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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

Envisioning Pathways Toward Transformative Food Systems Change: Understanding The Role Of Multi-Stakeholder Engagement At The Culinary And Nutrition Center In Springfield, Ma, Kristen Whitmore Jan 2019

Envisioning Pathways Toward Transformative Food Systems Change: Understanding The Role Of Multi-Stakeholder Engagement At The Culinary And Nutrition Center In Springfield, Ma, Kristen Whitmore

Masters Theses

The alternative food movement claims varied goals such as building environmental sustainability, strengthening local economies, and promoting health equity, yet critics argue that the movement’s transformative potential is threatened by a lack of shared vision. Literature suggests that community-based multi-stakeholder coalitions are a useful tool for building consensus around food systems futures. But what kinds of futures? Home Grown Springfield is a school food initiative aimed at reducing hunger in Springfield, MA by serving healthy, homemade, and locally-sourced meals via the Culinary and Nutrition Center, a brand-new full-service commercial kitchen and storage facility. This qualitative case study examines the ...


Urban Biodiversity Experience And Exposure: Intervention And Inequality At The Local And Global Scale, Evan Kuras Jan 2019

Urban Biodiversity Experience And Exposure: Intervention And Inequality At The Local And Global Scale, Evan Kuras

Masters Theses

As cities expand globally, researchers must clarify how human activities and institutions shape biodiversity and conversely, how ecological processes shape human outcomes. Two features of contemporary cities motivate this thesis. First, urban residents, and especially children, are spending less time in nature and consequently, miss out on healthy and formative experiences with biodiversity. Second, residents with the least access to biodiversity tend to be those with the lowest socioeconomic status (SES). Together, these patterns convey a multi-layered environmental injustice: not only might urbanites become increasingly estranged from biodiversity, disinterested from its conservation, and disconnected from its benefits, but these outcomes ...


Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney Jan 2019

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney

Masters Theses

Trees provide countless environmental, economic, and societal benefits to the urban environment, and may become increasingly important to maintaining environmental quality and human well-being in the face of increasing urbanization and climate change. However, trees in these urban areas are rapidly diminishing across the United States. Much of this loss can be prevented with proper planning and management, focused on selecting tree species that are both well-suited to the area’s growing conditions and able to survive the many stress factors in an urban setting. Choosing which tree species to plant in Massachusetts is especially challenging considering the lack of ...


The Influence Of Wind Power On Rural Areas Economic, Demographic, And Community Services Impacts, Eman Shoeib Jan 2019

The Influence Of Wind Power On Rural Areas Economic, Demographic, And Community Services Impacts, Eman Shoeib

Doctoral Dissertations

Wind power development has rapidly expanded in the United States. Much of this growth occurred in rural areas because of the availability of land and wind resources required to power turbines. The economic promise of wind power projects is particularly appealing for rural areas whose traditional economicbase (typically agricultural) no longer supports as many households as it once did. Numerous studies have found that wind power projects have positive economic impacts on rural areas. What is less well understood is the effect of these wind power farms on other indicators of development, such as municipal services, demographic change, and quality ...


Attitudes Toward Green Infrastructure Strategies For More Livable And Sustainable Communities, Jane Ann Buxton Jan 2018

Attitudes Toward Green Infrastructure Strategies For More Livable And Sustainable Communities, Jane Ann Buxton

Doctoral Dissertations

Green infrastructure refers to multi-functional elements that integrate ecological and anthropogenic factors and processes to support healthy ecosystems and communities (Austin, 2014; Benedict & McMahon, 2002). While green infrastructure has been embraced by planners, there is not a great deal of research among planners regarding the public's attitudes towards green land uses at the individual level. The dissertation studies explored three urban green infrastructure strategies: residential tree canopy, neighborhood green space, and community gardens; at the scale of user preferences and experiences.

The first study (Chapter 3) used photo preference methodology to explore the tension between residential density and urban greening. Study results suggested several aspects of neighborhood spatial form associated with higher preference by study participants (n=212): a green canopy and neighborhood greening; a vegetative buffer between housing and street; and a provision of sense of privacy by building form and vegetation.

