater runoff and contamination compared to the Potomac River. For these reasons, the Anacostia has been negatively labeled the “Forgotten River” by many Washingtonians, a name which further feeds into common misconceptions about the Anacostia.

Langston Golf Course only course in the 30’s to let African Americans play. Langston Golf Course has never hosted a PGA event or U.S. Open tournament (2009 Post article) 52

million gal/yr

“Now  we're  married Never  to  part Little  Anacostia Is  my  sweet  heart.”

228 tons

Kenilworth Landfill (1960-1998)

er

850

million gal/yr

wastew at

Polychlorinated Biphenyls Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Methane

of trash (2011)

-Washington Evening Star, 1890

RFK Stadium: “burgundy, gold and Caucasian”

1.5

1946 reintigration of NFL. 1961, Redskins only NFL team without an African American

billion gal/yr

20,000 tons

of trash (AWS)

Total Population: African American Hazardous Waste Point

“Impaired by trash” (2007)

Toxic Release Inventory Point Water Discharge Point 0

10 | Hayes

1.5

3 miles


Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Mystery Mountain Kenilworth Landfill North Kenilworth Landfill National Arboretum PEPCO Benning Road power plant

low income housing

public aquarium

Langston Golf Course

Navy Yard The Yards

National’s Stadium

1997

2000

Anacostia Watershed Initiative

1967

Extending the Legacy Plan

1930’s

1967 Lawrence Halprin proposal

1901

Kingman Island water gate propsal

1791

McMillan Commission (water park)

UNREALIZED | EXISTING

L’Enfant Plan

South Gateway + Senate Building

2005

2011

Anacostia River Trail

FBI Metro bus storage big box retail

Proposal for environmental education center + wildlife refuge

D.C. jail new stadium new landfill parking lots reclaiming more land Children’s Theme Park City Airport new Redskins Stadium Eastern Gateway Kingman Island Educational Center + wildlife refuge RFK Stadium Gay Rodeo stadium High Tide Lake

Hayes | 11


C o n v e r s a t i o n To d a y The Anacostia has been a focus for clean up efforts since the late 1980s, but the conversation has picked up in just the past few years. DC Mayor Vincent Grey has made the river a priority in his 2012 Sustainable   DC Report, calling for the Anacostia to be fishable and swimmable in 20 years. Also, the Anacostia is currently under construction for a 26 ft diameter tunnel that will connect CSO outfalls with Blue Plains treatment center, relieving the river from over 90% of its current stormwater runoff, the largest pollution source in the river.

A Community of Fish + Flows Despite economic and political setbacks, the Anacostia community has strong ties to and narratives about this river, oftentimes going back generations. Although it is illegal to consume fish from the river, over 17,000 people still eat the fish from the Anacostia. For many, it is the source of protein in their diet. Similarly, several elders share stories of how they learned to swim in the river, back when pools were segregated. And many congregations used to host their baptism in the Anacostia’s waters.

A VISION FOR A SUSTAINABLE DC

source: DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s Sustainable  DC  Plan 12 | Hayes

source: DC Water


What would you choose? A. Immediate need to eat B. Long-term health concern

s ay

d 0+

3 local community

“other” community

A shared

B

75% of them are sharing their catch (NGS)

humans

17,200

residents from the area are consuming fish from the Anacostia

men fish regularly (georgetown voice)

50-68% 10-23%

have tumors

have skin lesions (U.S. Fish + Wildlife)

Indicator Species: Brown Bullhead Catfish

water flow

1,000-3,000

caught

67% African American (fish study) anglers

18% Hispanic (fish study) 8% Asian (fish study) 6% White (fish study)

absorbed

70-80% stormwater runoff

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Chlordane (pesticide)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Methane

toxins on river bottom + in water column

Water Discharge Point Underground Storage Tank Point Toxic Release Inventory Point

ht roug

Hazardous Waste Point

in d days + 0 10

Combined Sewer Outfall

0

0.5

1 Mile

source: “Addressing the Risk: Understanding and Changing Anglers’ Attitudes about the Danger of Consuming Anacostia River FIsh,” November 2012 Hayes | 13


A n a c o s t i a R i v e r Tr a i l Another ongoing project is the Anacostia River Trail, an effort being led by the National Park Service. Two thirds complete, the River Trail is a primarily asphalt trail that runs up and down both sides of the river. There is also a trail in the water – the Kingfisher Trail – which connects the Anacostia to the greater Chesapeake Bay. The Anacostia River Trail is a prototype for other NPS signature urban river projects around the country yet it also marks a historical trend in national parks: the construction of asphalt trails that separate human experience from dynamic processes in the landscape. Through this thin line typology of single access, these trails oftentimes foster the mythology of a wilderness defined by distant, untouched landscapes and feed into misconceptions that support a hands-off, preservation perspective and undermine contemporary forwardlooking ideas of sustainability in our cities.

