The site of the Danbury Fair Mall is the largest commercial zone in the Housatonic Valley Region. While this site currently allows only commercial uses, it occupies an important place in the region due to its geographical location and its immediate adjacencies to an airport, highway, and railway. Like many American cities, Danbury Connecticut has relinquished the role of place-maker to the highway engineer and zoning department. The new mono-functional zoned districts ignore all senses of public realm, human scale and local tradition. In so doing, they fail to instill a “pride of place” within their owners and users. This thesis contends that the City of Danbury has stopped creating places where people can live fulfilling lives; one symptom of which is that they have been disconnected from the notion of a local and regional community. In other words, as more houses are constructed to accommodate new residents, the distances from the historic town center are only lengthening and the resemblances to a New England community are quickly vanishing. In Connecticut, new centers are not being created and the vast majority of new architecture fails to communicate a sense of place. On the site and its surrounding areas, I will propose a new district designed within the context of New England vernacular urbanism and architecture as a model and alternative for future expansion, and the mixed-use redevelopment of mono-functional commercial zones. The intent of this thesis is to explore the relationship between a sense of place and the means to its restoration after its long negation by contemporary planning conventions.
|Author||Marina Christina Trejo|
|Contributor||Michael Lykoudis, Committee Chair|
|Degree Level||Master's Thesis|
|Degree Name||Master of Architectural Design and Urbanism|
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