Sustainable Neighborhood Development and Urban Revitalization in Utica, NY: A LEED-ND Case Study
- Angela Moreno, B.S. URS 2016
- Hometown Boulder, Colorado
- Class CRP 4920 Undergraduate Honors Thesis Research
- Instructor Paula Horrigan
Cities throughout the Rust Belt of the United States are facing economic decline, population loss, and urban decay. Using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) as an audit tool, existing sustainability and urban character conditions of a downtown area in one such city — Utica, New York — was assessed. Conditions were analyzed using GIS mapping. Urban sustainability has in recent years become a strategic vision in response to challenges like rapid urbanization and increasing climate change impacts. Rather than focus solely on economic development as the solution to urban declines, poverty, inequality, and infrastructure problems, sustainable development aims to create resilient and livable cities by addressing environmental quality, economic opportunity, and social wellbeing as part of one system. The identification of existing strengths and weaknesses can inform future development decisions as well as provide a baseline metric to compare future improvements and development against. Utica has catalytic potential for revitalization using sustainable neighborhood development. This case study is intended to serve as an evidence-based resource demonstrating the opportunities in Utica that local leaders can use when applying for funding and lobbying official.