A rendering of the design for the next phase of the Anacostia River Trail

14 | Hayes

sources: ART NE Planned flikr (map); Anacostia Waterfront Initiative (rendering)


0 0

200

400 Kilometers 200

401 NPS areas Rocky Mountain Greenway, CO

Jordan River Parkway Trail, UT

400 Miles

401 NPS

Middle Rio Grande Natinoal Wildlife Refuge, NM

0 0

200

400 Kilometers 200

Jordan River Parkway Trail, UT

400 Miles

ATALOG OF URBAN RIVER TRAILS THIN LINE CONDITIONS OF URBAN TRAILS CATALOG OF URBAN RIVER TRAILS THIN LINE CONDITIONS OF URBAN T Anacostia River Watershed, DC 8.7 miles of river

Anacostia River Watershed, DC

18 miles of trail

8.7 miles of river

trails are typically 8’ to 10’ wide

18 miles of trail 8-10 ft

trails are t 8-10 ft

petroleum runoff

trails are typically made of asphalt, which is sealed with petroleum products

Detroit Riverwalk, MI 24 miles of river

petroleum runoff

trails are t is sealed w

Detroit Riverwalk, MI

5.5 miles

24 miles of river 5.5 miles

trails are typically a set distance from the river

trails are t from the r

one width one width

Chattanooga Riverwalk, TN 57 miles

the trails oftentimes pass through large areas of mowed turf

Chattanooga Riverwalk, TN

20 miles

the trails o large area

57 miles 20 miles

unmaintained thickets oftentimes separate the trail from the river

unmainta separate t

Los Angeles River Watershed, CA 51 mile river

Los Angeles River Watershed, CA

9 miles

51 mile river 9 miles

simple boardwalks are oftentimes constructed for crossing water

simple bo construct 0’

4’

8’

16’ 0’

Thin line condition of Anacostia River Trail: existing conditions

4’

8’

16’

Thin line typologies of many urban river trails

Hayes | 15


Anacostia River Watershed, DC 8.7 miles of river 18 miles of trail

A m e r i c a ’s G r e a t O u t d o o r s Both the River Trail and the Water Trail are example projects in Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Launched in 2010, AGO seeks “to  develop  a  21st  Century   conservation   and   recreation   agenda…   designed   and   accomplished   in   partnership   with   the   American   people.” Over the past year, the report has focused its vision on urban projects, highlighting the Anacostia River Trail as an “innovative” model for linear, urban national parks around the country.

Detroit Riverwalk, MI 24 miles of river 5.5 miles

Chattanooga Riverwalk, TN 57 miles 20 miles

America’s Great Outdoors:

A Promise to Future Generations February 2011

Los Angeles River Watershed, CA 51 mile river 9 miles

source: Dept. of Interior

16 | Hayes

A catalog of similar urban river trails


America’s Great Outdoors Initiative SIGNATURE URBAN PROJECTS national parks

Grand River, Grand Rapids, MI

5,000,000

500,000

Chicago’s Indiana Dunes + Calumet Millennium Reserve, IL

Twin Cities Park: Mississippi National River and Recreational Area, MN

1,000,000

Milwaukee River Restoration Project, WI

St. Louis Arch and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, MO

Detroit River Urban Park, MI

Population of cities

Sulpher Springs Assessment + Restoration Project, OH Blackston River Valley Greenway, RI

Our Urban National Parks

Jamaica Bay (Gateway), NY Bronx/Harlem National Water Trail, NY Urban Greening, Philadelphia, PA

Urban national parks rank as some of the most visited and most diverse parks in our national park system. Twenty signature AGO urban projects around the country present an opportunity to further increase the diversity and access of our national parks.

BLUE RIDGE PKWY

Chattanooga Riverwalk, TN Chattahoochee River NRA Water Trail, GA

total U.S. acreage

Los Angeles River Watershed, CA Lorenzi Park, NV Rio Salado River Pathways Program, AZ

20% RURAL 80% URBAN

100

84 million acres, 2.7% of U.S.

200 Miles

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, TX Rocky Mountain Greenway, CO

401 NPS areas

Middle Rio Grande Natinoal Wildlife Refuge, NM 0

200

400 Kilometers 200

Jordan River Parkway Trail, UT

400 Miles

15,382,44714,567,487

U.S. Population 2010

North

Scale for all areas except Alaska 200 Kilometers 0 100 0

0

Twenty signature urban projects

The Urban Wild

CATALOG OF URBAN RIVER TRAILS

THIN LINE CONDITIONS OF URBAN TRAILS

thickening a relationship: integrating recreation and the urban wild Anacostia River Watershed, DC 8.7 miles of river

18 miles of trail

trails are typically 8’ to 10’ wide 3.5% ASIAN

8-10 ft

39% WHITE

51% 39% AFRICAN WHITE AMERICAN

51% AFRICAN AMERICAN

petroleum runoff

2011: 280 million visitors

2,221,766 acres

one width

trails are typically made of asphalt, which is sealed with petroleum products

trails are typically a set distance from the river

the trails oftentimes pass through large areas of mowed turf

20 miles

Area vs. # visitors (2012)

