The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the most important urban renewal projects of the 21st century. In this case study, read about the ambitions, successes, and struggles of this project, now in its 12th year.
Browse our tools by Category, Type, Big Ideas, and/or Time Commitment, for example, or simply feel free to explore the options below. We also invite you to contribute by adding your own tools that you’ve successfully tried in your classrooms.
SLS Case Study: The Atlanta BeltLine
Readings, Videos, and Resources about Community Health
The Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain aims to help students create sustainable communities, where humans and nature flourish in the present and future. One SLS Priority area concerning sustainable communities is Community Health, which focuses on achieving a holistic and communal understanding of health, in all intellectual, physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and social aspects of life.
An Intro to Community Health
Community health is the state of wellbeing of a group of individuals who share common attitudes, beliefs, interests, histories, and/or goals. Use this tool to explore what it means to optimize the health and quality of life of community members in a socially just and holistic way.
Student Learning Outcome 4 Rubric
The goal of this rubric is to assess the ways that students understand, apply, and communicate how their discipline can inform others to enhance community sustainability.
Student Learning Outcome 1 Rubric
The following rubric assesses SLO 1: Students will be able to identify relationships among ecological, social, and economic systems.
Thinking More About Food, Climate Change, and Sustainability
This awareness building short reading and discussion activity allows students to:
SLS Case Study: The Flint Water Crisis
The Flint Water Crisis is one of the most significant instances of environmental injustice in the 21st century. In this case study, read about the impact of the crisis on the natural world, as well as the residents of Flint, Michigan, and learn about how we can use technology to create a sa
Calculating Carbon Footprint
This tool enables students to learn more about individual contributions to overall carbon emissions. The assignment also allows students to formulate possible strategies for reducing personal carbon emissions and share their ideas with a greater audience through social media.
An Introduction to Community Health
The Georgia Tech Sustainability Timeline: A Guided Conversation
The Georgia Tech Sustainability Timeline offers a detailed portrait of the university's commitment to sustainability, from humble beginnings to its introduction of major initiatives like Serve-Learn-Sustain.
SLS Case Study: The 1995 Chicago Heat Wave
Are heat waves simply natural disasters over which we have no control? With heat waves set to increase over the coming decades, how can we fight this invisible killer?
This activity, adapted from D.M. Stringer and P.A. Cassidy’s 52 Activities for Improving Cross-Cultural Communication, introduces students to three primary patterns of communication pacing. These patterns can vary in different cultural groups.
SLS Case Study: Edwards Aquifer
The Edwards Aquifer is an artesian aquifer that supplies nearly all of the water in San Antonio, Texas. In this case study, read about the persistent conflict over limited water resources from the Edwards Aquifer.
Sustainability at Georgia Tech: Campus Tour and Journaling Activity
This journaling tool, based on a lesson created by Yelena Rivera-Vale and Kristina Chatfield, introduces first year students to Georgia Tech’s efforts to create a sustainable campus community.
ReGenesis Case Study: Chemical Safety & Ethics in Relation to Communities
This tool explores the principle that environmental health impacts are a function of the inherent risk multiplied by exposure. In chemical processes we have become better at managing inherent risk, but we also have a significant legacy of mismanagement.
SLS Case Study: Maker Culture and Sustainable Transportation (GT Mechanical Engineering)
While recycling is a time-honored tradition of the environmentally-conscious, an equally powerful way to build sustainable communities is by learning to reuse and repair damaged materials.
Living Infrastructure: The Atlanta BeltLine
This tool uses stakeholder mapping to explore the various entities that influence and benefit from infrastructure projects. Through a short presentation and reading, students will learn about one specific infrastructure project: the Atlanta BeltLine.
Urban Farming & Community Gardens
Starting a community garden in an abandoned vacant lot is a good way to address blight in a neighborhood. This project builds on the dataset of Westside Atlanta property surveys and walks the students through the process of starting a community garden to selling its produce on farmers markets.
Beyond the Haircut: A University Barbershop Case Study (GT Business)
The University Barbershop stands at the corner of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and James P Brawley Drive in Atlanta, GA. Established in 1956, it is one of the oldest barbershops in America.
Student Learning Outcome 3 Rubric
The following rubric assesses SLO 3: Students will be able to evaluate how decisions impact the sustainability of communities. Students who rank highly on this rubric are able to evaluate how a variety of decisions that occur within and outside of communities affect community sustainability.
This is a collection of assignments around the problem of rodent infestation in cities, which has become a pressing problem following the mild winters in 2015-16.
SLS is privileged to collaborate with dedicated faculty across Georgia Tech. Working within various disciplines, these faculty are committed to teaching their students about sustainable communities.
Multidisciplinary Case Studies
The annotated case studies below are well-suited to courses across Georgia Tech that hope to engage their students in sustainability. Review the options available for your class, and don’t hesitate to recommend a new case study to SLS!
Student Learning Outcome 2 Rubric
The following rubric assesses SLO 2: Students will be able to demonstrate skills needed to work effectively in different types of communities.
This tool provides an overview of concept maps, and how to use them. Concept maps (CMaps) are diagrams that represent organized knowledge. They are a useful tool for assessing student knowledge over the course of a project, module, or course.