The second study (Chapter 4) used descriptive ...


Evaluation Of The Erodibility Of Soft Clays And The Influence Of Biopolymers, Pamela Judge Jan 2018

Evaluation Of The Erodibility Of Soft Clays And The Influence Of Biopolymers, Pamela Judge

Doctoral Dissertations

Erosion of silts and clays is less well understood than erosion of sands. Further, current and anticipated climate change impacts along coastlines compel consideration of new approaches to coastal protection measures; seawalls and breakwaters designs now include natural and nature-based measures.

The first research topic consists of the Adaptive Gradients Framework which was a theoretically-informed facilitation tool. The framework was intended to aid a collaborative and interdisciplinary decision-making process to encourage inclusion of natural and nature-based measures in coastal protection planning and design. This research is the culmination of a series of workshops and fieldtrips executed by the Sustainable Adaptive ...


"First Nations First": Understanding The Status Of Aboriginal Involvement In British Columbia's Community Forests, Sean O'Donnell Jan 2018

"First Nations First": Understanding The Status Of Aboriginal Involvement In British Columbia's Community Forests, Sean O'Donnell

Masters Theses

In 2014, the legal landscape shifted in British Columbia with the unanimous Supreme Court decision, Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia. The case resulted in a recognition of Aboriginal title, and real and substantial Aboriginal authority over large tracts of land in the province. According to legal analysts, the most significant element is the requirement for stronger consultation with First Nations and – in many cases – consent that needs to be pursued by the province’s resource extraction industries prior to development. British Columbia’s community forest sector is unlikely to be immune to this shift. A baseline for First Nations ...


Assessing Adaptive Capacity Of Pioneer Valley Farmers, Angelica Carey Jan 2018

Assessing Adaptive Capacity Of Pioneer Valley Farmers, Angelica Carey

Masters Theses

This thesis explores Pioneer Valley farmers and their agricultural practices, knowledge and resources as they relate to climate change. Adaptive capacity is used throughout scientific literature, and often includes numerous components; for this thesis the measurement of farmers’ adaptive capacity would be assessed according to only three components: knowledge, past experiences and use of resources. Climate change and its impacts on agriculture have been studied but what is unclear is how prepared farmers are to deal with these impacts. Through literature review, survey development and recorded interviews, data was then analyzed both for quantitative and qualitative results to understand farmer ...


Multi-Criteria Decision Making When Planning Sustainable Multimodal Transportation Routes In A Linear Corridor, Marie Louis Jan 2017

Multi-Criteria Decision Making When Planning Sustainable Multimodal Transportation Routes In A Linear Corridor, Marie Louis

Doctoral Dissertations

In urban and suburban locations, public transit can be seen as an effective mode

of daily transportation. The majority of the time, travelers would seek the cheapest, shortest, and possibly most eco-friendly means of transit. When designing public transit network systems, transportation planners and decision-makers, with input from stakeholders, should strive to optimize transportation services to meet the needs of the population most efficiently and at the lowest cost, that is, providing a transportation system that s the three E's of the sustainability concept: environment, social equity, and economic.

Previous studies have focused on sustainability as the primary concern ...


The Government Role In Creating Innovation Technological Clusters In Developing Countries (The Case Of Saudi Arabia), Khalid Mahmoud Dashash, Khalid Mahmoud Dashash Jan 2017

The Government Role In Creating Innovation Technological Clusters In Developing Countries (The Case Of Saudi Arabia), Khalid Mahmoud Dashash, Khalid Mahmoud Dashash

Doctoral Dissertations

Many governments around the world are committed to the idea of creating high-tech industries in their territories. Often they do so by imitating other well-recognized models such as the Silicon Valley. This dissertation investigated three countries economic development plans to understand how government policies could support or hinder the establishment of an Innovation Systems in developing countries.

This dissertation claims that to create a successful high technological innovation cluster in any area, a successful innovation needs to be existed to support these clusters.

This study used a comparative qualitative pragmatic method that implemented both case study and process tracing to ...