NP Visitors 2008-2009

Two ofthe thetop top most visited national Two of fivefive most visited national parks areparks locatedare located in urban areas (nps.gov, 2012) in urban areas (nps.gov, 2012)

57 miles

250,000 jobs

Chattanooga Riverwalk, TN

3,447,729 visitors

78% WHITE

Yellowstone NP

7,417,397

9% HISPANIC

14,567,487 visitors

7,697,727

3% OTHER

7% AFRICAN AMERICAN

80,000 acres

9,008,830

Washington D.C. 2010

5.5 miles

Golden Gate NRA

GW MEMORIAL PKWY

Yosemite NP Visitors 2009

GATEWAY NRA

14,567,487

24 miles of river

GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAINS NP

15,382,447

GOLDEN GATE NRA

BLUE RIDGE PKWY

Detroit Riverwalk, MI

hiking/camping/fishing: $730 billion

77% WHITE

U.S. RECREATION

NATIONAL PARKS

retail: $289 billion annually

9% HISPANIC HISPANIC P

9% HISPANIC

6 million jobs

11% ASIAN + HISPANIC

4% OTHER

4% OTHER

47% Americans visited a national park in last 2 yrs (2009 survery)

3.5% ASIAN

$12 billion annually

1% AFRICAN AMERICAN

3% ASIAN

GOLDEN GATE NRA

Furthermore, NPS plays a large role in recreation, particularly in our urban environments. In the case of the Anacostia, over 90% of the land adjacent to the river is government owned, most by the NPS. How can we “thicken” this relationship, by better integrating recreation and the urban wild?

Masonville Cover Environmental Education Center, MD Anacostia River Watershed, DC

UrbanUrban national parks anopportunity opportunity to national parksprovide provide an to increase increase diversity in our national park system (nps.gov) diversity in our national park system (nps.gov)

Recreation and in national parkshuge provides Recreation inin thethe U.S.U.S. and in national parks provdes huge economic returns (nps.gov) economic returns (nps.gov) unmaintained thickets oftentimes separate the trail from the river

Hayes | 17

Los Angeles River Watershed, CA 51 mile river 9 miles


Wilderness The majority of these urban parks behave remarkably similar to NPS’s rural national parks with trails that too often separate human experience from ecological processes with a rope or a boardwalk, and strictly dictate experience of the landscape with a single path. This outdated method fosters the mythology of a wilderness that no longer exists, a wilderness defined by distant, untouched landscapes. Promoting nostalgia for this wilderness not only feeds into misconceptions but also supports a hands-off, preservation perspective that undermines contemporary forward-looking ideas of sustainability in our cities.

“Idealizing a distant wilderness too of ten means not idealizing the environment in which we actually live, the landscape that for bet ter or worse we call home� -William Cronon

Birds-eye view of the Anacostia River

18 | Hayes


The construction of asphalt trails and many boardwalks separate human experience from dynamic processes in the landscape and reinforce the mythology of wilderness

Hayes | 19


The Urban Wild

to  C hes

ape

ake

 Ba y

How can we challenge this thin line thinking of existing river trails and the mythology of a wilderness, and instead foster a stronger relationship with the urban wild through the expression of a trail? An urban wild that is not about escaping from our everyday lives but is about accepting and confronting the wild in us and inspiring and interpreting the wild in our own backyards. This urban wild does not have to be at the scale of Yosemite or the entire Anacostia river system, but can be found in a space as small as the crack of pavement. It is a wild that supports and encourages human appropriation instead of isolating or separating it.

This landscape framework plan of the Anacostia reveals the many underlying, and oftentimes invisible, systems that make up this unique riverscape 20 | Hayes


orientation + disorientation control + uncontrol development

temporal + temporary interventions

wonder + fear

diversity

strangely familiar

incremental

indeterminancy

transforming performative

ambiguity appropriation

participatory indeterminancy + ambiguity

subjectivity

incompleteness

expression

registration of change

mobility

adaptation

appropriation events

registration of change

expression wildlife

incompleteness + testing growing

phasing

adaptation + evolution layered

weathering

network connecting processes burried narratives children + growth + play

An ideogram highlighting the socio-ecological aspects of the urban wild Hayes | 21


“a mark left” “a trace” “a track” “worn by passage of persons in wild/uninhabited region” “beaten track” “rude path”

WG: doesn’t understand + needs to see it visually

Tr a i l , W a l k , P a t h N e t w o r k

a  m

ar

k  l

e

 

ade

nm

,  u

“continued treading” “unmade and unenclosed” “rather than one deliberately planned” “on foot”

ft,

d

a  narrative,  journey,  a  distance,  a  length  of  time

walk

t,  discove ren ry,  

always  diffe

e til

path

unpla n n e

“distance” “length of time” “traveling or wandering” “a journey”

vola

The existing Anacostia River Trail can be described as a thin line. Together, however, the lines of a trail, walk, and path network can thicken – both the spatial dimension and the public awareness of – the Anacostia. Expressed through these lines, this thick edge breaks down and extends the boundaries of this urban river system by hybridizing the rhythms and movements of the daily lives of the community with those of the urban wild.

trail a  t rac e,   t h e  pre senc e  of   a b s ence ,  reg ion a l ly  b ase d

“Trail” is just one word that can be used to describe sequential linear movement. Design opportunities arise in association with other words that describe similar movement, including “walk” and “path.” According to Oxford English Dictionary, “trail” is defined by marks left, traces, or tracks. A “walk” is defined by a set distance or length of time. And a “path” is unmade, unenclosed, and unplanned.

