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The Just Green City: A Vision of the South Holyoke Neighborhood

Abstract
Landscape Architects need to take their place as formative roles in the planning and design of our cities in the era of climate change. Not only do we have to be a part of the collaborative efforts, but we also have to bring it to the communities who need it most to create long-lasting impacts. Climate change is an equity issue and without tackling our social problems, we cannot tackle climate change. Our role is to not reinforce the status quo but to change it. The Just Green City takes place in Holyoke Massachusetts. This legacy city was once the queen of paper manufacturing up until the Great Depression. Thanks to a series of urban renewal practices and ingrained cultural turf wars, many parts of Holyoke have been left with an environment that offers little to the people that live there. South Holyoke is a neighborhood that has seen disinvestment for decades in a community largely composed of Puerto Rican, non-English speaking, mixed-generation families that need to be brought into the larger picture for the city of Holyoke. Through analysis layered into the various city plans already conducted by other planners/designer, we found that promoting community cohesion through green infrastructure and art can be the civic infrastructure Holyoke needs to take care of their vulnerable communities. This plan lays out a vision of what South Holyoke could be if we address our social disconnects to each other in layers of environmental improvements.
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2020-04-01
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