A Planning Paradigm for Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Tanzania

Sarah Dimson (MCP '14) investigated electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa, where a lack of clean electricity generation sources, poor electricity access and low levels of electricity consumption are profoundly stifling sustainable development.  This thesis presents a specialized investigation, in context of Tanzania, of the primary paradigmatic approaches to electrification – centralized, large-scale grid systems conceived through least-cost-planning; and decentralized, small-scale off-grid systems administered through entrepreneurial pilots.

Redefining the Typology of Land Use In the Age of Big Data

Liqun Chen (MCP '14) thesis concludes that land use classification is important as a standard for land use description and management.  However, current land use classification systems are problematic. Labels such as “residential use” and “commercial use” do not fully reveal how the land use is used in terms of function, mix use and changes over time. As a result, land use planning is often a natural prompt of segregation; Land use is poorly connected with other fields of urban studies such as transportation and energy consumption.

In the News: IKEA to Use MIT Living Wage Calculator

Data from the MIT "Living Wage Calculator" show the gap between the cost of living modestly in the US and the minimum and poverty wage rates. Amy Glasmeier, professor of economic geography and regional planning, began developing the calculator a decade ago while studying the causes of recurrent poverty. Besides contributing data to discussions on raising the minimum wage, the tool and Glasmeier’s comments in Slice of MIT illustrate why higher wages help everybody.

"Places in the Making" to be used for NeighborWorks America training curriculum

Lead author Susan Silberberg is pleased to announce that the DUSP whitepaper “Places in the Making: How placemaking builds places and communities” is to be included in training materials for community development professionals and activists. The NeighborWorks America Training Institute provides training to thousands of community development professionals and activists every year.

Places in the Making

Public places play a key role in building community and placemaking can empower local communities to create a sense of "belonging" through place. A new report by a DUSP research team, led by Susan Silberberg, examines the interactions between placemaking, community participation, and the expanding ways communities are collaborating to make great public places.