THE POLARIZATION OF FRACTAL NODES PHILADELPHIA, PA
LETTER OF INTENT
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NETWORK WAT E R S H E D INVENTORY
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RIVERS EDgE SITE SYSTEMS
3 0 T H S T. S TAT I O N D E S I g N
NICHOLAS MITCHELL ADVISOR: SEAN ROTAR CAPSTONE SUBMITTAL PURDUE UNIVERSITY LA 409 BERNIE DAHL FALL 2012
30th Street Station is the transit hub of Philadelphia. The station is a major node along the Northeast transit corridor. Thousands of residents, tourists, and businessmen and women exit through the station with their first perspective of Philadelphia. They view the skyline piercing through the stationâ€™s iconic portico through a dizzying and disorienting array of traffic and noise. The transition from vehicle to ground is a very memorable. This experience at 30th Street Station is a very stressful environment to be entered in.
N I C H O L A S H M I TC H E L L | FA L L 2 0 1 2 | 2 1 1 2 M CCO R M I C K R D. A P T 3 3 3 W E S T L A FAY E T T E , I N 4 7 9 0 6 | P 5 7 4 . 3 0 2 . 5 6 1 6 | E N M I TC H E L @ P U R D U E . E D U
Prof. Bernie Dahl, FASLA Purdue Landscape Architecture 625 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907
Bernie Dahl, For my Capstone project I would like to participate in the 2013 Ed Bacon Student Design Competition. One of the reasons I have chosen this project is because the site’s location in Philadelphia. I am familiar with the area and understand the issues and needs for the competitions goal of re-developing one of the cites major transit corridors. During my time in Philadelphia I had the opportunity to attend meetings and site visits for OLIN using this corridor as a my starting point for each journey. I found myself struggling to understand the pedestrian circulation around the site and vast extensive infrastructure. This ideas competition looks to re-imagine this transit hub and help re-connect it with the city. Being familiar with the area, I have discovered some opportunities during my travels. I would like to use this capstone project as a way to put my ideas down on paper. The competition deadline for submittal is October 26th. I understand my capstone will not be complete by then and will take the whole semester. I will however submit my capstone for an ASLA award when it is complete in December. I propose the following for my Capstone: • • • • •
Analysis of the needs of users currently and projected future use List of opportunities and constraints Pedestrian, vehicular, and transit circulation studies Master plan [Including sections, perspectives, and diagrams] Details on possible green infrastructure and site systems opportunities
OLIN employees and transit specialists will be consulted on there expertise in their respected industries to enhance the quality and credibility of the project. Sources and credit will be listed when appropriate. I will construct and format an 8 1/2” x 11” book detailing the above for my ASLA submittal and prepare a series of boards and powerpoint for my final presentation. If I am allowed to pursue this endeavor for my Capstone project I will construct a schedule during the first week of classes upon your review. This will consists of meetings twice a month where I will seek your critique and guidance on the progress of my project. Best regards,
INTERSECT 2013 ED BACON STUDENT DESIgN COMPETITION
The Ed Bacon Committee coordinates an annual international student design competition focusing on an urban design challenge in Philadelphia that has broad implications for cities around the globe. This competition, conducted in the Fall, is open to university-level students in any field of study; the most successful entries tend to come from teams which include students from a range of majors, including architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, business, public policy, and others. OVERVIEW:
When transportation corridors such as highways and rail lines meet dense urban areas, choices must be made about how to balance the needs of the transportation modes and the lively city it intersects. Across the world, cities have found innovative solutions for addressing issues relating to large-scale urban transportation infrastructure. Recently in the U.S. cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Minneapolis have transformed highways into urban boulevards. Boston buried Interstate 93 in the famous “Big Dig,” but at a huge cost. Other cities have worked to bridge highways and rail corridors that separate downtowns from waterfronts. With international precedent for design solutions, the Center for Architecture challenges the next generation of urban thinkers to propose novel solutions to integrate Philadelphia’s major transportation corridors into its urban fabric. CO M P E T I T I O N O B j E C T I V E : P H I L A D E L P H I A’S I - 76 / A M T R A K CO R R I D O R :
Amtrak’s main corridor through Philadelphia lies just outside Center City, on the Western bank of the Schuylkill River, passing through Philadelphia’s iconic 30th Street Station. Wrapping around the station and hugging the Western bank of the Schuylkill River, Interstate 76 provides the city with one of its most heavily used entries and exits for passenger vehicles. What opportunities are there for reimagining this complex hub of transit and its integration with the entire city?
