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Thread: Some questions for U.S. planners (from an Italian PhD student)

  1. #1
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    Some questions for U.S. planners (from an Italian PhD student)

    Hi everybody!
    I am a phd candidate in regional planning and public policy at the University IUAV of Venice (Italy). My research interests are: planning theory (especially new approaches to planning), planning process, public policy, analysis and governance of territorial dynamics (in a post-metropolitan vision). Next year I'm going to move for six months to the U.S., in order to study a real planning process in some cities. It would be very nice if you could give me an advice!. I'd like to find an interesting case study (possibly a new one, which is not already studied in other researches) about big urban transformation in some cities, involving different actors and creating conflicts, at different scales. It's not very easy to find "what is really happening in US cities", the real "US planning issues" from Italy, that's why I'm asking to you directly. My research operations will be the reconstruction of the story (problems, actors, conflicts, relationships between project and general plan, and plans of other planning levels), in order to start a reflection about the effectiveness of planning in post-metropolitan cities and post-modern times. I think I'll have to create a "connection" with a US planning school, too. Could you please tell me which universities (planning and public policies) are good universities in US?

    Thank you so much, It would be so nice if you could help me to find a case study!

    This is my e-mail (you can write me back here, too): basso.matt@libero.it

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Rutgers University in New Brunswick has a good urban planning program and it's close to several large cities (NYC, Phili, Newark, Hoboken, Camden, Jersey City to name but a few) all of which have a variety of unique urban planning challenges.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

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    Cyburbian
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    I'm curious as to whether you can expand on what kind of big urban transformations you are looking for. The examples that immediately come to my mind are related to transportation.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    My region has tanked. Its a transformation, but not a good one.

    Wayne State is probably the best Univeristy in Michigan for urban policy.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by matteo basso View post
    Hi everybody!

    It would be very nice if you could give me an advice!. I'd like to find an interesting case study (possibly a new one, which is not already studied in other researches) about big urban transformation in some cities, involving different actors and creating conflicts, at different scales. It's not very easy to find "what is really happening in US cities", the real "US planning issues" from Italy, t... I think I'll have to create a "connection" with a US planning school, too. Could you please tell me which universities (planning and public policies) are good universities in US?

    Thank you so much, It would be so nice if you could help me to find a case study!

    This is my e-mail (you can write me back here, too): basso.matt@libero.it
    Seattle is undergoing several transformations and is enjoying different kinds of conflicts as a result, at multiple scales. Not sure UW is the best school for PhD students, though, but Portland State might be a good compromise. This blog has interesting views of Seattle conflicts, especially in the comments section. The Bay Area in California has different sorts of problems, and UC Berkeley is a good school with problems of its own. Good luck/buona fortuna!
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    While I'm not a fan of the University of Texas program, Austin Texas makes for an interesting study in transforming urban places. It is rapidly growing in every sense of the word, and it is causing conflicts across the whole spectrum of common topics in planning:
    gentrification
    sprawl versus centers
    long-term transportation and shifting toward multi-modal
    environmental issues
    water supply

    It can be made more interesting given its proximity to San Antonio. The two cities are polar opposites of each other, with Austin being a heavily knowledge-based economy with strong concentrations of capital, and San Antonio being a service/tourism economy that hasn't figured-out how to concentrate the capital & leverage it as an asset. Austin has somewhat resisted the sprawl model of growth, while San Antonio has effectively embraced it. (gross oversimplification, but you get the idea)

    The thing with central Texas is that there really is not a PhD program I could recommend.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    You should give more details about what exactly you are looking for. Are you interested more in design specifics (skyscrapers...), traffic, environmental impacts? In general it appears to me that American cities 'transformed' more than what we are used to in Europe. So many, many places would be really interesting. If you are looking for a single project which could change a city, give a look to Atlanta's Beltline. You could probably talk with all the acting people, because it is currently implemented (somewhat). Also has Georgia Tech close.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Seattle is undergoing several transformations and is enjoying different kinds of conflicts as a result, at multiple scales. Not sure UW is the best school for PhD students, though, but Portland State might be a good compromise. This blog has interesting views of Seattle conflicts, especially in the comments section. The Bay Area in California has different sorts of problems, and UC Berkeley is a good school with problems of its own. Good luck/buona fortuna!
    Nonsense.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Huck View post
    Nonsense.
    It's solved all its problems? Great!
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

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