Excerpt from the Abstract: “Two related typologies of small-scale, experimental urban design have emerged in recent years as a synthesis of community action and progressive governmental experimentation: the Parklet and the Pedestrian Plaza. The Parklet occupies curbside parking spaces while the Pedestrian Plaza reclaims excess roadway, often at irregular intersections. While the typologies differ in physical form, both emerge from a common thrust of experimental action redressing the urban fabric and environment. Together, these two typologies – and the city programs created to facilitate their implementation – begin to define a process of Heuristic Urbanism: a collaborative practice that engages urban design through provisional programs and projects that are continually self-evaluating. This thesis illustrates how the Heuristic Urbanism of Parklets and Pedestrian Plazas necessitates innovation within city government through the assimilation of grassroots initiatives.”
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