Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

E. Christian Wells, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Linda M. Whiteford, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rebecca K. Zarger, Ph.D.


Community Development Corporations, greenspace, resident engagement, University Area


Harvest Hope Park is a brownfield redevelopment project for the University Area Community Development Corporation (University Area CDC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the sustainable redevelopment of north Tampa neighborhoods. While the project is still in progress, the University Area CDC has noted a lack of community engagement by local residents. The neighborhood, sometimes referred to as “suitcase city” because of the presumed transient nature of the population, has been plagued with poverty, blight, decay, high crime rates, and a lack of basic resources for decades (32 percent of the population in this area lives below the 2016 national poverty line). This project examines the importance of community engagement and capacity building through the environmental redevelopment of brownfield sites while enhancing human-environmental health. The methods used in this research consist of participant observation during University Area CDC events, semi-structured interviews with residents and University Area CDC staff, and analysis of available University Area CDC documents and data. This research identifies the environmental, health, and social impacts of the redevelopment of Harvest Hope Park. Results of the research support the hypothesis that engagement of residents in brownfield redevelopment projects supports building the foundation for the skills, abilities, and resources to advocate for change in their community.