The I-76 transit corridor between the Spring garden St. bridge to the North and South St. to the South.
COMPE TITION WEBSITE: http://w w w.philadelphiacfa.org/competitions-bacon-student- design.p h p
ABSTRACT “Today, the intercity transportation network in the Northeast is approaching the limits of its capacity. Ever increasing congestion has led to highway and airport delays that are among the worst in the nation. Many major aviation, highway and rail facilities are at the end of their useful life, and beyond a state of good repair. Urban segments of the highway and NEC rail network face unsustainable levels of demand. “ -Amtrak Vision for the Northeast Corridor
The goal for my capstone is to infuse ecological sustainability and socially viable streetscapes to create a new paradigm in transit development within the urban fabric. Through a review of literature and precedents, I will propose a design for the City of Philadelphia in which the 30th Street Station and Interstate 76 corridor can integrate an innovative and progressive transit development with environmental sustainability. I will then expand the conceptual design to include holistic sustainability and by combining goals for social and environmental health. Within my concept, I will explore various methods in which high volume transit infrastructure can coexist within a pedestrian oriented environment. CONCEPT
Title: Co-Exist The polarization of fractal nodes within Philadelphia
Three nodes of transit A: 30th St. Station & Schuylkill Expressway (main focus) B: Philadelphia Museum of Art area (30th St. connection needed) C: City Hall (future HSR connection to Market East Station) These nodes are fractal and not broken. The frame and precedence exists within Philadelphia.
Modes of transit - Three Levels 1: Mass Transit - Rail, Vehicular, Public Transit 2: Industrial - Rail, Shipping 3: Individual - Bike, Walking
Multiple Layers -Regional Rail (Amtrak, High Speed Rail) -Public Transit (SEPTA, Nj Transit) -Vehicular (Schuylkill Expressway Interchange) -Bike (Trail/Lane network) -Walk (Wayfinding, Path Network) -Freight (CSX)
30TH ST. STA.
I-76 SEPTA PROJECT SITE
Concept of Polarization *For the purpose of this project. Define: “Polarization” Vb. -To cause concentration about multiple conflicting or contrasting positions. Ex. ABACBAC---->Filter---->AAA,BB,CC
Using the concept of polarization as a means of organizing the modes of transit to define a web of layers networked together. CITY HALL
30TH ST. STATION
NORTHEAST TRANSIT HUB
PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART MAjOR PEDESTRIAN DESTINATION
CITY HALL CENTER CITY
“Relocating the 30th Street Station would be unrealistic.”
PHILIP j ECONOMOU Senior Director, Real Estate Development, AMTRAK
“Withagrowingstudentpopulation and 20,000 currently in the area, we want to encourage students to live on campus”
KIMBERLY MILLER Director of Design, Drexel University
AMTRAK CSX S E P TA
UNIVERSITY OF P E N N S Y LVA N I A
“A better connection to station from the Schuykill River’s banks is needed” BYRON COMATI Director of Strategic and Long Range Planning, SEPTA
“30th Street Station is Philadelphia’s gateway with 2,000-3,000 travelers an hour.”
