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Retrofitting Suburbia

How do you densify/urbanize the American suburb, yet still maintaining the positives elements of openness and privacy that defines the suburban fabric?
by

Angel Ruiz

on 4 May 2011

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Transcript of Retrofitting Suburbia

Retrofitting Suburbia Thesis Statement:
How do you densify and urbanize The American Suburb, yet still maintain its positives elements of openness and privacy that defines the suburban fabric? Re-Evaluating The American Dream Modern Day Suburbia The American Dream? What does The American Dream really mean and who is it for? Dick Cheney said; "The American way of life is non-negotiable”. George Carlin Said; “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”. The American dream has been the pursuit of many since the early 1900’s. People from all walks of life come to The United States for the same purpose, the pursuit of happiness. This happiness was once found in the detached single family house Levittown, N.Y., in 1948, Today, many people are realizing that happiness is not found in the detached house rather happiness or the pursuit thereof, is based on basic necessities and social interaction. As our central cities become more and more decentralized, American suburbs have been saturated by cookie cutter homes, strip malls, and big box stores all while the car has been hailed more important than the people. The question we need to ask ourselves is where do we go from here? I believe this is a pivotal point in our nations well being. Do we continue to sprawl out into undeveloped land and abandon our cities or do we try to revitalize our suburbs and hope to rekindle the American dream? As a remedy the effects urban sprawl, retrofit along with adaptive reuse needs to take place, creating hybrid urban communities. In the endeavor to promote urbanism in modern day suburbia, we must first understand and maintain the core values of suburbia from a developer and user standpoint. This research will set out to examine ways of creating new possibilities for suburban communities by careful analysis, re-thinking of its systems, and creating ways of densification all while maintaining suburban qualities of openness, privacy, and visual aesthetics. Wesley Chapel Florida
Existing Suburban Fabric Wesley Chapel Florida
Ne0-Suburban Fabric Positives & Negatives of the Suburban Lifestyle Matrix of Basic Principles Purpose To create a series of strategies that will address current issues in suburban development while maintaining the existing suburbs and its benefits of:

-Terrestrial affiliation
-Privacy
-Noise Reduction
-Visual Aesthetics
-Low Cost Housing
-Perception of Open Space
-Maintain Green Space
-Parking Convenience
-Reduced Crowding

The result will be a system of strategies that will allow for the creation of retrofitted and hybrid communities in the suburbs.

Land is not unlimited and all underutilized space and edge conditions should be carefully examined for the possibility of densification.
Retrofitting suburbia shall redefine suburban patterns and create a new suburban fabric with roots of urbanism.
Retrofitting suburbia shall promote a variety of housing, retail and commercial types with residential ranging from single occupancy units to large single family homes.
Density shall create a conduit of housing, retail, civic, and commercial space all by providing an interconnection and pathway of circulation and no object shall be isolated in field.
Density shall form a unity between urbanism and openness/green space.
Density is to add valuable spacial relationships that shall promote cultural, civic, and artistic activity.
Existing suburbs should double in occupancy but retain the value of privacy and openness. Manifesto Design Elements Existing Residential Community Existing Mall Major Intersection The result of retrofitting suburbia is a redefined suburban fabric that addresses the common issues of sprawl, brings back hope of American Dream, and creates a dense hybrid suburbia that acts as a model for the future of the suburbs. A New Place to Call Suburbia
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