Ciara Stein | Master in Urban Planning and Master in Landscape Architecture I ‘21
Organization: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Sponsor: Greater Boston Area Community Service Fellowship
“Working at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) this summer has pushed me to further consider how I can combine planning and landscape architecture to work towards spatial and social equity. One of the main projects I am working on is the development of a “Kit of Parts” that would assist community leaders in expanding access to communal spaces through affordable and easy to implement designs. In doing so, I have combined community outreach, mapping and data analysis, and materials and construction research.
The mapping and conversations with community members revealed an inequitable distribution of green spaces and amenities throughout the city, at multiple scales—from the city’s park system down to tree plantings and rain barrels. It is important, now more than ever, for non-profits such as PHS, along with community members and the City, to work together. There is a great need to expand access to programmatic opportunities in both existing and new communal spaces—allowing people to gather, play, and connect. While it has felt strange at times designing for open space while in isolation, the current pandemic has shown more than ever that we need access to flexible open space. I am excited to be working at PHS and hope to produce designs that can be used by their community partners.”