University Park, Pa. — Penn State Professor Ken Tamminga has been encouraging fourth and fifth year landscape architecture students to help stressed neighborhoods in Pittsburgh recapture community pride. Working with inner-city, low-income neighborhoods, his Pittsburgh Studio students use design, art and landscape as catalysts for community revitalization. The results create a sense of urban renewal, with more sustainable neighborhood landscapes that create safe, healthy and productive communities.
For these efforts, Tamminga, professor of landscape architecture in the College of Arts and Architecture, and the Pittsburgh Studio initiative, have been recognized as the northeast regional winner of the 2011 Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the National Outreach Scholarship Conference.
Tamminga's studio, in partnership with the Penn State Center: Engaging Pittsburgh, the local gateway to all Penn State resources, works with students to create regenerative designs that aim to meet the vision of community leaders, residents and other stakeholders to improve the landscape of each neighborhood.
"It’s an honor that I share with the Penn State Center and a lovely recognition of a useful partnership between neighborhoods and students," Tamminga said. "The residents can see how articulate visual documentation of a great idea can be used to leverage support within the community to move forward."
Once the students’ conceptual projects are completed, neighborhood leaders often work with the Penn State Center to establish goals and objectives to make the plans a reality.
"These projects allow residents to imagine what their communities could become,” said Deno De Ciantis, director of the Penn State Center. “This award recognizes that Penn State is engaged with Pittsburgh as we continue the legacy of passing on knowledge and research to neighborhoods across Pennsylvania."
The Magrath Award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement functions to become even more involved with their communities. Tamminga, and the four other regional winners, will advance to the national competition and compete for the C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award this fall. The winner will be announced at the APLU meeting this November in San Francisco.
Penn State Outreach and its college partners have received one national award and three regional awards since the recognition program began in 2007.
To learn more about the Penn State Center: Engaging Pittsburgh program, visit http://pittsburgh.center.psu.edu/ online.