Explore FAU 2018 – College Expedition

More than 100 prospective students and family members visited the College for Design and Social Inquiry during the “College Expedition” portion of Explore FAU 2018.  It was a great opportunity for Owl hopefuls to visit the colleges and departments they’re most interested in and speak with faculty and existing students about what it would be like to be a student in their respective degree programs.


Drs. Saginor and Dumbaugh publish in the ITE Journal

South Florida’s Brightline: The Public Costs of Private Rail

The decline of state and federal transportation funding led to increased reliance on private sector partners to finance and construct new capital infrastructure. In this context, the Brightline project (formerly known as All Aboard Florida) is particularly promising. Heralded as the first 100 percent privately-owned and operated rail line built in the last 100 years, Brightline began service in late 2017, running 32 high-speed trains daily between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL, USA, with future expansion to the Orlando Intermodal Transportation Facility. An article by Jesse Saginor, Ph.D., AICP and Eric Dumbaugh, Ph.D. explores this topic. Read the article

Dr. Mitsova publishes in Risk Analysis

Integrative Interdisciplinary Approaches to Critical Infrastructure Interdependency Analysis

There is a growing understanding that cross‐sector risks faced by critical infrastructure assets in natural disasters require a collaborative foresight from multiple disciplines. However, current contributions to infrastructure interdependency analysis remain centered in discipline‐specific methodologies often constrained by underlying theories and assumptions. Dr. Diana Mitsova‘s perspective article contributes to ongoing discussions about the uses, challenges, and opportunities provided by interdisciplinary research in critical infrastructure interdependency analysis. Read the article

Dr. Dumbaugh publishes in Transportation – Planning – Policy – Research – Practice

Transportation - Planning - Policy - Research - Practice

Revisiting the relationship between traffic congestion and the economy: a longitudinal examination of U.S. metropolitan areas

Is the fear of the negative economic effects of traffic congestion justified, or is congestion merely a nuisance with little economic impact? Research by Wesley E. Marshall of the University of Colorado at Denver and FAU’s Eric Dumbaugh was published in Transportation – Planning – Policy – Research – Practice, challenging the assumption that traffic congestion inhibits economic growth and jobs, costing money and driving away business and activity. The research was also featured in Streetsblog Denver | Read the Transportation article

Dr. Merlin publishes in Transport Policy

Dr. Louis Merlin published in Transport Policy an article titled “Accessibility analysis for transportation projects and plans.”

We spend billions of dollars on new roadways, but are they making our transportation system work more efficiently? In this paper, Dr. Louis Merlin examines transportation success from two perspectives, firstly, in relation to how fast vehicles are able to travel, and secondly, in relation to how many destinations can be reached. From the perspective of speed, these roadway investments are working; but from the perspective of how many useful destinations can be reached, this study of San Antonio finds that typical radial highway investments may not offer any net benefits. Read the article

Dr. Merlin publishes in Research in Transportation Economics

In the new Research in Transportation Economics article, Dr. Louis A. Merlin examines whether people who move to the intown infill development of Atlantic Station next to Midtown Atlanta travel differently than if they lived elsewhere in the region. He finds that households living in and near Atlantic Station drive significantly less per day than households elsewhere in the region – 18 fewer miles per day – and use walking, biking, and transit more – for 25.9% of their trips.

The upshot is that well-placed infill development actually can help reduce regional levels of congestion, which may be counter-intuitive to some. Read the article

SURP Director Publishes Article in the Journal of Urban Economics

Steve Bourassa, Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, co-authored an article titled “U.S. Metropolitan House Price Dynamics” in the May 2018 issue of the Journal of Urban Economics. The paper uses advanced statistical techniques to explain changes in house prices in metropolitan areas in the United States. He and his co-authors find that aggregate personal income for metropolitan areas is an important determinant of house price dynamics, but the effect of aggregate income is closely related to constraints on the supply of housing. Supply constraints can be topographical or regulatory. His co-authors are Martin Hoesli (University of Geneva, Switzerland) and Elias Oikarinen and Janne Engblom (both at the University of Turku, Finland).

Read the article

I-Cube Tabletop Exercise

Interdependent Infrastructure Incident

May 17, 2018 – 8:30 am – 11:45 am
Palm Beach County Convention Center
West Palm Beach, FL

Submitted for 3 AICP CM credits

Participants in infrastructure restoration prioritization research took part in a fun, interactive, computer-based exercise at the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference.

The “Interdependent Infrastructure Incident” (I3) exercise featured a tabletop (discussion-based) exercise within the framework of a simulated disaster scenario. The purpose of the exercise was to collect data on the behavior and decision process of subject matter experts in disaster recovery.

