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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

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Articles 1 - 22 of 22

Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

Climate Change And Green Growth: Evaluating The Comparative Effectiveness Of The Green Communities Program In Massachusetts Relative To Other Municipal Programs, Zhe Zhao Jan 2013

Climate Change And Green Growth: Evaluating The Comparative Effectiveness Of The Green Communities Program In Massachusetts Relative To Other Municipal Programs, Zhe Zhao

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

The Massachusetts Green Communities Grant Program (GCP) was created by passage of the Massachusetts Green Communities Act in 2008, which provides funding, tools and technical support to assist local communities in achieving the goal of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. With the growing number of communities designated as GCP participants over the past two years, public focus has increasingly turned towards assessing the relative effectiveness of the GCP compared to other programs. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the relative effectiveness of the Green Communities Grant Program in supporting participating local governments to mitigate and ...


Collaborative Decision-Making Processes In Planning: Opportunities And Challenges In The City Of Rafaela, Argentina, Maria Belen Alfaro Jan 2013

Collaborative Decision-Making Processes In Planning: Opportunities And Challenges In The City Of Rafaela, Argentina, Maria Belen Alfaro

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

There is a large body of literature in the planning field on the topic of collaborative processes of decision-making, particularly in the United States and Europe. However, there appears to be less debate on the subject of complementing these ideas with contributions from urban governance. This research aims to contribute to that complementary work. In order to accomplish that, this thesis presents first a theoretical analysis of collaborative rationality and urban governance contributions. This analysis focuses on the articulation of those aspects that can offer a more holistic framework for addressing urban issues in a more inclusive way. Second, it ...


Canvas And Catalyst: Reinventing Urban Space, Ricardo A. Borges Jan 2013

Canvas And Catalyst: Reinventing Urban Space, Ricardo A. Borges

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

As an intervention strategy set amid a stark and neglected, yet highly energized urban setting of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this project seeks to relieve a stagnating urban condition through the introduction of contemporary and dynamic forms of expression. Skateboarding and street art can be seen as interpretative modes of action that reinvent objects, spaces, and conditions within the urban landscape, lending creative and engaging gestures to the everyday. As (sub) cultural expressions in their own right, these practices transcend their mere formal representations, and present unique identities, spaces, and modes of engagement within a society, initiating a creative mindset and DIY ...


From Indicators To Action: Evaluating The Usefulness Of Indicators To Move From Regional Climate Change Assessment To Local Adaptation Implementation, Sally Miller Jan 2013

From Indicators To Action: Evaluating The Usefulness Of Indicators To Move From Regional Climate Change Assessment To Local Adaptation Implementation, Sally Miller

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

As the effects of climate change become increasingly damaging and costly, a public and political consensus is building for planning that will protect private property and public infrastructure. Climate-related planning has primarily focused on mitigation, assessing vulnerability, and building adaptive capacity. Adaptation has not gained substantial ground in the area of implementation. The uncertainty associated with climate change projection and variability has emerged as a dominant barrier to adaptation. However, as knowledge accrues, the global and national science communities have been developing more detailed, fine-scale climate projections. Regional climate assessments are available for the sub-national climate regions in the U ...


City Principles: The Application Of The Four Visual Characteristics On Helena, Mt, Cienna Cullen Jan 2012

City Principles: The Application Of The Four Visual Characteristics On Helena, Mt, Cienna Cullen

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

The larger architectural context of cities must be understood in order to effectively design buildings. If a building ignores its surroundings, it will not hold up to time and will adversely affect the city in which it stands. This can be seen in multiple of disarrayed cities and their commercial-driven building inventory. So, what makes a good city stand out, and how can this be applied to buildings? There are the four basic principles designers and planners seemed to have forgotten. The first is the layout of basic city components and their influence on current and future identity. The second ...


Transformation Of Urban Public Space, Ruthanne Harrison Jan 2012

Transformation Of Urban Public Space, Ruthanne Harrison

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

The concept of my thesis is to employ architectural intervention in residual urban space as a catalyst for transformation. The goal is design of a building and environment that could be used for any combination of purposes, be used freely by all members of the community, be designed so that the art and architecture is interactive, and could be transformed by the users of the space. The project makes use of a residual urban space that would otherwise remain largely inaccessible. The project explores how the space could be designed to give a sense of ownership of it to the ...


