Statement of purpose:
My name is Rebecca Asser and I am a Master of Landscape Architecture student in the NC State University College of Design. My interest in place-attachment, environmental equity, and climate adaptation started while teaching second grade in rural Eastern North Carolina. While at first perhaps appearing vacant and sparse, I was exposed to the multi-faceted layers of sociological and historical meaning embedded in the landscape. As humans must face the reality of planning for climate change, especially in low-lying, flood-prone and often economically-disadvantaged areas, my hope is that this collaboration, research, and work will help to bolster the voices of communities most affected by disaster. It is imperative to me that design is used as a tool to build trust amongst agencies and the people they serve. The future of land-use planning must include robust, innovative climate change strategies that are based on community consensus, cultural sensitivity, and diligent design.
Description of research:
My fellowship will focus on establishing connections to build upon land-use planning initiatives begun by the NC State Coastal Dynamics Design Lab in Lumberton, NC. The Lumbee play an integral role in the region’s cultural history and possess powerful localized knowledge of the Lumbee River. The essence of landscape architecture is biocultural, and the sovereign power of tribal communities allows designers to integrate co-produced design scenarios to alleviate and mitigate the effects of climate change in a localized, contextually sensitive, and greatly influential manner. Through meaningful collaboration, I hope to integrate a better understanding of place attachment and culture assets that will reduce climate risk and aid in developing dynamic adaptation strategies that honor the indigenous community’s hope for the future.