This presentation explores strategies for addressing the cultural, social, and emotional aspects of biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, and climate change. What composes a Superfund site beyond contaminants and remediation strategies? What other kinds of work need to be done with the communities living on or near these sites? What is the role for landscape architects beyond remediation, capping, and phytoremediation strategies? This talk explores how design theory and practice can address environmental losses and work with impacted communities to address the changes to culture and lifestyle that accompany these losses, making discussions of environmental justice central to such work.
The ‘Marking Environmental Losses’ design studio, taught at Rutgers in the Spring of 2018, was used as a platform for this discussion. The studio addressed two main issues. The first was effective and accessible communication of scientific information about environmental issues. Secondly, it explored methodologies for advocating for environmental justice in marginalized communities. Students explored methods for raising awareness about significant ongoing environmental issues at the Ringwood Mines Superfund site in northern Jersey. This work was grounded in a collaborative process of gathering and visualizing site information and personal stories with the Ramapough Lunappe Turtle Clan who live on the site. The work aimed to present complex environmental data from EPA reports and other sources, alongside narratives of human experience, in order to make this information accessible and comprehensible.
While scientific studies provide knowledge, focus on objective data can strip away significance. A different vocabulary is required to communicate the impact on human communities and the transmission of cultural practices – especially those connected to the land. Using her design studio as a case study, Anita will demonstrate strategies for effectively including the role of human experience in assessing environmental loss and advocating for environmental justice in planning and design strategies.
Atlantic City, NJ
Sustainable Development & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
1. Examine strategies for addressing the cultural, social, and emotional aspects of biodiversity loss, environmental degradation, and climate change.
2. Discuss methodologies for advocating for environmental justice in marginalized communities.
3. Understand the limitations of the standards of representation and explore techniques for effectively and accessibly communicating scientific information about environmental issues.
SPEAKER: Anita Bakshi, Instructor – Rutgers Landscape Architecture Department Anita Bakshi teaches in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University, where she is also an affiliated lecturer for the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Stud
New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects