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Thread: Grad planning thesis ideas

  1. #1
    Member
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    Grad planning thesis ideas

    The focus of my thesis will be on my hometown of Miami, and on its struggle to maturely develop/ be planned. I want to focus on the involvement/ role of/ what should be the role of the private sector. Some ideas I have had are:

    - Suggest development plan for a specific available site ... focused on creating a for-profit project that contributes to the surrounding community through affordable housing options, economic development, environmental sustainability, and/ or community identity building.

    - Analyze the existing political/policy frameworks that have led to the recent development boom, which has not been completely positive.

    - Focus on a specific ongoing development project to analyze its approach in dealing with the surrounding community.

    - Focus on the lack of progressive planning individuals in Miami (official professionals).

    The goal is to cover an issue/ project whose development I can observe in the future or be a part of influencing. I want it to be a hopeful thesis that highlights a direction Miami's development could/should be following.

    Any ideas, leads, or similar thesis texts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Benji

  2. #2
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bpower View post
    - Analyze the existing political/policy frameworks that have led to the recent development boom, which has not been completely positive.
    I think this is the most compelling topic of the ones you listed. You may want to discuss how development in Miami took place in the context of FL's growth management rules, which are some of the most stringent in the country.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    from a fellow thesis writer in FL...

    I too am writing my thesis this semster, a bit north of you in the sunshine state, but focusing on my hometown of Jax. I like your idea about the policy framework that has led to the recent development boom in Miami, you could look at it from a growth management perspective as hilldweller suggested or maybe compare it to another city that has had a similar boom but with more positive outcomes. Do you know GIS? Using GIS could provide an interesting analysis of development patterns in response to policy changes.

    As for the idea about the lack of progressive planners, the progressive planning individulas could be a little difficult to measure, and often times it not the planning official, but the land development code/comp plan or commissioner that isn't progressive. There might be something to say for measuring progressive planning and development in Miami with something like the charter for new urbanism or some other measure, maybe you could find a study that measured progressism in another city. Good luck, I am writing my methodology this weekend!

    -bb
    Last edited by beach_bum; 17 Jan 2008 at 11:00 PM.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I think this is the most compelling topic of the ones you listed. You may want to discuss how development in Miami took place in the context of FL's growth management rules, which are some of the most stringent in the country.

    That is however assuming that policy and politics govern growth. I would argue there are many other influencing factors that influence growth that should be taken into consideration, for example, the economy, snowbird migration, etc.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Bpower View post
    The focus of my thesis will be on my hometown of Miami, and on its struggle to maturely develop/ be planned. I want to focus on the involvement/ role of/ what should be the role of the private sector. Some ideas I have had are:

    - Suggest development plan for a specific available site ... focused on creating a for-profit project that contributes to the surrounding community through affordable housing options, economic development, environmental sustainability, and/ or community identity building.

    - Analyze the existing political/policy frameworks that have led to the recent development boom, which has not been completely positive.

    - Focus on a specific ongoing development project to analyze its approach in dealing with the surrounding community.

    - Focus on the lack of progressive planning individuals in Miami (official professionals).

    The goal is to cover an issue/ project whose development I can observe in the future or be a part of influencing. I want it to be a hopeful thesis that highlights a direction Miami's development could/should be following.

    Any ideas, leads, or similar thesis texts would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Benji

    Hi Benji, what's your word/page limit for the thesis; how much your supervisors are expecting you to study in detail, time allocated, funding, etc?

    When I did my undergrad thesis, the lecturers wisely suggested that we shouldn't aim for a topic that is too broad-scope in nature or demands too much, for the following: one, lack of time to pursue a truly comprehensive research, and two, lack of space to comprehensively report on the findings.

    So personally, I'd think your option of "- Focus on a specific ongoing development project to analyze its approach in dealing with the surrounding community." is probably the most doable in that sense. Choose a specific development that will enable you to study in greater detail what went on, how the community reacted, etc. You'd be surprised at the amount of information you'd get with just a single project.

    Or else, if you're interested in the policy framework aspect, instead of trying to cover the entire planning framework, you could study a single policy and analyse how say it influenced development behaviour. Usually this could be say, a new zoning code for growth areas, or an urban containment boundary, or a new integrated transport and land use corridor policy, etc.

    Hope this helps. All the best in finding a topic - it's not an easy process, but definitely a rewarding one.

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