Existing “thin line” of the Anacostia River Trail This proposed network of trails, walks, and paths work together to “thicken” the existing trail and further embed the Anacostia River Trail in its rich community

DESIGN 22 | Hayes


D ,  M sburg aden to  Bl

landfill

0.4 miles, 9 min walk

River  Terrace   Elementary  School

Anacostia  Ave  NE

0.2 miles , 3 min walk

hesa peak e  Ba y

Anacostia  Ave  NE

neighborhood street

I-­295

Anacostia High  School

the  flats

I-­295

the  flats

walk: through future development on fillscape 0.3 miles, 5 min walk

road

0.2 miles, 4 min walk

road

walk: after school play on the “flats”

to  C

railroad

boathouse row

road road

walk: narrative of water access 0.2 miles uphill, 6 min walk

ANACOSTIA PARK

walk: the story of a combined sewer system 0.1 miles uphill, 3 min walk

2.2 miles (50 min walk, 22 min jog, 13 min bike)

1 mile (20 min walk, 10 min jog, 6 min bike)

BOATHOUSE ROW

hospital complex

I-­295

walk: along a freeway barrier to neighborhood beyond

cemetary

River  Terrace neighborhood trail  + service  road

parking lot

C  Street

RFK

0.1 miles uphill, 2 min walk

1 mile (20 min walk, 10 min jog, 6 min bike)

0.15 miles, 4 min walk

RIVER TERRACE

1 mile (20 min walk, 10 min jog, 6 min bike)

RFK STADIUM

walk: an elementary school’s outdoor classroom by the river

walk: crossing a historical stream

Thomas  Elementary School

walk: the narrative of a healing landscape

walk: a narrative of monumental scales 0.2 miles, 4 min walk

Hayes  Street service  road

National Arboretum

0.25 miles uphill, 7 min walk

Mayfair neighborhood

walk: the story of a restored stream

Watts  Branch Creek

walk: a front door/landing pad to the National Arboretum 0.2 miles uphill, 7 min walk

KENILWORTH LANDFILL

0.5 miles, 11 min walk

1 mile (20 min walk, 10 min jog, 6 min bike)

0.6 mile (16 min walk, 6 min jog, 4 min bike)

TUNNEL PROJECT

1 mile (20 min walk, 10 min jog, __ min bike)

NATIONAL ARBORETUM

walk: through delicate marshland

KENILWORTH AQUATIC GARDENS

0.6 mile (16 min walk, 6 min jog, 4 min bike)

TRAIL

existing trail proposed trail 1= 50’ scale sections (vertical exaggerated x2) 0’

50’

100’

distances: walk (20 min/mile); jog (10 min/mile); bike (10 m/hr)

This new trail network fosters a relationship with the urban wild, giving form and expression to a new thick edge condition

Hayes | 23


FR ON

T

DO

OR

Thickening Strategies

(N

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This new thick edge breaks down the existing riverto-land boundary by identifying land and water conditions and designing a trail, walk, and path network to address the systems associated with each. The four land and water conditions, as well as the resulting strategies, are as follows:

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These four thickening strategies encourage the interaction of everyday activities and a renewed relationship to water, from recreation and experience to cultivation and ownership. With the trace of the trail, the ritualized journey of the walk, and the discovery of the path, the designs of these threshold conditions engage all five senses through shape, materiality, topography, direction, and gradients of the wild, to draw on visible and invisible processes in the river landscape.

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,PSHUYLRXV*URXQGThickening  by  widening.   At RFK Stadium, the trail widens and filters to accommodate different speeds of movement 7LGDO*URXQG: Thickening  by  encompassing. The trail highlights the marsh microtopography to accommodate different gradients of ecologies and moisture 7R[LF*URXQG Thickening  by  multiplying. At Kenilworth Landfill, the trail exaggerates topography, creating two ecologies that mark the remediation process :DWHU &URVVLQJ Thickening  by  meandering.   At the River Terrace community, the trail meanders into three characters to foster and cultivate different types of learning

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wa te

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9 original sites

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tidal ground

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g llin Bo

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toxic ground

ME

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impervious ground

(P op

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water crossing

Po in

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0

0.5

1 mile

A prototype: four thickening strategies respond to specific land to water conditions and are replicable across the Anacostia River as well as other urban rivers around the country. 24 | Hayes


nd

os

si

nd

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to xi

c

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gr

cr

ou

nd ou gr al tid Thicken by encompassing

ng

ou gr us rv io im pe Thicken by widening

Thicken by migrating

Thicken by meandering

Replicable thick edge typologies for four main ground conditions: impervious, tidal, toxic, and water crossing Hayes | 25