Learn more here

I-Cube is part of the PRAISys project funded by the NSF CRISP 2 Program

Congratulations, Class of 2018!

On Thursday, May 3, 2018, nearly 300 bachelor students and 140 masters students accepted their diplomas from the College for Design and Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University. To all of our students, it has been our pleasure to have you in our classrooms and to watch you grow and learn in your programs.

Whether you are continuing your education or ready to apply your knowledge in the workforce, we look forward to watching your next chapter unfold. Remember that we are here for you and rooting for your success each step along the way.

As Chairman of the FAU Board of Trustees Anthony Barbar said during his undergraduate commencement speech, “It’s now our turn to learn from you.” Be well and best wishes!

  • 21 Bachelor of Architecture
  • 127 Bachelor of Arts
  • 16 Bachelor of General Studies
  • 14 Bachelor of Public Management
  • 23 Bachelor of Public Safety Administration
  • 70 Bachelor of Social Work
  • 16 Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning
  • 8 Bachelor of Urban Design
  • 9 Master of Nonprofit Management
  • 6 Master of Public Administration
  • 12 Master of Science
  • 106 Master of Social Work

Want to explore the degree programs in the College for Design and Social Inquiry at FAU? Call our Academic Advising Team today: (561) 297-2316

Spring 2018 Undergraduate Commencement

Spring 2018 Graduate Commencement

Dr. Mitsova published in The Journal of Environmental Planning Management

The Journal of Environmental Planning Management published Dr. Diana Mitsova’s research on Spatial decision support for nature-based shoreline stabilization options in subtropical estuarine environments

Related projects include the study, ‘Suitability Analysis for Living Shorelines Development in Southeast Florida’s Estuarine Systems,‘ funded by The Nature Conservancy, and a story map created by The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with the Shoreline Resilience Working Group of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.

Elsevier’s TRD Journal annouces new section on Disasters and Resilience

Elsevier announces the formation of a new section of the international journal Transportation Research D focusing on Disasters and Resilience. This section will be edited by Karl Kim (University of Hawaii), John Renne (Florida Atlantic University) and Brian Wolshon (Louisiana State University).

This section of Transportation Research D will build on the special capabilities and interests of transportation researchers, coming from multiple disciplines, worldwide, to address the critical ways in which transportation science and the supporting theories, methods, and tools can be applied to increase societal resilience against all hazards, both natural and man-made. In addition to the wide range of natural hazards including both geo-physical and hydro-meteorological, the section will also cover industrial accidents, cascading events (where one hazard such as an earthquake can trigger a release of toxins and harmful substances into the environment), and intentional acts of sabotage or terrorism. In each of these disasters and emergencies, transportation plays a significant role. Core concepts such as travel demand modeling, rare event forecasting, activity-based analyses, system performance monitoring, optimization across time and space, mode choice, network analysis, geospatial modeling, and many other methods are appropriate topics for this section.

Interested authors are encouraged to contact section editors or submit manuscripts through EVISE: https://www.evise.com/profile/#/TRD/login

SURP Student Spotlight: Conor Campobasso

How can urban planning students succeed as professionals? FAU Master of Urban and Regional Planning student Conor Campobasso serves as the Manager for Complete Streets and other Localized Initiatives Program (CSLIP) at the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization (Broward MPO). Conor talks about two of the projects he’s worked on and his tips for succeeding in the field of urban planning.

Florida APA announces Minority Scholarship

The Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association Minority Scholarship is meant to celebrate planning and foster increased interest in planning by providing financial support for planning students who are members of underserved ethnic groups and who attend a PAB-accredited planning institution or urban planning program actively seeking PAB accreditation in the state of Florida. Two scholarships are offered: one for $2000 and one for $1500. Learn more and apply here: 2017 Minority Scholarship Application Package

Director of SURP/PA & Coauthors Win “Best Paper” (again)

American Real Estate Society
Steven Bourassa, Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning and the School of Public Administration, and his coauthors Martin Hoesli of the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and Elias Oikarinen and Janne Engblom of the University of Turku (Finland) have won the prize for the best paper in real estate market analysis presented at the American Real Estate Society (ARES) Annual Meeting held in San Diego in April 2017. The paper is titled “Revisiting the House Price-Income Relationship” and aims to resolve some longstanding issues about how personal income growth affects housing markets in metropolitan areas. The paper applies state-of-the-art statistical techniques to analysis of data for the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. For a second consecutive year, Bourassa and Hoesli have won a “Best Paper” prize at the ARES conference.

