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Document Type

Campus Access

Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

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

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

sustainability, metrowest, corridor, green, design, building, planning

Abstract

One of the most urgent long-term issues is the impact of climate change and learning how to mitigate and adapt to its effects through adopting new development approaches over time. Learning more about sustainability and green buildings will hopefully help cities and towns address these future challenges of achieving local developments while decreasing global warming rates. Because there is at present relatively little data in Massachusetts about use of more sustainable practices in particular communities and regions, this thesis looks at the MetroWest Corridor region in Massachusetts as a case study to learn more about its new development methods: in what ways and to what extent do MetroWest towns include sustainable building practices in their planning codes? The MetroWest Corridor is discussed through basic review of its history and current projects within the region. This study included distribution of surveys to thirty municipalities in the region, and the information collected helped to clarify what and how much has been done to promote green building practices. The limited findings from this study indicate that a simple survey by itself will not provide a complete understanding about sustainable projects in terms of what is known or done by local planners. However, with more thorough research methods, there are ways to better identify current local sustainable building projects, policies and programs in Massachusetts, even if they were only partly understood from these limited prelminary survey results.

First Advisor

Mark Hamin

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