Since 1974 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has administered the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to invest over $100B dollars in America's low-income communities, through housing, job creation, public services, and other community development projects.
Over the past decade, the U.S. Census Bureau has implemented the American Community Survey as a replacement for its traditional decennial “long-form” survey. This year—for the first time ever—ACS data was made available at the census tract and block group level for the entire nation, representing geographies small enough to be useful to local planners; in the future these estimates will be updated on a yearly basis, providing much more current data than was ever available in the past.
There is a dedicated Career Resources Web site for the Department. This site (link below) is designed as a gateway to a variety of resources that provide career guidance to students in planning by combining best practice in career development with the unique requirements of the planning profession. It also provides services to alumni/ae to help them make informed decisions throughout the course of their career. In addition, the site supports employers in their recruiting efforts and offers them the opportunity to provide information about their organizations.
A new website will be launched in September at http://waste2place.mit.edu that provides a layman’s portal to a wealth of information about the reclamation of abandoned mine sites in the United States. Designed for activists in communities with deserted mines, the website offers detailed guidance to communities on how to build assets out of these damaged landscapes.
In February 2012, Brent Ryan's Shrinking City studio conducted research on 20 aspects of the East St. Louis region, including historical, geographical, and infrastructural phenomena. The flood plain conditions of the American Bottom formed the basis for our thinking about susceptibility of the site to pollution and flooding. Another dominating landscape feature of this region is its loss of physical infrastructure and population. We also noted the importance of the industrial legacy of the site, including an incredible rail network and a density of industrial polluters.
According to Professor Alan Berger's "Culture Now" project, "The United States is a suburban nation and will likely remain so for many years. The expansion of the suburban population now forms a supermajority of the total U.S. metropolitan area population (62%). Despite this fact, urban pundits including 'planner and designer' biases still try to emulate 19th Century European compact city forms and mobility models for the American landscape. Antithetical to urbanist polemics, we know that critical characteristics of today's U.S.
The Olympics are a special time when the world comes together to celebrate the excitement of sport. But the planning, creation and operation of the games also gives us a rare opportunity to imagine what the city of tomorrow might have in store for us. For a new online project, MIT's SENSEable City Lab teamed up with GE to put forth a vision of what systems and technologies could grace the Future Olympic Village.
In April, 2012, students and faculty in the department held a two-day conference under the title "Reframing International Development." William Cobbett of the Cities Alliance provided opening remarks, and Antanas Mockus, former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, presented a keynote address on "International Interdisciplinary Development." The conference also featured a number of panel discussions on both the history and future of international development.
Four professors including DUSP's own Bish Sanyal have been named 2011 MacVicar Faculty Fellows for their outstanding undergraduate teaching, mentoring and educational innovation. In addition to Professor Sanyal, this year's honorees include Christopher Schuh, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; and George Verghese and Patrick Winston, both of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
DUSP Professor Xavier de Sousa Briggs recently presented as part of the Transportation@MIT speaker series. The title of his talk was "America's Transportation Future Meets Politics and the Federal Budget: An MIT Professor's Experience Inside the Obama White House," and it was captured on TechTV (and embedded below.)