RSVP for SURP’s Fall Kick-off and Orientation

Join us Friday, Aug 25 at the Biergarten

Join us Friday, August 25 for the Fall Kick-Off and Orientation to be held Friday, August 25th from 7 to 9 pm at the Biergarten, 309 Via de Palmas #90, Boca Raton, FL 33432. All new and continuing SURP students, faculty, mentors, and supporters are invited to attend. This will be a great opportunity for students, faculty, and professional planners to interact.

New students will receive an orientation, can meet with continuing students, and also learn about professional planning and student planning organizations (Planning Society @ FAU).

In addition, the event will provide an opportunity for participants in the Mentorship Program to meet. Food and drinks will be provided. We hope to see you there!

Please RSVP so we can cater for the right number of attendees

Questions? Please contact us.

FAU Planning Abroad – London 2018

FAU Planning Abroad London 2018

During Spring Break 2018, Peter Henn will lead FAU Planning Abroad to London to study modern urban planning and design and transportation in a historical city. To secure a spot, students must sign up by December 2017. Limited scholarships to qualified students may be available. Get ready for some fun!

Learn more HERE about FAU Planning Abroad

Apply HERE to Study Abroad by November 30

For more information contact Peter J. Henn, J.D., AICP, Florida Atlantic University’s School of Urban & Regional Planning, at PHenn@FAU.edu or telephone 561-558-3884.

2017 FAU Incubator for Sustainable & Resilient Communities

FAU Incubator

On April 25-26, 2017 CUES partnered with FAU’s Center for Environmental Studies (CES) to offer the inaugural FAU Incubator for Sustainable & Resilient Communities. The cities of Hollywood and West Palm Beach participated, addressing concerns about flooding and aging infrastructure, connectivity and economic development. The FAU Incubator offers leadership and expertise based on best practices and provides guidance on developing implementable plans and policies. Watch the 2-minute video here.

Earn a GIS Certificate with Your MURP Degree

Access to geospatial data has transformed Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology into one of the most widely-used and comprehensive analytical tools for local governments and city planners. To respond to the growing demand for GIS professionals, the Department of Geosciences jointly with the School of Urban and Regional Planning has developed a 15-credit graduate GIS certificate program. Students can apply the credits earned as part of the certificate towards the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree. For more information please see the certificate program’s web page here.

SURP Associate Professor Eric Dumbaugh to Lead Road Safety Project

Eric Dumbaugh , Ph.D., AICP

FAU will receive $1.5 million in total for the next five years from the US Department of Transportation to co-direct the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, a National University Transportation Center housed at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. This is one of five national centers with the aim to reduce injuries and fatalities on the nation’s roads by providing a new model for understanding and addressing traffic safety issues.

“We are very excited to join forces with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and our partner universities to work collaboratively to address and improve road safety issues that impact millions of drivers throughout our country,” said Eric Dumbaugh, Ph.D., associate director of the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety, and an associate professor in FAU’s School of Urban and Regional Planning within FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry.

Researchers from FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry will work with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Duke University; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on transportation research, planning, public health, data science and engineering programs related to the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety.

“The establishment of these new designated centers will help to foster novel ideas that will lead and influence the future of transportation safety in the United States through multidisciplinary research, education, collaboration, and technology transfer activities,” said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., FAU’s vice president for research.

Special Issue of Housing Policy Debate Edited by John Renne

The latest issue of the journal Housing Policy Debate is a special issue co-edited by SURP’s John Renne, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. The issue includes 15 papers focused on how location choices and associated transportation costs affect housing affordability.

Bourassa and Hoesli Win Best Paper Prize

SURP Director Steven Bourassa and co-author Martin Hoesli of the University of Geneva have won the “Innovative Thinking Out of the Box” best paper prize for their paper, “High Frequency House Price Indexes with Scarce Data”, presented at the 2016 American Real Estate Society (ARES) Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. The paper presents a method for calculating house price indexes for small areas, such as city neighborhoods, on a monthly or quarterly basis. The paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Real Estate Literature, which is published by ARES. The prize is sponsored by the Homer Hoyt Institute.

Congratulations to Frank Schnidman on His Retirement

Frank Schnidman, the FAU John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar Chair in Growth Management and Development, is retiring. Frank began his involvement with FAU and Dr. DeGrove in the late 1970s when they organized seminars and conferences, and in the 1980s when they worked together on significant growth management and platted lands research and publications. In 1987 DeGrove recruited Schnidman to move to Florida and work at the Joint Center for Environmental and Urban Problems, now the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES). He has been involved with the Joint Center and CUES, the Institute of Government, and the School of Urban and Regional Planning for most of the past 30 years.

