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The Community Planning + Visualization Lab uses a Biophilic Urbanism lens to explore the connection between people and their social, natural, and built environments and the influence this connection has on the planning process for developing sustainable, healthy, equitable, just, and "smart" communities.

We examine how the nexus of land, water, and food play a role in spatial planning and community planning to make communities sustainable. In particular, we are interested in the ways community resilience is influenced by spatial distributions and prioritization processes of green and blue infrastructure (e.g., green stormwater management projects, parks, greenways, community gardens, urban farms) at the neighborhood, urban, and regional scales. We use “spatial planning models” that integrate ecological and socioeconomic indicators and consider triple bottom line community benefits (e.g., social, environmental, and economic benefits).

We apply an innovative combination of participatory planning tools and geospatial or other digital/smart technologies in spatial planning, community engagement, and community capacity building efforts, with a specific focus on participatory and mixed-methods approaches with GIS and geo-visualization.

We recognize that many planning processes and outputs may misunderstand important aspects of human and social experiences. Planners overwhelmingly have concentrated on issues around physical health – not mental and emotional health, as well as spiritual well-being. We seek to assess and understand how human emotions are attached to social, natural, and built environments and how such attachment may influence the process of planning for happy cities and neighborhoods.

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Mahbubur R. Meenar, Ph.D., GISP
Associate Professor of Planning

Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability
School of Earth and Environment
Rowan University
201 Mullica Hill Rd, Glassboro, NJ 08028

Planning sub-fields: environmental planning, food systems planning, community planning, and spatial planning
Equity + Justice 
Climate Change 
Environmental Health
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