De Novo Urbanism

Presenter: Zoe Cloonan

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
Student Type: Graduate
PI: Timothy Love
Award: Scholarship
Award Winner Category: Humanities and Arts

Our urban design methodology challenges the transportation-centric design proposals of highway and transportation planners that follow established conventional planning techniques, prioritizing street hierarchy and leaving parcels to be established from the resultant. Our iterative and balanced approach derives urban design through the creation of economically driven parcels in conjunction with the necessary transportation corridors and desired connections. Simultaneously, it takes into account the complexities inherent in multi-party urban land-ownership, neighborhood politics, and infrastructural systems.   By leveraging typological building metrics, this methodology balances the desires of dense transit-oriented development and the necessities of highway engineering, enabling the two to coexist.

The Beacon Yards: De Novo Urbanism Research Studio serves as a test-ground for this design methodology.  Through our research in real-estate development potential, land ownership, multimodal transit, hydrological systems, and neighborhood politics surrounding the site, our proposal promotes urban development at Beacon Yards commensurate with the Boston 2030 Growth Initiative and re-envisions Beacon Yards as a connected post-industrial waterfront. This proposal envisions future urban development in order to inform current highway planning, in an attempt to avoid the disuse and undevelopable urban parcels typically associated with highway interchange landscapes.