Heritage Island

RFK Stadium E Capitol St NE

wa ter

iver

Kin

gm a

nL

walk

ake

DC Armory

swale s

+ run

St. Coletta Charter School

Kin

nels

gm a

n Is

lan

d

ia R

water

Ana cos t

At RFK Stadium, a site slated for future development, the trail widens to filter different speeds of movement of water and people. The trail harnesses people from large sports events to trample, and thereby tend, plants growing on and along the trail. Here, the urban wild is most evident in the spontaneous vegetation, with gradients of wild expressed in the expanding and contracting bands of plants that, at times, narrow the designed with of the trail.

Eastern Senior High School

Imper vious Ground: Thicken by Widening

tra

il

Emergency Service Complex

0

RFK  Stadium

200’

RFK Stadium + site for future development

400’

Independence  Ave

parking  lots

DISTANCE: 0.2 miles, 260 paces TIME: 4 min walk, 2 min jog, 1 min bike FREQUENCY: ephemeral events, sport seasons

boat

fish

watch

linger jog bike walk trample

play

tailgate

filter

26 | Hayes

50’

filter

0

prepare

less  frequent,  more  impact

100’

The walk: grounded by RFK Stadium and large events, the walk connects the movement and rhythms of everyday life in the community to the trail and river


5 years

location

time  +  events

existing  condition

water  flow

at construction

widen  to  filter  jogging widen  to  filter  biking

10 years

5 years

widen  to  filter  jogging

10 years

widen  to  filter  lingering widen  to  filter  lingering

rumble strips to slow down

major event

replace  aslphalt  with  concrete

rumble strips to slow down

major event

trampled

replace  aslphalt  with  concrete

off-season

trampled

The trail: conceptual and sequential cross section and notational sequence shows the construction and weathering of asphalt, concrete, and planted form

Hayes | 27


Process sketch of a trail design idea 28 | Hayes


slope away from river to increase infiltration time

regrade for better views

cantilevered concrete dock

spontaneous vegetation

+10 years

open views + access to river bike

+10 years jog fish

10’

12’

existing trail

bike lane “fast” lane

8’

36’

8’

jogger’s lane 0

4’

8’

This detail of the widened strategy for RFK Stadium ties together the detail construction and dimensions with everyday activities and experience Hayes | 29


RFK Stadium

trample vegetation

water

infiltrate

Game day on the River Trail!

30 | Hayes


pa th

path

These perspectives highlight the filtering of movement and change over time of the trail, as well as the strangely familiar aspects of the urban wild that are expressed through the relationship of spontaneous vegetation and the trampling from large events

Hayes | 31


+HP

Tidal ground: Thicken by Encompassing

Anacostia River +HP

At Kenilworth Marsh and Aquatic Gardens, the trail is designed to encompass flooding, registering and monitoring change on daily, annual, and generational time scales. Emphasizing micro-topography and marsh gradients, the trail splits around a central runnel, anticipating people moving aside to avoid low and wet spots. Designed with grooves that capture and guide water into the main, central runnel, the trail encourages the overlapping of hydraulic systems with human recreational activities. As the central runnel weathers its concrete base breaks down, the one trail may eventually split into two.

trail

walk

NPS Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

existi

Here, the urban wild is expressed in a landscape of risk and the fear of the land changing shape so quickly with the incoming tide. Furthermore, the runnel’s rhythm of high and low gives visitors a better sense the drastic differences in the micro-topography of a marsh condition.

200’

Kenilworth Marsh + Aquatic Gardens

400’

aquatic gardens

cultivate

plant

learn

watch

tide dependent

monitor sediment

kayak

flood

encompass

gauge water levels

swim

high  tide

ng boar dwa lk

Kenilworth Landfill

0

low  tide

+HP

+HP

DISTANCE: 0.5 miles, 660 paces TIME: 11 min walk, 6 min jog, 3.5 min bike FREQUENCY: tidal dependent

tide  dependent

0

50’

100’

The walk: grounded by Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the walk is accessible by foot at low tide and by kayak at high tide 32 | Hayes


existing  condition

rt

l  cha

y  tida

low  tide

gravel moss

n

at construction

inatio ntam

“safe  to  swim”  level

co oring   monit

weekl mud

high  tide

shadows

trail  splits  into  two  to  accommodate  flood  waters central  runnel  begins

floodplain

trail  splits  into  two  to  accommodate  flood  waters

spring tide

at construction

shadows

floodplain

spring tide

1 year

1 year

stained

residual  flood  waters  +  sediment

stained

3 years

grooves hold water

residual  flood  waters  +  sediment

3 years

5 years

grooves hold water

trail  narrows  again  as  it  moves  to  higher  ground

The trail: conceptual and sequential cross section and notational sequence shows the construction and weathering of asphalt, concrete, and planted form Hayes | 33


Process sketches of trail design for tidal ground

34 | Hayes


overlapping systems

+10 years

river gauge

path

6’

10’ existing trail

6’

hydric plants mark walk

0

4’

8’

This detail of the encompassing strategy for Kenilworth marsh exaggerates microtopography and encourages the overlapping of systems Hayes | 35


swim once contamination levels drop

pa

th

The trail design plays with the microtopography of the marsh environment. Experimentation and monitoring are also incorporated into the walk design.

