On April 28, School of Urban and Public Affairs students turned an unused city block into a vibrant streetscape. The Downtown Front and Center event brought together local businesses, artists, musicians and food vendors to show the potential of public spaces in downtown Arlington. See more photos on the SUPA Facebook page.
Richard Florida, founder of the Creative Class Group and Visiting Distinguished Research Scholar at The University of Texas at Arlington, led a symposium at UT Arlington earlier this month on growth and economic development in the North Texas region.
The symposium, titled “Stronger Together: An Interactive Conversation About Our Region,” featured conversations and panel discussions with UTA President James Spaniolo, Florida, his team from the Creative Class Group, and regional experts including SUPA Faculty members Carl Grodach and Andrew Whittemore. Grodach spoke on a panel about the role of culture-based industries in regional economic development and Whittemore was on a panel addressing historic and current areas for improvement in transportation and land use policy.
The experts focused on how DFW communities can compete globally by working together to bolster economic growth, attract and retain members of the “creative class” of workers, increase research and technology by supporting the region’s universities.
Read more about the Stronger Together Symposium:
- Richard Florida and James Spaniolo: North Texas is stronger together – Dallas Morning News
- Regional cooperation urged in Dallas-Fort Worth – Dallas Morning News
- DFW needs a more creative strategy to keep growing jobs – Fort Worth Star-Telegram
UT Arlington has partnered with the Creative Class Group since 2010 to examine the Metroplex’s strengths and weaknesses as a region and to engage faculty, students and other stakeholders in conversations about the region’s future growth and economic development. And, the partnership will continue—Florida and his colleague Steven Pedigo will serve as Distinguished Visiting Research Scholars in the School of Urban and Public Affairs through the next academic year.
Carl Grodach, Ph.D., assistant professor of City and Regional Planning, had an article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs, one of the highest-rated journals in the field. Grodach’s article, “Before and After the Creative City: The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy in Austin, Texas,” examines factors that influence cultural economy planning and policy-making in Austin. You can view the article on the Journal of Urban Affairs website.
Ivonne Audirac, Ph.D., director and associate professor of City and Regional Planning, co-authored two articles that were published in the March 2012 issue of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. “Shrinking Cities: Urban Challenges of Globalization,” examines the global phenomenon of urban shrinkage. “Declining Suburbs in Europe and Latin America,” describes and compares urban decline in industrial suburbs in Glasgow, Paris, Sao Paulo and Guadalajara. You can read both of the articles on the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research website.
Andrew Whittemore, Ph.D., assistant professor of City and Regional Planning, contributed a recent article to The Atlantic Cities website. His article, “Why Planners Need to Take Agenda 21 Criticism More Seriously,” offers thoughts on how planners can engage smart growth opponents for a more productive dialogue. Read the article at The Atlantic Cities website.
If you are aware of other recent School of Urban and Public Affairs faculty or student publications please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Andrew Whittemore, Ph.D., assistant professor of City and Regional Planning, teamed up with Sam Bass Warner, MIT visiting professor and urban historian, to write American Urban Form – A Representative History. The book maps the evolution of the American urban form by offering an illustrated history of the “the City,” a hypothetical city that exemplifies the American city’s transformation throughout history. In addition to co-writing, Whittemore provided all the book’s illustrations as well. The book will be released by The MIT Press next month. You can read more about it here.
School of Urban and Public Affairs faculty and students came home with two student project awards from the Midwest Texas Section of the American Planning Association’s annual awards banquet on Jan. 20.
The winning projects:
Preston Road Corridor Study: Community Preference Report
Through a community survey and workshop, students gathered the preferences of the citizens of Celina, Texas, for the future form, character and identity of development along State Highway 289 (Preston Road), which passes through Celina. Students found that the community favors complementary elements like native plants, pedestrian-friendly amenities and historic art and signs to add to the community character of Celina. The findings of their study can be used to set the stage for future planning efforts that will determine the form, use, and regulations for future corridor development and design. The Preston Road Corridor Study was a joint project by City and Regional Planning students and the Institute of Urban Studies. Project team: Project Leads Alan Klein and Stephen Pope, along with Danny Brandt, Drew Brawner, Darren Groth, Aaron Ledford, Chris Shacklett, Skye Thibodeaux and Eric Ward. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jianling Li.
Calhoun Lofts Development Plan
The winning students took on the role of a development team by creating a proposal for a four block area on the southeast side of downtown Fort Worth. The team produced an analysis of existing conditions, explored entitlements, performed a market analysis, and produced a site plan and financial pro forma for their project. The team pursued a mixed-use residential and retail project and presented the project to local development experts with a graphic and oral presentation. Project team: Master of City and Regional Planning students Jeremy Lott, Christina Sebastian and Rob Parsons, along with Derek Main, a doctoral student in Geology. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew Whittemore.
The Midwest Texas APA annual awards program recognizes outstanding planning efforts, innovative projects, best practices and planning leadership advocacy and education.