Archive for the 'Student Planning Association (student organization)' Category

Park(ing) Day, Sept. 17

This was submitted by Michele Berry of the Student Planning Association:

Since 2005 groups and individuals across the globe have participated in PARK(ing) Day, an annual event innovated by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, in which activists, artists, and other urban thinkers turn parking spots into temporary public parks for the day.  The purpose and mission of PARK(ing) Day is “to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat.”  The event is organized on-line and acted out on local city streets across the globe.
This year the Student Planning Association with the support of the Office of Sustainability is creating a PARK(ing) space at UT Arlington.  The goal is to encourage students to think about how urban space is used and how these uses affect quality of life and quality of the natural environment.  All are welcome to come enjoy the park and discuss urban spaces and sustainability.  Information on PARK(ing) Day, sustainability and a good relaxing time will be available in the PARK(ing) space on September 17th in student parking lot 49, near the pedestrian bridge.  Visit for more details.

Shorthorn story, Sept. 19

North Central Texas Campus Climate Summit

On October 28th UTA hosted the North Central Texas Campus Climate Summit. The event was co-sponsored by the University of Texas at Arlington, the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program and the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability. The student groups involved with bringing this event to campus were:

Air & Waste Management Association at UTA

Environmental Society at UTA

International Business Society at UTA

Student Planning Association at UTA

UTA Volunteers

The first-ever North Central Texas Campus Climate Summit brought together over 50 participants from 15 different universities and colleges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The summit provided opportunities for faculty, students, staff and administrators from the region to get together to share ideas, best practices and resources to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. The main themes explored were 1) Transforming the Curriculum to Address Eco-literacy 2) Green Workforce Development and 3) Comprehensive Greening of Campus Operations.

NCTCCS Website

Program and Agenda

Mission Statement

Presentation Files

Workshop Descriptions

Sponsors and Organizers

Film screening: “Bogotá: Building a Sustainable City,” Nov. 16

11/16 (Mon.) 5:30-6:30 Sustainability Film Screening,

followed by discussion, University Hall, Room 104

The Student Planning Association’s second film screening this semester will be from the second season of PBS’s e2 Series, Bogotá: Building a Sustainable City.  

More information on the e2 Series

Sandwiches and drinks will be provided. Be green: Please bring your own beverage container.

Student groups work together for Sustainability Awareness Campaign

The Environmental Society and The Student Planning Association get together to raise awareness on issues of sustainability at UT Arlington, in the context of sustainable land usage decisions (for parking lots)
Wednesday, April 29th 2009, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., UTA University Center.

Last Friday, April 24th, the Environmental Society hosted an open forum to discuss the parking lots as a campus sustainability issue, particularly about the proposed Parking Lot 54. The forum was part of a growing effort to develop conscientious discussion on the many problems associated with parking lots on campus. It invited ideas and comments from the university community and the general public.

During the event on Friday, it became obvious that there was considerable interest in continuing the conversation about sustainable options to solve parking problems other than laying down more parking lots afresh. However, as it stands, construction on this lot is slated to commence in Fall 2009. In an effort to raise awareness and urge UT Arlington to think about sustainable ideas further, members of the Environmental Society and the Student Planning Association will host an awareness campaign in the University Center this Wednesday, April 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

At this event, members of both groups will speak to the campus community about the proposed lot and other sustainable ideas (as alternatives to the lot), and will encourage students, faculty and staff to take action on this issue. Additionally, there will be petitions available at the table for members of the campus community to sign. If you are interested in signing the petition and will be unable to stop by the table on Wednesday, or you would like to help out with the table please contact Brooke Kapur at

For more information on the parking lot issue, use following links:

Film: “Green Building and Design,” April 14

 The Student Planning Association will be screening the film Green Building and Design, written by Simran Sethi 

Tuesday, April 14

6:00 to 7:00 in University Hall Room 521

All Are Welcome! 


The green revolution has prompted new forms of building design that welcome in the natural world. This program surveys some of those advances and the architectural pioneers who create and implement them. Celebrated architect William McDonough explains his working methods and outlines designs for major projects–including the Ford Motor Company’s eco-friendly Rouge Center renovation–while Leslie Hoffman, executive director of Earth Pledge, showcases a stunning example of a green urban home. Further commentary comes from EPA Energy Star program director Kathleen Hogan and Time magazine “Hero for the Planet” Dr. John Todd.

SPA is open to all School of Urban & Public Affairs students with an interest in planning and also welcomes students from any UTA program who have an interest in planning issues.  