36 | Hayes


The relatively wetter concrete bed of the runnel, filled by precipitation and flooding events, gradually breaks down, overlapping recreational and ecological systems.

Hayes | 37


4.0

Lan

gst on G

il tra

3.0

reline

ic s

ia R

ho

ive r

Kin

gm a

n Is

lan

d+

At Kenilworth Landfill and Park, the trail is designed to reveal and mark the phased remediation process through a series of topographic asphalt trails that multiply, evolve, and break down from one edge of the landfill to the other. These trail berms emphasize the artifice of the site by exaggeration and creation of a two-faced condition: a remediated side and a contaminated side. These topographic trail berms separate and guide “clean” water that falls on the remediated site, separating it from the contaminated groundwater. A seed bank, cultivated by kids from Thomas Elementary School, heightens this contrast, highlighting the urban wild and the fear of the invisible.

il tra

trail 2.0

olf Co urs

e

To x i c G r o u n d : Thicken by Multiplying

Ana cos t

r to h is

Mayfair Neighborhood

.0

l1

ai tr

lk

wa Cezar Chaves Middle + High School Thomas Elementary School

fut

ure

tra

il

Educare

tin

g

tra

CS I-2 X 95 Ra ilw ay

ex is

PEPCO Benning Power Plant

il

0

200’

Kenilworth Landfill + Park

400’ “...in  the  mid-­1960s  I  drove  to  work  daily  on  Rt.  295  past  the  city  dump  located  on  the  river  just  north  of  Benning  Road.     My  route  to  work  at  that  time  took  me  across  the  bridge  there  every  day...    They  were  still  burning  the  trash  at  that  time.     If  the  wind  was  blowing  from  the  west....  it  was  not  uncommon  for  the  visibility  to  drop  to  near  zero  on  the  highway  and   to  see  flaming  pieces  of  paper  and  debris  flying  through  the  air.”  –John  Nichols,  1  February  2013

Thomas  Elementary School

school  yard

play

1 year

plant seed bank

trample

cut back branches

monitor soil

remediate

cultivate plants

2 years

mountain bike

wander

remediate

explore

3 years

5 years

point of prospect

enclose

DISTANCE: 0.4 miles, 528 paces TIME: 10 min walk, 5 min jog, 3 min bike

phased  frequency  +  impact

FREQUENCY: school year, afternoons

0

50’

100’

The walk marks the extent of the remediation process and fosters a relationship with Thomas Elementary School 38 | Hayes


no  existing  trail  on  site

 narrows iplies  +

new soil seed bank

two-­faced  trail  condition:  toxic  vs  remediated  ecologies

trail  mu

dividing + directin

ltiplies  +

two-­faced  trail  condition:  toxic  vs  remediated  ecologies

 narrow

iated

 is  remed

months later

h  as  site

seeds sprout

wildflowers bloom

s  in  wid

dry

th  as  sit

1 year

trail  multiplies  to  mark  phased  remediation  process

spring

e  is  rem

summer

seeds sprout months later

 in  widt

dry

ediated

winter 2 years

fall

dry

at construction

trail  mult

dividing + directin

no  existing  trail  on  site

at construction

new soil seed bank

wildflowers bloom

wet

trail  multiplies  to  mark  phased  remediation  process

1 year

3 years

trail  becomes  concrete  at  top  of  landfill  watershed

wildflowers bloom on remediated side

dry

spring

5 years

summer

cracking

fall

winter 2 years

two  ecologies  become  one

6 years

trail  through  forest  canopy

As the trail multiplies with the phased remediation process, old sections weather and degrade, forming a landscape of palimpsests and multiple ecologies

dry

wet

trail  becomes  concrete  at  top  of  landfill  watershed

Hayes | 39


process sketches

exaggerate topography for prospect + effect +5 years

+5 years: free play

watershed divide

cultivate

40 | Hayes

8’ concrete trail


+5 years: asphalt breaks down rocks for filtering add topsoil plant + cultivate

slope away from river concrete marker

12’ asphalt trail

watershed divide

path

0

4’

8’

This detail shows the designed exaggerated trail topography on this landfill condition Hayes | 41


school children cultivate seed bank

Phase I: trail heightens the contrast between remediated and toxic ground

42 | Hayes


path

Phase II: trail breaks down as landfill is remediated

Hayes | 43


PEPCO Benning Plant

Metro line

Water Crossing: Thicken by Meandering

Bennin

g Road

River Terrace Elementary School

Anacos

tia Rive

r

Signaling a culverted stream, a meandering group of trails mimics the pattern of the would-be stream and harnesses children’s play to interact with infrastructure. Connected to River Terrace Elementary, this schoolyard extension cultivates learning and highlights the urban wild of infrastructure, as the trail literally becomes immersed in concrete tunnels.

