Theses Master's

Revitalizing Cemeteries: Interventions for America’s Aging Urban Burial Places

Noble, Rebecca

Urban American cemeteries encounter several problems as they age. While these problems vary by place, there are some emergent general trends. Among these, two prominent challenges concerning contemporary cemetery corporations are their ability to maintain their sites’ physical appearance and safety and their ability to engage and manage relationships with visitors and the surrounding community. “Revitalizing Cemeteries: Interventions for American’s Aging Urban Burial Places” employs a series of semi-structured interviews with cemetery managers, operators, board members, academics, historians, and other death-industry related professionals to address three questions: What are the main challenges facing urban cemeteries in America now and in the near future? Are there replicable models to address these problems? What technical, programmatic, and policy interventions have been implemented that have positive or promising results that can be used or adopted at other sites? The researcher identified many interventions that have been attempted, with varying degrees of success, in cemeteries in the United States and the United Kingdom. There are a variety of strategies – such as alternative interment options, accessibility accommodations, nature conservation and educational program offerings, recreational activities, regulatory amendments, investment reforms, and grave use policies – that cemeteries have implemented or could apply to address their evolving needs and become more functional assets for their communities.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Hutson, Malo A.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 29, 2018