Archive for the 'City and Regional Planning' Category

Alum, students win Texas APA Awards

A SUPA alumnus and graduate students were among the winners at the American Planning Association – Texas Chapter’s 2014 Awards:

Alumnus Doug McDonald (’09 MCRP, ’10 MPA), Senior Planner at the City of Plano, won the Chapter President’s Award.

Graduate students working at the Institute of Urban Studies won a Student Project Award (Honorable Mention) for their Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the City of Palestine.

Congratulations – we’re so proud of our students and alumni!

Alumnus publishes book on citizen engagement

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 from SUPA, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from UTA’s School of Architecture, and a doctorate in Architecture, Urban Design and Urban Planning from McGill University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Design at Concordia University, Principal of architecture and planning firm ARK Tectonics, and Director of the Urban Science Institute.

Research examines impact of urban forms on energy use

Dr. 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.”

Another article by Ko, “Urban form and residential energy use: A review of design principles and research findings,” which ran in the Journal of Planning Literature made the journal’s “Most-read Articles” list and was featured in the APA Planning Magazine as “an example of a solid literature review.”

Summer internships enhance classroom learning

By Sara Abraham-Oxford

Master of Arts in Urban Affairs student Tharani Devi Krishnakumar’s summer internship with Greenpeace at its Washington D.C. headquarters was featured on the Green Source DFW blog. Krishnakumar’s internship was made possible by the Archer Fellowship Program, which sends University of Texas System students to Washington D.C. for internships.

Urban Planning and Public Policy doctoral student Reza Sardari had an internship this summer with C&M Associates in Florida, which provided opportunities for hands-on application of knowledge gained from his classes and his work as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Institute of Urban Studies. His internship position as Associate Transportation System Modeler consisted of assisting with travel demand modeling and transportation planning, working on traffic data processing, and reporting the results of traffic modeling.

“Working as a graduate research assistant at the Institute of Urban Studies was a great opportunity for me to be involved in different projects such as land use planning, parks and recreation master planning, economic development and transportation planning,” he said.

Sardari noted that highlights of the internship included learning Cube software, a travel forecasting and transportation GIS system, as well as working with the Florida Standard Urban Transportation Model Structure (FSUTMS), that includes software, data formats and operating procedures for travel modeling.

Alumna honored by Corps of Engineers

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.

A story on the DVIDS site notes that the award “recognizes the employee who individually has made the most significant and noteworthy contributions to the mission, reputation and prestige of the Corps of Engineers – including significant participation in areas outside the workplace – in the past calendar year.”

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.

The story includes a statement from Col. Charles H. Klinge, the Corps’ Fort Worth District Commander, “Dr. Young’s pioneering work in master planning and resource management, and her teaching and mentorship of students and staff, represent a new generation of leadership that is advancing the Department of Defense energy sustainment mission.”

Young holds a Master of City and Regional Planning degree and a doctorate in Urban Planning and Public Policy from SUPA. She teaches at UTA and Southern Methodist University.

Congratulations to Dr. Young on the award!

McNair Scholar presents civic involvement research

Story and photo by Sara Abraham-Oxford

William Addington presenting

William Addington speaks about his research at UTA's McNair Scholars Program 2014 Sumer Research Presentations

McNair Scholar and Interdisciplinary Studies senior William Addington was one of sixteen students participating in UTA’s McNair Scholars Program Summer Research Presentations last week. His presentation, titled “Enabling Civic Discourse: Community Group Inclusion in Arlington, Texas,” examined public participation in city governance as well as facilitating factors and barriers to such participation.

Addington said the Interdisciplinary Studies program prepared him well for the task of turning in a research proposal, which was due in late May. He finalized his topic after brainstorming ideas from his interest area of urban planning and narrowing it down with his mentor Dr. Michan Connor.

The McNair Scholar Program, which prepares undergraduate students for graduate study, provides financial support over the summer to enable the students to work on their research. GRE-preparation classes and speaker sessions focused on the graduate school experience are additional components. Addington is working on finishing his research paper, which he will present at a McNair Scholars Conference at the University of North Texas in Spring 2015.

The McNair Scholars Program is “a lot of work but definitely a worthwhile learning experience,” Addington said. “It’s good to learn about research and grad school early on and get used to it.”

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.