Sneha Mandhan's (MCP '14) thesis explored how streets in India have traditionally been the public spaces around which social life has revolved. They constitute the urban public realm where people congregate, celebrate and interact. The hypothesis that forms the basis of this thesis is that there is a need to understand and design these urban streets as living corridors through which one perceives and understands the city, and the places where one has daily social encounters.
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.
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.
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.
Karen Johnson's (MCP '14) thesis discovered that all over the world, local leaders are leveraging high-tech industry in their economic development strategies. Cities are encouraging the clustering of industries in specific sectors such as manufacturing, innovation, technology, and advanced services. In this effort to leverage distinctive strengths there has been a movement in cities to seed entrepreneurship as part of broader innovation and industial strategies.
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.
Many city natural areas programs are constricted due to limited resources for the acquisition and management of land. Boston’s urban wilds offer an alternative model for the protection of urban open space that focuses on decentralized advocacy and activism rather than on a centralized city program. This thesis analyzed the forty-year history of the urban wilds, investigating how the idea first captured people’s attention and how advocates have kept it relevant over time in the face of political, economic, and social changes.
All over the world, local leaders are leveraging high-tech industry in their economic development strategies. Cities are encouraging the clustering of industries in specific sectors such as manufacturing, innovation, technology, and advanced services. In this effort to leverage distinctive strengths there has been a movement in cities to seed entrepreneurship as part of broader innovation and industial strategies. This thesis takes a qualitative approach to investigating the opportunities and challenges in creating and establishing innovation clusters in two cities: Paris and Boston.
Kelly Heber, a DUSP PhD student working with the Science Impact Collaborative, and Iain Dunning, a PhD student in MIT Operations Research were finalists in the State Department’s 2014 Our Ocean Conference fisheries data competition known as the “Fish Hackathon.”
Given the rapidly changing status of the Arctic sea ice, which may disappear for entire summers as soon as mid-century, the world is presented with an unprecedented opportunity to access virgin resources and areas. However, this emerging situation is fraught with geo-political, environmental, and indigenous peoples concerns. In an interview with Oceans at MIT, Professor Susskind offers his opinions on the dynamics at play in the evolution of the Arctic situation as well as hopes for future interaction with challenges by MIT students and faculty.