Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Anne Tate

Second Advisor

Ryan McCaffrey


Through the development of canals and parks along with the denigration of the unmaintained, humans have worked to curate a natural environment designed by and for themselves. These urban typologies have defined boundaries, suppressed resources, and fragmented habitats. This thesis will work in opposition to current notions of the canal, park, and unmaintained to develop a new model for multi-species green infrastructure that embraces succession and views maintenance as a facilitation of natural processes rather than preservation of a singular condition.

The green infrastructure in question will more specifically be referred to as an ecological corridor: an ecocentric habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human development/activity. This project will address the issue of habitat connection from a sustainability and ideological vantage point. By developing a green corridor catered to ecological services and connections in the heart of Hartford, Connecticut, we may shift the paradigm around urban green spaces and what it means to live sustainably in an urban context.

In order to re-frame the relationship between human development and local ecologies, we must first define what a sustainable urban environment looks like. In opposition to modernist myths of progress, a sustainable urban environment should acknowledge and leave room for existing ecological frameworks rather than seeking to conquer them. Humans should be seen as a part of the food chain, not omnipotent beings removed from environmental systems.

We should 1. celebrate, and design with, natural processes rather than suppress and displace them, i.e. Hartford, Connecticut’s canalization of the Park River following floods / industrial pollution and environmental succession patterns.

2.Deconcretize and embrace natural options for flood mitigation. The lack of permeable surfaces degenerates soil health while increasing the devastation of flooding events. By incorporating more permeable surfaces and vegetation zones, water run-off can be managed without the excessive use of underground water displacement infrastructure.

To create more resilient ecosystems, we must 3. acknowledge architecture’s role in fragmenting environments. Recovering systems of ecological infrastructure can reinstate natural through-ways lost to 20th century urban development.



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