Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Second Department

Chicano Studies

Reader 1

Susan Phillips

Reader 2

Char Miller

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© 2019 Vannesa ReyesSalazar


Being one of the largest and most influential ethnic groups in Southern California, Mexican and Latinx communities have continuously played a significant role in the shaping of major cities. Despite the history of racist and exclusionary urban planning and policy, Latinxs have persevered through adaptive and creative methods of creating space and reusing resources. Such strength, creativity, and resourcefulness are assets within Latinx communities and are also ways that they practice sustainability, thus having the potential to play a significant role in the development of sustainable cities. Therefore, by focusing local solutions and development projects on community assets as opposed to just community need, voice, autonomy, and inclusion are given to Latinx communities, where they not only participate in the development projects that affect them but are the drivers of the solutions and positive changes they see in their communities. I will be doing two case studies on two non-profit community-based organizations, Huerta del Valle and East LA Community Corporation, who practice this form of asset-based community development. Being situated in two of the most population dense areas in Southern California with the highest concentrations of Mexican and Latinx people, East Los Angeles and the Inland Empire, both organizations serve predominantly Mexican and Latinx communities. By practicing asset-based community development through their programming, Huerta del Valle and East LA Community Corporation are connecting their local communities to decision-making spaces, socially and economically empowering their communities, and overseeing green communal urban spaces. Thus, through asset-based community development, these two organizations are able to uplift and meet the needs of both human ecosystems and the natural ecosystems, creating socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable cities, especially for historically marginalized urban communities.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.