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Rust to Green: Praxis as University-Community Placemaking

Paula Horrigan


Rust to Green (R2G) is a civic engagement project with the transformative agenda of catalyzing community-driven placemaking in Upstate New York cities endeavoring to transition from post-industrial “rust” to “green” resiliency. At its core, R2G engages university and community partners in co-producing actionable projects that contribute to increasing the quality and health of places and the people who engage with and inhabit them. Guided by the theories and practices of placemaking and democratic civic engagement, R2G is first and foremost rooted in place and for the past five years that place has been the city of Utica, NY. This paper frames R2G’s praxis as being grounded in placemaking, and through examples of R2G in action, illustrates how it is aspiring to achieve the hallmarks of democratic civic engagement (Saltmarsh, Hartley, Clayton, 2009). It situates R2G as part of a movement toward democratic civic engagement in landscape architecture and planning and elaborates on R2G’s praxis by sharing stories and experiences of R2G’s praxis in action.  


civic engagement, placemaking, democratic design, democratic professionalism

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Partnerships is sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, and hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ISSN: 1944-1061
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