Networking a Common Space: How Tree Planting Actors Work Together to Green the Gateway Cities of Fall River and Chicopee, Massachusetts 

Authors: Laura Cohen*, HERO Program
Topics: Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Greening the Gateway Cities, urban greening, networks, residential tree survivorship   
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Cities worldwide are showing substantial interest in urban greening initiatives, largely through tree planting on private and public property. In 2013 the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) launched the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) in order to plant trees in environmental justice neighborhoods within thirteen cities.  In addition to planting trees, tree planting networks among state and city agencies, as well as non-profit groups and residents, are arguably one of the effective contributions that the GGCP produces in local communities, yet it is one of its least researched components. New research is needed to understand who the actors are in these networks, how the GGCP is being implemented to create networks, and how great a role networks play in sharing information about tree care with residents—a key factor in residential tree survivorship. This study asks: what are the networks—and who are the actors in them—provided by the GGCP, and how do they contribute to the GGCP program in Fall River and Chicopee? Interviews were conducted in 2018 with residents and organizational actors of Fall River and Chicopee.

This study has the potential to foster better understanding of how individual actors and groups in the GGCP work together for the betterment of the common spaces: the Gateway Cities they inhabit and their particular neighborhoods within them that typically fall into DCR-established planting zones.

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