Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Shannon Bassett , M.A.U.D

Committee Member

Robert Brinkmann, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stanley Russell, M.A.


Ecology, Urbanism, Florida, Greenways, Rail


Downtown Clearwater has grown to be disconnected from its surroundings due to an adjacent buffer area and the lack of a transit system to bring people into the city. The downtown core is also separated from its neighboring residential areas by an area of vacant land that holds in it the potential to become a gateway into the city. On a macro scale the city has grown to be separated from the Tampa Bay area due to the lack of a mass transit system.

The goal of this project is to create a new "new urbanism" in which transit and natural ecology are introduced in order to link a city with its surrounding neighborhoods and with the rest of its context. The new development will provide the area with a centralized place of commerce and social interaction, while reducing the reliance on the automobile. Utilizing a light rail station and a central bus terminal, the transit oriented development or TOD will bring people into Clearwater's downtown core, bringing economic, social and environmental benefits to the area. Introduction of a natural ecosystem into the downtown fabric will attribute to the development's sustainability. The natural greenway will run through the urban fabric and also use the Pinellas Trail as an ecological corridor linking the different greenspaces of Pinellas County.

New York City's High Line project provides a prime example of the introduction of a natural greenway into an urban core. The High Line brought a new life to an area that once served only the purpose of industry. Ian McHarg and Richard T. T. Forman provide examples and guidelines of how to bring the natural and built environments together as a cohesive whole. The design will look at Peter Calthorpe's ideas of transit-oriented development. Calthorpe's The Next American Metropolis will provide a set of guidelines for the design of the development.

The project will create an opportunity for downtown Clearwater to be linked within its surrounding context. Transit oriented development has been proven successful throughout the country and Clearwater will benefit from its implementation.