Archive for the 'City and Regional Planning' Category

Workshop immerses students in spatial analysis

Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford
Workshop_SpatialAnalysis

Dr. Treviño (standing) works with students during the workshop.

Students and staff attended the Spatial Analysis Workshop hosted by the School last week. Dr. Jesús Treviño, an Urban Planning and Public Policy (UPPP) alumnus and professor at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Mexico, led the workshop.

The workshop was “really useful for academic research although it was quite heavy material for three days,” said Kukhyoung Kim, a UPPP student. She noted that an especially useful feature of the workshop was access to some of Treviño’s research databases along with step-by-step instructions on conducting spatial analysis on them. Kim added that the workshop’s focus on combining spatial and non-spatial data required some statistical knowledge in addition to using geographic information systems (GIS).

Dr. Jesus Trevino to lead GIS Workshop

This workshop is for UTA students, faculty and staff, and SUPA alumni:

GIS Workshop_July 2014

Research analyzes location patterns of arts organizations

Art Spaces, Art Places Report CoverDr. Carl Grodach and two graduate students recently completed a report titled “Art Spaces, Art Places: Examining Neighborhood Preferences of New York Arts Organizations.” Their research studied the location patterns of New York state and city arts organizations, finding that while there is a link between these organizations and the urban core and creative economy, the organizations tend to avoid diverse and disadvantaged neighborhoods. The researchers note that identifying key neighborhood attributes associated with distinct types of arts organizations can help identify potential sites and strategies to engage the organizations in underserved neighborhoods.

Urban Planning and Public Policy doctoral students Nicole Foster and James Murdoch III worked on the research with Dr. Grodach. The report was made possible by a grant from New York Community Trust’s Arts & Culture Research Fund. The research will be presented at two special sessions on the Arts and Urban Planning at The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference in Philadelphia this fall.

Interest in urban form links student group with professionals

by Sara Abraham-Oxford
A strong focus on the urban form defines Students for the New Urbanism (SNU), one of the student organizations at the School. Affiliated with the Congress for the New Urbanism which promotes walkable, mixed-use spaces, SNU was formed “to connect students with the professional community,” said Shane Pace, founder and 2013 President of the student organization and a Master of City and Regional Planning alumnus. He added, “While there is some crossover with the Student Planning Association, there are different professionals that SNU relates to including architects, urban theorists and designers.”
SNU aims to work as an advocate for new urbanism practices, raise awareness about the built environment, present educational forums and provide opportunities for members to network with professionals. The student organization held officer elections in Fall 2013, with the newly elected officers taking office in January. Incoming SNU President Kristina Heredia is a Master of City and Regional Planning student.

Visiting Scholar assessing street addressing systems

Post and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Maher AlshammariDr. Maher Alshammari, a visiting scholar at the School of Urban and Public Affairs, is somewhat acquainted with SUPA faculty and the UTA campus. Alshammari earned a Master of City and Regional Planning degree as well as a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Pubic Policy from SUPA. He is currently on sabbatical leave from his position as Assistant Professor at the University of Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

While at SUPA, the scholar is working on his research titled “A Comprehensive Street Addressing System for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An Exploratory Study of Replicating the US System in the Kingdom.” He will examine the challenges of improving the system for identifying buildings, streets and neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia; evaluate previous approaches to the system; and review the system used in the U.S. Additionally, Alshammari will use a survey to identify elements of an ideal addressing system suitable for Saudi Arabia. The research goal is to determine how a well-organized street addressing system could serve Saudi Arabia.

Alshammari particularly appreciates the guidance of Professor Ard Anjomani, who was the chair of his dissertation committee, as well as the resources available through the Institute of Urban Studies and the UTA Library, while he works on his research. He will be at SUPA until January 2015.

Student Planning Association seeks to build connections

by Sara Abraham-Oxford

Creating a stronger connection between the academic and professional facets of planning is a primary aim of the Student Planning Association (SPA), one of several active student organizations at the School of Urban and Public Affairs.

Current SPA President and Urban Planning and Public Policy Ph.D. student Reza Sardari says part of the organization’s purpose is to “help our members have a better idea of what will happen when they graduate. We want to link to professional planning situations, for example having city planners talk with us, which will give members ideas of different career paths where planning is used.” Sardari added that the organization also wants to maintain a strong link to academic issues. One way to do that, he says, would be to have faculty talk to the organization about their new research topics, which would be a useful resource for students.

Recent SPA events have included a presentation about the parks planning process by De’Onna Garner, Park Planning Manager at the City of Arlington, and a demonstration of a site analysis. Possible future activities include a photo exhibit focused on city planning issues, a newsletter to share faculty and student research work, and a planning-themed film series.

SPA is supported by the American Planning Association and SPA membership is open to any University of Texas at Arlington student with an interest in planning.

Connect with SPA on its Facebook page or email SPA President Reza Sardari.

Alumnus doing transportation research at the University of Illinois at Chicago

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Alumnus Havan Surat holds the position of Research Transportation Planner in the Urban Transportation Center in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Surat says he works primarily on Department of Transportation projects related to academic research at both the federal and state level.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Surat worked for the City of Fort Worth in the Planning and Development Department. His article titled Three-Dimensional Spatial Analytics and Modeling Is Now SOP for the City of Forth Worth, Texaswas published in ArcNews.

Surat holds a Master of City and Regional Planning Degree from The University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs as well as a Masters in Urban Design from the University of Texas, Austin.

Dr. Audirac addresses impact of shrinking cities at international conference

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Photo courtesy Ivonne Audirac

Dr. Ivonne Audirac was an invited discussant at a roundtable that addressed ‘The Global Challenge of Shrinking Cities’ as part of the Cities Regrowing Smaller conference held recently in Essen, Germany.

The European Cooperation for Science and Technology website states, “To deal with the results of demographic, economic and physical contraction processes and to plan for the future of considerably smaller but nevertheless livable cities accordingly is one of the most challenging tasks in the near future.”

The site notes the purpose of the conference was to, “bring together experts from different arenas to share their knowledge on the shrinking cities process and to discuss possible approaches to deal with shrinkage.”

Dr. Ko researches effects of shade trees on building performance in Sacramento

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

Photo Credit: Sacramento Tree Foundation website

Through a project titled Monitoring and Modeling Tree Growth, Longevity and Performance, Dr. Yekang Ko states she, “will examine the effects of shade trees on building energy performance in Sacramento, CA.”

According to Ko, the prime sponsor of the study is the United States Forest Service.

“Using field surveys and remote sensing technologies,” Ko said she will “conduct time series analysis to document changes in tree survival, growth, and energy performance for a sample of Sacramento shade trees planted by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) around 254 residences from 1991-1993.”

She goes on to say, “This database will be used with the building energy model to calculate effects of each Sacramento Shade Program tree on respective building energy performance over the 20-year period. The long-term effectiveness of different species and locations will be assessed.”

Ko is a professor in the City and Regional Planning Program in the School of Urban and Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Arlington.

Student Planning Association hosting end-of-year party

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

The Student Planning Association is hosting a School of Urban and Public Affairs end-of-year party at Bowl & Barrel located at 8084 Park Ln., Suite 145, Dallas, TX 75231.

The event will take place May 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm.  For more information contact David Stark at david.stark@mavs.uta.edu.

Come join the fun!