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Title:Interstate interventions
Author(s):Douglas, David S
Advisor(s):Henson, Jessica M.
Contributor(s):Deming, M. Elen; Roesler, Jeffery
Department / Program:Landscape Architecture
Discipline:Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Green infrastructure
Corridor design
Abstract:Thousands of acres of grassy shoulders and medians line the network of high-speed Interstate highways that crisscross the United States. While these shoulders and medians serve a necessary safety purpose, the non-native turf-grass species that are typically planted in these areas are high-maintenance plants which require expensive mowing regimes. How can these underutilized shoulders and medians be employed for additional purposes, transforming the Interstate corridor into a high-performance landscape? This thesis project explores the impacts that landscape architects could have on these corridors through the implementation of interventions in these under-utilized areas. The project goal is to develop a collection of landscape interventions which would more fully utilize the thousands of acres of shoulders and medians within the Interstate corridor. The study groups the interventions into four categories: productivity, ecology, safety, and education. The compatibility of the proposed interventions with the existing conditions in, and around, the corridor are quantified, resulting in a matrix of compatibility. The ensuing matrix can be employed by department of transportation staff, engineers, and landscape architects to determine which interventions are most appropriate to apply to a section of corridor based on existing conditions. In order to make the matrix and the information collected in the thesis project more user-friendly, the data is distilled into a design manual, which is included in Appendix B. While applying the program to the Interstate corridor would make a substantial impact, implementation would face significant logistical, financial, and administrative challenges. Several of these challenges are discussed, in addition to how the matrix could be incorporated into a landscape architecture design studio class.
Issue Date:2016-04-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 David S. Douglas
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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