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.
The application window for the Fall 2017 Mentorship Program has now been extended through July 31st. For more information and to apply to participate as a mentor or student mentee, please click here.
Noted transportation expert and University of California, Berkeley, Professor Emeritus Robert Cervero will speak on the the topic of “Active and Smart Mobility: Can They Co-Exist?” at FAU’s Fort Lauderdale campus, April 18th, 2017, from noon to 2 pm. For more information, click here: Robert Cervero Lecture Flyer. Please RSVP here: https://tinyurl.com/cervero.
The College Values Online web site has rated SURP’s Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning program as the 12th best value in the country: http://www.collegevaluesonline.com/rankings/bachelors-urban-regional-planning/.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Louis Merlin, who will join SURP as an assistant professor in August 2016, recently participated in a seminar at the University of Michigan on the ethics of driverless cars. For a video summary of the panel discussion see http://a2ethics.org/humans-discuss-ethics-robot-cars-april-13-2016.
Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University in Australia, will give a lecture on “The End of Automobile Dependence: How Cities Are Moving Beyond Car-Based Planning” at the Palm Beach Dramaworks Theatre, West Palm Beach, on August 9th, 2016, at 5:30 pm. Please see the attached flyer for more information and registration instructions:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alexis Peña (center) receiving the 2016 Student Planner of the Year Award at the American Planning Association Florida Chapter Annual Meeting in Tampa. Read more
The School of Urban and Regional Planning is very pleased to welcome John Renne, Ph.D., AICP, who has been appointed Associate Professor. Read more
The title of this year’s trip was “Vancouverism and Eco-Density”. Read more