Department or Program

Environmental Studies


In light of climate inaction on the national stage, cities across the country have emerged as leaders in climate mitigation and adaptation. To address the urban heat island effect exacerbated by increasing temperatures, city planners are turning to the cooling effects of urban greening. This thesis explores constructions of greenspace throughout history to build an understanding of the utilization of greenspace to shape city structure and social dynamics. Boston and Baltimore are two cities that are particularly susceptible to climate change and beginning to hone their climate adaptation plans. This work illuminates the uneven distribution of tree canopy across city neighborhoods produced by over a century of discriminatory housing policies. Through an analysis of urban greening in both cities, this thesis classifies projects that exclude marginalized communities as acts of omission and those that are conducive to green gentrification and displacement as acts of commission. Urban greening is therefore transformed from a “public good” to a method of climate change adaptation with the potential to reinforce the vulnerabilities of a city’s marginalized residents. The next phase of climate change adaptation must contend with greenspace inequity to implement urban greening that protects all city residents in the face of climate change.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Carissa Aoki

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.