The use of exploratory scenarios in designing post-mining Appalachia
Stinson, Ashley Lynn
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The Appalachian Plateau covers over 100,000 square miles in the eastern United States. For over a century, these mountains have been exploited through underground mining, leaving a host of rural towns plagued by rapidly declining populations, lack of economic fitness, and environmental devastation. This thesis examines how design interventions could be applied in Appalachian post-mining towns to preserve rural livelihood, stimulate reinvestment, and improve environmental conditions. Case study methodology is applied to Vintondale, Pennsylvania, relying on scholarly literature and the author's observations during a site visit to generate exploratory landscape scenarios. The results suggest that there may be ways to address the community, economy, and ecology in Vintondale; however, it was determined that individual town characteristics led to certain design opportunities and/or restrictions.