Greening Camden Waterfront South
Development of a Green Infrastructure Plan
Based on Community Engagement, Outreach, and Education
Community Planning + Visualization Lab.g
About the Planning Project

Camden's Waterfront South is a federal and state historic district located in the southwestern part of the city along the banks of the Delaware River. Rowan University partnered with the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA), Heart of Camden, and Camden Fireworks to create a neighborhood-wide green infrastructure plan to reduce stormwater runoff/flooding and improve the condition of existing parks and green spaces. Community engagement and feedback were critical in this planning process to obtain information on flood-prone areas, receive initial feedback on proposed GSI projects, understand social impact of proposed projects, and respond to the overall concerns of community members. Two public meetings, two focus groups, photovoice and photo collage activities, and in-depth interviews were conducted to allow for the acquisition of information from diverse neighborhood residents and stakeholders. Read more information about the project here.   

Source: Meenar, M., Harris, S., Wren, M., & Moulton, D. (2020). Greening Waterfront South: A Green Infrastructure Plan for Camden Waterfront South Neighborhood. School of Earth & Environment Faculty Scholarship. 25. Rowan University Community Planning + Visualization Lab. https://rdw.rowan.edu/see_facpub/25

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10 Community Engagement Activities
The project team applied 10 community engagement activities, each of which provided valuable input in the final plan. Outputs from these activities were systematically catalogued and presented in the plan. The team explained how ideas and suggestions were generated through these activities and eventually embedded in the final recommendations. 
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June - August 2018
Activity 1 - Oral History and Intercept Interviews

 

Audio story featuring 

  • Andy Kricun

  • Carlos Morales

  • Donna Helmes 

  • Residents

Audio Story: Camden Waterfront South
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Audio story production: Megan Bucknum
Interviews by Megan Bucknum and Jennifer Kitson
Intercept interviews by Cassie Shugart and Marie DiLeonardo
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April 2019
Activity 2 - Public Meeting 1 (community listening & visioning event)

Location: Camden Fireworks
Facilitators: Mahbubur Meenar, Megan Bucknum, Susan Harris, Ted Howell, Jennifer Kitson

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April 2019
Activity 3 - Community Design Workshop

Location: Camden Fireworks
Facilitators: Mahbubur Meenar, Megan Bucknum, Susan Harris, Ted Howell, Jennifer Kitson

Grass Close Up

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May  2019
Activity 4 - Focus Group with Environmental Professionals

Location: Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority
Facilitators: Mahbubur Meenar, Susan Harris

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June 2019
Activity 5 - Photovoice

Location: Waterfront South Neighborhood
Facilitators: Megan Bucknum, Jennifer Kitson, Mahbubur Meenar, and Ted Howell

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June 2019
Activity 6 - Environmental Education through Photo Collages

Location: Heart of Camden
Facilitators: Ted Howell, Mahbubur Meenar, Megan Bucknum, Jennifer Kitson, Meghan Wren, Giavanni Rizzo, Cassandra Rodriguez

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June 11 & June 18, 2019
Activity 7 - Focus Groups with Community Residents

Location: Heart of Camden
Facilitators: Megan Bucknum, Jennifer Kitson, Mahbubur Meenar, and Ted Howell

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Grass Close Up

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August, 2019
Activity 8 - In-Depth Interviews

Location: Heart of Camden
Facilitators: Mahbubur Meenar, Meghan Wren

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September 2019
Activity 9 - Public Meeting 2 (feedback on draft plan)

Location: Camden Fireworks
Presenters: Mahbubur Meenar, Susan Harris, Meghan Wren, Cassie McDonald

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September 2019
Activity 10 - Celebration of Environmental Photo Collages

Location: Camden Fireworks

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Environmental Education & Outreach

Media Coverage

News story by Rowan Today - Sep 2019 | Story by South Jersey Climate News - Sep 2019  | Video story by NJTV News - Oct 2019 | Op-Ed on ROI-nj.com - Aug 2020

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Products

Final Presentation - Sep 9, 2019 (pdf) | Program Booklet | Final Plan | Audio Story

Project-Based Learning

Rowan University courses that used materials from this planning project:

Writing Arts for Civil & Environmental EngineeringCommunity Planning & Site Design

Open-Access Learning Module

Exploring Environmental Justice through Listening by Jennifer Kitson & Edward Howell

Conference Presentations

Community Perceptions and Challenges of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Planning in Urban Neighborhoods, presented by Dr. Meenar

Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 2020

Using First Person Perspectives to Understand Place and Human-Environment Interaction, presented by Dr. Meenar, Dr. Kitson, and Ms. Bucknum

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Virtual Research Mixer at Rowan University, 2020

Project Team

Rowan University

  • Mahbubur Meenar, PhD, Project Director, Assistant ProfessorGeography, Planning, & Sustainability (project administration; community engagement)

  • Meghan Wren, Assistant Project Manager (event management, community engagement)  

  • Megan Bucknum, LecturerGeography, Planning, & Sustainability (oral history; focus group facilitation) 

  • Ted Howell, PhD, LecturerWriting Arts (photo collage workshop facilitation)

  • Jennifer Kitson, PhD, Assistant ProfessorGeography, Planning, & Sustainability (oral history)

  • Devon Moulton, Giavanni Rizzo, and Cassandra Rodriguez, Student AssistantsGeography, Planning, & Sustainability 

Consultant

  • Susan Harris, Cerulean LLC

 

Community Partners

Donna Helmes, Carlos MoralesHeart of Camden 

Cassie MacDonaldCamden Fireworks 
 

This project is primarily funded by CCMUA, with support from a Rowan University SEED Grant on inclusion and diversity, 2018-2019.

Any questions? Please send an email to meenar@rowan.edu