International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Community Development and Planning (CDP)

Department

International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Kathryn J. Madden, AICP, M.C.P., S.M.Arch.S., Chief Instructor

Second Reader

Yvette Dyson, Executive Director of Worcester Common Ground, Inc., Community Development Corporation

Abstract

This report has been generated for Worcester Common Ground, Inc., (WCG) Community Development Corporation to support their vision of transforming a formerly vacant parcel of land into a community bioshelter. A bioshelter is a specialized greenhouse, powered by passive energy (solar, wind, rainwater), that is capable of year-round food production. This research is rooted within a conceptual framework of urban agriculture, ecological design and community development. Approximately twenty-five interviews were conducted with a range of stakeholders in order to determine community needs, potential uses and feasibility for a bioshelter. The first section of findings of this report highlights shared themes from stakeholders including prospective partnerships, long-term sustainability and broader impacts of the project. Finally, the report recommends an educational orientation for the bioshelter and illustrates corresponding management structures and actionable next steps in the planning process.

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