Benjamin DiNapoli

MArch I

Platforms: Reframing Urban cation through an Ownership Model for Resident-Led Transformations of the Built Environment

Advised by Belinda Tato

Powerful economic, demographic, and technological forces are shaping new balances of power across the planet. Systems of exchange fueled by urbanization, regional dynamism, the commodification of land, and increasingly unilateral economic and spatial policy frameworks are transforming the built environment and result in the displacement and relocation of infrastructures, buildings, and residents. In mono-industry cities, whose labor markets depend on the continued productivity of a single industry or company, the ability of residents to engage and participate in the decision-making process when it comes time to move is restricted by their economic and regional dependence, the extent of physical infrastructure outside of the urban area, and their capacity to initiate large-scale action. In practice, there is a need to redefine the systems of urban relocation, in terms of authority, process, and outcomes, in order to create a multilateral framework that can be applied across contexts. First, it is necessary to understand and critically examine the current scalar systems of exchange that drive relocation, including: local property rights transfers; regional spatial, environmental, and land use policy; and the interrelated components of telecoupled interactions. Then, a new integrative systems framework proposes four operational platforms developed in response to key issues of ownership, infrastructure, housing, and services to increase the capacity, choice, and financial mobility of residents on both near- and long-term timeframes. Design strategies that consider user-occupant flexibility and value-creation address growth, management, and social stability in a model of stakeholder capitalism that places residents on the other side of the decision-making table.

Flow chart showing supplies, incomes, and fees.
Residents co-operatively develop and operate infrastructure using an equity joint venture.

Diagram showing building locations and the flow of utilities and resources to and from the locations.
Coupled infrastructure components deliver co-benefits to the community and integrate regional systems.

Graph showing percentages using different colored circles in a grid.
Long-term value is created be engaging multistakeholders and defining shared ownership using fixed share percentages of each program type.

Architectural plan of a floor layout.
A modular strategy allows for adaptation, future growth, and flexible, temporary additions depending on the needs of residents, stakeholders, or third-party owners.

Rectangular courtyard of a building with large windows showing an area of grass and a tiled area with people walking through and children playing.
Independent platforms act as social bridges to link private residential to shared public space.

A large interior sunlit room with large windows showing people sitting on soft upholstered benches.
Open amenities transition between private dwellings and non-residential public and private areas, creating a framework for spatial and programmatic layering.