Discovering the Keystone: Creating a Sustainable Neighborhood in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Richard J. Huy, Gettysburg College
Jolina A. Kenney, Gettysburg College

Environmental Studies Senior Thesis


The concept of sustainable communities reflects the “three pillars” of environmental soundness, economic viability, and social responsibility. Applied to land use designs for cities and neighborhoods, the results are often “walkable” and “livable” communities that address many of the problems of urban and suburban sprawl. The purpose of this project was three-fold 1) to redesign an abandoned industrial site in Northwest Gettysburg using these principles and offer three alternative developments, 2) to create a visually effective means of sharing and communicating the benefits of these designs, and 3) explore the possibility of the site serving as a “keystone neighborhood” for Gettysburg Borough. Incorporating mixed uses of various types of residential and commercial buildings along with enhanced open and natural spaces, the resulting plans achieved the three goals of sustainable community development. Moreover, they demonstrate how an industrial eyesore can be transformed into one of the most desirable and livable neighborhoods in Gettysburg.