Empowering Los Angeles: A Vision for a New Urban Ecology
Martin, Judith Rose
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This thesis addresses the future of sustainable energy distribution and transportation in the United States. Predictions of future energy and transportation demands promote localized energy as the most likely situation. Existing proposals outlining the benefits of decentralized energy production fail to engage architecture. Cities will require new architectural typologies that can integrate new energy infrastructure in the city. Los Angeles, the archetype of the decentralized American city, is introduced as a case study. The city is examined at multiple scales for the integration of a decentralized electricity network and an efficient transportation infrastructure. Siting the proposed facilities capitalizes on new and existing transportation infrastructures and local energy resources. The new electricity-transportation infrastructure is adapted to a decentralized network functioning on principles of ecosystems and energy economics at an urban scale. Energy storage is paired with multi-modal transportation to develop new architectural and urban typologies. This enables the decentralized urban proposal to function as a network exhibiting mutually beneficial characteristics.