Sustainable Exuma

“We, together, acknowledge the on-going need to have citizens embrace the concept of ownership of our natural environment in the historical context, as well as those things of value, which are crafted by people over the ages.”  – Philip Brave Davis, 2013

This multi-year ecological planning project is a collaboration among the Government of The Bahamas, the Bahamas National Trust, and Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). The goal is to facilitate the design and management of a more sustainable future for the Exuma archipelago, and The Bahamas more generally.

The project has two parallel and mutually informing components: research and education. These components work to inform the development of proposals and interventions as well as the building of capabilities for local empowerment. An important part of the project is a series of Scholarships for the degree programmes as well as opportunities for Bahamians to engage in the summer Career Discovery Programme at the GSD. Furthermore, the project is integrated with the research and pedagogy of the GSD.

The project seeks to understand local issues through various forms of public engagement. Public forums, workshops, and conferences are part of the process, in addition to fieldwork that facilitates the connection of researchers with residents. The first year focused on fieldwork including participation in daily routines that created a better understanding of local issues particularly across Exuma and more generally across The Bahamas. The second year of the project focuses on proposal making, where we design and imagine projects that have the potential for a long-term spatial and economic impact, while the third year focuses on a plan for action and implementation.

Project Team: Mohsen Mostafavi (PI), Gareth Doherty (co-PI), Filipe Vera, Fadi Masoud, Jose Maria Ortiz Cotro, Tomas Folch, Fábio Duarte, Robert Daurio, Mariano Gomez Luque.

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