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Published on Mar 25, 2011
About the Topic: American communities are becoming increasingly interested in practicing better stewardship of the environment through activities that include removing harmful chemicals from the air, land and water, building with environmentally friendly materials, using solar panels and hybrid cars, recycling waste, and shopping at farmers' markets that sell locally-grown food. These activities are good for the environment, but how compatible are they with the goal of social equity? Professor Meghan Gough's ongoing research seeks to understand the roles that public gardens are playing in sustainable community development, focusing especially on low-wealth neighborhoods. In particular, she asks whether such gardens have lasting economic, social and sustainability impacts on the residents of these neighborhoods.
About the Speaker: Meghan Gough serves as co-director of the Sustainable Communities Institute and is Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Dr. Gough teaches courses in sustainable development, planning theory and public participation in plan making. Her scholarly work focuses on creative partnerships for sustainable development, and she is currently funded by a grant to explore the role of public gardens in planning for sustainable communities. Dr. Gough initiated the first Green Map for Downtown Richmond, Virginia in 2009 and is now expanding this concept to neighborhoods throughout Richmond and on the campus of VCU. Prior to joining the VCU faculty, Dr. Gough worked as a planning consultant and an academic researcher in coastal Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.