Outstanding Student Project Award

Congratulations to our graduate research assistants working at the Institute of Urban Studies on the Palestine 2040 Plan! They have received notification that the project is a winner of the STaR (Small Town and Rural Planning) 2015 James A. Segedy Award for Outstanding Student Project from the American Planning Association. Julie Wyatt, Jack Rainwater, Cristine Baril, Jungsoo Kim, Yanikka Lemons, Kukhyoung Kim, and Glen Showers worked on the comprehensive plan for Palestine, TX, which is based on an analysis of carrying capacity and future growth scenarios, as well as extensive public input, and focuses on infrastructure and historic downtown investment toward economic growth. The award will be presented at the American Planning Association National Conference in Seattle in April.

Climate Symposium to examine resilience and adaptation strategies

Climate Resilience and Adaptation SymposiumThe Institute of Urban Studies and the American Planning Association’s Midwest Texas Chapter will host the Climate Resilience and Adaptation Symposium February 6, 2015, at the UT Arlington campus. The symposium will bring North Texas stakeholders together to identify and assess shared challenges related to the specific impacts of climate change in our region. It provides a forum for learning about climate vulnerability in the region, sharing best practices in the resilience planning and identifying collaborative solutions for adaptation.

Nine break-out sessions will cover climate and environmental topics affecting our communities today and in the future. Four keynote speakers will provide their expertise in resilience and adaptation strategies: Robin Rather, CEO of Collective Strength; climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe; Theresa O’Donnell, City of Dallas Director of Planning and Neighborhood Vitality; and Transform Global Principal Betsy del Monte.

Dr. Yekang Ko, Assistant Professor at SUPA, and Ann Foss, Urban Planning and Public Policy Ph.D. student at SUPA, will speak in a session titled “Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change at the Municipal and Regional Scale.”

Meghna Tare, Director of UT Arlington’s Office of Sustainability, will speak at a session titled “Sustainability Partnerships Through Higher Education.”

Online Registration ends February 2, 2015. Click here to register.

Student Project wins award

Graduate Research Assistants working at the Institute of Urban Studies and in the Landscape Architecture Program, along with students from Dunbar High School, will be recognized with a Student Project Award from the Midwest Section of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association at their annual awards banquet in Fort Worth.

Under the guidance of Rhonda Fields, Special Projects Coordinator at the Institute, and Brian Guenzel, Director of the Institute, our students worked with the high school students to develop a proposal for the 2.3 acre Bunche Park, located adjacent to the high school, that feeds both mind and body.

Congratulations to Rhonda, Brian, and all the students on this successful project!

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!

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.

Wealth indicators and healthy cities

by Joanne Lovito-Nelson

According to Brian Guenzel, Director of the Institute of Urban Studies, wealth is “one of the strongest social determinants for predicting health outcomes.”

In a story by Leslie Barker, staff writer for The Dallas Morning News, Guenzel discusses the role of wealth indicators in determining the health of cities.

The story, titled “With its trails, air quality, accessibility to grocery stores, Colleyville ranks high in health,” focuses on the City of Colleyville, Texas.

Photo courtesy City of Colleyville parks and recreation web page

According to the article, “Colleyville also has the distinction — taking into account such factors as fitness facilities and grocery stores per capita, miles of trails, air quality, lifetime cancer risk — of being named Healthiest Neighborhood through data analyzed by The Dallas Morning News.”

The full article can be accessed at Neighborsgo, a weekly community newspaper published by The Dallas Morning News.

Institute of Urban Studies plans improvements for Kaufman

IUS representatives met with Kaufman city officials on a recent visit. See more photos below.

The City of Kaufman, Texas, has contracted with the School of Urban and Public Affairs’ Institute of Urban Studies to help improve Kaufman’s historic downtown and central business district. Representatives from the Institute have met with Kaufman city officials and will gather public input before developing a portfolio of design scenarios aimed at attracting tourist activity and new businesses to the area.

The Institute of Urban Studies conducts applied research and delivers customized planning and management assistance to clients, like Kaufman, across Texas.