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Research / thesis / dissertation Research thread

Paula Garcia

Member
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1
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0
The purpose of this project is to define a process for public involvement in land use/transportation planning. Although I'm a graduate student in planning, this is a somewhat overwhelming project and I am seeking assistance and I am open to suggestions.
 

Ken Armstrong

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
Hello,Thanks for hitting this spot!
I'm currently trying to complete one of those ugly, nasty
thesis things.
The subject is the role of the Architect in the Design & Construct process (better known as Design/Build)
Any relevant comments appreciated
Thanks
 
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4
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- Good grief!, I thought up to now that the architect, at least in france, was the main axis of the "process"?
Maybe I lack some political/economical/ethical informations on what goes on in the wallaby's country ?
Anyhow, feel free to E-mail me, as I'm a teacher in architecture, I do have many E-mail based students !
 

jetset77

Member
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2
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0
I am doing a research paper that looks at how New Urbanism, Transit Oriented Development and other strategies to link transportation and land use are working to make metro areas more livable and sustainable.

I am looking for material that covers the subjects mentioned above. I need to do an analysis of different authors perspectives that look at strategies that link transportation and land use.

Does anyone have any ideas of readings they have seen that cover these subjects?

Thanks!!
 

Michele Zone

BANNED
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7,657
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28
There just happens to be a webpage with most of the links I used in doing a transportation study. I am not sure how closely it fits with what you are looking for but perhaps it will be useful to you to see an entire page of Stuff I Used as resources for a class. :) Or perhaps not. :( But you won't know if you don't look. :D

HTH. Good Luck. Etc. :)
 

cscally

Member
Messages
1
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0
TOD resource

The Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers is in the midst of an extensive TOD project in relation to New Jersey's Transit Village initiative. For more info, check out the TOD Project online.
 

jdstl1977

Cyburbian
Messages
80
Points
4
I'm meeting with the executive director of my local community corporation this Friday to discuss possible projects for me to work on that would be mutually beneficial for the corporation and my grad school applications.

I know she's currently looking at stabilizing the neighborhood by turning some duplexes into condominiums and increasing home ownership. She's also encouraging new, small businesses with some success on the business district in our community and also remediating vacant lots, closed gas stations for new use as well as assessing the current land use of the Dutchtown community in which I live.

Based on all of those things, what might you guys suggest I discuss as possible projects with her that will both help her in her work as well as make my application look appropriate for someone interested in development?
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
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Messages
7,288
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28
It sounds like some research in infill development/redevelopment would be a good place to start based on your description of the director's goals. Infill development is a popular area right now and would look good on a resume. You could also look at small business assistance programs that a few other cities have done.
 

booeyschewy

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
Hey there,

I was wondering, I know in mainstream academia (I am thinking of my discipline, philosophy) the distinction between professional and academic tracks are wholly distinct. I imagine this is less true in planning, but is one able to straddle the line between the two? Perhaps attaining a MURP, then going back to school if one wishes to research and teach? Specifically I am interested in researching places where communities have autonomously redesigned and planned their environments. On the other hand I want to be engaged in the struggles and work with the people who seek to reclaim their space and seize control of it from power and capital. I imagine I will get a masters, work for a while, and if I think research would be fruitful get a phd later. However I wonder whether getting a masters will impede my ability to enter into the right program for academia? Is teaching and PHD programs as competative and crazy as other disciplines?

Thanks!
 

Gotta Speakup

Cyburbian
Messages
1,455
Points
20
Research IS work

I got a masters in planning, worked for 15 years and then got a doctorate (in public health). I now do research on the health effects of the built environment and work with community groups around development and transportation issues. And teach a couple of classes a year. So it is possible to do both. Masters degrees (outside of Urban Planning Departments) are thought to be terminal degrees, very nice but without providing the research skills one aquires in getting a doctorate. But having one will not hurt you when you are applying to a doctoral program, I have used it to my advantage. The skills I learned in my planning program: policy analysis, statistics, economics and a little urban design, are skills that a lot of disciplines need.

One thing you should be aware of is that research is still a job. Some days its wonderful, you show up at the office to think, read and write - all with the goal of helping the world better understand itself - and they pay you to do it! Other days its a pain: you have a dull meeting you have to attend, the paperwork on a grant needs immediate attention, your computer is dead and you have 20 papers to grade.

Getting a masters, working a while, then returning to school is a good career path.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
booeyschewy said:
Hey there,
Is teaching and PHD programs as competative and crazy as other disciplines?
I cant speak for other programs, but to as far as planning academia, I have to say it is highly competative and 'crazy'.

publish, publish, publish... get bashed, get bashed, get bashed... is pretty much what I have discovered to be the 'norm'.

That being said. I love what I do! :)
 

japrovo

Member
Messages
103
Points
6
I think that your reception might be different depending on the program. I'm not going to name names, but if you want to go into the "high-end" theory-driven segment of the academy you might want to forget about the MURP and working. On the other hand, there are a number of schools, for example where a service learning model holds some sway, and a MURP and some professional experience will give you some credibility. They will perhaps also provide you with a leg up on a dissertation topic. That said, the job front is competitive across the board and you should expect even in schools that respect praxis, service learning, Etc that there will still be expectations for you to publish. Bottom line, my advice would be to talk with faculty at a range of schools about their expectations for potential PhD students AND new hires.
 

jdstl1977

Cyburbian
Messages
80
Points
4
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.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,441
Points
28
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.
 

mallen

Cyburbian
Messages
144
Points
6
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.
 

jdstl1977

Cyburbian
Messages
80
Points
4
Thank you.

Joe Iliff said:
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.
 

jdstl1977

Cyburbian
Messages
80
Points
4
Thank you for your suggestion.

mallen said:
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.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
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.
 

jdstl1977

Cyburbian
Messages
80
Points
4
That's a very good one. Thank you. I'll definitely bring this one up with my teacher on Tuesday.

Cardinal said:
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.
 

jread

Cyburbian
Messages
738
Points
20
I am trying to come up with a topic for my final paper in a public administration course. We can write the research paper over anything we want, as long as it is in the context of public administration.

I would like to write my paper over an urban planning related issue, I'm just not sure where to begin thinking. I want to focus on the public administration elements of whatever I choose, being careful not to get into the "science" part of urban planning. I also need to find a topic which there are adequate scholarly resources available (I mostly use Academic Search Premier).

If anyone has any ideas to get me started in the right direction, I would appreciate it very much!
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
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7,288
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28
Go hit up the Public Administration Review, etc through the library periodicals databases. I was working on another topic, but kept coming acrossing journal articles discussing administrative issues as the creation of "one-stop shop" development services departments. You could look at the logistics of merging different seperate departments, such as planning, building and code enforcement and how you make the different institutional cultures blend. You could also look at procedures within planning departments and stuff like that. Basically, just look to the operations side of Planning. Another thought, you could focus on capital improvements planning & programming since that is usually where Planning sees interaction with the most departments--this would be especially good if you are looking for a public finance spin.
 

jread

Cyburbian
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738
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20
Thanks!!

I'll check these out, especially the One-Stop-Shop as this was recently done in Austin's development review offices.
 

Suburb Repairman

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jread said:
Thanks!!

I'll check these out, especially the One-Stop-Shop as this was recently done in Austin's development review offices.
You might look for information on the one in San Antonio. That little debacle cost a city manager her job. :-o (though it was more than just this) Its probably one of the better examples of integrating departments without getting everybody on the same page and away from the turf wars. San Marcos is a good example of one that has become pretty effcient and I believe was one of the first cities to implement such an approach. Another one that I've heard positive things about is, of all places, College Station. 8-!

I've got a good contact with TCEQ if you want to interview someone that has oodles of experience merging government departments--he headed up the merger to create TNRCC, which is now TCEQ. Really interesting guy that can also provide some insight into the Homeland Security merger. [shameless plug]He's also an alumnus of the Texas State MPA program.[/shameless plug]

I'm starting one from scratch here at my city, so I don't have the integration headaches that some others have experienced.



Another fun one might be the unnecessary administrative headaches and excessive red tape caused by having 10 million zoning districts... I'm serious here...

Though tough, you might be able to research administration of conventional zoning vs. a full performance-based approach. Does it really take more staff and is it more difficult to administer performance-based zoning? (you might hit Lee Nellis on this topic; I know of a couple of cities you could use for research)

You could focus on policy development and discuss use of codes like Duany's SmartCode.
 
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I am thinking of applying to graduate school for Masters in Urban planning and I am still confused about my research topic.

I was thinking of following research topic:
Urban Information Systems in increasing the citizen participation in urban planning.

My main idea on above topic is how the IT can be utilized in increasing the effective participation of citizens in urban planning and how the citizens opinion on urban can be considered in urban planning.

Any comments on the topic and on how should i go with my research will be appreciated?
In addition, if someone can give me possible research topics on urban planning will be helpful.

Thanx

Urbania
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,850
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24
urbania said:
I was thinking of following research topic:
Urban Information Systems in increasing the citizen participation in urban planning.
For better or worse, I believe there is a lot of material on that.

Better: you should not have any trouble finding literature to draw from

Worse: you may not find anything ‘new’… but that is actually okay, as you are providing further evidence for the topic.

Good luck :)
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
Ok, heres the deal:

I just completed my first semester of planning school here at UT-Austin (all A's...Yay!) and I have already started thinking about my PR (professional report) which is basically a shorter thesis that either is or is not related to a required internship. So far I have been looking at doing something with Land Use-Transportation connections, multi-modal level of service (bike, ped, car), or something similarly related to transportation, its alternatives, and the built environment.

Well, an email was sent out by one of my professors about money available for INTERNATIONAL independant study. I would like to get maybe a couple thousand bucks and go to Germany, Holland, or Switzerland and do some research while vacationing over the summer. So, any ideas on what I could write about to convince the committee to give me money? I have never been to any of these three countries, so I don't know of specific topics that I could explore there.

Here is what I have to show them:

"• What do you intend to do in the research project. What will you do in the actual travel portion of the research.
• Where you will go and for how long.
• Why is the travel a necessary part of your research.
• The overall importance of the project and how it will benefit your academic career (for example: contribute to your thesis research, professional report, a master design project, etc.).
• The timeline for the travel and completion of the research project.
• Detailed cost of the travel. Include both the specific amounts of funding you are requesting from the School and what you will provide yourself."

Thanks in advance!
Adam
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
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29
Holland itself is very bicycle friendly (so I hear). So maybe do some research on the country and its multimodal systems.
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
nerudite said:
Holland itself is very bicycle friendly (so I hear). So maybe do some research on the country and its multimodal systems.
That would be very interesting for me to do, but alot of research has already been done on that, which would mean I could pretty much do the research from home.

However, if I did want to stick with the multimodal LOS idea, I could use Amsterdam as a case study maybe. The greatest factor in improving pedestrian and bicycle LOS is lateral separation from automobiles, so since Holland has street scapes that have bike and ped areas physically separated from auto trafic, but still a part of the roadway, that might be a possibility.

Thanks!

Anyone else?
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
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6,544
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29
Well, I think you're on the right track. And even if someone has done a topic before, I think it really helps to actually go and see examples. I mean, we can read about theory all day long, but you don't really get the feel for the dynamics of an area until you go and visit it yourself. Who knows... maybe you'll find a new twist on an old viewpoint.

Good luck either way!
 

Michele Zone

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nerudite said:
maybe you'll find a new twist on an old viewpoint.
That was kind of my thinking: if you want to go to Holland and do research on an area that has been researched a lot already, then you need to find some aspect of it which hasn't been done to death. My impression is that, often, an area of research has lots of variations of the same basic idea but may have little in the way of research on other aspects of it or other approaches. For example, at the APA conference the point was made that there is often a lot of talk about how much money (in a transportation plan) to allocate to each mode of transportation in order to promote alternative modes but that has little actual impact. Patterns of land use are more important in determining if people can walk and bike -- ie. if housing is many miles from jobs, people aren't going to walk to work no matter how great the side walks are.

One benefit you might be able to list is exposure to a culture that is less car-dependent. Because our country is so extremely car-oriented, Americans think a certain way and assume certain "givens" which other cultures don't assume. There is no substitute for going there and being exposed to that side of it -- to the mind-set and attitudes of people who aren't so car-dependent. It can enrich your view of transportation issues for many years to come. Reading about it just won't have the same impact. In fact, I think it would be interesting to look at that and compare the underlying assumptions that planners in a place like Holland bring to the table compared to the assumptions that American transportation plans begin with.
 

jtmnkri

Cyburbian
Messages
106
Points
6
I did a big research paper on traffic calming during my senior year of college. I was given some funding to help with the research. My favorite information resource was Transportation Alternatives, "a 5500-member NYC-area non-profit citizens group working for better bicycling, walking and public transit, and fewer cars. We work for safer, calmer streets and car-free parks." It is a real grass roots organization that has pushed successfully for policy changes in New York City.

Transportation Alternatives has a library in their office that boasts lots hard-to-find information, including things like pamphlets from Europe on different traffic calming techniques.

The large city featuring the most impressive accomodation for cyclists is Copenhagen, by a wide margin. Not only is the accomodation impressive - with wide bike lanes along most major streets - but people use what is offered by cycling in large numbers for normal daily tasks.
 

dankrzyz

Cyburbian
Messages
50
Points
4
They're definitely right about finding a different angle on a common topic. You'll even see the same topic done - with a different methodology, or different case studies, or just proving the original conclusion was wrong or inaccurate. That scholarship money is really a wonderful gift to be taken advantage of.

Hook'em Horns!

CRP'03
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
International studies huh?Oh yes... You bet I will throw the hint that you might come here... But let's be real:

Downsides:
-You're in the US.. I bet you don't know much Spanish do you?
-What can you learn from here? That we're copying the US suburban style?
-Getting here isn't as easy as going to Europe or elsewhere

Benefits:
-You get to know me
-You get to know a completely diferent culture
-You get to see how this completely diferent culture is just trying to be a clone of your culture
-You participate in the Santiago Alefest :D
-And about your interest in Transportation, Santiago is undergoing a change from the Mafia ridden (and quite possibly money laundering) bus companies to a more modern and safer system with modern and safer busses and hype that the government is trying to impose by doing licitations to diferent companies for the different routes.
-For the US standard.. living here is cheaper...

Oh well if you need more info just ask.. and I'll be glad to blatantly sell out my country :D
 

mawmaw5108

Cyburbian
Messages
51
Points
4
A question: if you don't know what topic you are digging into, why do you pick these countries? It doesn't make sense to me. :)

If I were you, I would broadly go through some magazines or talk to people. Find out what elements or design in such such country you are interested, then go for it.

Visiting the project country is not necessary but I would highly recommand you to do so. You can get to know, see and feel the culture you are studying. Besides, it is a vacation!! :-D
 

coolazcole

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Has any written research paper on "Why African Americans are moving to suburbs"? Found a few reasons such as crime in city, poor educations, and better housing. Any help anyone could provide would be appreciated. :-o
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
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Moderator
Messages
9,850
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38
Some more specifics will likely lead to more responses.

Moderator note:
Please be aware of the Cyburbia Rules on Homework:

2.8 Homework
Specific questions about parts of an assignment, or general advice or guidance are permitted. Requests to complete homework assignments are not.
 

DPP

Cyburbian
Messages
146
Points
6
Read Chapter 5: "Atlanta: The Color of Money" of the book Edge City, by Joel Garreau.
 
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3
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0
guys,
I have done my masters in transport planning from India, i have gotta alot in my head that i feel the need to do something about, safety, pedestrian movement, effective landuse transport relation, behavioral models, safest designs.
these are just few of the issues which i think needs serious and immediate attention.
I want to do imperative research on pedestrain safety, and mixed land use transport models. I want to do it in the United Kingdom, may be because I consider UK as the most educated in this aspect.
guys i want to do my phd and want some help, i dont hav the amount of money needed to study in the UK, so i am looking for funds.
guys need some serious help, I need to find a prof as a guide, need money.
coz i dont want to live with the regret that i never tried.
help guys.

Moderator note:

Suburb Repairman

Post relocated from Transportation Planning subforum and closed. As a general rule, posts related to student academic research should be placed in the Student Lounge.

Also, Cyburbia prohibits solicitation of monetary support. A thread seeking advice on locating doctoral reseach grants related to planning would be acceptable; a thread overtly asking for monetary support from users is not.



Moderator note:
(Dan) Cyberbegging is unacceptable behavior on any message board. Do it again, debajeetbaruah, and you'll be banned permanently.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

littlemonkey

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
hello, all - i am new to cyburbia, and i am in a bachelor's program (writing my own major; community planning through small business and the arts), preparing to get a master's in urban planning. i need to find some good resources to help me write the course outlines for my major: interviews with planners, books, trade pubs, etc. anyone have any recommendations? APA didn't give me much, nor did the city manager i interviewed last week. all help is appreciated...
 
