Exchange Optimized: Utilizing Predictive Paths of Travel to Improve Circulation Efficiency and Urban Infill Patterns, as Applied to Fargo's West Acres Mall
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The rapid expansion of American cities led to historical marketplaces morphing into ubiquitous suburban shopping malls. For the last two decade these shopping malls along with the entire retail sector has experienced a sustained decline. As an effort to revitalize these spaces and curb this declining trend, developers and designers have applied urban infill techniques to declining mall sites. In many cases these techniques have proven to be an insufficient intervention to produce lasting results. This ineffectiveness, raises the need for new archetype in the language methodology of design. The site of shopping malls are largely generic in dimensionality and building footprint, making them ideal candidate for the use of a parametric network analysis software. This thesis will take the site of an existing mall, approximately 100 acres in area, with a 1/2 mile x 1/2 mile perimeter. A parametric network analysis software will be applied on the selected site to generate an optimized circulation network. The resulting network will act as the primary guideline tool, from which the infill redesign of the selected site with be organized. The design synthesis of urban infill principles and parametric network analysis, will yield a new archetypal design model for the retrofit design of declining shopping malls.