Author: Megha Tony, Steven Victor, Ying Fei
Professor: George B. Johnston
Georgia Institute of Technology
A city is not a big box solution that can be implemented overnight. Its parts thrive and grow over time, are transformed or replaced and sometimes die or decay. Formerly known as Market Street, Broad Street in Atlanta was the 19th century home to the city’s first market, fire station and cotton warehouses. When Rich’s department store re-located to Broad Street, it grew into one of South’s great retail streets. Broad Street today is a snapshot of Atlanta’s South Downtown captured at the moment of its decline. Surrounded by a number of office buildings, the iconic Benz stadium, well-functioning art based residential district called castle berry, a number of music and food venues and food supply centers, MARTA stations bringing people from across Atlanta, Broad Street has the potential to stimulate positive economic and cultural activity.
What we propose is an incremental approach to its revitalization, an urban incubator where strategic investment in the public interest leads to working and living conditions south of Downtown. Where success leads to more success like a chain reaction. We design with our fourth dimension that is, time.
As an initial catalyst, a food and music festival is inserted as an urban experiment designed to bring people to Broad Street and to challenge negative stereotypes with “eyes” on the street as quoted by Jane Jacobs in her famous book “Life and death of Great American cities”. This a season long food and music festival. The festival is an opportunity to bring together the general public and artists in the field of culinary and music, exchanging flow of ideas. The festival is repeated as an urban experiment
After the festival, remnants of it stay as permanent public spaces. A permanent public domain called as the incubator attracts the local community to base their start up restaurant ideas in broad street. Existing surrounding buildings grow as residential lofts to accommodate the working population of broad street. The food and music festival becomes a permanent festival in broad street. The incubator creates job opportunities for low skilled workers, thereby supporting the homeless.
Through incremental growth, we capture the potential of time to insert culture in a street that was devoid of it. The qualities of festival and incubator overlap. The incubator festival creates activity in Broad Street. The festival incubator makes the life on the street permanent.
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