Talk: Exploring Regenerative Capacities in Urban Morphologies of Mill Towns

Event Details

October 3, 2013
4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Hills North

Room: 105

UMass Amherst Campus

Handicap access available
Free admission
Marny West

Dr. Rohloff is a Five College Mellon Fellow and a Visiting Professor with specialization on environmental design at Mount Holyoke College. She trained as an architect and received a doctoral degree in architecture at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Dr. Rohloff’s research focuses on architectural and urban morphologies generate social and cultural interactions.  Her work investigates the ways in which urban and landscape design promote livable and healthy neighborhoods with social cohesion and diversity of uses.  Dr. Rohloff is interested in the critical role that public spaces play in urban transformation with social agency. Dr. Rohloff is also a consultant in collaboration with UCL Space Syntax Ltd group in London, UK.

This talk explores opportunities and challenges presented in historic mill town morphologies for regeneration of economic and social capital. The discussion features a spatial analysis of Holyoke MA USA, and observations of other historic mill towns such as Lowell and Maynard MA. The basis of these analyses is the understanding that urban environments are shaped within the intrinsic and reciprocal relationship between human spatial behavior patterns and urban morphologies. Declined urban environments such as the case studies we discuss often present a conflict between the land use supported by the urban form and needed for economic redevelopment. The findings of the analyses and observations are discussed with respect to the resiliency strategies in planning and criticism to the concept of “finished design” in urbanism theories.