A Quantitative Analysis Of The Impacts From Selected Climate Variables Upon Traffic Safety In Massachusetts, Katrina M. Hecimovic Jan 2012

A Quantitative Analysis Of The Impacts From Selected Climate Variables Upon Traffic Safety In Massachusetts, Katrina M. Hecimovic

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Current literature predicts that climate change may increase both the occurrence and severity of heavy rainfall events and winter precipitation in the Northeast United States. A potential increase in intense precipitation events related to climate change would theoretically also cause an increase in weather-related delays, increase in overall traffic disruptions, a substantive shift in travel behavior, and presumably a negative effect on safety and maintenance operations of highways. This current research study examines the existing impacts from both an operational and behavioral perspective of how weather events currently impact overall safety along routes in Massachusetts. A secondary objective of the ...


The Role Of Structural Stormwater Best Management Practices, Impervious Surfaces And Natural Factors On Base Flow In Massachusetts, Kimberly B. Klosterman Jan 2012

The Role Of Structural Stormwater Best Management Practices, Impervious Surfaces And Natural Factors On Base Flow In Massachusetts, Kimberly B. Klosterman

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

This research conducted a GIS analysis of twenty-eight sub-watersheds in Massachusetts and considered five factors which the literature suggested influenced base flow. The literature suggested a positive relation between precipitation, forest cover and base flow and a negative relationship between impervious surfaces, soil drainage class, slope and base flow. A multiple regression analysis of the sub-watershed information confirmed the literature for two factors (soil drainage class and slope) and questioned it on three factors (impervious surfaces, precipitation, and forest cover). The resulting predictive equation indicated that imperviousness and precipitation were the most significant factors affecting base flow. The first derivative ...


Food System Planning In Western Massachusetts: A Community Organization Assessment, Arianna R. G. Thompson Jan 2012

Food System Planning In Western Massachusetts: A Community Organization Assessment, Arianna R. G. Thompson

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Comprehensive planning for regional food systems is a relatively new focus in the planning field. Heightened national awareness of the economic, environmental and equity implications of our current food system has magnified the importance of planning engagement on food-system issues. While addressing food system concepts is relatively new to planners, community-based organizations have been historic players in the development of food-system programs and critical food-system policy, particularly with regard to food access and local food production. This thesis reviews the status of the regional food system in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts through an assessment of the efforts of ...


Community Land Trusts And Rental Housing: Assessing Obstacles To And Opportunities For Increasing Access, Maxwell Ciardullo Jan 2012

Community Land Trusts And Rental Housing: Assessing Obstacles To And Opportunities For Increasing Access, Maxwell Ciardullo

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are an affordable housing model based in the principles of community control of land and housing, as well as the permanent affordability of home ownership. Because of their membership-based governance structure and limited-equity formula, they are uniquely positioned to target reinvestment in communities of color and low-income communities without perpetuating cycles of displacement. Though focused on home ownership, many CLTs have adapted the model to include rental housing. This addition has the potential to expand affordability and opportunities for community governance to lower-income renters; however, it also challenges CLTs as organizations with little experience developing or ...


Cruise Tourism In St.Lucia; Promoting Locally Owned And Operated Tourism Businesses, Kristin M. Styles Jan 2012

Cruise Tourism In St.Lucia; Promoting Locally Owned And Operated Tourism Businesses, Kristin M. Styles

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face a unique set of challenges when it comes to the field of Planning. In 1992, the United Nations Earth Summit brought international attention to SIDS; the combination of geographic isolation, small size, and limited resources were listed as a few of the unique environmental and economic disadvantages facing these islands. The island of St.Lucia, located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, is classified by the United Nations as one of the vulnerable SIDS in the Caribbean region. Since the 1992 Earth Summit, the literature on planning strategies for SIDS has shifted away ...


