News & Press: University Member News

News from the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC - Chapel Hill

Wednesday, December 14, 2016  
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Carolina to lead one of five national transportation centers, focus on road safety Carolina Planning has partnered with UNC’s Highway Safety Research Center and the Injury Prevention Research Center to develop a transport safety research center focused on reducing roadway fatalities. Carolina Planning was also part of a team that successfully competed for a regional transportation center focused on mobility and congestion. These grants provide amazing opportunities for inter-disciplinary research and education on topics critical to the future of cities and regions.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center has been selected to run a National University Transportation Center funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The University will receive $2.8 million in the first year, and up to $15 million in grant funding over five years, to create and manage the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS) – an opportunity for UNC-Chapel Hill to lead and influence the future of transportation safety research for the nation.

The CSCRS will accelerate progress in reducing injuries and fatalities on the nation’s roads by offering a new paradigm for how to understand and address traffic safety issues. The center will conduct collaborative, multidisciplinary research and education and technology transfer activities to improve road safety in the U.S.
Learn more:


Better Cities, Better Growth: India’s Urban Opportunity
India is experiencing an urban transformation. Given the rapidity of change and the long-lived nature of urban form and infrastructure, the decisions that India’s policy-makers take in the next 5–15 years will lock in its urban pathway for decades to come. Better, smarter urban growth could be an economic opportunity for India worth up to 6% of GDP by 2050, with significant savings at the household level, according to the latest research from the New Climate Economy (NCE).

Authored by Carolina Planning professor Meenu Tewari and Nick Godfrey, NCE Head of Policy and Urban Development, this report provides new analysis across 479 Indian cities – using an innovative combination of satellite data of night-time lights, census, environmental, and economic data – which demonstrates a clear link between more compact, connected urban growth and stronger economic performance in India, corroborating global findings.
Better Cities, Better Growth: India’s Urban Opportunity
(Meenu Tewari, Nick Godfrey)

Fall Carolina Planning 2016 Workshop Review
Each year, UNC Department of City and Regional Planning students have the opportunity to take a hands-on workshop course; the course is required for second year Master’s students. Workshops usually include client-facing work, collaborating with large teams on complex challenges taking place in a North Carolina community. This fall, the department organized two workshop courses: one focused on economic development, the other on transportation. Below is a description of each of the workshops and reflections about the value of practical, skill-based work in preparing Master’s students for the real world.

Economic Development Workshop: The economic development workshop was facilitated by Professor Bill Lester. It tackled two client projects and students worked on both projects, taking multiple “lead” and “support” roles on each. The clients for the projects were the National Employment Law Project (NELP) in Washington, DC, and the Word Tabernacle Church Impact Center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

Transportation Workshop: The transportation workshop was facilitated by DCRP PhD candidate and former land developer Bill Bishop, whose research focuses on Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and maximizing the impact of mass transit through value capture. The workshop was tasked with taking a critical look at the city of Charlotte’s Blue Line Extension, a light rail line connecting the central business district with the UNC Charlotte campus about 13 miles to the north. City of Charlotte Planning and regional transit agency staff worked with the UNC workshop team to lay out the successes and shortcomings of TOD surrounding new light rail stations.


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.