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Redesigning Abandoned Gas Stations Through Phytotechnologies

  • Frank SleegersEmail author
  • Matthew Hisle
Chapter

Abstract

This design research project showcases design models and strategies for abandoned, existing, and planned gas stations through phytotechnologies as a tool for aesthetic experience, ecological performance, and social resilience in the context of brownfield remediation and adaptive reuse. The project uses an abandoned gas station as an exemplary and typical study object. Pollutants seen at typical gas stations are organic chemicals that are derived from petroleum sources and come in many forms. These are petroleum hydrocarbon compounds that are considered lighter fractions, meaning they have characteristics that allow them to be more easily broken down. The project demonstrates how phytotypologies, as a series of selected phytotechnology planting types, can be used in combinations for varying spatial situations due to their ability to remediate the types of contaminants present at gas stations. They create modules that can be easily combined and expanded through exploration of legible design elements with spatial and aesthetical qualities. Upon full remediation, a gas station can offer recreation as public green space and ecological functions that benefits society. The project also showcases that interdisciplinary collaborations between soil scientist and designers should be fostered to integrate the phytoremediation technology with aesthetic and cultural values to widespread the treatment of planned and abandoned gas stations or other small-sized brownfields. This discourse is needed to limit solutions that may work on a technological level while otherwise exclude cultural factors. Changing public perception is inevitably to provide a site that benefits the community. Cleanup goals seem to be achievable and could resolve in largely applied Best Management Practices (BMP), transferable to multiple sites and areas worldwide. Phytotechnology as a means for remediating small sites polluted with organic chemicals is a step in promoting this technology and proving its worth for other, larger, and more complicated brownfields.

Keywords

Phytoremediation Brownfield Revitalization Landscape Architecture Adaptive Reuse 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional PlanningUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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