PREMA gUPTA Director of Planning and Economic Development, University City District
INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS
The network of regional rail in which freight and passengers travel on is illustrated below and highlights the major rail stations. 30th st station is the strategic node where rail from the West meets the East coast corridor traveling North and South. 350 320
233 LINE H E WT BATS RO H G H W O G R I H EG ELIN BAS
AMTRAK SOURCE: “NEC FUTURE” jUNE 2012
H WT GRO
NORTHEAST TRANSIT SOURCE: “NEC FUTURE” jUNE 2012
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The circulatory system of highways that connect Philadelphia with its suburbs and other metropolises are currently stressed. With the expected population increase and the trend of people moving to the city I suggest not removing any highway infrastructure in or around Philadelphia. Although highways can disconnect the fragile urban fabric which can cause urban blight, we need them for their precious resource of proving a means of travel and goods. The Schuylkill expressway disconnects the city from the western bank of the river it lies adjacent to. The Schuykill expressway embodies an urban river which people transit at an predictable flow and their pollutants have a regional impact like a car accident’s ripple effect along a highway. Moving the highway further outside the city’s limits offers the opportunity for sprawl. Marrying density with transit offers more rewards than risks. By eliminating highway access to the busiest local streets you encourage people who need to transit outside the city to travel around to highway connections on main boulevards which are deigned to handle such stresses. This model decreases traffic at the pedestrian level on the busy local streets where a majority of people live and work. FACTS WHY
62.0  55.3 
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30% NORTHEAST POPULATION SOURCE: “NEC FUTURE” jUNE 2012
FA I R M O N T D A M
A WAT E R P R O B L E M
CSO S E P E R AT E NON-SEWERED
The Schuykill Watershed as a whole is relatively healthy. Only 30% of the streams lying are classified as impaired. The Northern portion holds a majority of the healthy streams. Once the watershed flows into the more urban areas around Philadelphia is health drastically decreases. The area around 30th St. Station is one of the worst sections of the whole watershed. This is due to two factors. One, being located the most dense urban section, allows stormwater to flow directly into the sewer due to the lack of impervious surfaces. Two, the Fairmont Dam directly North of the site effects the river immensely. The Schuykilll River becomes tidal South of the dam and flows into the Delaware River. A majority of the outflows within downtown Philadelphia terminate around our site, further contaminating the water. This has had a poor ecological effect on the aquatic life within the river. Being an older city, Philadelphiaâ€™s stormwater management system is out of date. The city is equipped with a combined sewer system which reeks havoc on the river during a major storm event. Flooding along the banks of the Schuykill is frequent. The flooding has the biggest effect on the Western side where the Schuykill Expressway lies and 30th St. Station Railyard.
100 YEAR PLAIN
PARKS AND RECREATION
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HU YK IL S RE XP LE SW AY [I-
VINE EX PRES
j F K B LV D. MARKET CHESTN
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LOTS OF gREEN
Philadelphia has an extensive park system. Most notably, Fairmont Park which lies North of Philadelphiaâ€™s museum of Art. Ian McHarg listed Philadelphia as having one of the largest most accessible greenspace within a relatively close distance (one mile). A recent initiative by the city has been trying to connect Fairmont Park with the Southern Philadelphia. This has only been pursued on the Eastern side of the Schuykill River via the Schuykill Banks Project. The master plan calls for a trail network to extend to where the river terminates into the Delaware River.
gREENSPACE URBAN WATER 0
D I S R U P T E D FA B R I C
Philadelphia has a dense commercial core. The commercial business district marches along the axial avenues of Philadelphia, Broad and Market Street. Once you travel West across the Schyukill River the urban fabric changes drastically to industrial use. This is predominately caused by the 30th St. Station railyard. Recent development has tried to change to this. The recent addition of the Cira Center remains the only skyscraper on the Western banks of the Schuykill River. Ed Bacon imagined the cityâ€™s skyline marching across the river down Market Street. When the economy slowed in the late eighties, building skyscrapers quickly became an unnecessary expense. Plans for new buildings were suspended and the line of skyscrapers terminates on 22nd Street which remains unchanged today.
FAIRMONT PARK PROPERTY SPECIAL PURPOSE INDUSTRIAL COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL 0
A TRANSIT WEB
The Schuykill Expressway lies directly on our site. Being one of the major transit arteries, congestion can cause major circulation issues around rush hours. One of the biggest challenges for travelers is the complexity in getting on the expressway from downtown. There are currently three options. One, traveling to 30th Street Station and merging onto the highway. Second, the South Street Bridge, and finally the Vine Expressway. A majority use the 30th Street Station ramp which causes problems during peak hours because of the congestion created just North from the Vine Expressway ramp. The subway system within in Philadelphia is rarely used by locals traveling within downtown. It is primarily used by people traveling from the outskirts of the city. The main issue is its location and lack of stops at key destinations.
ROAD NETWORK COMMUTER RAIL SUBWAY FREIgHT BIKE TRAILS 0
TRANSIT + URBAN ECOLOGY ANALYSIS
g E O g R A P H I C I N F O R M AT I O N S Y S T E M S M A P P I N g
To better understand Philadelphiaâ€™s web of infrastructure I mapped out major components using string in pushpins. This was accomplished with the aid of gIS software. The colored strings illustrate lines of public transit systems. The large white globes represent key nodes within the city that relate to my concept of polarization. Black dots locate current green infrastructure projects within the watershed, arrows highlight higher education institutions, and the lighter blue lines express the Schuykill watershed.
URBAN ECOLOgY SYMPOSIUM
Halfway though my capstone I presented my research and vision for Philadelphia in front of jurors from the Ecological Sciences and Engineering school at Purdue University. During numerous interviews, I received input and critique from a variety of different backgrounds. This was taken into consideration in preparing my final iteration.
