Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2017


Environmental Science


John Van Buren


This senior thesis consists primarily of an ethnography of successful American greenways, highlighting the greenways’ general ecosystem services, including their provisioning, regulating, and supporting ecological services. A greenway is defined as an urban trailway with some sort of inherent, defined, or named utility beyond recreation. I first detail the environmental and urban histories of greenways in America, and then discuss the ecological, economic and social benefits the greenways provide. Four case study cities and five other supplementary cities were visited, and various methods of research were conducted in person, including on-trail assessment, interviews, and a survey on usage. Using this primary, as well as secondary, data, I defend a little-researched hypothesis of the greenway as a tool for neighborhood cohesion. Finally, I add an “upshot” section about greenways in New York City, and the potential lessons from the successes of greenways in other North American cities.