Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Anne Tate

Second Advisor

Laura Briggs


A good public transportation system......should be extensive, quick, and efficient, while also being equitable and accessible as well as environmentally friendly and resilient to cope with climate change and rising sea levels. Until the 1980s, Philadelphia had an extensive streetcar network. From 1977 until 1992, however, all lines serving northern Philadelphia were abandoned, leaving the city’s once-expansive public transit system a shell of its former self. The communities formerly served by streetcar have the lowest average household income in the city and are mainly communities of color. Additionally, many of these residents do not own cars. Therefore, the people who have been deprived of reliable, electric public transportation are the people who need it the most. This against the backdrop of ever-increasing greenhouse gases and pollution as well as rising sea levels, makes the need for a clean, efficient, environmentally friendly & resilient transportation system ever greater. My thesis uses Philadelphia’s streetcar infrastructure as an example to redesign the principles of the American public transportation system by weaving green urbanist streetcar infrastructure deep into the urban fabric, while exploring the different ways that public transportation can interact with and serve the community.

Included in

Architecture Commons



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