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MArch Thesis

Ramsey Kin-Sun Leung
2018 – Thesis Advisor: Michael Piper

Building in the Border Vacuum

Monofunctional zoning in the twentieth century separated land uses. The most significant of such separations was between industrial and single-family residential uses.

Jane Jacobs criticized monofunctional zoning in The Death and Life of Great American Cities as a divisive instrument, prone to forming a “border vacuum” of absent vitality adjacent to an isolated zone.

Rather than lament its presence, this thesis reframes the border vacuum as an opportunity to implement a process of deregulating zoning. Through this process, a speculative proposal makes space for both light manufacturing and dwelling, turning a border into a seam.