Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Pat D. Taylor


This study examines residents' perceptions regarding potential uses of sacred spaces. It further investigates a cemetery's visual impact on residents in high-density urban environments. Historically, cemeteries have provided open space to urban residents, and have become intertwined with the spaces where humans live and work and they have come to provide historical significance to urban space (Harker and Merolli 2010). As rituals and methods of disposing human remains change, the ways people use cemeteries or burial spaces also change. Specifically as alternative uses for cemetery are emerging, along with changes in attitudes toward commemoration burial sites in contemporary culture (Basmajian and Coutts 2010). The sexton, Smith rejects the idea that his facility is only for somber reflection. Rather, he sees it as an open space resource that can be used for something other than interments (Harker and Merolli 2012). Cases like Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, are primarily manicured and sculpted green spaces within those cities. They and other Contemporary cemeteries have adopted various `useful' applications, yet they also remain highly complex and ambiguous spatio-temporal enclosures (Johnson 2012).Research indicates a high demand for parklands within and around pre-existing cemeteries in highly-developed urban areas (Basmajian and Coutts 2010). Previous cemeteries constructed on the outskirts of cities due to metropolitan expansion in these cases cemeteries come to population centers compete for the same desirable land (Basmajian and Coutts 2010; Northway 2005; Francaviglia 1971). Since 1874, a cluster of historical cemeteries Greenwood, Calvary, Emanuel historic cemeteries, and Freeman Memorial Park have existed in the Uptown area of Dallas, an area which has become a high-density vibrant, mixed-use part of the city. Occupying two city blocks in Uptown, those historical cemeteries are a green open space with activities limited primarily to burial grounds and a walking trail. The area surrounding cemeteries provides a rich opportunity to examine the perceptions of residents regarding to potential uses cemeteries can provide.This study uses open ended interviews to gain an understanding of residents' perceptions regarding potential uses of cemeteries. Interview questions focus on interviewee's viewpoints of utilization of cemetery space and visual impact of cemetery to them. The study involves perceptions of people who live in the surrounding area of those cemeteries because they can provide everyday observations and perspectives to those cemeteries. The perception also gives people information about their environment, it enables people to form beliefs and make judgments about how things are in their immediate surroundings (Crane 1992). This study establishes a better understanding of how people see potential uses for cemeteries and how to respond to existing uses of cemeteries in Uptown Dallas. After analyzing interview data, the study concludes that through better integrating the landscape of death into community life, and enhancing the burial sites, and cemeteries can better serve the neighborhood and green infrastructure, enriching sacred spaces in an urban community.


Architecture | Landscape Architecture


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington