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Social equity in urban sustainability initiatives : strategies and metrics for Baltimore and beyond

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dc.contributor.advisor Lawrence Susskind. en_US Martin, Amanda W. (Amanda Whittemore) en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us-md en_US 2011-11-18T21:05:08Z 2011-11-18T21:05:08Z 2011 en_US 2011 en_US
dc.description Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2011. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 75-79). en_US
dc.description.abstract Almost all cities in the United States have initiated efforts to become more sustainable. Theoretically, sustainability encompasses social equity, as well as ecological and economic systems. In practice, many cities are unsure about the role of equity in sustainability planning. With greater knowledge of how urban sustainability initiatives affect social equity, public officials will better be able to incorporate equity into their activities. However, at this time there are few tools and almost no data to conduct such an analysis. This thesis addresses this gap by using Baltimore, Maryland, as a case study to answer two questions: (1) What are cities doing in their sustainability efforts that has the potential to affect social equity? And (2) How will we know if cities are, in fact, advancing equity by planning for sustainability? This thesis finds that without a targeted effort to address local equity issues relevant to sustainability, these plans, policies, and programs are unlikely to produce any significant effect on existing inequities. A community-based engagement strategy to identify relevant equity issues will help cities establish these priorities and craft strategies to address them. However, cities also need to overcome major barriers to implementation in order to move toward sustainability. Sustainability planning lacks a precedent for implementation; adapting existing planning and regulatory schemes to sustainability objectives will provide one effective strategy. Leveraging public and private investments also holds promise. To facilitate learning about the relationship between sustainability strategies and equity outcomes, a protocol for assessing social equity impacts of urban sustainability plans is proposed. The thesis concludes with recommendations for cities like Baltimore that have sustainability initiatives, cities that have not yet initiated sustainability efforts, and researchers and evaluators. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Amanda W. Martin. en_US
dc.format.extent 79 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.title Social equity in urban sustainability initiatives : strategies and metrics for Baltimore and beyond en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US M.C.P. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 759120373 en_US

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