Spring 2014

Semester Start Date: 
Monday, January 27, 2014

RhodeMap RI Economic Development Priorities

Students in 11.438 Economic Development Planning  developed components of Rhode Island's new state economic development plan prepared as part of a HUD Sustainable Communities Plan.  The plan includes: (1)   recommendations to improve the use of state property tax inceentives; (2) plan to improve and scale entrepreneurial development services for minority, low-income and low-income enterpreneurs; and (3) a state initiative to diversify the state's ship and boat-building industry.  

Power Centrality . . .Testing the Splintering Urbanism Theory with Social Media data from Santiago de Chile

Francisco Humeres (MCP ’14) focused on Power Centrality as a method for measuring a particular feedback property: How well connected are places to other well connected places. In this research Power Centrality is used to assess a recent model of Urban Structure; The Splintering Urbanism Theory of Graham and Marvin (2001). This theory posits that the contemporary city is a fragmented agglomeration of isolated urban pieces where distant but valuable fragments are highly connected between them, bypassing their less valuable surroundings.

Street-Level Air Quality through a Cyclist-Led, Crowdsourced Map in Singapore and Mexico

In her thesis, Amalia R. Holub (MCP '14) explores the feasibility of creating a street-level air quality map, whereby cyclists gather data through a participatory sensing process as they ride around the city. Two primary areas were studied: the state of the technology for portable air quality monitors, and the likelihood of cyclist participation in gathering data. Amalia conducted experiments in Singapore and Mexico City to determine whether a small, relatively inexpensive monitor can gauge variation in concentrations according to distance from traffic and route choice.

Five Thousand Pound Democracy: Citizenship and Governance for a Five Thousand Pound Life

Dayna Cunningham, Executive Director of the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), recently wrote an article for The Architectural League of New York titled, Five Thousand Pound Democracy: Citizenship and Governance for a Five Thousand Pound Life.

Capturing the Impacts of Land Use on Travel Behavior: A Comparison of Modeling Approaches

 Most urban planning literature suggests that compact and mixed-use neighborhoods correlate with lower vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT), and accordingly, lower energy consumption and transportation-related emissions. In her thesis, Veronica Hannan examined the daily travel behavior in Santiago de Chile to understand how demographic structure, neighborhood design, and regional accessibility influence travel behavior as measured through emitted grams of five criteria pollutants (CO2, VOCs, PM10, CO and NO).

Transportation Data As Disruptive Innovation in Mexico City

Emily Eros (MCP '14) studied the growing ubiquity of affordable mobile phones and internet-capable devices and how some developing cities are collecting and compiling this data. Her thesis uses a 2013 data collection project to explore the potential impacts of transportation information on microbus regulators, owners/operators, and users. Her findings suggest that increased static information may increase government power with respect to microbus operators, particularly during franchising negotiations, but that it may offer limited benefits to users.

M. Bin Jung - former HCED MCP student awarded a Fulbright Grant

Congratulations to Melanie Bin Jung on winning a Fulbright grant.

Melanie Bin Jung, from New York, completed a master's degree in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning this past spring. She is interested in social and economic justice and has helped truck drivers in Seattle campaign for better conditions. The Fulbright grant will take Jung to Mexico, where she will do research on informal settlements on the edge of Mexico City.

students and alumni win Fulbright grants

 

Five of the nine Fulbright grants awarded to MIT students went to DUSP students.

Mitchell Cook, from Arkansas, is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His interest in discovering the causes of social and economic inequalities in cities has led him to conduct projects in China and India. The Fulbright grant will allow him to return to India to study urban finance reform in Bangalore.

Professor JoAnn Carmin

We are saddened to report the news that Associate Professor JoAnn Carmin passed away on July 15, 2014. 

Academia and Disaster Planning

DUSP Lecturers Mary Anne Ocampo and Stephen Gray have written a new story on the Sasaki blog describing their recent class on disaster planning and alternative futures for south shore Long Island.  The class challenged graduate students to imagine new designs for the Massapequas, a community southeast of Levittown, New York, that is characterized by dense single-family suburban development, asking students to consider the site not only as a physical location, but also as a dynamic construct influenced by natural, cultural, e

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