For more information, contact Brooke Kapur  

SPA Facebook Group

SPA Wiki 

Tour of Colleyville Eco House, March 28

UTA’s Student Planning Association (SPA) has organized a tour of the Colleyville Eco House for this Saturday

SPA members AND non-members WELCOME.

The group will meet on campus and carpool to the Eco House.  Please arrive at the Davis Hall parking lot by 10:15a.m. on Saturday.  The tour will last 30-45 minutes, and we should be back at UTA by 1:00p.m.

The Colleyville Eco House started construction in May, 2008. This luxury home is another project by award-winning architect William Peck, (William Peck & Associates) and award-winning builder Chris Miles (GreenCraft Builders LLC).

The house is a demonstration project for the US Department of Energy’s “Building America” program to encourage homeowners and builders to live and build in a more fiscally and environmentally sensible manner. The Building Science Consortium has included this home as one of their national projects for 2008. Additional certifications will include:

  • Dallas HBA Green Built North Texas
  • NAHB Green
  • Energy Star

This is the last weekend the house will be open to the public!

More information about the Colleyville Eco House

For more information about the  tour and carpooling, contact Brooke Kapur

More information about SPA

A transit vision for UTA and the Metroplex

Eighteen months ago the Student Planning Association proposed two long-term initiatives on which it solicited participation from the UTA community. The first of these projects resulted in the creation of what is thought to be the first green roof in North Texas. While still in its experimental stages, the 1000 square-foot installation on the roof of Life Science Building elicited the ongoing participation of a large number of University students, faculty, and staff; the donation of a significant amount of time and materials from private sector companies and University administration; and, most importantly, the interest of the entire Metroplex community. Apart from its obvious utility as a testbed for green roof technologies and the survivability of various plant species in the changeable North Texas climate, the project received extensive regional media coverage and contributed to the growing interest of the entire North Texas community in ecological sustainability.

The second initiative ( has yet to receive much focused attention or energy, though a significant amount of thought and planning has been invested in it. Given the recent creation of a small Park-and-Ride link between Arlington and Fort Worth, the increasing seriousness of congestion problems in Arlington and, specifically, around the University, and the rapidly escalating enthusiasm among members of the University community for more serious action by UTA administration on mobility issues, it seems an appropriate time to reintroduce this initiative. It’s time may well have come.

In light of the mobility needs of its students, the increasing congestion and pollution associated with University student, faculty, and staff commuting, and the continuing resistance of the City of Arlington to offer a plan of its own that is commensurate to present challenges, the Student Planning Association proposes that UTA develop a transit system serving the University (and possibly other) campuses from throughout the Metroplex. Modeled on the system that current serves the University of Texas at Austin campus and community, the UTA transit network would be bus- and van-based linking to existing transit networks throughout Tarrant, Dallas, and, possibly, Denton counties. The University would would work with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), and, possibly, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) to integrate service to the University (and, potentially, other) campuses into their current route structure. UTA would work with the City of Arlington and surrounding communities to enable these organizations to operate within their jurisdictional limits.

Transit vehicles and their support infrastructures would be provided by the aforementioned transportation authorities; UTA (and other possible system partners) would provide terminal infrastructure and financing for the extension and funding of the existing transit networks. Preliminary and informal conversations with transit authority representatives indicate that such an arrangement would be possible provided that political and financial accommodations are made among the participating system partners. (NOTE: These conversations were purely speculative and not sanctioned by UTA or any other potential stakeholder.) A secure and scalable funding model for the shuttle is essential to its success. Of the several models proposed in our discussions, the most attractive and sustainable may be the imposition of a general transit fee for all UTA students. At the same time, the University should implement a set of driving disincentives, including a moratorium on creating new vehicle parking capacity (even as it builds on existing lots) and raising parking fees. Actions such as these should be taken in a way that makes use of the shuttle more attractive than driving.

Insofar as UTA draws as many as 25,000 student, faculty, and staff commuters from throughout the North Texas region, one of the significant advantages of the proposed shuttle system is that it would systematically address mobility, congestion, and air quality issues common throughout the Metroplex. It may also provide Arlington and other area communities that currently lack transit service the opportunity to piggyback onto the network in providing transit services for their citizens. In addition to pursuing this initiative in cooperation with the transit suppliers, UTA administration should work closely with North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation staff to ensure that the system integrates into and supports long-term transit plans for our region.

UTA should capitalize on the momentum generated by the President’s Sustainability Committee and formally request a proposal for a transit system that truly meets the mobility needs of our university and our region. The consequences of continued inaction are just too high to pretend that business-as-usual will result in anything except more congestion and more pollution. Neither are in the best interests of UTA, the City of Arlington, or the North Texas region.