Suitable for All

An Introduction to Climate Resilience

Climate change poses numerous and multi-faceted threats to existing ecological and social systems. Climate resilience is the concept of anticipating climate-related stresses to these systems in order to increase their capacity to adapt to climate change, although definitions of resilience vary based on discipline and the systems being examined. Assessment of climate vulnerability, or the degree to which systems and communities are susceptible to the effects of climate change, informs efforts to increase resilience. This tool defines and gives examples of climate resilience and vulnerability through the lens of three areas of research underway at Georgia Tech. First, students will view slides explaining climate resilience and climate vulnerability. Students will then view videos featuring three Georgia Tech faculty describing how their work contributes to enhancing climate resilience. Finally, students will discuss the connections they have made between key concepts in climate resilience and the role of research in developing strategies for climate adaptation.

This tool was contributed by Bonnie Lapwood and Ben Shipley.

Storytelling Equity

This tool facilitates meaningful discussions on equity through the lens of storytelling. The goal of the tool is to help science and technology students use narrative as a method of quickly testing ideas. As Jeremy Ackerman claims, “Telling a story is a much faster way of rapid prototyping than actually trying to create prototypes.” By creating and shaping stories we can learn more about ourselves, others, and the problems we seek to solve. As we know, “the United States is rich with the stories of the diverse groups that make up this country. […] Not all stories, however, are equally acknowledged, affirmed or valued.” (The Storytelling Project, Lee Anne Bell and Rosemarie Roberts). By creating and shaping stories to serve the goals of their discipline students will acquire a better understanding of what equity means, where it lacks, and how to foster it.

Resources for Teaching about the SDGs

Use these resources to help students learn more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. You may assign readings, find organizations to work with, or simply ask your students to explore what’s available. General resources related to the UN SDGs are compiled below, followed by a short blurb about each SDG and references to related research at Georgia Tech where applicable. This tool was contributed by Bonnie Lapwood.

Sustainable Cities and Communities: SDG 11

This tool will take a closer look at the 11th UN Sustainable Development Goal, Sustainable Cities and Communities, which aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Students will then use the elements that comprise progress towards the goal as a way to frame their reading of 3 large infrastructure projects, including the Los Angeles River Revitalization, the Cultural Trail, and the 5280 Trail, followed by two options for activities evaluating one or more of these projects according to the 10 Sustainable Cities and Communities Targets.

This tool was contributed by Bonnie Lapwood.

Kendeda Building Water, Energy, and Materials Tour

This is a video-guided in-person tour of the Kendeda building, focused on the Water, Energy, and Materials Petals of the Living Building Challenge.  While on the tour, students are asked to reflect on a few aspects of equity and inclusion, which they later submit through a Canvas assignment.  The video tour can be accessed here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD8413uu74Q&feature=youtu.be

This tool was contributed by Jennifer Leavey

Interested in additional Kendeda tours?  Check out our Equity Petal Tour tool HERE.

Kendeda Building Equity Petal Tour

This is a video-guided in-person tour of the Kendeda building, focused on the Equity Petal of the Living Building Challenge.  While on the tour, students are asked to reflect on a few aspects of equity and inclusion, which they later submit through a Canvas assignment.  The video tour can be accessed here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVNYrABwnmA&feature=youtu.be

This tool was contributed by Jennifer Leavey

Interested in other Kendeda tours?  Check out our Water, Energy, and Materials Tour tool HERE.

Centering Racial Equity

In July 2020, Serve-Learn-Sustain held a virtual panel discussion entitled “Centering Racial Equity in Equitable and Sustainable Development." Panel guests included Nicole Moore, Director of Education at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights; Odetta MacLeish-White, Managing Director of the TransFormation Alliance; and Carol Hunter, Executive Director of the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, with discussion facilitated by Rebecca Watts Hull, Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist with Serve-Learn-Sustain. During the event, the panelists discussed the organizations they are a part of and their work advancing racial equity within the communities they serve.

An Introduction to Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure refers to an interconnected, multifunctional network of greenspace and natural areas that shapes and is shaped by environmental, economic, social, and health outcomes in communities. It may refer to a wide array of natural features, engineered structures, or managed interconnected networks of green space and their associated ecosystem services, including parks, stormwater management features, greenways and trails, green streets, and watershed restoration projects, among other types of green spaces.

Community Engagement in Green Infrastructure Planning

In-depth community engagement shapes green infrastructure projects and their impacts on communities. Use this tool to explore the role of community engagement and local knowledge in green infrastructure planning processes. Students will learn the importance of engaging communities in green infrastructure planning for incorporating local knowledge of community assets, needs, and priorities. The discussion questions will aid students in examining the potential opportunities and threats associated with green infrastructure; the importance of community engagement and knowledge sharing in shaping project outcomes; and how green infrastructure planning processes might be designed to prioritize local knowledge of community needs and priorities and to draw on community assets in order to support more sustainable and equitable outcomes.

This tool was contributed by Jessica Fisch. 

SLS Case Study: The 11th Street Bridge Park and Community Engagement in Green Infrastructure Planning

In this case study, read about the 11th Street Bridge Park and its planning process, and learn about how community engagement in green infrastructure planning can help address equitable development concerns such as such as housing affordability, workforce development, small business development, and community culture. The 11th Street Bridge Park is a planned elevated green infrastructure amenity that is being developed on the piers of the old 11th Street Bridge in Washington, D.C.. The project is a unique example of green infrastructure in that its planning process has evolved to focus on how the park can support more equitable development in surrounding neighborhoods. Community engagement and leadership are important components shaping the park’s environmental, economic, and social outcomes. Serve-Learn-Sustain interprets sustainable communities as integrated systems, wherein nature, technology and society all inform each other.

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