Celebrating The Polish Immigrant Community: Strengthening Cultural Bonds And Representation In Westfield, Ma, Alexandra Smialek Jan 2017

Celebrating The Polish Immigrant Community: Strengthening Cultural Bonds And Representation In Westfield, Ma, Alexandra Smialek

Masters Theses

Immigrant communities are a part of every city and town in the United States. Sentiments towards immigrants, however, continue to vary, but in recent years, anti-immigrant sentiments have become more widely encountered, especially because of the recent presidential election (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2016). A lack of knowledge and representation of diverse cultures, along with recurring negative rhetoric, may influence how immigrant populations are received. This report argues that acknowledging culture and heritage can strengthen cultural bonds, create and celebrate a unique city identity, and improve cultural representation. The City of Westfield, Massachusetts, located in Hampden County, will be studied ...


An Incremental Intervention In Jakarta: An Empowering Infrastructural Approach For Upgrading Informal Settlements, Christopher H. Counihan Jan 2017

An Incremental Intervention In Jakarta: An Empowering Infrastructural Approach For Upgrading Informal Settlements, Christopher H. Counihan

Masters Theses

Incrementalism is a growing movement within multiple design disciplines that approaches design with sustainable, social, and resilient aims structured around participatory, infrastructural, and phased approaches to design. Carefully considered structural and independent infrastructural frameworks allow infill and accretion according to the demands and needs of individuals and communities. This paper outlines the theories, case studies, and conditions driving incrementalism. My research has informed my project proposal for an incremental upgrade of a slum located in Jakarta using a phased, soft infrastructural, resident facilitated upgrade and development strategy creating new housing units, productive landscapes, and urban form. Incremental development will foster ...


The Use Of Public Plazas In China And The United States: Measuring The Differences Using Direct Observation In Boston And Chongqing, Maozhu Mao Jan 2017

The Use Of Public Plazas In China And The United States: Measuring The Differences Using Direct Observation In Boston And Chongqing, Maozhu Mao

Masters Theses

China’s development during the last several decades has happened at an amazing speed, and public plazas in China have changed considerably. For example, public dancing has become a very popular activity in most public plazas, and many more people than before are using these new plazas. However, some plazas are less popular than others. Therefore it is important to know what are the elements that affect people’s use of China’s public plazas? In the United States, William H. Whyte’s research proposed seven elements in public space that affect people. This study tried to answer the following ...


Characterizing The Urban Human Environment System In Boston, Massachusetts, Rachel S. Danford Jan 2016

Characterizing The Urban Human Environment System In Boston, Massachusetts, Rachel S. Danford

Doctoral Dissertations

Access to natural resources and restorative green space, especially in urban areas, has become critically important as an increasing number of people throughout the world move into cities. Stewardship of natural spaces and a sense of engagement with these environmental benefits are crucial, especially in urban areas where access to nature is more difficult and less equitable. This research proposes a model where individual and policy level values and decisions shape how urban nature is used, which affects the adoption of environmentally responsible behavior and natural resource conservation and in turn feeds back into environmental values and decisions. The research ...


Thinking In Circles: A Systems Theory Approach To Public Participation In Planning, Stephen Meno Jan 2016

Thinking In Circles: A Systems Theory Approach To Public Participation In Planning, Stephen Meno

Masters Theses

In the field of planning, there is widespread consensus that the mechanisms in which most planners use to engage with the public are ineffective and exclusive. Although there has been much work done on the techniques planners can adopt to reach out to underrepresented segments of the community, few municipalities have adopted them. This thesis seeks to advance the conversation on public participation beyond the mechanisms and into a discussion of why only certain communities are implementing these more progressive, efficient, effective, and equitable measures. By depicting how public participation functions as a system of interconnected paths and feedback loops ...


