Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Paul Hurley

Rights Information

2021 Katherine P Adelman


This paper analyzes the joint impact of design choices and operational structure on the cultivation of civic values in public space. The analysis rests on a philosophical framework centering the value of public space, as well as elements of firm theory. This framework is applied to a case study of three public spaces in San Antonio, Texas, namely River Walk, La Villita, and Hemsifair. The evaluation focuses on each space’s operational structure, stated mission, and user experience. The analysis concludes that the public spaces best primed to secure values central to democracy are those wherein user experience and authenticity are taken seriously, and in spaces physically oriented with civic engagement in mind.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.