Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Dr. Sonya Ahamed


The crisis of climate change-driven disaster and instability is affecting humans all over the world, especially vulnerable populations in urban settings. This crisis exacerbates social inequalities in cities that exist from a legacy of discriminatory policies. This research centers local perspectives and policies on access and utilization of green spaces as a vital social and green infrastructure within the city of Albany, NY. Building off literature establishing green space as a means to build climate resilience and foster community wellbeing, this paper uses a socio-ecological lens to explore efforts being made by government and community organizations to foster equity, social connectivity and community resilience through these spaces. Through thematic analysis of interviews with local government officials and individuals working with community organizations I assess present issues and future needs to increase community access to green spaces across the city. This research serves as a case study for the city of Albany as well as a framework for other municipalities in addressing the importance of providing equitable access to green spaces in an urban environment. It establishes that local organizations and government can establish productive partnerships to work cooperatively towards this goal. Albany demonstrates some level of success in adopting socio-ecological thinking and resilience principles in practice. If these ideas are actively incorporated into planning and policy, there is high potential for more long-term successes in building climate resilience and enhancing social connectivity in Albany.


Environmental Studies | Social Justice | Urban Studies and Planning

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