Date of Award:

1-2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department:

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Advisor/Chair:

Keith M. Christensen

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to explore the potential of resident employed photography as a context sensitive assessment tool in roadway design by identifying the key elements of resident employed photography and context sensitivity and then exploring the potential of the elements of resident employed photography that may contribute to context sensitivity in roadway design. State and federal transportation agencies have identified principles and potential outcomes with the intent to guide processes that are sensitive to the context of a project’s surroundings. The improved design of public roadways to meet the needs of those who live and travel along them is the goal of these agencies. Resident employed photography is the use of a photograph to obtain information from a participant. The study explored resident employed photography as a context sensitive technique in the discovery of the attributes that reflect and define participant attachment to an environment. The technique therefore relied upon the existing community in the establishment of elements of value to be used to shape and guide the roadway design of the realignment of Utah State Route 30 through a neighborhood in Logan, Utah. Cameras and photograph logs were distributed to households in the residential area and participants were invited to provide contextual information about their neighborhood with regard to the proposed realignment. This information was gathered and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. The data derived from the participant’s photos, written comments, and interviews shaped and added to the research questions and resultant theory. In the study, areas of concern and mitigation ideas as identified by the participants found that a complete streets approach focused on maintaining or improving the feel of the neighborhood may be the best possible alternative in the realignment of SR-30. However, the success of this alternative is largely dependent upon a design professional’s consideration of the contextual relevance of the data provided through resident employed photography.