walk

tr ai

l

Kingman Lake

outfall CSO

River Terrace Neighborhood

hist oric

sh or eli ne

Kingman Island

Heritage Island

0

200’

River Terrace Park + Neighborhood

400’

DISTANCE: 0.15 miles, 200 paces TIME: 4 min walk, 2 min jog, 1 min bike FREQUENCY: school year, afternoons and summer 0

school yard play

file in line

trample

exercise

observe

learn

trample

play

immerse

engage

44 | Hayes

50’

100’

more  frequent,  less  impact

The walk is an extension of River Terrace Elementary’s school yard, cultivating different styles of education


existing  condition

l historic  seawal culverted stream

observe  +  absorb

play  +  perform

prospect

bench

concrete extension

play  +  perform

concrete extension

engage  +  immerse

engage  +  immerse

low tide

low tide

high tide

high tide land to water

The trail meanders and changes its form and material to bring out the wild qualities of a culverted stream and, more generally, urban infrastructure

Hayes | 45


engage + immerse

play + perform

observe + absorb

This ideogram and detail section emphasize the three characters of the meandering trail

46 | Hayes


Conclusion

play + perform +10 years watch, play, relax

These four thickening strategies act as a catalyst and a guide for discovering the urban wild in our own backyards. This design thickens the experience of the river spatially, as well as thickens the interaction of everyday recreation by encouraging and guiding emergent activities, crucial ingredients in the metabolism of this urban river system. These initial design ideas are specific to the Anacostia yet can be replicable to other urban national parks and urban rivers across the county. This ever-evolving trail, walk, and path network, based on systems and multiple scales, transform a marginalized “thin park” status into a “thick edge” that capitalizes on the urban wild, thereby helping everyday visitors understand and appreciate the ever-changing dynamics and flows of this wild Anacostia Riverscape in the middle of their own city.

10’ 0

4’

8’

culverted stream

concrete trail

The infrastructure of this new trail segment encompasses a playspace that hints at the invisible culverted stream just below the surface of the ground

Hayes | 47


Design Process In addition to writing and discussing ideas with my professors and classmates, making is a key component of my design process. The following pages show several of the tools I consistently use in my studio projects, a process which has culminated in this design thesis: both rigorous and casual drawing and sketching methods, montaging, hand modeling, and diagramming.

PROCESS 48 | Hayes


As a parallel to my work on the Anacostia, I investigated the thin line and thick edge conditions of Meadow Creek in Charlottesville, VA through a series of drawings and diagrams

Hayes | 49


Coming up with a Strateg y For the mid-review, I explored different conditions along the Anacostia River Trail, selected for their unique site qualities (environmental, social, historical) and connections to cultural institutions in the community. Highlighting fluxes and flows of time, movement, and socio-ecological processes at each of these sites, a series of ideograms and study models begin to suggest material properties and changes as the typical asphalt path enters each threshold. Through these initial site studies, I came up with four main ground conditions and consequent strategies.

An

aco

stia

Ave SE

rk

or

OS

TI

A  

RI

VE R

ilw

or

AN

AC

N

th

s rd wa to

th

Pa

n Ke

Riverview Terrace Community I-29 5`

bus stop

PEPCO Benning Plant

Fort Circle Parks system

K

WAL

infiltration creeping vegetation

culverted stream historical tributary

50 | Hayes

PLANTED FORM: whisping grasses

nta

neo

us  

MATERIALS: rhythmic ground plane

drifts

signals movement

guides  views casts shadows

smooth

contrasting

hollow

reflecting

vibrating

signaling

crunching

spo

secretive

topographic

trampled

historical seawall

pro

pog a

PATH contaminants in sediment

TRAIL

tion

3’ tidal


STREAM CROSSING

FRONT DOOR

Mayfair neighborhood

(Watts Branch Restoration)

(National Arboretum) water

and

llect

le co

peop

from

___?

light

cted refle

Arbo

retum

entra

riparian buffer

Hayes Street

slices through natural levee

water collection PLANTED FORM: “runoff” vegetation

be

d

MATERIALS: suggest speed + movement

bump

bump

ht

air

shady

linger

lig

nce

ol

co

runoff

PLANTED FORM: damp, cool + dappled

ro

ss

trac

stre or ed

il

shady

rays  of  light

flood  tolerant

cool

vibrating

metal reflecting

wide  gaps

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT

m

diu

t’s

ra

(Poplar Point)

X CS

turf

dry

buffer

creeping

ac

ia

cost to Ana

PLANTED FORM: grasses maintained by movement

wet

idge

turf

br

pavers

Tr ail

permeable

MATERIALS: permeable + amphibious

(Boathouse Row)

strips

rest

ble

historic seawall

display

rum slow down !

trampled

LAND TO WATER TRAIL

spontaneous propogation

rumble  strips

shadows

am

MATERIALS: durable + flood resilient

Seafarer’s Club

to

Sta

Na

ks Anacostia Community Boathouse

ith

Sm ate W

ing

watershed divide

k

bike

sh

wal

3’ tidal

wa

run

at

bo

perforate edge: private + public

transition land to water trail

vegetative

barrier

creeping vegetation

future development: manage all water on-site

sloping trail

historic seawall

riverscape

development

signal

marker

steps podium wall breezy

shaded

dappled  light

rhythmic

threshold

geometric

registers  speed

No

changing  density

PLANTED FORM: two ecologies

?

