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Today the name Main Street represents the only geographical location of the passageway with no true meaning of its centrality to Lafayette’s urban organization. An exemplar of a suburban city, the core of Lafayette is too weak to organize the periphery, causing social and physical disintegration of the center itself and of the outskirts. Bearing on this condition we propose a hybrid system, which integrates public space, service and residential functions, existing potentials and new civic infrastructure into one synergy, that would recreate the core of the city.

Attacking the main illness of the downtown area – disintegration, our proposal connects the Cathedral of St. John with the plaza on Lee street all the way down to Johnston street – the whole Main Street into one system that would be the backbone of the city. Bearing on the fact into an area where walking is the prime mode of transportation; we propose to achieve it via a pedestrian deck. More than just a connector it would play multiple roles; most importantly assimilating the existing structures, adding new uses to them, with the new amenities, such as a mediatheque, a museum, shops, restaurants, etc., which all would serve the whole metropolitan area, increasing weight of the downtown as the social and cultural hub. The porous deck creates to worlds above it and under it. One above is about vibrancy, sunshine and open air activities – a bustling hub, occupied by pedestrians, with nonstop street performances, vendors, cafes; while the the space under it provides so much needed shadow in the very hot and humid climate of the Mexican Gulf.

Ayrat Khusnutdinov & Zhang Liheng proposal aims to recreate a new city of Lafayette which could be more attractive than the suburban lifestyle, more convenient, affordable to live in and more vibrant, attracting young people from the suburbia and making the downtown habitable once again, boosting the development of the whole metropolitan area.

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