Main Street is Dead, Long Live Main Street
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Deindustrialization is a phenomenon apparent in many countries across the world, but while the majority of the revitalization focus has been on large metropolitan cities, little consideration has been taken into account for small post-industrial towns. A solution must be rooted to the place in order to succeed, so lessons have been taken from past approaches and combined into an alternative method suited for these small, struggling communities. Sydney, Nova Scotia, a once thriving industrial town affected by the departure of its coal and steel industries, has been chosen as a test site for architectural intervention. The service based program of its downtown core has become irrelevant, resulting in an abundance of boarded up storefronts and dwindling pedestrian foot traffic. This thesis reinterprets the traditional main street as a new community landscape developed from a genius loci approach to place and time. The incorporation of live/work units and a collective industrial hub creates a level playing field for tradespeople making the move back home to Cape Breton; promotion of new businesses will populate the waterfront, bringing current residents downtown once again and sparking subsequent development within the core.