Interchange Intervention: Inhabiting Urban Highway Infrastructure
Ashraf, Mohammed Imtiaz
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Urban highway infrastructure in North America has been singularly designed for the automobile, severing parts of the urban fabric, blighting our once-thriving city centres and resulting in spaces that are void of the human scale. The Cogswell Interchange in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada is such an infrastructure, cutting through the downtown core and heritage district. This thesis investigates the Cogswell Interchange in an attempt to animate and enliven a dead urban space, reducing traffic and bringing new activity and life to the street. Reappropriating parts of vehicular infrastructure for cyclist and pedestrian use and creating a variety of activities and programs (gallery, gym, restaurant, park) enables an increased connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists and brings a more human-scale urbanity to the site. The infrastructure itself becomes a framework upon which to build, revisioned as an active, vibrant place which people can experience with a renewed sense of wonder and appreciation.