Bridging Theory & Functionality: Our Urban Spaces

Year of Graduation


Document Type



International Studies

Directing Professor

Ashleigh Breske


On a global scale, our communities are complex in their identities, culture, and traditions. Yet, these characteristics often fail to translate into the spaces that define public environments, such as parks, natural reserves, or walking spaces in urban life. This problem is systematically rooted in landscape architecture and design's flawed educational and professional setup. The intersectionality of our society should not be washed over by capitalism, gentrification, or the new “green wave” of architecture and construction. Large corporations who fund projects are more valued in design than the people who inhabit and interact with these “third places.” This inherently limits the ability for long-term success and growth of the local community. It is essential to change the current mindset as traditional teaching within the architectural profession fails to touch on building and sustaining community relationships to create successful designs. Through comparative case study analysis, this thesis provides an outlook on reshaping landscape architecture's educational and functional elements to support better the local communities it is built on. Bridging the gap between the theory and the functionality of physical, built, and lived design requires an examination of theories related to racial capitalism, intersectionality, neoliberalism, and the classical Vitruvian triad to understand issues of gentrification, greenwashing, and lack of representation in our local communities.

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