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Thread: Prospective Research Design Problems

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Prospective Research Design Problems

    I'm taking a General Research Design class right now (It's required in my program.) I'm having trouble pinning down a Research Problem area.

    I already plan on talking to some professors about possible directions to take but I was wondering if you guys could suggest some possible Research Problems I might tackle.

    I'm tentatively looking at mixed income strategies that might be used by community development corporations in neighborhood stabilization efforts. Seeing if and how these strategies affect conditions of poverty. Possibly looking into the efficacy of CLTs in preserving affordable housing? My thoughts are real ambiguous now.

    I'm just hoping for some of you that are currently in the planning and development world might lead me to a place where there is some opportunity for shedding light on a subject.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Might be a good time for a subject like that. Some of the "how to rebuild New Orleans" talk I've heard has mentioned the opportunity to replace the old pattern of economically segregated neighborhoods with a mixed income pattern. As I understand it, NO had one of the most prominent patterns of majority-poverty neighborhoods in North America. Some people have cited this as contriubting factor to the city's steady or even increasing poverty rate.

    If NO really does see economically intergrated neighborhoods in the future, it would be interesting to compare it's pre-Katrina socio-economic demographic trends with the post-Katrina, more integrated ones.

    Or, if the same pattern is found in the rebuilt NO, why? What were the social, economic, and physical factors that produced the same pattern a second time, when in at least some respects, there were lots of possibilities.

    Just a thought or two.
    JOE ILIFF
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian mallen's avatar
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    You seem to want to look at things a little more theoretically. But here is a practical project that I would love to undertake.

    One of the problems many of us practicing planners often face is the ongoing battle between just enough parking and too much parking. Large retailers like to size their lots for the day after Christmas. The rest of the year they sit idle, contributing to the urban island heat effect, increasting stormwater runnoff, etc.

    I have been amazed by Google Earth (their aerial photography). I don't know when the pics were taken, but I would be that it is nearly random.

    It would be interesting to pick a national retailer (say Eckerd or McDonalds). Then go pick 100 or so sites across the country (the address can be found via Google too) and count the number of parking spaces that are empty. I did this very briefly one day and found that Eckerd's parking lots had only about 6-10 cars and a lot of empty spaces.

    I know that there are lots of various scientific "issues", but it could provide some interesting information.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Thank you.

    Quote Originally posted by Joe Iliff
    Might be a good time for a subject like that. Some of the "how to rebuild New Orleans" talk I've heard has mentioned the opportunity to replace the old pattern of economically segregated neighborhoods with a mixed income pattern. As I understand it, NO had one of the most prominent patterns of majority-poverty neighborhoods in North America. Some people have cited this as contriubting factor to the city's steady or even increasing poverty rate.

    If NO really does see economically intergrated neighborhoods in the future, it would be interesting to compare it's pre-Katrina socio-economic demographic trends with the post-Katrina, more integrated ones.

    Or, if the same pattern is found in the rebuilt NO, why? What were the social, economic, and physical factors that produced the same pattern a second time, when in at least some respects, there were lots of possibilities.

    Just a thought or two.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Thank you for your suggestion.

    Quote Originally posted by mallen
    You seem to want to look at things a little more theoretically. But here is a practical project that I would love to undertake.

    One of the problems many of us practicing planners often face is the ongoing battle between just enough parking and too much parking. Large retailers like to size their lots for the day after Christmas. The rest of the year they sit idle, contributing to the urban island heat effect, increasting stormwater runnoff, etc.

    I have been amazed by Google Earth (their aerial photography). I don't know when the pics were taken, but I would be that it is nearly random.

    It would be interesting to pick a national retailer (say Eckerd or McDonalds). Then go pick 100 or so sites across the country (the address can be found via Google too) and count the number of parking spaces that are empty. I did this very briefly one day and found that Eckerd's parking lots had only about 6-10 cars and a lot of empty spaces.

    I know that there are lots of various scientific "issues", but it could provide some interesting information.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    If you are interested in the idea of housing affordability and mixed-income housing, you might consider trying to relate the patterns of employment availability to housing cost. My quick observation is that there generally tends to be a mismatch. In the high-priced ski resorts of Colorado, there are generally few high-paying jobs, but the cost of housing is too outrageously high for the people who work the jobs that exist. In a more typical suburban setting you might find plenty of good paying jobs in the technology park next to an offordable housing development, but the people who work in those jobs choose to live twenty miles away.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    That's a very good one. Thank you. I'll definitely bring this one up with my teacher on Tuesday.

    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    If you are interested in the idea of housing affordability and mixed-income housing, you might consider trying to relate the patterns of employment availability to housing cost. My quick observation is that there generally tends to be a mismatch. In the high-priced ski resorts of Colorado, there are generally few high-paying jobs, but the cost of housing is too outrageously high for the people who work the jobs that exist. In a more typical suburban setting you might find plenty of good paying jobs in the technology park next to an offordable housing development, but the people who work in those jobs choose to live twenty miles away.

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