WWU program in Ithaca, Greece, awarded the 2017 APA/PAW “Best Student Planning Project” Award

A six-year summer investigation in Kioni Village, Ithaca, Greece, involving 85 WWU students, was recognized as the most outstanding student planning study by the American Planning Association and the Planning Association of Washington.

The project, directed by Professor of Environmental Studies Nicholas Zaferatos, resulted in a planning framework that merges local traditions, values, and aspirations with emergent global sustainability principles in order to identify pathways for empowering the community to achieve a sustainable future.

WWU’s Ithaca, Greece program in Sustainable Community Development emphasizes intercultural competency, interdisciplinary education, and community service. Students conducted research and applied their knowledge to the preparation of designs and plans. Students assessed the natural, economic, cultural, and built environments to formulate planning strategies respecting traditional values and informed by best practices in planning.

The study included surveys of community preferences; inventories of land uses and natural resources; carrying capacity analysis; assessment of building vernacular and village morphology; and strategies for community-centered economic development. Design guidelines foster sustainable building practices and the preservation of village vernacular. The program reflects an integrative approach to inquiry-based learning and real-world problem solving. The aim of the project is to assist local communities access knowledge, methods and technologies so that community development decisions can attain socially just, ecologically restorative, and economically positive outcomes.

The study is intended as an empowering resource and planning guidance tool as Kioni Village embarks on its first ever community-planning endeavor.

For more information, contact Zaferatos at nicholas.zaferatos@wwu.edu. The planning study is available at:  http://faculty.wwu.edu/zaferan/Kioni%20Book%202016%20spread-sm.pdf