An Analysis Of Defensible Space And Crime Prevention Through Design In Crime Hotspots Of Select Boston Neighborhoods, Mario Teran Jan 2011

An Analysis Of Defensible Space And Crime Prevention Through Design In Crime Hotspots Of Select Boston Neighborhoods, Mario Teran

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

There is a lack of emphasis in the planning world, both academically and in the field, on preventing crime. Defensible Space and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) has been the two main approaches taken by planners and criminal justice officials that is design-based and that has brought some level of collaboration between the two professions. This study will analyze the built environment of select crime hotspots in the city of Boston from a design-based crime prevention perspective in order to draw correlations between high crime areas and elements of design-based theories.

Using GIS, a kernel density analysis is conducted ...


Modeling Space Heating Demand In Massachusetts’ Housing Stock And The Implications For Climate Change Mitigation Policy, Nathan H. Robinson Jan 2011

Modeling Space Heating Demand In Massachusetts’ Housing Stock And The Implications For Climate Change Mitigation Policy, Nathan H. Robinson

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

This research examines variation in average household energy consumption for space heating in municipalities in Massachusetts in order to explore the magnitude of variation among communities and potential causes. A dataset that aggregates natural gas consumption at the municipal level is used for a sample of municipalities in Massachusetts. Based upon this data, a regression model is developed to determine building and household occupancy characteristics that influence household energy consumption. The findings suggest dwelling size, tenure, and age are related to average household energy consumption.

Based upon these findings, recommendations are developed for the restructuring of federal and state level ...


Exploring The Relationship Between Neighborhood Social Interactions And Urban Sprawl In U.S Metropolitan Regions, Liliana Carvajal Jan 2011

Exploring The Relationship Between Neighborhood Social Interactions And Urban Sprawl In U.S Metropolitan Regions, Liliana Carvajal

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

As a pattern of growth, sprawl is often criticized for its extensive negative impacts. These impacts range from economic costs to health and environmental problems. Critics of sprawl have also emphasized the negative consequences of this type of growth for social neighborhood ties. The physical environment of sprawling areas, characterized by low population density, segregation of land-uses, and lack of public spaces does not provide spaces for social interaction. On the contrary, transit-oriented and mixed-use neighborhoods might encourage interaction among residents because individuals are more likely to walk from place to place which might increase opportunities for informal contact and ...


An Assessment Of Regional Partnerships For Economic Development Through The National Heritage Area Collaborative Model, Kimberley Mckee Jan 2011

An Assessment Of Regional Partnerships For Economic Development Through The National Heritage Area Collaborative Model, Kimberley Mckee

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

The National Heritage Area program administered by the National Park Service represents a collaborative partnership approach to managing large-scale natural and living landscapes. Heritage area management objectives integrate goals across disciplines including resource conservation, historic preservation, community revitalization and economic development. With the growing number of National Heritage Area designations over the past decade, increasing focus has turned towards efforts to measure program effectiveness and resulting economic impacts as a return on federal investment. Previous studies established a working program evaluation model that places emphasis on the importance of the partnership system in heritage area implementation and outcomes. The purpose ...


Schoolyard Renovations In The Context Of Urban Greening: Insight From The Boston Schoolyard Initiative, Boston, Massachusetts, Katherine A. Tooke Jan 2011

Schoolyard Renovations In The Context Of Urban Greening: Insight From The Boston Schoolyard Initiative, Boston, Massachusetts, Katherine A. Tooke

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Twenty years ago the public schoolyards in Boston, Massachusetts were in a deplorable state: most were entirely paved, seriously neglected and used predominantly for parking. Since 1995, the Boston Schoolyards Initiative (BSI) has worked to transform these spaces into vibrant environments of recreation and learning. Renovations typically include adding play structures, gardens, murals and seating that can engage children at recess or support an educational activity. Recent research has shown that BSI renovations have had a positive impact on student academic performance (Lopez, Jennings and Campbell, 2008), but little attention has yet focused on how these revived and greened spaces ...


