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Sessions on environmentalism planned

Faculty from the Environmental Policy Group in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government will convene a series of six roundtable discussions this spring on "Civic Environmentalism: Democratic Pathways to Sustainability."

The first session, "What Is Civic Environmentalism and Why Does It Matter?" will take place at MIT on Tuesday, Feb. 13 in the Stella Room (7-338).

Each session will feature a short presentation by a scholar or practitioner whose work has contributed to the discourse of civic environmentalism. The presentation will be followed by comments and then opened to general discussion.

"We hope the series not only raises awareness among a larger public about new approaches to environmental protection, but creates new opportunities for collaboration on research and on-the-ground projects that advance civic environmental goals like community participation and green development. With so much intellectual capital in the greater Boston region, what better place to be experimenting with new models of environmental and community action?" said William Shutkin, lecturer in DUSP and an adjunct professor at the Boston College Law School. He is also president of New Ecology, Inc., author of The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the 21st Century, and an organizer of the roundtable series.

The session at MIT will include Mr. Shutkin and DeWitt John, senior lecturer and director of the Environmental Studies Program at Bowdoin College, and author of Civic Environmentalism: Alternatives to Regulation in States and Communities.

Upcoming sessions include "Civic Environmentalism and the Pursuit of Sustainable Communities" at Tufts on February 27; "The Social and Intellectual Underpinnings of Civic Environmentalism" at MIT on March 13; "A Look at Local and Regional Projects" at Harvard on April 3; "Innovations in Policy and Regulation" also at Harvard on April 24; and "Moving Forward -- Funder Perspectives," to be held at MIT on May 8.

For information about time and locations, contact Maddy Arnstein at x3-5724 or

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 7, 2001.

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