Sustainable Design with The Westminster Schools
Georgia Conservancy Leads Informational Workshops
In early January, a group of juniors and seniors at The Westminster Schools participated in sustainable community design classes with Georgia Conservancy’s Sustainable Growth team. As part of a short January term that delved into community and urban issues, the students had two sessions with our staff. The first class included an overview of planning history with an emphasis on consideration of intended and unintended environmental impacts. This class ended with an exercise wherein students broke into teams to play various roles (mayor, superintendent, parent, teacher, etc.) in decision-making around a new school location for a fictitious town. Armed with a map of the three site options; facts about each site’s conditions, construction costs, and community impacts; and encouragement to stay within their roles; the teams wrestled with a real-life quandary.
A second interaction with the class included a site visit to Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta and an urban scavenger hunt around the school campus to locate and document a variety of urban design features: sidewalks, school commute options, safety elements, crosswalks, bike lanes, and signage, among others. A wrap-up discussion focused on the importance of schools as neighborhood stabilizers and the critical campus design features that render schools community-centered (or not).