LAS 381 • Latin American Planning Studio
6:30 PM-9:30 PM
This is the second in a series of planning studios in informal settlements in Latin America. These courses are collaborative, experiential, and premised on student initiative and active engagement with community partners, scholars, activists and public officials. We seek to define, research, and propose technically well-founded, participatory, and empowering solutions to social and environmental problems facing slum communities. We also aim to assist our NGO and government partners in developing their technical and governance capacity. This spring, we will build on the environmental risk and vulnerability assessment conducted in the previous planning studio in spring 2008, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We will focus on the social and environmental causes and consequences of the solid waste problem facing the informal settlement of Los Platanitos. Our field research methods will include focus groups, environmental analysis, ethnography and surveys. We will also work with community members (in particular women and teenagers), our NGO partners, and city agencies, to design a community-based solid waste management program, drawing on models and experiences from similar communities elsewhere. Students will work in separate teams and produce a model for GIS-based risk and vulnerability analysis, a report on the solid waste problem in Los Platanitos, and several grant proposals which will be submitted to international agencies. Students must participate in two field trips to the Dominican Republic (tentatively January 5-17 and March 12-17). Students' airfare and accommodations are covered through scholarships; additional expenses are the responsibility of students. Instructors permission is required to register for this course. Contact instructor for further admissions requirements.