Research studies mortality of residential shade trees

Dr. Yekang Ko’s article, “Factors affecting long-term mortality of residential shade trees: Evidence from Sacramento, California,” was published in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. The abstract notes that the researchers “found that higher mortality during the establishment phase was associated with greater number of trees delivered and with planting in low and high net property value properties (compared to those with medium net property value). For the post-establishment phase, trees with small mature size those planted in backyards and those in properties with very unstable homeownership were more likely to die.”

Hands-on projects lead to recognition

The City of Kennedale won second place in the 2014 Governor’s Community Achievement Awards, Category 3, and received an Award of Excellence. Assistant Professor Karabi Bezboruah and her Fall 2010 Strategic Planning, Policy and Management class created a plan for the Keep Kennedale Beautiful Commission, which contributed to Kennedale’s efforts. Kennedale City Manager Bob Hart says the city’s efforts started about five years ago and the “strategic planning class was a significant part of our start in obtaining recognition and providing direction.” The awards are presented by Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation.

The City of Dallas, Dallas Councilmember Dwaine Caraway and the North Central Texas Council of Governments have announced significant investments to improve sidewalks in the Oak Cliff Gardens neighborhood of Dallas. Dallas Habitat for Humanity notes on its blog that the investments are based on a 2013 walkability study of the neighborhood conducted by Urban Planning and Public Policy Ph.D. student Dian Nostikasari in collaboration with Dallas Habitat.

Great examples of SUPA students’ hard work resulting in benefits for our communities!

Dr. Casey to speak at “Building the Just City” symposium

The third annual Dillon Symposium, organized by the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture, will be Oct 10-11 in Dallas. An interdisciplinary group of speakers from architecture, urban affairs, history, social work, policy and policing will examine the topic of “Building the Just City” — ways that we can construct spaces, in our streets and in our prisons, that better reflect our ideals of justice, fairness, and decency.

SUPA Associate Professor Colleen Casey will be one of the speakers at the panel “What is a Just City” on Oct 11.

See program details and register for the symposium.

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.”

Publication highlights

Nonprofit and Human Service LeadersAlumnus Dr. Larry Watson, an Assistant Professor at UT Arlington’s School of Social Work, co-authored a recently published book “Developing Nonprofit and Human Service Leaders: Essential Knowledge and Skills.” Watson holds a Doctorate of Public and Urban Administration from SUPA.

Dr. Karabi Bezboruah’s article, “Exploring the Participation of Women in Financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions in Developing Countries,” was published in the August issue of Voluntas. The abstract notes that the researchers “find that in the case of the cooperative types of MFIs [microfinance institutions], increases in average loan sizes are associated with decreases in female participation in the administration and governance. Further, the findings demonstrate that with increases in the participation of women borrowers, the number of women in organizational governance also increases.”

Research on nursing home service quality in the news

Dr. Darla HamannDr. Darla Hamann’s research on nursing home service quality was featured in a news item on McKnight’s, a business news magazine covering the long-term care field.

The item notes that she analyzed nursing home employees’ managerial decisions and how they are linked to quality of service, and found that “[e]mpowering nursing assistants and family members of nursing home residents in decision-making results improved service.”

Hamann’s article about this research “Does Empowering Resident Families or Nursing Home Employees in Decision Making Improve Service Quality?” was published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, Vol. 33.

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.