Date of Award


Document Type

Terminal Project

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture


Matthew N. Powers

Committee Member

Robert Hewitt

Committee Member

Paul Russell


ABSTRACT Public streets are a great resource for building vibrant and healthy communities in urban areas. They should be seams in the community and not barrier (Mission Statement & Goals 2013). Meanwhile, a street is not merely a simple linear link. It is also a place, a three dimensional space where many activities can take place. However, as the level of fast motorized traffic increases rapidly during the 20th century, the third dimension of streets is impaired seriously by the volume, speed, and dominance of vehicular traffic. The Living Streets concept, originated in 1960s by the Netherlands’ traffic engineers, is an innovative scheme to reverse the trend and to rebalance the social and delivery functions of the streets by shared space approaches. Since the precedents in the Netherlands have been proved to be feasible and practical, more and more countries have become interested in introducing the Living Streets to their own cities. This study addresses both social and technical considerations of Living Streets design from an overall perspective of enhancing the livability level. Case study is the main research method used to examine the key features of several existing Living Street projects. Conclusions and guidelines extracted from the case studies build a new framework that could be briefly summarized as ‘Sociality, Functionality, and Sustainability,’ to inform the Living Street design process in the future. Lastly, a design application in Greenville, SC acts as an exemplar to explain how the conclusions from the literature review and case studies can be applied in a specific project under the guidance of the new framework. In summary, this study will contribute to the future development of the Living Streets concept wherever they are desired or required to be built with the purpose of benefiting the individuals, communities, and the whole cities.