PLANTED FORM: creeping, filtering, guiding

flexible

asphalt

ll

concrete

rom  Ma

permeable

WALK  f

rhythmic  breaks scalable

(RFK Stadium)

MATERIALS: geometric, rhythmic, scalable

CSO TUNNEL

rth

monumental  allee

MONUMENTAL SCALE

MATERIALS: a watershed divide

directional

re tu

sig

na

lin

g

fu

ste ps

low ground fillscape

another seawall?

to lin g de er ve lo pm

en

t

CSO outfall

r

ge

transition railway to trail

barrier to water runoff

il

infiltration

K

ra rT

WAL

watershed divide

proposed development

hn

prospect

lin

contaminated ground

dredged land

Jo

cre ep vege ing tation

to K

RF

(DC Water Tunnel Construction)

allee stadium smells + sounds

drop shaft

Anacost

ia

cuts in asphalt RFK parking lot

filtering runoff

oriental bittersweet

An

ac

os

tia

swale + bramble

disturbed ground

swale + bramble

el

nn

TRAIL

overflo w

tu

water

+

drop shaft 55’ diameter circumnavigate

te

tailga

l trai

linger

PATH

24 0’

,00

MATERIALS: smooth and monotone

open  views

harvestable

remediating

to Boa thou South

inescapable funnelling screening

invasive barrier

bright  color

curved

monotone

concrete

impermeable smooth

historic  marsh  edge  narrative

PLANTED FORM: remediating plants

high  growth  rate

runnel

weathered

MATERIALS: impermeable

capping

TRAIL

TH

contaminants in ground

impermeable

ck  to ba ho ldin g  

trampled revealed

gr

ou

nd

TH

PA

I-295

landfill  edge  narrative

PA contaminants in ground

K

contaminants in ground

TRAIL

xic  

contaminants seep into sediment

historic  shoreline  edge  narrative

keep  hydrolic  system  separate  from  toxic  ground

Anacostia

historic  seawall

TRAIL

trail  and  path  migrate/expand as  ground  is  remediated

26’ diameter tunnel for stormwater overflow

s lain eP

3’ tidal

WAL

Blu

trail  and  path  migrate/expand as  ground  is  remediated

an Br

from

ch

ts Wat

el

se Row

PLANTED FORM: invasive, constraining bramble

n

atio stor

Re

tunn

Mayfair Neighborhood

(Kenilworth Landfill)

long

CONTAMINATED GROUND

Model and diagram explorations of different trail conditions and potential designs along the Anacostia

Hayes | 51


Sketching + Diagramming

52 | Hayes


yr

yr 500

10 yr

100

typ.

2 yr

source

trail water, people, wildlife

contamination trail

“worn by passage,” “beaten”

y

hydrological: floodplain trail

walk

x x

x

“distance defined by length of time”

“a journey” between landmarks

“A ritual walk”

? shortest distance

one crossing

side destination

light/temperature

obstruction

mystery

prospect/refuge (edge)

ground condition

path topography

multiple/equal means

diagramming design opportunities from the definitions of the words “trail,” “walk,” and “path” Hayes | 53


Wild Washing ton As the Dumbarton Oaks Landscape Architecture Intern this summer (2013), I have expanded on my thesis work to research the idea of a Wild Anacostia as it is part of a larger wild network, or a Wild Washington. In addition to digging deep into the definitions and history of the words “wilderness” and “wild,” I have directed my summer research towards envisioning an alternative perspective of Washington D.C., this “Wild Washington,” articulated through the recognition and expression of the urban wild. It’s a wild that can be discovered across scales and modes: from a fox crossing Rock Creek Parkway to the Great Falls on the Potomac to a dandelion growing from a crack in the pavement. It is a wild that is not only found in plants and animals, but in stormwater, topography, and social behavior. And it is a wild that can be discovered and recognized in aspects of our everyday lives. Dumbarton Oaks’ relationship to corridors, topography, water, and its proximity and integration with Rock Creek Park, make it a particularly interesting case study within a “Wild Washington.” A hybrid, at the edge of a social and ecological spectrum, Dumbarton Oaks is an integral part of this wild network.

Urban wild palette emphasizing cyclical change over time

ONGOING RESEARCH 54 | Hayes


A matrix of patches and corridors, across multiple scales, help make up a Wild Washington

Hayes | 55


THE WILD ANACOSTIA By Kate Hayes

56 | Hayes


The Wild Anacostia