WIT Press

GOING GREEN? THE IMPACTS OF SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING IN GREENSBURG, KANSAS, USA

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/SDP-V8-N3-288-304

Volume

Volume 8 (2013), Issue 3

Pages

16

Page Range

288 - 304

Author(s)

L. HEWITT SPARKS & S. SWEARINGEN WHITE

Abstract

The small city of Greensburg, Kansas gained international attention through its efforts to rebuild sustainably following a devastating tornado in 2007. This study investigates the early results of those efforts, asking how both the built and social environments of Greensburg have changed as the result of sustainability-focused planning. Analysis of documents, observations, and interviews reveals that Greensburg’s plans have had important influences on the city’s built and social environments. Specifically, the materials, designs, and placement of buildings are substantially different than prior to the tornado, and reflect the city’s sustainability emphasis. The greening efforts also appear to have enhanced citizen views of sustainability, with learning, costs, and community concerns as the main mitigating factors.

Keywords

community planning, disaster recovery, small cities, sustainability.