Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Open Access Thesis
Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
It is my contention that through activating participatory design and community engagement strategies, in conjunction with innovative construction methods that address issues of resource scarcity, the standard of living and level of accessibility to critical resources in impoverished portions of Honduras can be drastically improved. The newly provided model of construction can be done it such a way that it is cost effective in its building method, and provides highly sought after scarce critical resources. This allows participants to allocate more of their finances towards other necessary resources they normally would not be able to acquire.
A new community center designed to address the issues of resource scarcity and job opportunities will stand as a first built model with the intent that the methods of construction and innovations employed will be replicated in further applications. The center will be innovative in its construction in such a way that it recognizes local building practices, and brings some new ideas to them allowing for a method of construction that is both improved and more affordable. The center will also take a fresh look at ways the community can address issues of food and water through architectural innovations. The intent is that the success of the center’s combined interventions will encourage local people to replicate the design ideas in their own residential applications. This will improve the quantity of resources available in the community and also start to build a new job market for installing the newly desirable systems.
Resource scarcity has wreaked havoc on the typical Honduran villages’ sense of community. Hondurans are in constant competition with their neighbors for scarce critical resources required to sustain life. These resources include, food, water, shelter, and employment opportunities. Violent conflict often arises within communities as individuals compete with their neighbors for the basic necessities required to sustain life.
While architecture alone cannot solve all the issues that contribute to the problem of violence, a new center with a program that builds community and provides needed resources stands to potentially curb neighborhood conflict and begin the community healing process. The center stands as not only a replicable model, but also as an immediate community element to bring neighbors back together physically in daily interactions and emotionally in the new resources being provided.
Mansfield, Christopher D., "Building Hope: A Community + Water Initiative, La Villa de San Francisco, Honduras" (2016). Masters Theses. 360.