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Identity, Involvement, and Expertise in the Inner City: Some Benefits of Tree-Planting ProjectsAuthor(s): Maureen E. Austin; Rachel Kaplan
Source: In: Clayton, Susan; Opotow, Susan, eds. Identity and the Natural Environment: the Psychological Significance of Nature, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press: 205-225
Publication Series: Other
Station: North Central Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (2.42 MB)
DescriptionVacant lots rarely make a neighborhood look attractive. Passersby might make inferences about the residents--that they do not care, perhaps are not even aware of the physical appearance of their neighborhood. The residents may indeed have more pressing concerns than how their neighborhood looks to others. Alternatively, the vacant lots may be painful and constant reminders of the personal and communal deprivations of these residents. The context for this chapter is vacant lots in Detroit, Michigan, or more accurately, tree-planting projects that have transformed both these lots and the appearance of the neighborhoods. Along with these physical transformations came many other changes: citizens who engaged in community activities, people who learned from playing leadership roles, and individuals who came to have a new sense of who they are and what they can contribute. Thus the tree-planting projects serve to explicate the interplay among involvement, expertise, and identity.
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CitationAustin, Maureen E.; Kaplan, Rachel. 2003. Identity, Involvement, and Expertise in the Inner City: Some Benefits of Tree-Planting Projects. In: Clayton, Susan; Opotow, Susan, eds. Identity and the Natural Environment: the Psychological Significance of Nature, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press: 205-225
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