Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Taner R. Ozdil


Cities are a collection of designed environments. In turn, these environments consist of parts that vary in scale from districts to light fixtures. The design of outdoor urban environments is a dynamic and collaborative process of arranging these parts to create places with purpose. Evidence of this can be found in the numerous professions that participate in the design of urban environments (Eckbo, 1964). Such is the case in the city of Fort Worth, Texas. With many participants, often unilaterally, contributing to the design of built urban environments, not all of the ensuing results are intentional. The objective of this research is to better understand designed urban environments and their unintended functions by studying physical elements of that environment in relation to the unintended result of skateboarding. Skateboarders utilize various physical elements of urban design located in their environments that were designed for purposes other than skateboarding. This study identifies and documents the basic physical elements and corresponding contextual environments in the Central Business District of downtown Fort Worth. It then identifies which of these elements and environments show evidence of skateboarding in the study area. The study area was selected for the diverse contextual land-uses consisting of municipal, commercial, educational, residential and industrial type uses in public, semiprivate and private space. There is also a tremendous diversity of users and residents in this area ranging from public housing tenants to private condominiums and town homes and from hot dog cart vendors to corporate executives. Primary research methods are drawn from evaluative studies in landscape architecture. Techniques modeled after post-occupancy evaluations of Marcus and Francis (1998), as well as case study methods as put forth by Francis (2001), provide objective perspectives that are used to document and analyze the physical elements and contextual land-uses within the study area in downtown Fort Worth. Passive observation and behavioral trace documentation techniques are also utilized to acquire data. This data was then translated into Geographic Information Systems for analysis. This study concludes with identifying the physical elements of urban design and contextual land uses that encourage skateboarding, along with strategies for design professionals to increase the vitality and spirit of place present in urban environments.


Architecture | Landscape Architecture


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington