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Member News Articles

Arizona State University (top)

  • Arizona State University’s planning program gains new leadership, new faculty: Arizona State University, which offers a PhD in Planning, an accredited Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning, and a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning, has gained new leadership and several new faculty in the past year. Elizabeth Wentz took on leadership of ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning in Fall 2013, after having served as Associate Director for three years.  Her research focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of geographic technologies with particular emphasis on how such technologies can be used to understand urban environments.
  • This fall, the school welcomes two new faculty members: Stewart Fotheringham joins us as a Professor with a specialization in computational spatial sciences. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Fotheringham is well known for developing local modeling of spatial relationships with geographically weighted regression.  He applies these techniques to health geography, transportation, migration analysis, house price analysis, retail geography and crime pattern analysis. Second, Deborah Salon joins us as an Assistant Professor with a specialization in transportation planning. Her research examines urban travel behavior and land use.  
  • Spring 2015 will see the arrival of Nathan Parker  as an Assistant Research Professor with a specialization in spatio-economic optimization. His primary research interests are in analyzing and quantifying the policies for alternative fuel infrastructure. 

Boston University (top)

California State University, Northridge (top)

 Cleveland State University (top)

Columbia University (top)

  • This spring, the program offered seven studios for first-year students, including international studios in Tokyo, Japan, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Closer to home, the other studios addressed an array of challenging planning problems including bus rapid transit in Rockland and Westchester counties, privately developed in-fill housing on New York City Housing Authority property, the reuse and redevelopment of the former Farley Post Office into Moynihan Station, and planning for resilient economic development around Gowanus Bay in Brooklyn. The full studio reports can be accessed online:
  • Columbia sent twenty-two students and several faculty members to the National Planning Conference in Atlanta, GA. Additionally, Columbia Urban Planning graduate Candy Chang delivered the inspirational closing keynote. Chang discussed the role of public art in fostering community, detailing a few of her projects in New York and New Orleans, where she currently lives.
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development held the inaugural Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition this spring. Two Columbia Urban Planning students, Eric Blair-Joannou and Anna Oursler were members of the Columbia University/New York University team selected as runner up. Ohio State University comprised the winning team. The basis of the competition was to design and redevelop a 1770’s structure in Bergen County, New Jersey into a stable housing community for homeless veterans. The site, known as the Peter DeBaun House, witnessed multiple skiffs during the Revolutionary War though managed to survive the conflict and remain in the DeBaun family for 98 years. After various ownership transfers, the American Legion Post 269 of Emerson, NJ bought the house in the 1970’s, using the building as meeting facilities until 2012, when members chose to sell the house. Currently on the market, the pre-colonial home and the 1.62 acres of land on which it sits are threatened by lack of legal protection. The potential for restoration and revitalization is great, as the site is 45 minutes from Manhattan, located amidst a natural setting, and retains much of its original building fabric. The teams addressed the issues of effectively preserving a historic structure, creating affordable housing, and addressing needs of the homeless. The plans also dealt with practical issues of zoning regulations and financing opportunities. The teams were encouraged to be multidisciplinary and utilize design, planning, and finance into their proposals. Both Eric and Anna are pursuing dual degrees, in business and architecture, respectively.
Florida Atlantic University (top)
  • In collaboration with the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) and the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES), John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government at Florida Atlantic University will present a seminar Planning for Local and Regional Food System Change: Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies on October 23, 2014. The seminar will be held at the Herb Skolnick Center of the City of Pompano Beach, FL. The seminar is part of the Annual Redevelopment Program Series. The purpose of this seminar is to “introduce citizens, elected officials, professional staff and consultants the importance of incorporating food system issues into urban planning decision-making”. 
  • School of Urban and Regional Planning faculty Frank Schnidman recently published an article “A trip back in time, including Judge Charles D. Breitel’s rationale for his Fried French and Penn Central decisions” in Touro Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2014. The article was part of a symposium on the taking issue. The symposium was to honor the life’s work of Professor Fred Bosselman, reflecting on the 40 years of the taking issue since the publication of Bosselman’s book, The Taking Issue. 
  • On August 4, 2014, the founding faculty member of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, the School of Architecture, and the College for Design and Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University, Dr. David Prosperi, passed away at the age of 65. Dr. Prosperi published extensively and was a leading scholar in the area of growth management, economic development, and computer application. He was the Henry D. Epstein Distinguished Professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. Among his many outstanding achievements, Dr. Prosperi was the founding co-editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER). Dr. Prosperi will be forever remembered by the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University.  

Florida State University (top)

  • Alex Riemondy (MSP 2015), Chris Stansbury (MSP 2015), and Donald Morgan (MSP 2016) were selected as US Department of Transportation Dwight Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship recipients. The fellowships will provide  the students with the opportunity to conduct research on important transportation planning topics and support their participation in a national conference in Washington, DC.
  • Professor Petra Doan was selected by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Jewell to participate in a discussion in June in Washington, DC to provide guidance as the National Park Service (NPS) develops a study to raise the visibility of LGBT historical sites and increase the number of LGBT sites entered on the national register of historic places and designated as national landmarks. Currently there are only four LGBT properties on the national register and only a single landmark (the Stonewall Inn). The Gill Foundation has donated $250,000 to fund some of the background studies needed for LGBT historic properties to be properly identified and listed, and Professor Doan’s input is shaping this very important work by the NPS.
  • Lucas Lindsey (MSP 2014) has been selected as the state’s Student Planner of the Year by APA Florida, the state chapter of the American Planning Association. The APA Florida Student Planner of the Year Award recognizes a graduate student for outstanding academic achievement, support of planning, contribution to planning, and potential as a planning professional. In nominating Lucas, the faculty recognized him as one of the best and brightest graduate students ever to attend our program. During his time at FSU he won several awards, including the FSU AICP Outstanding Student Award and the APA Case Brief Award at the National APA Conference. He also presented at the state and national planning conference, including a session at National APA in Atlanta (with luminaries like former APA President Mitch Silver) to a crowd of several hundred on the future of the planning profession. Lucas now works as the Community Manager for Domi Ventures in Tallahassee, a business incubator in the city’s booming Gaines Street redevelopment area.
  • Assistant Professor Michael Duncan is the lead PI on a project funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Enhanced Mobility for Aging Population Using Automated Vehicles, to provide guidance on how autonomous and connected vehicle technologies might enhance mobility operations for certain segments of the population, including older adults and the transportation disadvantaged.  This research connects with efforts of the recently established , a USDOT funded University Transportation Center with a special focus upon the transportation needs of older adults. Department faculty members Tim Chapin and Lindsay Stevens serve as co-PIs on the project.
  • Professor Tim Chapin has been named Associate Dean for Development by the FSU College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. Professor Chapin served the last six years as DURP’s Chair where he spearheaded the unit’s community outreach and development efforts. His portfolio will consist of managing college efforts to recruit and enroll master’s degree students, coordinating new initiatives to increase diversity among faculty and graduate students, working to get more graduate student support by increasing the visibility of our research capacity relevant to local, and state government agencies, and fundraising efforts for professional programs in the college.

George Washington University (top)

Georgetown University (top)

Honorary Doctorate awarded to Distinguished Urbanist: Georgetown university honored Marilyn Jordan Taylor with an honorary doctorate during the commencement ceremony on Friday, May 16, 2014. She was introduced by Uwe S. Brandes, executive director of the Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning program, sharing highlights of Taylor’s remarkable career. Read more here.

Georgia Institute of Technology (top)

Harvard University (top)

Harvard Faculty Updates

  • Diane Davis - Professor Diane Davis has continued her work with Professor Ann Forsyth as co-PI of a three-year project funded by Mexico’s National Worker Housing Agency (INFONAVIT) to explore new directions in social housing supply in the context of a major national initiative towards the re-densification of Mexican cities. During the summer, Davis delivered a lecture in Guadalajara on the topic of the future of cities and organized panels in Sao Paolo to examine mobilization in the context of ecological urbanism. In August, Dais addressed the International Sociological Association on the topic of informality in the Global North and South. The fall saw Davis help the GSD to host a conference entitled “Identity, Sovereignty, and Global Politics in the Building of Baghdad.” This conference examined how interventions in post-WWII Iraq that sought to modernize and integrate different populations contributed to the negotiation of different views of political economy, sovereignty, and identity. An article by Davis, “Modernist Planning and the Foundations of Urban Violence in Latin America” is featured in the fall edition of Built Environment.
  • Ann Forsyth - Ann Forsyth has recently published articles in the areas healthy communities, sustainability, and planning research (full details about collaborators are available on her web site These include: Global Suburbs and the Transition Century: Physical Suburbs in the Long Term (Urban Design International), Compromised or Savvy? Achievable Norms in Urban Design (Journal of Urban Design), Youth Dietary Intake and Weight Status: Healthful Neighborhood Food Environments Enhance the Protective role of Supportive Family Home Environments (Health and Place). The Health and Places Initiative (HAPI) that Forsyth Co-Directs with Jack Spengler from the School of Public Health has also released a new Research Brief series (A. Forsyth and L.Smead eds.
  • Michael Hooper - Michael Hooper, Associate Professor of Urban Planning, recently published the first of three papers from a project on post-disaster reconstruction in Haiti. The paper was published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction and examines how organizations responding to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake established priorities around reconstruction. Forthcoming papers will look at spatial tensions in rebuilding and the organizational politics of rubble clearance. Hooper also presented on his research in Haiti during the school’s Grounded Visionaries campaign launch and at the annual ACSP conference in Philadelphia. The fall also saw the conclusion of a second season of fieldwork on a project he is undertaking on responses to urban growth in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Over the summer, two UPD students –Raven Anderson (MUP ’14) and Aldarsaikhan Tuvshinbat (MUP ‘15) – conducted interviews with residents of the city’s ger districts, informal areas of predominantly tented homes. Hooper also recently published an article in Global Tenant Magazine which documents a joint policy project undertaken by UPD students and the International Union of Tenants (IUT). IUT is the main advocacy organization for tenants around the world and is based in Stockholm. This collaboration saw students in Hooper’s course on Urbanization and International Development write a policy brief for IUT on how policymakers can better address tenants’ needs in developing world cities.
  • Alex Krieger - Alex Krieger (MCP '77), professor in practice of urban design and principle at NBBJ, was a keynote speaker at the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCAR) World Congress in Gdynia, Poland, in September. ISOCARP is a global association of experienced professionals that brings together recognized and highly qualified planners from more than 80 countries worldwide. This year’s congress kicked off the organization's 50th anniversary celebrations. Krieger's presentation was titled "Transformations along Urban Waterfronts," and explored new developments from a global perspective.
  • Rahul Mehrotra - In October, Professor Mehrotra delivered the keynote address at the decennial conference of the Deans of the Americas in Antigua. Mehrotra also recently served as chair of the jury of the Urban Age Awards, which are sponsored by Deutsche Bank. The fall has seen Mehrotra continue his work on ephemeral urbanism, which grew out of studies of the Kumbh Mela. The Kumbh Mela is a Hindu religious festival, which involves the creation of a temporary city on the banks of the Ganges River.
  • Joyce Klein Rosenthal - Joyce Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning published a study in Health & Place on neighborhood characteristics associated with vulnerability to heat-health impacts in New York City.  The remarkable findings on urban “riskscapes” were covered by Time Magazine, the Harvard Gazette, and other international news outlets. Research on urban systems for blue-green infrastructure this fall is examining the governance of the design, implementation, use and stewardship of these engineered natural systems in cities for stormwater management, environmental quality, and recreational space in several case study cities. Dr. Rosenthal spoke on a panel at the October HarvardX gathering in Dallas, Texas, on the future of cities, with hundreds of Harvard alumni at the event, at the invitation of President Faust. She co-organized open GSD-wide workshop in early October on integrating urban climate knowledge into urban planning and design and was discussant and moderator for a panel at the recent 2014 ACSP conference in Philadelphia on “Integrating Climate Adaptation Planning and Its Challenges.”

Harvard Students have also been in the news:
The Second Semester Core Urban Planning Studio published their plan for future development in Chelsea, MA and then won state and national APA/AICP awards. Last year’s studio, Plan Downtown Malden, also won the state award. Several students undertaking joint degrees with planning have reflected on their experiences at the GSD.

  • Rob Wellburn MUP '15 and Matt Furman MUP '15 presentedresearch sponsored by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at a conference held by NeighborWorks America.
  • Jacob Koch MUP '15 studied the intersection between municipal planning for water systems and informal settlements in Sao Paulo with support from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
  • Edward Meng MUP '14 and Heidi Cho MAUD '14, MUP '14 received fellowships from the New Cities Foundation to plan for King Addullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia. Big city planners dropped by the First Semester Core Urban Planning Studio toprovide guidance as the students plan for Dudley Square.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (top)

Iowa State University (top)

Massachusetts Insitute of Technology (top)

In Memoriam: JoAnn Carmin: It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Professor JoAnn Carmin, our valued colleague, collaborator and friend, on July 15, 2014 of complications from advanced breast cancer. She had been fighting her illness for years, bravely and without self-pity through many treatments and much suffering, and continued her immensely productive work and mentoring of her students to the end.   Her courage, endurance and continued commitment to her work during her battle with cancer were extraordinary.
    JoAnn was an Associate Professor at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and conducted research around the world on environmental governance, policy and most recently on climate adaptation at the local level.  She was a leading scholar and top global expert, called upon for expertise by the World Bank, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global league of cities addressing climate change (ICLEI) and other major institutions.  Most recently she was a lead co-author of an excellent chapter on adaptation for the American Sociological Association’s Task Force on Climate Change, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. 
    JoAnn earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees at Cornell University in management and organizational theory, where she took an early interest in the study of environmental citizen organizations and movements, environmental governance and environmental justice. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1999, and while there she developed a particular interest in local environmental politics and the many citizen environmental movements emerging in post-Communist Eastern Europe, beginning with extensive field work in the newly independent Czech Republic. Her doctoral dissertation, supervised by Professor Richard (Pete) Andrews, was an early and important contribution to understanding of environmental movements and local governance in the Czech Republic, and began a substantial continuing research program expanding this work to the rest of post-Communist eastern Europe.  She taught first at Virginia Tech, and then at MIT, where she rose to the rank of tenured associate professor. She also was Director of the Program on Environmental Governance and Sustainability in MIT’s Center for International Studies, and gave strong leadership to the department’s graduate programs.
JoAnn became one of the early scholars to study the emerging responses of cities around the world to global climate change. At a time when both policy and academic discussions were centered almost exclusively on mitigating climate change by reducing carbon emissions, she took the risk of focusing on urban adaptation to climate change, one of the most important issues of the 21st century for cities around the world, whether or not mitigation efforts are successful.  In just a few years she pioneered a new field, including surveys of municipal governments around the world as well as case-study fieldwork on the initiatives of local governments on five continents. By the time of her death she was one of the world’s leading experts on urban policies for adapting to the growing risks of climate change. She served as lead author of the report of Working Group II of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (released in 2014), and coordinating lead author of the urban technical report for the 2011-12 United States National Climate Assessment, as Associate Editor of Urban Climate, and on the boards of many professional journals and scholarly organizations.
    JoAnn published four books, most recently Environmental Inequalities Beyond Borders: Local Perspectives on Global Injustices (with Julian Agyeman) and Green Activism in Post-Socialist Europe and the Former Soviet Union (with Adam Fagan), both published in 2011.  Two earlier books were EU Enlargement and the Environment: Institutional Change and Environmental Policy in Central and Eastern Europe (with Stacy VanDeveer) and Collaborative Environmental Management: What Roles for Government? (with several co-authors). She also published a steady stream of scholarly articles, many of them co-authored with her students and other rising young scholars. At least as important in their impact were her reports for policymakers on urban climate change, including reports for the World Bank, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and others.
    As important as her scholarly contributions was her spirit as a human being, as a colleague and as a mentor. She cared deeply about her students, and set demanding and uncompromising standards of excellence for them while inspiring them to meet them. Through her close guidance to all students - and not only her own advisees - JoAnn was able to pass on her passion for equity, justice, and the environment, for civil society organizing, and for social science research of the highest quality. At MIT, she was known as the “research design and methods guru,” with students and colleagues seeking  advice and expertise from her with both respectful fear and enthusiasm.
JoAnn is survived by her sister, Cheryl Carmin, Ph.D., and by many close friends who became family over the course of her life and work and particularly during her most recent battle with cancer. Like her passion for her work and her students, she was deeply committed to her relationships with her extended “family.”  The MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning has set up a memorial website on which people can add comments and other remembrances about JoAnn, at <>. At her students’ initiative, the department also is establishing a memorial fund in her name to help support student research; Online donations can be made at:

New York University (top)

Student News: NYU Wagner congratulates our alumni for their recent appointments to leadership positions in New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration:

  • Gary Rodney (MUP, 1999) was appointed as President of the New York City Housing Development Corp (HDC).

  • Blaise Backer (MUP, 2004) was named Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood Development at the New York City Department of Small Business Services;

  • David Quart (MUP, 2003) was appointed as Chief of Staff and Deputy Commissioner of Strategy, Research & Communications at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development;

  • James Mettham (MUP, 2011) was named Assistant Commissioner for the Neighborhood Development Division at the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

  • Meryl Block Weissman (MUP, 2003) was named Assistant Commissioner for Performance Management and Analytics at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

  • Anthony Townsend, an MUP from NYU Wagner and Research Director at the Institute for the Future, has published Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013). He is also directing a research project “Reprogramming Mobility” for the Rockefeller Foundation at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation.

Faculty news:

  • Professor Katherine O’Regan has been appointed as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • NYU Wagner’s Affiliated Professor and Furman Center Director Vicki Been has been appointed as Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

  • Professor Ingrid Gould Ellen, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, edited a special volume of the Journal of Housing Economics on U.S. housing policy and has published articles related to foreclosures, housing policy and neighborhood change in the past year, in Urban Studies, Housing Studies, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Journal of Housing Economics, and Sociological Science.Professor Ellen was also appointed to the Implementation Advisory Board for Mayor de Blasio’s Housing Plan.

  • Professor Zhan Guo was promoted to associate professor with tenure in April 2014. He was awarded a NSF grant to study transportation infrastructure and social media under natural disasters, and recently published two articles, both in Transportation Research Part A

  • Professor Mitchell L. Moss, the Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, recently co-authored a report “A Port Authority that Works”, which was featured in a New York Times article. He also served on a panel convened by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to examine the governance of the agency.

  • Professor Paul Smoke has recently completed a number of articles and chapters on decentralization and local revenue generation in developing countries and has presented on decentralization, local governance or urban finance at conferences in China, Germany, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Spain and the UK since earlier this year.  He is principal author of an assessment of empirical evidence on the impact of decentralization on local development outcomes prepared for the Research and Evidence Division of the UK Department for International Development and is leading work to compare urban finance and governance for a World Bank report on urbanization in South Asia. 

  • Professor Rae Zimmerman has published two new papers in the past year: “Planning Restoration of Vital Infrastructure Services Following Hurricane Sandy: Lessons Learned for Energy and Transportation” in the Journal of Extreme Events and “Strategies and Considerations for Investing in Sustainable City Infrastructure” in The Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities: Strategies, Methods, and Outlook.Professor Zimmerman has also been awarded two grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation and from the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms and Emergencies.

  • The NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy was awarded the 2013 Empire Award for Leadership in Affordable Housing by the New York Housing Conference.

Savannah State University (top)

Texas A&M (top)

  • Planning faculty have two new books in Island Press’ fall catalog.  Department Head Forster Ndubisi will unveil The Ecological Design and Planning Reader, an annotated collection of “the best scholarly works on ecological design and planning published over the past 100 years,” according to Island Press’ catalog.  Also coming out through Island Press this fall is Planning for Community Resilience: A Handbook for Reducing Vulnerability to Disasters, co-authored by several planning faculty—Walter Gillis Peacock, Shannon Van Zandt, and John Cooper—along with former students Jaimie Hicks Masterson and Himanshu Grover (now at the University of Buffalo).  This book offers practitioners and stakeholders an inclusive approach to creating more disaster-resilient communities.
  • Hazards faculty continue NSF-sponsored disaster recovery research.  The stream of NSF funding for disaster research continues from planning faculty members.  Walter Gillis Peacock and Shannon Van Zandt are finishing up data collection on their $400,000 2013-2015 grant on the adoption and utilization of hazard mitigation practices along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.  This June, post-doctoral scholar Michelle Meyer, along with Peacock, Van Zandt, and John Cooper received a $250,000 new grant from the NSF examining organizational roles and collaboration in long-term disaster recovery, following on work the HRRC fellows have undertaken in recent years in West, Texas (fertilizer explosion), Granbury, Texas (tornado), Texas’ Rio Grande Valley (hurricane), Galveston, Texas (hurricane), Bastrop, Texas (wildfire), and Marion County, Texas (wildfire).   These projects have involved more than 50 MUP, undergraduate, and doctoral students since 2008.
  • Texas Target Communities partners with Extension to expand outreach. Last month, the Texas Target Communities made official its partnership with Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service. The partnership allows the program to expand to encompass all of the college's planning, design and construction resources, including its four academic departments and seven research centers and institutes. Coupled with its upgraded, multidisciplinary capacity, TTC's new partnership with AgriLife promises to expand the program's reach throughout the state, said Shannon Van Zandt, director of the college’s Center for Housing and Urban Development and coordinator of the Master of Urban Planning program, both major TTC resources.
    With agents in all 254 Texas counties, the almost century-old extension service provides a wide array of community-based education programs. “Many of the communities served by AgriLife are also dealing with development-related issues," said Van Zandt. “For instance, some communities want to preserve farmland or protect their community’s unique character in the face of surging development.”
    In addition to its expanded reach and continued provision of technical assistance, the revamped TTC program emphasizes training through courses and community workshops that address the most common obstacles to clients' success — lack of resources and expertise. TTC training helps communities build capacity — the ability to assess their needs, evaluate data and plan their futures, said John Cooper, associate professor of practice and leader of TTC outreach initiatives. With increased capacity, decision makers and citizens alike, informed by research and best practices, can collaborate to make important decisions about their community’s future.
    Capacity-building benefits all involved, said Van Zandt. "It's good for the community and a great learning experience for students. It allows them to work with a community, develop expertise and offer it to those that can't really afford to hire professional consultants.
  • Planning faculty celebrate 25th anniversary of the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center. For 25 years, researchers at Texas A&M Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center have championed resilience, edging the focus of disaster planning away from its traditional realm in emergency management, in favor of helping communities and their leaders plan smarter — to avoid, absorb and otherwise recover from all kinds of disasters.
    “In the past, nobody was thinking about how to reduce the risk of a natural disaster,” said Walter Gillis Peacock, director of the HRRC, the only research center in the United States dedicated to researching vulnerability reduction and long-term recovery.
    “Losses wrought from natural disasters result largely from planning decisions made regarding where and how human settlements are built — they do not simply happen, showed a study on the rising cost of floods led by HRRC fellow Samuel Brody, professor of urban planning. Findings such as these, which help policymakers understand the consequences of land development in at-risk areas have been integrated into the HRRC’s Texas Coastal Communities Planning Atlas, a web-based geographic information system. The interactive atlas is layered with scientific data and findings concerning physical, environmental, policy and social patterns along the coast. It includes data on hazard vulnerability, impact and recovery over several years and can isolate data for a particular community, neighborhood, or even a home.
  • MUP Student Patrick Doty wins NOAA’s Knauss Coastal Management fellowship.  Patrick Doty, a Master of Urban Planning from Texas A&M University and nominated by Texas Sea Grant, received the prestigious Knauss Fellowship in Coastal Management.  He is now serving a two-year fellowship with the Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program to design and create an online self-assessment and solutions tool to help coastal communities better understand the risk and impacts associated with coastal hazards, including climate change, and pilot this tool in coastal communities in Puerto Rico.
  • Phil Berke represents ACSP on the board of the National Academy of Environmental Design. The National Academy of Environmental Design is getting a boost in its efforts to advocate sustainable design and stewardship of human and natural environments from Phil Berke. Berke recently began a two-year appointment to the NAED as the representative of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. The NAED coordinates research, distributes study findings and makes recommendations to policy makers on reducing the negative impact of cities, buildings, landscapes and transportation on global climate.
  • Phil Berke co-authors NRC report urging change in coastal policy. To contend with the rapidly escalating threat of coastal flooding along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts, government agencies need to adopt a new, fundamentally different strategy focused on flood prevention rather than recovery, according to a recent National Research Council report that included contributions from planning faculty member Phil Berke. Berke, co-director of Texas A&M’s Institute for Sustainable Coastal Communities and one of the nation’s top land use planning scholars, helped write the final report for the NRC research team that included coastal engineers, ecologists and environmental economists.

Tufts University (top)

University at Buffalo, SUNY (top)

University of California, Irvine (top)

  • New Hire: We are pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Marantz to the department. Nick studies the regulation of the built environment and completed his Ph.D. in urban planning at MIT in June 2014. He also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Master of Urban Planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His experience in state and local government includes stints at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the New York City Mayor's Office. At MIT, he received the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship (2012) was an MIT Presidential Fellow and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.
  • New Research Projects: Four members of the department, along with several investigators from the School of Engineering, serve as co-PI's in a new National Science Foundation project called Flood RISE. This four-year, $2.8 million project seeks to understand the factors and conditions that allow parcel-level prediction of urban flooding in vulnerable communities. The project focuses on the two largest estuarine systems in Southern California - Newport Beach and the Tijuana Estuary - and examines the type of flood risk information needed to affect behavior change, investigates and tests communication strategies, identifies interventions that can be implemented to build community resilience and mitigate loss, and models how these interventions affect flood hazard impacts. PPD faculty involved in the project are Richard Matthew, Victoria Basolo, Doug Houston, and Dave Feldman, along with grad students Santina Contreras, Kristen Goodrich, and Wing Cheung. 

University of Colorado, Denver (top)

University of Kansas (top)

University of Maryland (top)

University of Massachusetts, Amherst (top)

University of Memphis (top)

University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill (top)

Burby receives ACSP Distinguished Educator Award
With great pleasure, the Department of City and Regional Planning would like to announce that Professor Emeritus Ray Burby has been awarded the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning’s (ACSP) Distinguished Educator Award. The ACSP Distinguished Educator Award is presented in appreciation of significant contributions to the field of planning.  Burby joins DCRP’s Jack Parker, Stu Chapin, and David Godschalk as past Distinguished Educator Award winners.

Raymond Burby received an A.B. in Government (1964) from The George Washington University and the M.R.P (1966) and Ph.D. (1969) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Burby joined the planning faculty at Chapel Hill in 1968, while simultaneously holding a research appointment in the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies, where he served as assistant director (research) from 1976 to 1987. He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia in the spring of 1991and a Visiting Scholar at Middlesex University in England in 1998. In 1992 he left Chapel Hill to accept an appointment as the DeBlois Chair in Urban and Public Affairs at the University of New Orleans, where later he was appointed Distinguished Professor of City and Regional Planning. He returned to the Department of City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000, where he retired in 2007.

Lester receives the Chester Rapkin award
Each year, the editors of the Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER) appoint a committee to select the best paper in the previous volume of the journal for the Chester Rapkin Award. Committee members selected DCRP's Bill Lester to receive the Chester Rapkin award at the 2014 ACSP Conference.

The Chester Rapkin Award Committee for Volume 32 included Ann Forsyth (Chair), Matti Siemiatycki, and Dick Klosterman. This committee provided the following assessment of the selected paper: “William Lester's 'Labor Standards and Local Economic Development—Do Living Wage Provisions Harm Economic Growth?' examines a topic of national interest for planning scholarship and practice. The paper uses a rigorous, thoroughly documented research design to consider the effect that including living wage standards in economic development policies have on employment levels and redevelopment activities. The study uses an establishment-level time-series database and a sophisticated case-selection approach to examine 31 jurisdictions that have and have not implemented these ordinances. The paper concludes that ordinances mandating stronger labor standards have no effect on aggregate economic development outcomes. This sophisticated, well-written study is an excellent example of policy-relevant planning scholarship.”

Bill Lester is an Assistant Professor at DCRP specializing in economic development. His research focuses on the role of labor market institutions in fostering greater equity at the urban and metropolitan scales. His is an expert on the impact of minimum wage and living wage policies on urban economic development.

Coastal SEES Collaborative Research
Climate change is transforming the outer edge of the Southern US coastal plain. Lower-lying parts of this region, characterized by extensive freshwater-dependent ecosystems, will be largely inundated by gradual sea level rise by the end of this century.  In the interim, however, ocean waters are already penetrating and influencing freshwater-dependent coastal landscapes due to a combination of human and natural factors. This landward movement of salinity from the coast onto the coastal plain or “saltwater intrusion” represents the leading edge of climate change for many coastal landscapes.

This project will bring together investigators from four major NC universities (NCSU, Duke, UNC, ECU) and four disciplines (hydrology, biogeochemistry, community ecology, regional planning) working to integrate social, hydrological, climate and ecological data into model scenarios to examine not only how human decisions affect ecosystems but also how information about those ecological impacts in turn affect human decisions.

This project will facilitate development, validation and refinement of a saltwater intrusion vulnerability index (SIVI) for the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula of North Carolina that accounts for physical environmental processes influencing the movement of water and solutes across the landscape as well as the extensive networks of canals, ditches, roads and pump stations that fundamentally alter the flow of water across the region.  The index will be used, along with extensive and repeated ground-based surveys of surface water, soil and vegetation conditions across a range of vulnerable landscapes within the region, to better understand ecological impacts of saltwater intrusion. 

Impact of the Safe Routes to School Program on Walking and Bicycling
A new study by DCRP Professor Noreen McDonald, recently published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, confirms what many who study active transportation have long known: Safe Routes to School programs increase rates of walking and bicycling to and from school.

Problem, research strategy, and findings: Increasing walking and bicycling to school has been a national policy goal since Congress created the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. While previous research has suggested positive program impacts, there have been no large-scale studies with strong research designs. Here we study 801 schools in the District of Columbia, Florida, Oregon, and Texas to assess how the proportion of students walking and bicycling to school changed after the introduction of SRTS programs. By including schools with and without SRTS programs and analyzing data collected over time (2007–2012), we are able to distinguish SRTS impacts from secular trends. We find increases in walking and bicycling after schools implemented SRTS programs. Engineering improvements are associated with an 18% relative increase in walking and bicycling, and the effects of education and encouragement programs are cumulative. Over the course of five years, these education and encouragement programs could lead to a 25% relative increase in walking and bicycling.

Takeaway for practice: Planners should work to prioritize capital improvements that improve non-motorized access to school and revise comprehensive plans and subdivision regulations to ensure that new development supports access to school.

University of Oklahoma (top)

University of Oregon (top)

  • The Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management’s (PPPM) programs provide students with deep learning opportunities. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are all the rage these days. In PPPM, we advocate for MAACs (massive, action-oriented, applied curriculum). Whether it’s the Community Planning Workshop, the Public Administration Program’s capstone course, nonprofit students serving on local nonprofit boards, or the Oregon Leadership in Sustainability students developing a greenhouse-gas emissions inventory—our students get a rich, applied experience. These are some of the ways PPPM and our students give back to Oregon communities and organizations, but it doesn’t describe the ways in which our students apply their own time and energy. Students from all of our programs are also action-oriented and involved in a wide range of nonprofit and community groups in Oregon. For instance, last year, students in LiveMove, an interdisciplinary group focusing on transportation and livability issues, decided to dedicate a year to figure out a better way to connect the University of Oregon with downtown Eugene for people on a bicycle.  Upon completion of their research, they developed a comprehensive, visually accessible report highlighting all their data and giving a block-by-block redesign of creating a two-way, physically separated cycle path. Students publicly presented their work to about 100 people from campus and the community in June 2013, and a month later, local citizens John and Susan Minor wrote to the Eugene Mayor pledging $150,000 to make the student plan a reality. The Minors’ son, David, died in a bicycle accident along this corridor and they saw the student work as a way to honor their son and create a long-lasting, safe, and direct link between the UO and downtown. The city then took notice and held a public event in fall 2013 attended by 120 community members all asking for the Live Move students’ design to become a reality. In response, the city hired a consultant to do some additional work, and if all goes well, the project will be built next summer (2015).  This spring, LiveMove received a special award by the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association. Recognition for their excellent work continues to grow.
  • RARE AmeriCorps Turns Twenty! The Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) Program was founded in 1994 as a way to bring service-learning to Oregon and to offer the skills, experience, and idealism of University of Oregon students to many of Oregon’s depressed rural communities. Since its inception, RARE AmeriCorps has placed over 400 graduate-level participants in countless rural communities across the state. RARE AmeriCorps’ mission is to increase the capacity of rural communities to improve their own economic, social, and environmental conditions. To achieve this mission, every year RARE AmeriCorps places trained graduate level participants in communities across the State of Oregon where they work for public agencies, special districts, and nonprofit organizations on issues of rural community building.

  • Bridging Oregon’s Urban and Rural Communities: As part of the Oregon Humanities Center’s Conversation Project, Professor Emeritus Michael Hibbard has been travelling the state with Bruce Weber from Oregon State University and Ethan Seltzer from Portland State University leading conversations on “Bridging Oregon’s Urban and Rural Communities.” The conversations are an outgrowth of their book, Toward One Oregon (OSU Press, 2011). They explore the tensions between the wet and dry sides of the state, the valley and the east side, and, perhaps most fundamentally, urban versus rural. Their aim is to move beyond the tensions and see if Oregonians can discover what unifies them as a state. So far Hibbard has led conversations in Portland, Prineville, Lakeview, Paisley, Christmas Valley, Newberg, Bend, Tillamook, and Pacific City.

  • Infrastructure Planning and Finance Book Provides Guidance: Oregon Leadership in Sustainability Interim Director Vicki Elmer and Adam Leigland’s book on infrastructure was published after ten years of research. Infrastructure Planning and Finance (Routledge, 2013) is a nontechnical guide to the engineering, planning, and financing of major infrastructure projects in the United States, providing both step-by-step guidance and a broad overview of the technical, political, and economic challenges of creating lasting infrastructure in the twenty-first century. She and her coauthor, Adam Leigland, now a public works director in Santa Fe, New Mexico, wrote this book to help engineers and planners navigate the tricky waters of infrastructure at the local level. The book emphasizes how to design, build, and finance infrastructure that will mitigate climate change as well as adapt to it in the short run.

  • Schlossberg’s Rethinking Streets Now in Second Printing: In January, Associate Professor Marc Schlossberg released the grant-funded book, Rethinking Streets: An Evidence-Based Guide to 25 Complete Street Transformations. Over 1,000 grant-funded copies have been distributed and over 3,000 downloaded PDF versions have been made from the website. The book was a collaboration with Associate Professor John Rowell from the Department of Architecture, and former PPPM graduate student Dave Amos, MArch ’13, MCRP ‘13, architecture graduate student Kelly Sanford, as well as other student contributors. The book uses evidence from completed street projects from around the United States to help communities imagine alternative futures for their streets. The book does not show hypothetical street redesigns, but actual examples from typical communities to show how they did what they did and see what resulted from the change. A free, downloadable version of the book is available by request at

  • Fifth UO Student Selected as National Park Foundation Transportation Scholar: Hagen Hammons, a graduate student in community and regional planning, is the fifth student from PPPM who has been accepted into the National Park Foundation Transportation Scholars Program. “This may be more than any university in the country and is impressive given the fact we do not have a transportation planning or engineering program,” comments Associate Professor Marc Schlossberg. The Eno Transportation Foundation and the National Park Foundation’s Transportation Scholars Program matches emerging professionals with substantial knowledge and expertise in transportation planning with parks with transportation-related issues, like pollution or congestion, that can be major detractors of the overall park visitor experience. Scholars build partnerships, work across jurisdictional boundaries, gain an appreciation for the need of alternative transportation projects in the national parks, and gain firsthand knowledge of National Park Foundation efforts to preserve our national treasures while working to solve the current transportation issue within the park. Hammons’ assignment will be in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area north of Atlanta, Georgia. The park is embarking on a three-year planning effort to develop a park-wide trail plan that will replace the social trails with sustainable, accessible trails connecting with regional recreation and transit trails. According to Hammons, “I will develop and partially populate a system for collecting and analyzing GIS data, public comments, input from partners and cooperators, maps, and text alternatives that would be incorporated into an environmental assessment.”

  • PPPM Honors William L. Sullivan with Outstanding Service to Oregon Award: Best known for his series of hiking guidebooks, William Sullivan is a writer, historian, civic leader, and environmental advocate who has made substantial contributions to the quality of life in Oregon. Sullivan’s seventeen books include guides, histories, adventure memoirs, and novels. This body of work demonstrates his longstanding passion for Oregon’s natural beauty and history, and his lifelong love of the outdoors.  As a steward of natural resources, he currently serves on the board of directors for Oregon Wild (formerly Oregon National Resources Defense Council). The Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management gives the Outstanding Service to Oregon award annually to a member of the general public who has given extraordinary service over an extended period of time to the state of Oregon.

University of Pennsylania (top)

University of Sheffield (top)

University of Southern California (top)

  • A joint effort between the USC Price School's Center for Economic Development and the City of Los Angeles has resulted in L.A. receiving a federal designation as one of 12 "Manufacturing Communities," giving the region preferential access to $1.3 billion in government funding for local aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries.
  • Professor Marlon Boarnet was recently inducted as a fellow of the Weimer School at the Homer Hoyt Institute of Real Estate, and was named the Regional Science Association's David Boyce award recipient for outstanding service.
  • Dr. Geraldine Knatz, former executive director for the Port of Los Angeles, has been appointed as professor of the practice of policy and engineering at the USC Price School of Public Policy and the Viterbi School of Engineering. The Price School also welcomes Dr. Annette M. Kim, associate professor and the director of SLAB, the newly formed spatial analysis laboratory at USC Price that advances the visualization of the social sciences for public service through teaching, research, and public engagement.
  • Hilda Blanco, who is interim director for the USC Center for Sustainable Cities, is helping advance national dialogue on climate change.  She was a lead author on the Southwest Region chapter of the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA): Climate Change Impacts in the United States, and worked with an international team of 15 authors on a chapter of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, Mitigating Climate Change.
  • Vinayak Bharne, adjunct associate professor of urban planning at USC Price, published a new book, Zen Spaces & Neon Places: Reflections on Japanese Architecture and Urbanism. Also, Professor Gary Painter co-authored a study which found that an open and culturally diverse environment helps promote high-tech entrepreneurship among both immigrants and the U.S.-born. The study is titled “Lessons for U.S. Metro Areas: Characteristics and Clustering of High-Tech Immigrant Entrepreneurs.”
  • Professor Genevieve Giuliano, senior associate dean at the USC Price School and director of the METRANS Transportation Center, was among a group of officials who recently accompanied U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on a visit to a construction project aimed at improving the movement of freight at the ports of Los Angeles-Long Beach, the largest and busiest in the nation.
  • An undergraduate class at the USC Price School spent a week in Detroit this past summer to contribute to the city’s urban revitalization.  Partnering with Detroit Future City, students produced comprehensive reports on four key areas: public transit, education, how nonprofits can better work together, and ways to handle all the vacant land.
  • USC Price master's students traveled to São Paulo, as part of the 2014 Brazil International Lab, to explore the region's housing and land use issues, and later presented recommendations to top housing and infrastructure policymakers from Empresa Paulista de Planejamento Metropolitano (EMPLASA).
  • In an effort to increase diversity in the planning field, the USC Price Graduate Program in Planning will host two one-day informational workshops in the fall for persons from under-represented backgrounds who are committed to improving the quality of life in underserved communities.  The workshops, to be held on Sept. 27 and Oct. 24, 2014, will provide an overview of various careers in planning and facilitate discussions with nationally recognized practitioners.
  • Students from the USC Price School’s Master of Planning program won four 2013-14 California Planning Foundation (CPF) scholarships, including the top award statewide — the $5,000 Outstanding Student Scholarship (Nina Idemudia).

University of Texas- Arlington (top)

  • School of Urban and Public Affairs Assistant Professor Yekang Ko’s article, “The effect of urban forms on residential cooling energy use in Sacramento, California” was recently published in Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. The abstract notes that “higher population density, east–west street orientation, higher green space density, larger vegetation on the east, south, and especially the west sides of houses, appears to have statistically significant effects on reducing summer cooling energy use. This study quantifies the built environment impact on the energy demand of air conditioning and informs planners as they craft urban planning and design policies for energy conservation.”

  • Alumna Dr. Rumanda K. Young was honored with the Lt. Gen. John W. Morris Civilian of the Year Award by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Young is chief of the Master Planning Section of the Corps’ Fort Worth District Regional Planning and Environmental Center and the regional energy program manager for the Corps’ Southwestern Division in Dallas. She holds a Master of City and Regional Planning degree and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the School.

  • Alumnus Shane Pace was UTA’s 2014 American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award recipient. He holds a Master of City and Regional Planning from the School.

  • Alumna Kiranmayi Raparthi was appointed a Postdoctoral Research Associate in an international collaborative research project on “Evaluating Communication for Development” with UNESCO at the University of Hyderabad, India. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the School.

  • Alumnus Dr. Basil Schaban-Maurer has authored a book, “Rise of the Citizen Practitioner,” based on his citizen engagement research. He holds a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the School. He is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Design at Concordia University, Founding Principal of architecture and planning firm ARK Tectonics, and Director of the Urban Science Institute.

  • The Institute of Urban Studies assisted with a comprehensive plan for Palestine, TX, which was designed to ensure participation by the residents of the city and seeks to capitalize on its economic strengths, build on historic downtown assets, address housing conditions and availability, connect neighborhoods with retail and recreation, and increase its appeal to visitors and new businesses. The Institute also assisted with planning alternative construction scenarios for two trails in Waxahachie, TX, as amendments to the City’s Master Parks, Recreation and Open Space plan.

University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (top)

Virginia Commonwealth University (top)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (top)

Westfield State University (top)