“At 67, it is time to step back and refocus goals and objectives. I hope to work with my co-authors to prepare a comprehensive updated 4th edition of our two-volume 1,600 plus page treatise, Handling the Land Use Case, first published in 1984. I will continue to do consulting regarding redevelopment, and I will spend more time with family.”

SURP thanks Frank for his years of care and nurturing of our planning students and, hopefully, we can have him periodically return to guest lecture!

Bryan McConnell Brings IT Expertise to SURP

The School of Urban and Regional Planning is pleased to welcome Bryan McConnell, MBA, who has been appointed Faculty Research Associate and Computer Systems Analyst.  He has an MBA in International Business from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and is finishing a second master’s degree in Information Technology and Operations Management.  Mr. McConnell joined FAU from the early childhood education industry where he worked in IT support and database management for hundreds of schools geographically dispersed across the US.  Prior to education, Mr. McConnell worked in the telecommunications industry with a focus on applications development and database creation.  He created and supported applications to enable the company’s primary task of laying fiber optic cables for corporate and residential customers.  Mr. McConnell is working to utilize technology to meet the educational needs of students while preparing for technological changes in Urban and Regional Planning.

SURP Welcomes Dr. Louis Merlin

The School of Urban and Regional Planning is pleased to welcome Louis A. Merlin, who is a new Assistant Professor starting with the Fall 2016 semester.  Dr. Merlin draws upon a strong background in Mathematics and Operations Research as well as experience as a professional urban planner in his teaching and research. Dr. Merlin is particularly interested in developing mathematical models that shed insight into pressing urban policy questions.

Dr. Merlin’s educational background includes a BA in Mathematics with Honors from Yale, and National Science Foundation funded graduate work towards Master’s Degrees in Operations Research and in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  While at Georgia Tech, he was awarded both the Glatting Jackson Student Award and the American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award.  After a haitus working in professional practice, Merlin earned a doctoral degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, with his research work funded by the prestigious Royster Society of Fellows.

Professionally, Dr. Merlin’s first full-time job was working in data-mining for the marketing department of a credit card company.  Later, after earning his Master’s of City and Regional Planning, he worked as an urban planning consultant for EDAW | AECOM, based out of their Atlanta office. His professional engagements focused on comprehensive planning, redevelopment planning, and corridor planning for local and regional governments throughout the southeastern US.  During this time he specialized in data analysis and modeling for EDAW | AECOM, including economic and fiscal impact assessments as well as land use forecasting.

Dr. Merlin’s current research concerns how to better integrate transportation and land use through the development of accessibility-based performance measures and tools, as well as the implications of self-driving cars for the transportation sustainability.

Dr. Merlin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

SURP Research Supports Coastal Resilience Web Application

Dr. Diana Mitsova, Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, and four graduate students from the School together studied coastal sites across southern Florida that have been fortified using environmentally friendly alternatives to physical structures.  This research, sponsored by The Nature Conservancy, has been incorporated into that organization’s website focused on coastal erosion. For more details and to view Dr. Mitsova’s recent Estuarine Shoreline Suitability for Resilience Projects, click here.

SURP Director Visits King Saud University

Dr. Steven Bourassa, Director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, visited the Department of Urban Planning at King Saud University in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in early April 2016. King Saud University was the first university in Saudi Arabia, established in 1957. Dr. Bourassa was chair of a site visit team reviewing the Bachelor of Urban Planning and Design program for the Saudi Arabian national accreditation agency.

This picture shows the three-person accreditation team (Dr. Bourassa is standing in the middle with a dark tie) along with faculty, administrators, and students from the Department of Urban Planning and the College of Architecture and Planning.

Photo courtesy of Greg Maffet.

Webinar on NACTO Transit Street Design Guide

This webinar, moderated by Dr. John Renne, Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, features the NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) Transit Street Design Guide. The guide shows how transit design can help streets of every size support strong neighborhoods and downtowns. The webinar is available on YouTube.

New Podcast on Transportation Costs and the Affordability of HUD Housing

John L. Renne , Ph.D., AICP

In this podcast, Dr. John Renne, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, along with Shima Hamidi of the University of Texas at Arlington and Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, discuss their new article in the journal Housing Policy Debate, titled “How Affordable Is HUD Affordable Housing?” The article focuses on the relationship between transportation costs and affordable housing costs. The podcast is available on the Streetsblog USA web site.