Project Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-2016


Neighborhood revitalizationthough at times costly and otherwise challengingis a powerful method for preserving the integrity and beauty of large urban areas and small towns alike. The conversion of previously derelict sites into thriving urban green spacesoften in the form of public parks that contain a segment of living greenerypresents a concrete strategy for revitalizing these locations. Aside from neighborhood beautification, the development and presence of green space has been found to contribute to increased mental and physical health, create a stronger sense of social inclusion, and promote ecological sustainability among a myriad of other benefits within the populations they serve (Van den Berg, 2010; Seeland, 2007; Attracting Wildlife to a Former Dumping Ground, 2015) . This paper examines a number of case studies from the United States and abroad to illustrate the potential asset of green space in otherwise developed locations, while observing community attitudes towards green space in the Coal Region of Pennsylvania. The research aims to assist the creation of a public green space in the vacant lot adjacent to the Mount Carmel Public Library, which serves four lowincome municipalities in the Mount Carmel Area School District, through the aforementioned background literature review, a community survey, interviews, and personal visits to existing spaces to draw upon other successful initiatives. These combined research efforts demonstrate welldocumented benefits of green spaces in numerous cases outside of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, as well as resoundingly positive community attitudes regarding the proposed project at the Mount Carmel Public Library.

This research was funded by the Bucknell Public Interest Partnership in collaboration with the Mount Carmel Area Public Library, the Mother Maria Kaupas Center, and the Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment's Place Studies program.

Field Station

Coal Region Field Station


Mount Carmel, PA


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