Since the late 1980s, planners and researchers have explored---and generally touted---the use of participatory budget processes to educate and engage stakeholders; participatory budgeting has been celebrated for its potential to improve participation and the legitimacy of government decisions, and may even hold promise to deliver the "collective intelligence" benefits of "crowdsourcing." In a related vein, recent public, media, and educational projects have built on an established tradition of planning and policy games and "serious play"---including role-playing games, scenario planning exe
OP-ED CONTRIBUTORS: Illogical Housing Aid
By Yonah Freemark and Lawrence J. Vale
Published: October 30, 2012
The tax deduction for mortgage interest may not quite be the “third rail” of politics that Social Security is, but politicians on both sides have long been afraid to touch it. So when Mitt Romney recently floated the idea of capping this deduction, Democrats pounced.
Daniel Yadegar's (MCP '12) this explored an increasing austerity at all levels of government has propelled a heightened focus on more efficient models of housing delivery, human service delivery and community development. One area of increased attention, with minimal empirical research, remains the integration of these three arenas. While the integration of such fields has been proposed conceptually for at least twenty years, there is little record of the challenges faced through integration or the proven benefits of such a model.
Elizabeth Woods' (MCP '12) thesis explored that over the past half-century, the physical form and primary purpose of the American urban waterfront has profoundly changed. Due to the combined forces of de-industrialization, globalization, and military restructuring, urban waterfronts have transformed from industrial and manufacturing employment centers to tourist destinations, passive recreation areas, and luxury residential and corporate office districts.
Max Thelander's (MCP '12) thesis found that starting in the late 19th century, Southern California saw the first of several waves of explosive population growth that have resulted in today's mega-region. While many early settlers were attracted by the city's famous sunshine, the surging population exceeded locally-available water supplies early on. Los Angeles responded by building a vast system of aqueducts to appropriate waters from across the West.
Hengky Tay's (MS '120 thesis focuses on the first and last mile problem of public transport is an area of growing research interest as cities confront challenges to improve public transport alternatives to support urban activities. First and last mile solutions such as cycling are becoming increasingly popular in many cities around the world as a cheap and environmentally friendly solution. Investments in bicycling infrastructure provide cyclists and potential cyclists a safer environment to cycle to work and to public transit nodes.
Richard Suarez's (MCP '12) thesis found that since 1961 the City of New York has allowed buildings to receive added floor area in exchange for privately owned public spaces. These spaces, typically in the form of small outdoor plazas, are spatially clustered in the densest areas of Manhattan and serve as a valuable public amenity for the residents and employees in these areas.
Jonah Stern's (MCP '12) thesis argued that blight has plagued Philadelphia for the better part of a century, though the understanding of blight has changed dramatically over time. Originally used to describe neighborhood overcrowding, the term retained its currency even as once-overcrowded neighborhoods emptied out in the decades after World War II. The agenda of eradicating blight in its various forms has driven successive waves of redevelopment policy since the 1940s, and yet the problem persists to an astonishing degree in neighborhoods throughout the City.