The Parkway Community ABCD Exercise invites students to engage in an exercise to explore what it means to take an asset-based approach to community development (“an ABCD” approach), versus a “needs” or “deficit” approach.
Browse our tools by Category, Type, Big Ideas, and/or Time Commitment, for example, or simply feel free to explore the options below. We also invite you to contribute by adding your own tools that you’ve successfully tried in your classrooms.
Exploring Asset-Based Community Development: The Parkway Community
Introduction to SLS & Sustainable Communities
This tool, intended to be used towards the beginning of the semester, helps instructors frame their course to students in relation to SLS and our mission of educating students to help “create sustainable communities.” It also prompts students to begin exploring additional opportunitie
"Ever the Land" Living Building Documentary: A Guided Reflection
Ever the Land is an internationally acclaimed documentary film about Te Kura Whare, the fully certified Living Building built by the Tūhoe, a Māori tribe of northern New Zealand. The Tūhoe built Te Kura Whare as a public community center and tribal heritage archive.
Kendeda Building Participatory Design Game
This tool adapts the Smart Cities Kit to Georgia Tech’s Living Building, the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design.
Technology and Social Context
This tool helps students understand how social context can influence the success or failure of projects; as a result, students will learn to design their own projects, both local and abroad, with attention to the context and the communities in which they’re working.
SLS Case Study: The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design
The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech promises to be a flexible, multi-use academic space as well as the most environmentally advanced educational and research building in the Southeast.
Atlanta Map Room: Rethinking the Way Data Represents the Places We Live
The goal of the Map Room project is to develop local spaces for grassroots map-making, where people can creatively and collaboratively explore data. Conventional digital maps help people see rapid, large-scale social and environmental changes as they unfold.
Smart Cities Kit
The Smart Cities Kit is a set of hands-on materials that supports collaborative scenario building activities. These activities can foster a greater understanding of smart-cities as socio-technical systems.
Society, Equity, and Sustainability
SLS approaches sustainability as an integrated system, linking environment, economy, and society.
Civic Data Guides: Thinking Critically about Digital Public Records
Over the past decade public institutions have put considerable resources towards improving the quality and availability of civic data, such as budget and expenditure information, building permits, air quality readings, police incidents, and property ownership records.
Stratification Monopoly: A Comparative Perspective
Some of the major challenges in teaching about economic inequality and mobility are a) understanding the differences between income and wealth, as well as other types of economic resources; b) encouraging students to be empathetic to those who have a different economic standing than their own; c)
SLS Case Study: Proctor Creek
Proctor Creek runs through northwest Atlanta, extending from I-20 in southwest Atlanta to the Chattahoochee River. An important piece of Atlanta’s natural environment, it also has a long history of neglect and pollution, which has negatively affected its surrounding communities.
SLCE Nuts & Bolts
“What strategies and resources are available to me to integrate community engagement into my teaching?”
This section of the toolkit is your answer. It offers you guidance about service learning and community engagement (SLCE) organized into the eight categories below. In addition, a repository of Community Engagement Action Guides can be found at the bottom of this page. It is a living resource, and we will be updating it frequently. Please contact Ruthie Yow, SLS Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your ideas for improving it!
Environmental Justice 101
Environmental Justice (EJ) is concerned with making sure that (a) no community takes on an unfair share of environmental burdens and (b) environmental benefits are shared in an equitable way regardless of race, class, gender, or orientation.
ReGenesis Case Study: Creating a Sustainable Community through Collaborative Problem-Solving
This tool uses the ReGenesis case study from Spartanburg, South Carolina, to explore what it means to “create sustainable communities” through broad stakeholder engagement.
Urban Heat Islands and the Georgia Tech Climate Network
Extreme heat leads to more deaths in the US than all other natural disasters combined, and as global temperatures rise, so will the dangers.
Mobile Journalism: Documenting Equitable and Inclusive Communities
This tool facilitates meaningful discussions on equity through the lens of mobile journalism and documentary filmmaking. Part I consists of a series of short, documentary-style videos that attempt to illustrate how a building, or any physical space, can be inclusive and equitable for everyone.
Teaching Local/Global SDG Connections Though Case Studies
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” (United Nations). Students completing this lesson will be able to:
SLS Fellows Program
Environmental Justice and the UN SDGs: A WAWA Case Study
The purpose of this tool is to introduce students to the work of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) and the history of the Proctor Creek watershed, and to situate this work within the context of two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 1
An Introduction to Climate Resilience
Climate change poses numerous and multi-faceted threats to existing ecological and social systems. Climate resilience is the concept of anticipating climate-related stresses to these systems in order to increase their capacity to adapt to climate change, although definitions of resilience vary based on discipline and the systems being examined. Assessment of climate vulnerability, or the degree to which systems and communities are susceptible to the effects of climate change, informs efforts to increase resilience. This tool defines and gives examples of climate resilience and vulnerability through the lens of three areas of research underway at Georgia Tech. First, students will view slides explaining climate resilience and climate vulnerability. Students will then view videos featuring three Georgia Tech faculty describing how their work contributes to enhancing climate resilience. Finally, students will discuss the connections they have made between key concepts in climate resilience and the role of research in developing strategies for climate adaptation.
This tool was contributed by Bonnie Lapwood and Ben Shipley.
This tool facilitates meaningful discussions on equity through the lens of storytelling. The goal of the tool is to help science and technology students use narrative as a method of quickly testing ideas.
Thinking More About Food, Climate Change, and Sustainability
This awareness building short reading and discussion activity allows students to:
SLS' Anti-Racism Resource List for Teaching, Learning, and Acting to "Create Sustainable Communities" During this Time of Transformation
Our world is in the midst of incredible change - change that Georgia Tech faculty, staff, students, and partners want to teach about, learn about, and engage in, both inside and outside the classroom. SLS has started this list to compile and share the best resources coming our way.
SLS Resource List: Equitable and Sustainable Development
The Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain aims to help students create sustainable communities, where humans and nature flourish in the present and future. One SLS Priority area concerning sustainable communities is Equitable & Sustainable Development, focusing on how environment, economy, equity and society shape large infrastructure projects.