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5,353
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31
Moderator note:
Welcome to Cyburbia. I moved your thread to the Student Lounge where it should get a better response. In the meantime, check out the Book Club forum for ideas about planning books, reading materials, etc. :)
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
24
I made an attempt at writing a paper on community planning and art as a catalyst for redevelopment. I moved to another topic after becoming frustrated with the amount of literature out there. So that means that you have a great gap to fill or some frustration ahead. I have found that the Journal of Urban Affairs is an excellent resource anytime I research a planning/economic development question.

Good luck.
 

littlemonkey

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
Thanks - I will check it out. I am attempting to incorporate my original Art History major and my business experience into a BA and then move on to Planning. There is a lot of material out there, but it doesn't seem like many of the ideas have come to fruition. Agree?
 

littlemonkey

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
Thank you so much for that link - it is the coolest thing! I guess I know how I will be spending the rest of my day...:)
 

stroskey

Cyburbian
Messages
1,212
Points
17
Good morning Cyburbia!

I am working on a grad school research project about how the urban form affects a teenager's outlook and expectations on life. More specifically, does living in a walkable community (versus a strictly suburban form) change your perspective on how your life should be? Do you expect a vehicle, do you get an allowance, do you have a part-time job, do you volunteer, do you spend time at a public park, etc? A problem I foresee is that that the census defines metro areas generally as denser areas. We all know density does not speak anything to the walkability or urban form of a neighborhood (Phoenix/Las Vegas are *dense* but certainly not walkable). How can I distinguish urban versus suburban forms in a way that is easily recognizable to those who otherwise wouldn't know or care about the difference? How can I separate suburban and urban forms within the same city boundaries?

Thanks.
 
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wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,960
Points
22
An interesting topic. My main concern would be that you have a lot of questions in there about "outlook" that may be very challenging to measure, let alone control for variables to determine if the built environment is even a factor. For example, home life, relationships with parents, sociology of school, socio-economic status, and individual personality may all play important factors in teenage self-perception (whether they feel happy, hopeful, what expectations they have for their life, etc.).

So, that will be a challenging aspect to deal with.

Otherwise, I think you will definitely have to develop your own definition of "walkable" because you won't find much useful census info that you can relate, I would suspect (unless you can identify specific areas within cities that are and are not walkable and then search the tract census data for that specific area. Its possible, but tedious...). Also, not all "walkable" places are the same. Here, for example, we have walkable neighborhoods (in the sense that there are sidewalks and connections to schools and parks) built on the Superblock pattern such that each neighborhood is surrounded by large arterials. One can circulate easily in these neighborhoods and access certain amenities, but other things like food markets and other essentials requires driving to another location. So, there is variety in what is "walkable" as well.

My advice is to look at existing literature for a definition that can work for you. Below are a few possibilities. You might also look at some public health/physical planning literature and even things on mental health of teenagers as it relates to physical environment.

Check out this Smart Growth Online page on walkable neighborhoods. Has some info that gets at definitions of "walkable" you could use. Make sure to scour the "materials" section toward the bottom of the page: http://www.smartgrowth.org/about/principles/principles.asp?prin=4&res=1680

Also, here is a link to the Robert Wood Johnson Active Living program website. This is a resource page that may also have useful info about defining "walkable" in a way you can use for your project: http://www.activelivingresearch.org/alr/resourcesearch

Lastly, here is an abstract from an article by Michael Southworth (a professor at Berkeley that has done a good amount of work on the ineraction of social behavior and urban form). The article is called "Designing the Walkable City": http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=JUPDDM000131000004000246000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes

The quality of the pedestrian environment is key to encouraging people to choose walking over driving. Six criteria are presented for design of a successful pedestrian network: (1) connectivity; (2) linkage with other modes; (3) fine grained land use patterns; (4) safety; (5) quality of path; and (6) path context. To achieve walkable cities in the United States it will be necessary to assess current walkability conditions, revise standards and regulations, research walking behavior in varied settings, promote public education and participation in pedestrian planning, and encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary education between transportation engineers and the design professions.
 
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