FIRST CONNECTIONS F R O M 3 0 T H S T. S TAT I O N
The extensive connective tissue of 30th St. Station is expressed below by illustrating all the possible connections on a first degree basis. The diagram to the right represents all the current rail lines coming in and out of the station and railyard.
MASS TRANSIT INDUSTRIAL INDIVIDUAL
AMTRAK SEPTA CSX WALK
A NEW NETWORK
The proposed cap will act as a gradient of landscape and flexible space when its adjacent to building edges. This allows new development breathing room for programmable outdoor uses. Additionally, it creates a network of smaller park spaces that can act as pervious surfaces for either stormwater retention for irrigation or greywater usage to assist in creating a living system.
The area highlighted will be used for campus expansion at Drexel University. Specifically, these buildings will be constructed for campus housing to encourage students to live on campus.
The area highlighted will used for future expansion of the University of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s campus.
West Philadelphia is physically separated by its denser and economically stronger central business district on the Eastern side. To resolve this, I propose a new circulation system that uses a sophisticated connective structure across scales. The cap proposed between South Street and Spring garden will allow pedestrians and bikers to commute with little disturbance. The addition of trails contributes to an expanded bike network which will encourage the use of alternative transportation within the city. This investment has numerous benefits. The green infrastructure component allows for agriculture production, a smarter stormwater solution and will be powered by a renewable energy source. Lastly, the addition of surface rail connects key destination within the city. This is partially accomplished by removing the CSX rail on the Eastern portion of the Schuykill Banks. By creating two rail loops within the city, it is better connected between its major sectors of commercial business, education, parks, and housing. Thus providing a connected network amongst users from a wide range of income levels and a variety of interests.
SURFACE RAIL PEDESTRIAN CORRIDOR
NEW DEVELOPMENT DREXEL UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY OF PENN 0
RIVER EDGE TECTONICS EXISTINg BARRIER The existing highway is a barrier between pedestrians an the riverfront.
RE-CONNECT Capping the highway along the urban edge allows for numerous opportunities for pedestrians and sustainability.
THE NEW TREE CANOPY WILL CREATE A gREEN CORRIDOR THAT WILL PROVIDE A WIND BREAK FOR ADjACENT BUILDINgS AND WILL INCREASE BIODIVERSITY BY PROVIDINg SHELTER AND NATURAL RESOURCES URBAN AgRICULTURE WILL TAKE ADVANTAgE OF OPEN AREAS TO PROVIDE RESOURCES FOR LOCALLY gROWN FOOD AND LOWER THE DEMAND IMPORTED gOODS INTO THE CITY. A NEW PATH NETWORK WILL ENCOURAgE COMMUTERS TO TRAVEL BIKE FOR LOCAL TRIPS LOWERINg THE DEMAND FOR MASS TRANSIT.
A PATH ALONg THE EDgE OF THE CAP ALLOWS PEDESTRIANS TO ACCESS THE RIVER FROM THE WEST SIDE NEW BULKHEADS HELP RID CONTAMINANTS ALONg THE WATERS EDgE PHOTO VOLTAIC SOLAR PANELS HARVEST THE SUNS ENERgY TO POWER THE INFRASTRUCTURE ON AND WITHIN THE HIgHWAY CAP
LANDSCAPE TYPOLOgIES 30TH ST. STATION
30TH ST. RAILYARD
OUTSIDE THE CITY ADjACENT DENSITIES
A NEW PEDESTRIAN EXPERIENCE
30TH The cap will provide a new park like experience by providing a corridor under a canopy of trees with enclaves for program opportunities year round.
URBAN Ag. PHOTOVOLTAICS
RECREATION FISHINg gARDENS IRRIgATION TOURISTS EVENTS MARKETS
Heat created by traffic within the proposed cap will be directed through a series of ventilation shafts and directed under the soil used for urban agriculture.
The heat will be controlled by a series of senors and help control the root temperature to extend growing seasons for a more productive garden.
TYPICAL CAP + RIVER BANK SECTION - LOOKINg SOUTH 36
39.9° N Photovolatics will power all the necessary infrastructure on and within the cap with the exception of the powered Amtrak lines. Philadelphia has an average of 94 clear days a year which is high enough to make photovoltaic a reasonable source for a renewable energy solution. Power generated that is not immediately used will be stored in batteries for use on cloudy days. The cap will remain on the main power grid for safety reasons.
