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The UNITY Project

Sarah Haluschak

César Torres-Bustamante

March 2021

Specifically studying the linear open space along the Great Miami River in Dayton, OH; this project explores landscape design through a temporal lens with the intention of improving equity, accessibility, and flexibility of shared open space. The UNITY project promotes the use of variety in programmatic elements and edge conditions. Creating opportunities for diverse user groups to access public parks and open spaces.

What sets this project apart from other standard river design proposals is the involvement and connection with the community. Including an in-person site visit and over 100 responses to an open-ended questionnaire, local community members expressed their current relationship with the riverfront and suggestions for improvement within public spaces. The feedback and input from the community was interpreted and considered along every step of the design development process.

The UNITY project has proposed designs for two vacant sites that border the Miami River in downtown Dayton, OH. Transforming vacant lots into active public spaces that are accessible to various users to operate during any season. In regard to accessibility, the bike paths that run along the riverfront have been extended into and around the downtown core to connect existing parks and trails with the two sites.

The flexibility and multi-functionality of shared public spaces is represented with the design toolbox. The toolbox was inspired by the wide range of feedback received from local community members. As design development continued, elements from the toolbox were selected and combined for form shared community spaces.



Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio I learned the values of family and community. For the past five years, I have been living in San Luis Obispo, California studying Landscape Architecture at California Polytechnic State University. Within landscape architecture, I have a strong passion for urban design, climate change, and social resiliency. Senior capstone has provided me with the opportunity to explore the integration of community feedback and temporality into the landscape design process.

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