Date of Award
Master of Architecture (MArch)
As one of the most prominent and in-famous pieces of infrastructure in the built environment of the city, the freeway has created nasty conditions of socioeconomic division, segregation, mono-functional zoning and land use, and urban sprawl. In the case of Downtown Los Angeles, the city has evolved into two predominant zones of manufacturing and commercial uses. This process has pushed out housing and other necessary infrastructure to the outskirts of the city, making commutes to work, grocery stores, healthcare, and other basic necessities long and burdensome. In general, the ability to acquire resources is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.
With the extensive and massive network of freeways that displace and disrupt communities within Downtown, spatial conditions are created that tend to define communities by socioeconomic class, race, and ethnicity. This common form of gentrification creates division, segregation, and discrimination between communities, as notions and perceptions are created by which side of the freeway one lives on. Additionally, these perceptions control the cost of living within different communities as they drive the notion of where is most desirable to live. As the cost of living goes up, without a followed rise in income, families and individuals are forced out of their communities as they can no longer afford to live in that given community. This process has led to the drastic rise in homelessness in Los Angeles over the last six years, as the number has risen from 32,000 to 55,000 homeless individuals recorded this year, or a 42% increase.
Through my design research project, I address how to create more useful, multifunctional infrastructure that holds mixed-use architecture with a diversity of functions.
Morales, William, "The urban shelf : a hybrid between architecture and infrastructure" (2019). Masters Theses. 403.
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