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N FE B M AR AP R M AY jU N jU L AU g SE PT OC T NO V DE C
Stormwater will be controlled by a series of green infrastructure initiatives. Stormwater falling on portions of the cap, that has not naturally peculated, will be stored in a series of cisterns along the cap. These will specifically be used for irrigation. When a major storm event occurs the maximum amount of water will be stored, but any excess will have to enter the Philadelphia’s CSO for structural safety.
Stormwater falling within the urban agriculture sector and landscape adjacent to the cap’s riverside, will not be stored. The non-stored stormwater will be filtered through a series of artificial terraced wetlands. This process will filter contaminants found along the rivers urban edge.
THE TRANSIT HUB
The 30th St. Plaza will significantly change to improve the experience of exiting and arriving at the station by the organization of circulation in around the building. As you exit the station you are greeted with an entirely new sensory experience. The skyline will heightened and more articulated with an view undisturbed. A plaza welcomes you, which will host a vibrant array of events such as markets and festivals. A new cafe will be added to the southern portion of the plaza and will included bike storage and maintenance shed for those who wish to commute by bike. New Bus Station
Bus Parking Area
Landscaped Earth Sculpture Taxi Line Wetland Terrace Edge
Landscaped Earth Sculpture
Pedestrian Wetland Walkway
Cafe and Bike Parking
A NEWAND OVER ARRIVAL UNDER
cap 100 year flood e x p r e s s way + r a i l river BIRDSEYE LOOKINg NORTHWEST
The proposed cap will provide a entirely new landscape for Philadelphians. The once separated riverfront is now accessible via a large ramped pier like structures. This will allow pedestrians to experience the Western banks of the Schuykill River which were inaccessible. Paddle boats will be available to rent to allow boating hobbyists to engage more with the water. The pier will be designed to flood during large storm events because of the constantly changing nature of the tidal river. The cap will further protect the expressway from future flooding by its impermeable membrane along the rivers side.
A NEW ARRIVAL
30th street s tat i o n
wa l k way
LO O K I N g W E S T D O W N j F K B LV D
Currently jFK Blvd. is a two way, three lane road that leads travelers to either the 30th St. Station or the Schuykill Expressway. By limiting access to taxi services and buses traffic, congestion around the station will significance decrease. This is accomplished by forming a two lane, two way road and allowing pedestrians to occupy the remainder. A landscaped buffer will be designed between these zones for safety. Additionally a bike lane will be aligned between these modes. The bike lane will be unique in the way it ramps down beneath the bridge to smoothly transition down into the Schuykill Banks Park.
CLEANING UP THE WATERS EDGE
e x p r e s s way
wa l k way wetland terrace schuykill river
LOOKINg NORTH WEST FROM MARKE T STREE T BRIDgE
A new vista is created by cleaning up the edge of the river with terraced wetland beds. These wetland terraces will encourage wetland species to the area via flora and fauna. Although these terraces will have a minimal impact on the waters quality, they will provide a softened edge against the massive scale of the current bulkheads. The addition of green screens along the faces of the bulkheads will aid to their appearance and add artistic value. Accompanying the landscaped terraces, will a ramped walkway bridge the will allow pedestrians to experience the wetland microclimate and provide an educational benefit for tourists.
SOURCES RESEARCH West Bank S chuylk ill R iver Trail Feasibilit y Study K S K A r c h i t e c t s P l a n n e r s H i s t o r i a n s , I n c . j U LY 2 0 1 2 Schuylkill Watershed Conser vation Plan May 2001 Delaware River Basin h t t p : / / w w w. d e l a w a re b a s i n d r i n k i n g w a t e r. o r g / re s o u rc e s / Philadelphia Watersheds Philadelphia Water Depar tment Schuylkill River Development Corporation Annual Report 2011 The Tidal Schuylkill River Master Plan The Schuylkill River Development Corporation March 2003 Imagining Philadelphia Scott gabriel Knowles 2009 University of Pennsylvania The Planning of Center City Philadelphia john Andrew gallery 2007 Center of Architecture Inc. Open Data Philadelphia Website: http://w w w.opendataphilly.org/ Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access Website: http://w w w.pasda.psu.edu/
IMAgES http://w w w.izz ybarish.com/philadelphia.htm http://philadelphia.about.com/library/gallery/blartmuseum3.htm http://w w w.phila.gov/cpo/publicsafe.html