Urban Metabolism And Land Use Modeling For Urban Designers And Planners: A Land Use Model For The Integrated Urban Metabolism Analysis Tool, Mohamad Farzinmoghadam Jan 2016

Urban Metabolism And Land Use Modeling For Urban Designers And Planners: A Land Use Model For The Integrated Urban Metabolism Analysis Tool, Mohamad Farzinmoghadam

Doctoral Dissertations

Predicting the resource consumption in the built environment and its associated environmental consequences (urban metabolism analysis) is one of the core challenges facing policy-makers and planners seeking to increase the sustainability of urban areas. There is a critical need for a single integrated framework to analyze the consequences of urban growth and eventually predict the impacts of sustainable policies on the urbanscape.

This dissertation presents the development of an Integrated Urban Metabolism Analysis Tool (IUMAT) – an analytical framework that simulates urban metabolism by integrating urban subsystems in a single comprehensive computational environment. It reviews the existing literature on urban sustainability ...


Planning [And] The Sanitary City: Understanding Implications Of Community-Based Ecological Sanitation Reforms In The U.S., Catherine K. Bryars Jan 2016

Planning [And] The Sanitary City: Understanding Implications Of Community-Based Ecological Sanitation Reforms In The U.S., Catherine K. Bryars

Masters Theses

Though most commonly regarded as a revolutionary public health invention, the introduction of conventional wastewater sanitation systems has a mixed legacy in the U.S. A growing body of research links sewage-based sanitation systems with nationwide ecosystem degradation and an unsustainable dependence on vast inputs of materials and resources. In addition to contributing to chronic problems across the country, today these wastewater infrastructures are in various states of disrepair. The EPA estimates that at least $270 billion must be invested in coming years to prevent massive sanitary failures, but municipalities are increasingly unable to fund these expensive (re)investments in ...


Developing An Ecological Sanitation Transect, Ian Kolesinskas Jan 2016

Developing An Ecological Sanitation Transect, Ian Kolesinskas

Masters Theses

A sanitation problem exists for people across the globe: basic human waste collection and treatment is inaccessible to much of the world’s population; and the status-quo gray infrastructure system of sanitation is unsustainable and unsuitable for widespread application. A paradigm shift is needed: this thesis makes the case for developing an Ecological Sanitation Transect to bring back the closed loop that connects consumption, waste excretion, sanitation, and food production. The Ecological Sanitation Transect is a synthesis of ecological sanitation, where human excreta is reused, and the urban transect, where development density is conceptualized along a continuum from rural to ...


Do We Have A Climate For Change? Insights About Adaptation Planning Actions In Coastal New England, Ana M. Emlinger Mrs. Jan 2016

Do We Have A Climate For Change? Insights About Adaptation Planning Actions In Coastal New England, Ana M. Emlinger Mrs.

Doctoral Dissertations

“I just drink more coffee and stay late” – declared the town planner of a small coastal community in the South of Boston, Massachusetts (MA) referring to the need of extra work to address climate change adaptation in a short-staffed planning department. These words illustrate one of the many common issues faced by planners of small and medium coastal communities in the region.

A systematic incorporation of climate change concerns into formal community planning, management, and infrastructure design is in nascent stage. The challenges of effective adaptation are complex and likely to be politically hard, especially at the local level where ...


Homeowner Willingness To Adopt Low-Impact Development Practices In The Ipswich River Watershed: Opportunities And Barriers, Johanna R. Stacy Jan 2015

Homeowner Willingness To Adopt Low-Impact Development Practices In The Ipswich River Watershed: Opportunities And Barriers, Johanna R. Stacy

Masters Theses

The Ipswich River watershed has experienced increasing urbanization in recent years. The river, which supplies water to over 300,000 residents (twice the watershed’s population), was considered one of the 10 Most Endangered Rivers in the U.S. in 2003 due to seasonal low-flow and no-flow events. Seasonal outdoor water restrictions have curbed residential demand; however, impervious surfaces and municipal sewer systems direct much of the runoff outside the watershed. Low-impact development (LID) practices, specifically those that infiltrate runoff, have the potential to keep more water in the watershed, and increase baseflows in the river.

This study seeks to ...


