Kelly Heber Awarded the Venture Hive Virtual Accelerator Prize

Captured, a tool created by Kelly Heber and Ian Dunning, was awarded the Venture Hive Virtual Accelerator Prize at the 2014 US Department of State sponsored Fish Hackathon, that ran concurrently with the Our Oceans 2014 Conference convened by Secretary John Kerry. The prize includes three months of financial support from Venture Hive as well as consulting assistance to develop product goals and longterm strategy.

Mark Jarzombek named Interim Dean of SA+P

Professor Mark Jarzombek has been named interim dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), effective July 1.

Jarzombek, who has served as SA+P’s associate dean since 2007, succeeds Adele Naude Santos, who announced on Jan. 28 that she would step down and return to the faculty after 10 years as dean.

SENSEable City Study of Commuting Times

How much commuting can you tolerate? A new study by DUSP researchers shows that across countries, people assess their commutes by the time it takes them to complete the trip, generally independent of the distance they have to travel — as long as they have a variety of commuting options to chose from.
The study, which compares commuting practices in five locations on four continents, also demonstrates the methodological validity of using mobile phone data to create an accurate empirical picture of commuting.

New SPURS Newsletter

DUSP's Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) has issued the 2014 edition of their group newsletter, including updates from the Director, coverage of the Abdulaziz Alkhedheiri Leadership Seminar and SPURS's collaboration with Roxbury Community College, an artlcle on Mobility Management in China, and more.  Click the link in the sidebar to download.

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.

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