Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Suzanne Mathew

Second Advisor

Leslie Lee


This investigation is about the edge, hybrid space, and public engagement in the urban environment in Washington, DC. There are three phases of this research. In Phase 1, the investigation focuses on clarifying the definitions of terms such as edge, transition, vegetated, and constructed spaces. In Phase 2, the study explores methods of understanding urban fabric based on the experiential and physical analysis. In Phase 3, the investigation generates critiques of the site conditions between Union Station and Union Square in Washington, DC.

The film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William Whyte, which shows people’s different behaviors in a plaza in New York City, has inspired this study. In the urban environment, people prefer to stay in and use certain places. The edge is the primary place people prefer to occupy. The goal of this thesis is to find out what spatial factors contribute to encouraging public engagement.



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