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Crash Course

Sustainable Communities

students work in a garden

CIRP 4320

Call it a laboratory without the beakers, test tubes, and petri dishes. In Yekang Ko’s Sustainable Communities course, students research real-world solutions to pressing environmental problems. “Our students acquire an ability to outreach to communities and raise public awareness on sustainability,” says Dr. Ko, an assistant professor of city and regional planning. “They also come to understand broad environmental and social issues in building sustainable communities.” Through lecture, discussion, site visits, and team-based service-learning projects, the course covers topics like urban ecology, energy and resources, and community planning. Past outreach includes developing a wildlife conservation campaign for Arlington’s River Legacy Living Science Center, creating a regenerative community garden model for the East Fort Worth Montessori Academy, and devising a public transit plan for Arlington. “The experience was invaluable to my education and personal knowledge,” says Kailey Renaud (right), a recent graduate who helped install native landscaping at an Arlington library. “It taught me more than any other class structure I’ve experienced.”

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