I cant speak for other programs, but to as far as planning academia, I have to say it is highly competative and 'crazy'.booeyschewy said:Hey there,
Is teaching and PHD programs as competative and crazy as other disciplines?
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.
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 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.
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-!jread said:Thanks!!
I'll check these out, especially the One-Stop-Shop as this was recently done in Austin's development review offices.
For better or worse, I believe there is a lot of material on that.urbania said:I was thinking of following research topic:
Urban Information Systems in increasing the citizen participation in urban planning.
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.nerudite said:Holland itself is very bicycle friendly (so I hear). So maybe do some research on the country and its multimodal systems.
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.nerudite said:maybe you'll find a new twist on an old viewpoint.
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.