Dr. Steven Bourassa publishes internationally

Dr. Steven Bourassa and colleagues have published a number of articles in the field of international real estate research.

Estimation and updating methods for hedonic valuation” (with Michael Mayer, Martin Hoesli, and Donato Scognamiglio), Journal of European Real Estate Research, vol. 12, no. 1 (2019), pp. 134-150.

Abstract: This paper uses a large and rich data set consisting of over 123,000 single-family houses sold in Switzerland between 2005 and 2017 to investigate the accuracy and volatility of different methods for estimating and updating hedonic valuation models. We apply six estimation methods (linear least squares, robust regression, mixed effects regression, random forests, gradient boosting, and neural networks) and two updating methods (moving and extending windows). The gradient boosting method yields the greatest accuracy while the robust method provides the least volatile predictions. There is a clear trade-off across methods depending on whether the goal is to improve accuracy or avoid volatility. The choice between moving and extending windows has only a modest effect on the results. The results should prove useful in improving hedonic models used by property tax assessors, mortgage underwriters, valuation firms, and regulatory authorities.

 

Measuring house price bubbles” (with Martin Hoesli and Elias Oikarinen), Real Estate Economics, vol. 47, no. 2 (2019), pp. 534-563.

Abstract: Using data for six metropolitan housing markets in three countries, this paper provides a comparison of methods used to measure house price bubbles.  We use an asset pricing approach to identify bubble periods retrospectively and then compare those results with results produced by six other methods.  We also apply the various methods recursively to assess their ability to identify bubbles as they form.  In view of the complexity of the asset pricing approach, we conclude that a simple price-rent ratio measure is a reliable method both ex post and in real time.  Our results have important policy implications because a reliable signal that a bubble is forming could be used to avoid further house price increases.

 

Folk custom and home improvement decisions” (with Wen-Chieh Wu and Yu-Chun Ma), International Real Estate Review, vol. 21, no. 3 (2018), pp. 317-341.

We test whether Chinese folk customs and taboos have impacts on the home improvement decisions of Taiwanese homeowners. Based on traditional Chinese culture, we choose dragon and widow’s years as indicators of auspicious (fortune) and inauspicious (taboo) times, respectively. Using a Heckman two-stage estimation approach, our empirical results provide evidence that traditional Chinese folk customs and taboos indeed play roles in decisions on home improvement. We find that the likelihood of a homeowner making home improvements falls significantly at the so-called taboo time. Moreover, we find that expenditure on home improvements rises at the so-called fortune time, particularly in areas outside the capital city region. In addition to considering the impacts of folk customs on home improvement decisions, this paper contributes to the literature by establishing a theoretical model that reflects the fact that homeowners play dual roles as both consumers and suppliers of housing.

NPR Science Desk features research by Dr. John Renne

A study released by SURP’s Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) found that the vast majority of counties in the Florida Panhandle were less prepared for emergency evacuation compared to the rest of the state. Of the 67 counties in Florida, 10 were rated as having weak levels of evacuation preparedness, and all of these counties were located in the Panhandle/North Florida. Eleven of 16 counties with moderately rated plans also were in this region. Only seven of the counties in the Panhandle had strong plans.

Multiple news outlets featured the research, including

a report by National Public Radio (NPR)’s Science Desk reporter Rebecca Hersher

Rebecca Hersher is a reporter on NPR’s Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She’s also reported on research about puppies. 

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

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 announces 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

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.