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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



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 urban. Current literature related to transects, sanitation, and the links between them is investigated. An analytical overlay of ecological sanitation strategies onto the transect framework with accompanying visualizations is the resulting integration of these ideas. Case studies from across the transect are detailed. A concluding discussion is followed by directions for future research.


First Advisor

Robert Ryan

Second Advisor

Mark Hamin

Third Advisor

Wayne Feiden