Date of Award

2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)

Department

Community Planning

First Advisor

Robert Thompson

Abstract

Sustainability, while it is a global movement, is not well understood by the public. The main goals of this project were to develop a process to educate community residents in Pawtuxet Village, Rhode Island about sustainability across scales (local, state, region, nation and beyond) and to help a community to create a definition and vision of sustainability locally.

Two main tools were used. First, a series of workshops was organized to teach a community group about sustainability and to suggest ways in which it might apply to their own community. Second, a Green Mapping system was used to develop a community inventory and to depict this data graphically. The Green Mapping system provides a process and tools for the community group to create a local definition of sustainability, to inventory those aspects of their community that enhance and undermine sustainability, and to develop strategies to pursue sustainability.

The major outcome of this project is a Green Map for Pawtuxet Village, Rhode Island and the development of a process that can be used in other communities. A Green Map is a locally adaptable mapping framework that depicts interactions between the natural and the social environments using a system of icons. Produced from "bottom-up" methodology, the Pawtuxet Village Green Map represents local knowledge that is based on local residents' experiences of this place. The map shows the spatial and temporal integration of the environment, the natural and the built infrastructures, and social and economic networks. The Pawtuxet Village Green Map is a tool that highlights what residents value about this place and what features need enhancement and protection.

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