Urban Redevelopment Through City-University Partnerships: Envisioning An Education District In Springfield, Massachusetts, Mohammed Abdelaal Jan 2015

Urban Redevelopment Through City-University Partnerships: Envisioning An Education District In Springfield, Massachusetts, Mohammed Abdelaal

Masters Theses

This thesis examines the impact of planning a potential new urban university campus in Springfield, Massachusetts on the city’s long term goals for urban revitalization. By exploring a collaborative and community-oriented process for higher-educational development, I propose a dynamic model that could work as a catalyst for urban revitalization.

The study will focus on the following: developing partnerships between the city of Springfield (government, community, local groups) and major educational institutions (such as the University of Massachusetts system); identifying potential sites suitable for the anticipated urban/mixed-use campus or compound; and studying and analyzing the forces within the city ...


Urban Agriculture And Ecosystem Services: A Typology And Toolkit For Planners, Kathleen Doherty Jan 2015

Urban Agriculture And Ecosystem Services: A Typology And Toolkit For Planners, Kathleen Doherty

Masters Theses

This thesis makes the connection between urban agriculture and a specific suite of ecosystem services and lays out a typology and toolkit for planners to take advantage of these ecosystem services. The services investigated here are: food production, water management, soil health, biodiversity, climate mitigation, and community development benefits. Research from a variety of fields was aggregated and synthesized to prove that urban agriculture can be beneficial for human as well as environmental health.

A set of urban agriculture typologies was generated to illustrate best practices to maximize a particular set of ecosystem services. The typologies are: production farm, stormwater ...


Project Space(S) In The Design Professions: An Intersectional Feminist Study Of The Women's School Of Planning And Architecture (1974-1981), Elizabeth Cahn Sep 2014

Project Space(S) In The Design Professions: An Intersectional Feminist Study Of The Women's School Of Planning And Architecture (1974-1981), Elizabeth Cahn

Doctoral Dissertations

The Women’s School of Planning and Architecture (WSPA) was an ambitious, explicitly feminist educational program created by seven women planners and architects who used the school to introduce ideas and practices of the 1970s women’s movement into design and planning education in the United States. Between 1974 and 1981, WSPA organized five intensive, short-term residential educational sessions and a conference, each in a different geographical location in the United States, after which the organization ceased formal programming and the organizers moved on to other activities. The founders and participants involved in WSPA collectively imagined and created a feminist ...


Planning For Balanced Growth And Balanced Budgets: Exploring A Mixed Methods Framework To Assess Urban Infill Capacity And Value In Context, Jennifer Stromsten Jan 2014

Planning For Balanced Growth And Balanced Budgets: Exploring A Mixed Methods Framework To Assess Urban Infill Capacity And Value In Context, Jennifer Stromsten

Masters Theses

Established communities pursue revitalization to transform struggling downtowns into vibrant hubs and walkable neighborhoods. Vacant and underused parcels can help communities grow sustainably by using excess capacity in existing infrastructure. However, many communities experience limited urban infill activity due to persistent bias favoring low-density development at the community’s edges. In small communities perceptions and processes can favor low-density growth. Infill development can be complicated due to site conditions and neighborhood context, yet planners work with ad hoc techniques and limited staff time. There is a need for efficient ways to identify suitable sites and generate information to use for ...


An Assessment Of Natural Resources Management Conflicts In The Working Landscapes Of Mediterranean Turkey (Turkiye): Koprulu Kanyon National Park, Nedim Kemer May 2009

An Assessment Of Natural Resources Management Conflicts In The Working Landscapes Of Mediterranean Turkey (Turkiye): Koprulu Kanyon National Park, Nedim Kemer

Open Access Dissertations

Environmental conservation and natural resources management are critical global issues of the 21st century. The management of protected public lands emerges as a challenge particularly in developing countries because of the biophysical and socio-cultural importance of these lands. These lands are often referred to as 'working landscapes' where the natural systems and the collective actions of local residents have shaped one another in well-balanced interactions for generations. The working landscapes of the Köprülü Kanyon National Park (KKNP) in Turkey have provided the case study for this dissertation. Eleven villages exist within the park with a total of approximately 7,100 ...