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Thread: Masters dissertation (thesis)

  1. #1
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    Masters dissertation (thesis)

    Hello everyone,

    I shortly have to hand in a proposal for my masters thesis and I'm rather stuck. I'm studying for a degree in Environmental Planning at Liverpool John Moores in England and I'm really interested in green (eco) building and eco communities, I'm just struggling to pin the subject down to a research question.

    Any ideas anyone? I'm thinking about looking at the kinds of communities that people build when they get together in groups with an environmental ethos, and the lessons that planners can take from this when they themselves are trying to design sustainable communities.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks
    GG

  2. #2
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    The only things I can contribute here is something a former coleauge and I would toss around...

    How can a new development be incentived to use green roofs by using existing economic development incentives? What are the shortfalls in cost when it comes to contstructing a gree roof versus a conventional one...from the iddediate bottom line to long-term amoritization up-front increased cost versus long term benefit.
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    GeogPlanner tripped a thought about incentives I have advocated. From a sustainability perspective I believe it makes more sense to offer companies an opportunity to realize long-term cost savings than it does to give them a low-interest loan, a discount on land price, or some of our other usual tools for incenting economic development. From the community's standpoint, the "incentive" is now tied to the place and does not disappear over time or even if the business leaves.

    What do I mean by that? Assume that instead of spending $50,000 to write down the cost of a loan, you spent that money on HVAC, lighting, design, or other facility enhancements that resulted in ongoing lower operating costs for the building. The business might see their operating costs go down by 10% relative to another location. That is a benefit that they will receive every year, and one they would not be able to easily replicate if they moved to another location.

    It would be interesting to look at ideas such as these, which seek to "green up" the practice of economic development, and try to quantify the potential benefit.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Though not my topic, my database searches for my research topic have revealed several articles examining human behavior in green developments and what attracts people to these types of developments. You might be able to take something in that direction.

    I like Cardinal's idea as well.

    If it helps, below is a draft purpose statement for my Applied Research Project (basically an applied thesis) that is along the same lines as your interest in Green development:

    "The purpose of this research is gauging, following the practical ideal type conceptual framework. The research will: (1) review the literature on affordable housing, the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships programs, and Green building practice so as to identify the ideal characteristics for Green practices in housing construction and rehabilitation under those programs; (2) assess Texas "entitlement jurisdictions" and "participating jurisdictions" using the ideal characteristics; and (3) provide recommendations for improving Green building practice in housing construction and rehabilitation programs funded under the CDBG and HOME programs."

    My seven ideal type categories are:
    • Energy Systems
    • Water Conservation
    • Indoor Air Quality
    • Site Selection, Design & Landscape Ecology
    • Building Ecology, Waste & Recycling
    • Integrated Design
    • Occupant Education

    Someone else on here did his thesis on Green development and Community Development Corporations; he was kind enough to send me a copy of his thesis which helped me refine my topic (his thesis is also a listed reference in mine--he had some good findings that apply to pretty much any federally-funded affordable housing).

    EDIT: It was MacheteJames below. I could not remember his screen name for the life of me and didn't want to out him.
    Last edited by Suburb Repairman; 11 Apr 2007 at 12:11 PM.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian MacheteJames's avatar
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    I wrote a master's thesis on Green Affordable Housing last year. If you'd like a copy, just PM me.

  6. #6
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    Many thanks to all of you who have posted so far. You've given me a few things to mull over.

    As soon as I have finished my horrendous design project for my tutor who is determined to turn us all into architects and not planners I'll have some time to work on it!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally posted by MacheteJames View post
    I wrote a master's thesis on Green Affordable Housing last year. If you'd like a copy, just PM me.
    Hey MacheteJames. I am also interested in taking a look at your thesis since I am beginning a thesis on the same topic and would be very helpful to take a look at previous studies. Would you send it to mjaccount09@gmail.com?

    Thanks, I would really appreciate it.

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