Situated Architecture In The Digital Age: Adaptation Of A Textile Mill In Holyoke, Massachusetts, Dorcas A. Brooks Jan 2011

Situated Architecture In The Digital Age: Adaptation Of A Textile Mill In Holyoke, Massachusetts, Dorcas A. Brooks

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

The City of Holyoke, Massachusetts is one of many aging, industrial cities striving to revitalize its economy based on the promise of increased digital connectivity and clean energy resources. But how do you renovate 19th century mills to meet the demands of the information age? This architectural study explores the potential impact of sensing technologies and information networks on the definition and function of buildings in the 21st century. It explores the changes that have taken place in industrial architecture since 1850 and argues for an architecture that supports local relationships and environmental awareness. The author explores the industrial history ...


Bolivia's Coca Headache: The Agroyungas Program, Inflation, Campesinos, Coca And Capitalism In Bolivia, John D. Roberts Jan 2010

Bolivia's Coca Headache: The Agroyungas Program, Inflation, Campesinos, Coca And Capitalism In Bolivia, John D. Roberts

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Bolivia in the 1980s was wracked by monetary inflation approaching levels of the German Weimar Republic. Immediately following this time of great financial crisis in Bolivia, the U.N. founded a project through the U.N.D.P. to encourage peasant farmers in Bolivia to switch from growing coca (the plant used manufacture cocaine) to growing other cash crops for market. This crop substitution and development program, called the Agroyungas Project, lasted from 1985 to 1991 and is the focus of this study. While many U.N. pundits and journalists considered the program’s initial small successes promising, it has ...


Planning For Passenger Rail In Small Cities And Towns, Alyssa R. Larose Jan 2010

Planning For Passenger Rail In Small Cities And Towns, Alyssa R. Larose

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Projects to expand the passenger rail network in the United States will connect major metropolitan areas over long distances, travelling through smaller communities along the way. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a concept for planning around stations to support transit and allow the development of dense, mixed use, walkable places. TOD literature focuses largely on developing around transit in metropolitan areas. Guidance for small towns and cities in rural areas is lacking.

This thesis compares best planning practices from TOD literature to the planning practices of small cities located in rural areas of New England where new passenger rail service or ...


Socio-Spatial Constructs Of The Local Retail Food Environment: A Case Study Of Holyoke, Massachusetts, Walter F. Ramsey Jan 2010

Socio-Spatial Constructs Of The Local Retail Food Environment: A Case Study Of Holyoke, Massachusetts, Walter F. Ramsey

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

This mixed-methods study addresses the relationship between the availability of food and realized food access by studying the retail food landscape of Holyoke, Massachusetts – a small, socio-economically diverse city. While a large body of empirical research finds that low-income communities and communities of color are especially likely to lack adequate access to healthy foods and experience increased vulnerability to food insecurity, few studies explore urban food environments through a mixed-methods case study approach. Through the use of food store mapping, store audits, and resident interviews, this research is a nascent attempt to articulate how the unique development histories and cultural ...


Three State-Run Green Building Programs: A Comparative Case Study Analysis And Assessment, Haidee N. Janak Jan 2009

Three State-Run Green Building Programs: A Comparative Case Study Analysis And Assessment, Haidee N. Janak

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

This thesis explores three state-run green building programs (California, Minnesota and New York) through comparative case-study analysis. Main topics discussed include cost benefits, health benefits, certification (i.e. LEED or other), and lessons learned from direct interviews with program staff.


Parking Regulation Strategies And Policies To Support Transit-Oriented Development, Ryan W. Lundergan Jan 2009

Parking Regulation Strategies And Policies To Support Transit-Oriented Development, Ryan W. Lundergan

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

This thesis identifies and explores the effects that new parking strategies and policies could have on transit-oriented development (TOD) success levels. Additionally, it makes the case for TOD parking regulation reform, and is designed to educate planners and stakeholders on how to successfully and responsibly shape parking regulation in the planning and implementation process, so that land use in the region allows the synergistic provision of sustainable transportation specifically to the Boston region.

Transit-Oriented Development is viewed and defined differently throughout research and literature, with its most common traits being compact, mixed use development near transit facilities and high-quality walking ...