Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

David D Hopman


"Flea markets are significant in North America because of their cultural, socio-economic, functional values, and the opportunities they provide for social interaction and public gathering" (Riveira, A.N., 2013). They can be transformed from typical commercial marketplaces into vital third places by expressing various cultural themes through design. In 1989, "third place" was termed by Ray Oldenburg, an urban sociologist who espoused that one’s home is the first place, workspace or office is the second place, and the area where people meet informally to enjoy the company of others is the third place (Oldenburg, R., 2008). The use of cultural themes in the design of a flea market can transform it into a third place with a strong identity that attracts large numbers of shoppers, provides stress relief, and fosters community bonding through social interactions (Bracken, C.C., Casey, M.F., Jeffres, L.W., & Jian, G., 2009). A hierarchy of spaces arranged in an easy-to-navigate traffic pattern within an open, customer-friendly environment has good potential for success (Lu, Y., 2016). This research consists of a literature review, case study, behavioral observations, and site inventory and analysis conducted to determine the criteria for effectively transforming a functional flea market into a vital third place. A detailed research-through-design proposal is developed for an active flea market in North Texas with elements derived from the research instruments. These elements from the research are designed to improve the tangible expressions of local cultures, render the space easily navigable, and arrange the spaces in a hierarchy that encourages people to use it as a third place. Traders Village flea market in Grand Prairie, Texas was chosen as the site for the proposed design improvements, based on its current design and the surrounding area's demographics.


Cultural diversity, Hierarchy of space, Third place, Flea market, Wayfinding


Architecture | Landscape Architecture


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington