Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Geography | Human Geography | Nature and Society Relations
A reinvention of Syracuse’s identity is taking place. A once industrial hub that could tout the Eerie Canal as its central lifeline and Onondaga Lake as a popular, American vacation spot has found itself fighting for two major development goals: sustainability and redeveloping low-income neighborhoods. “Creative city” development models are gaining popularity as America moves from manufacturing to service-based industries. But creative cities cannot be established using top-down approaches. When a creative city is built by the people who live in it, their passion comes through in the city’s image. What is perceived by visitors is a young, vibrant community wishing to make their home better. It is this perceived image that attracts outside investment and tourism. This phenomenon of perception having a hand in city redevelopment is one
that I wish to use in creation of “Sustainable Syracuse.”
It is clear that globalization is not sustainable, nor desirable in maintaining a local, personal identity. This map is an exercise in appreciation of local resources through the act of consumption. Said consumption does not ignore nor deny the power of consumerism, but merely manipulates it to support the local economy. It does this by mapping independently-owned businesses that utilize local resources, thus eliciting an understanding of and appreciation for the community. These sites are considered social capital, or indicative of a social relationship structure from which people can achieve goals for their community.
I chose sites that support sustainable ideals by networking primarily and asking people about their favorite places. I also conducted internet research using local blogs on sustainability, referring to local mapping projects and using national “green” directories. A public Open Green Map was created to organize these sites. It is supplemented by a visual study in the mapmaking experience. The paper map I created is my interpretation of the aerial and bird’s-eye view maps that inspired my research. It is meant to incite the same kind of enthusiasm felt viewing a bird’s-eye map while exploiting the rationality and ease of navigation that comes with a traditional street map.
Leykam, Morgan, "Sustainable Syracuse: A Community Revitalization Initiative Through Green Mapping" (2010). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 382.
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