Published: 2023

/ Student Work

Fostering Racial Equity in Access to Green Spaces in Southeast Michigan


Southeast Michigan has experienced social, racial, and economic inequalities for decades. Exclusionary policies and individual discrimination together have produced patterns of racial segregation that pose challenges to economic, physical, and social mobility today. Among these challenges is the focus of this report: stark disparities in equitable access to green spaces. To guide this capstone project, our team created and utilized five core principles of green space equity that were developed from leading theories:
  1. Acknowledge and confront systemic oppression;
  2. Discard universal approaches to localized issues;
  3. Recenter community in process design and decision-making;
  4. Build community power and capacity; and
  5. Commit to sustained green space equity.


Kira Barsten, Kathryn Economou, Dana Gentry, Srishti Jaipuria, Gurleen Kaur, Caroline Lamb, Xianwei Lei, Annie Linden, Manvi Nigam, Anna Pasek, Kimberly Swinehart, and Yuan Wu


Robert Goodspeed