Friday, May 25, 2012

Paid Internship Available at National Recreation and Parks Association

The National Recreation and Parks Association has a position open for an intern to capture GIS data from a variety of state and local park systems.  Intern will identify parks, trails, and park facilities and enter into a pre-prepared GIS model for uploading to a national data base.  Position is 10-12 weeks for pay and perhaps class credit.

Public Knowledge Journal Issue 4.1. and CFP for Issue 4.2

The editorial board of Public Knowledge Journal is happy to announce that Volume 4 Issue 1 entitled Towards Interdisciplinary in Public Health is now posted at We hope that you find the material both interesting and intellectually stimulating.  

The call for submissions for Volume 4 Issue 1 is now posted at Please forward this call to any graduate students who might be interested. The next issue will focus broadly on the topic of Interventions. We encourage submissions from all disciplines in order to approach the topic from a variety of perspectives. 

Public Knowledge is a multidisciplinary, graduate student-run electronic journal hosted by the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture at Virginia Tech (ISSN 1948-3511). The journal began in 2008 with the goal of using a variety of communication technologies to develop scholarly conversations about topics in the public interest. The journal welcomes contributions of articles for peer review, as well as book reviews, essays, interviews, blogs, and other multimedia works. Authors also retain the rights to their work. 

Contributors questions about potential submissions or about the submission process should be sent to


Sarah Surak 
Public Knowledge Journal

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Aspire! Awards recognize 25 inspirational Virginia Tech students

From VT News: 

"The Division of Student Affairs recognized 25 students in its first year of presenting the Aspire! Awards, which recognize students who exemplify the division’s five Aspirations for Student Learning.

One student was recognized for each aspiration in the months of October, November, February, March, and April. Students were nominated by peers or by Virginia Tech faculty and staff as best representing the five aspirations — a commitment to unwavering curiosity, pursuing self-understanding and integrity, practicing civility, preparing for a life of courageous leadership, and embracing Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) as a way of life."

UAP Students honored included:
  • Minoka Gunesekara of Blacksburg, a junior majoring in urban affairs and planning
  • Rial Tombes of Richmond, Va., a senior majoring in environmental policy and planning
 Please join us in extending our congratulations to Minoka, