Date of Award
Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
Nick De Pace
This thesis aims to address the spatial fragmentation of Mission Hill. As an old, crowded and chaotic neighborhood in Boston, Mission Hill is a microcosm of Boston's history. Four hundred years ago, Mission Hill was an ecological ecotone which consisted of a series of transitional landscapes, located on the border of a peninsula surrounded by salt marshes. Today, the history of ecotone has been hidden. Landfill, segregation, gentrification, and climate change have caused fragmented spaces, weak connections, and poor accessibility. Meanwhile, the fragmentation of public open areas has also disrupted people's interaction with one another, and the spatial spirit of the community is lost as a result.
This thesis explores the new possibility of Mission Hill community development based on ecotone research and develops a full-scale spatial framework. Incorporating evidence from historical documents and field observations, Mission Hill's existing public open space exists as a reminder of its history as an ecotone. Research on ecotones demonstrates that different species and substances can co-exist and will be transferred efficiently because of the excellent connectivity inside the ecotone. Mission Hill's past as an ecotone creates the possibility of its future as the renewed ecotone. Through reconnecting fragmented open spaces, we can reactivate the history of Mission Hill and rewild Mission Hill to be a new ecotone. Inclusion, integrality and efficiency of ecotones can also be applied to the open areas of Mission Hill to enhance this new spatial system. By returning to the ecotone, Mission Hill can reorganize fragmented spaces, enhance connectivity and accessibility between spaces, activate hidden histories, evoke distant shared memories, and ultimately alleviate the emotional and physical trauma experienced by entire communities since segregation, gentrification, and climate change.
Cai, Xinyi, "Starting From Ecotone Reconnecting Fragmented Mission Hill" (2023). Masters Theses. 1037.
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