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Project Proposal

I. Competence Statements:

F-11: Can design and produce a significant artifact or document that gives evidence of advanced competence.

F-12: Can demonstrate proficiency in creating an architectural master plan for a large-scale urban infrastructure project.

II. Explain the idea or problem you want to address:

My hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio is one of the nation’s largest cities that lacks any form of rail-based mass transit. A coalition of local governments has identified particular corridors for future rail transit lines, but further action at the regional level remains stalled. The purpose of this project is to build upon the recommendations of the regional transportation plan and develop a more detailed transit master plan that includes architectural design standards for new transit-based infrastructure.

III. State several learning outcomes. What ability or knowledge do you hope to gain?

  1. Develop a more thorough understanding regarding the role architectural design can play in the success of public transit.
  2. Develop an understanding of how transit-based development can have a positive impact on the quality of urban life.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to graphically convey design ideas on scales that range from an entire metropolitan area down to individual structures.

IV. What key issues and perspectives will you explore?

  1. The role of rail-based public transit in the quality of urban life and the health of major cities.
  2. The role of architectural design in the success of post-war urban mass transit systems.

What sources will you use for your information? (At least 8 sources should be integrated into the Advanced Project: readings, interviews, etc.)

Research will include case studies of two successful transit systems entirely developed in existing metropolitan areas during the post-war period, the Washington Metro and the MAX light rail system in Portland, Oregon. Comparisons to other transit systems will also be undertaken as needed.

Sources for research will include:

  1. Readings from relevant books and articles.
  2. Direct observation of existing transit systems, with photographs, diagrams, maps, and/or drawings as required.
  3. Interviews with architects involved in transit design.

V. State method of direct investigation and/or application. (This can range from collecting and analyzing original data to drawing systematically on experience, or testing a process of application, all of which must be connected to the larger conceptual theoretical framework.)

The primary means of direct investigation will be collecting and analyzing original data, determining successful aspects or components of comparable built projects, and adapting those aspects to the master plan. Investigation will also draw on my experience working for an architecture firm that has a great deal of experience with transit and infrastructure design in the New York City metropolitan area.

VI. Describe the final product. What sort of document, artifact, etc. will the Academic Committee evaluate?

A draft of this report will be published to the internet in a blog format, with solicitations for feedback issued in various relevant discussion groups. Suggestions and feedback can then be incorporated into the final report as appropriate. The final report will then be published online as well as a large-format (11”x17”) bound hard copy.

The work will be organized into the following sections:

  • A brief historical overview of urban mass transit.
  • Case studies of the Washington Metro and Portland MAX transit systems.
  • An introduction to the geography of Greater Cincinnati and an overview of the region’s transit developments to date.
  • A regional map showing proposed transit lines and stations.
  • Architectural drawings of typical station types (subway, elevated, surface, etc.) and architectural features that would be common to all stations.
  • A schematic design of the proposed main downtown transit hub.

VII. Criteria for Evaluation

Specific criteria for evaluating this project will be drawn from the competence statements and the terms of this contract. In order to be approved, the contract must address each competence statement in appropriate depth and scope. To be evaluated as a successful project at its conclusion, the project should respond directly to the terms of this contract.

In addition, the following factors will have an impact on the evaluation of the final project:

  • clearly articulated area of knowledge and clear focus
  • understanding of the broader context of the particular issue or problem (drawing on what others have said about your problem, topic, focus)
  • appropriate use of direct investigation, experience or application
  • coherence and unity of final project
  • appropriate professional standards of investigation and presentation
  • appropriate format and documentation of sources

State any other factors that you believe should be considered as criteria for evaluation:

  • clarity of graphical communication
  • thorough articulation of the design process

VIII. Time Frame and Communication

Explain how often your Academic Committee should expect to hear from you about this project. When do you expect to complete the project?

A draft outline of the report will be submitted for review no later than Friday, May 1st, 2009.
A draft of the final report will be submitted no later than Friday, February 26th, 2010.
The final report will be submitted for approval no later than Friday, April 16th, 2010.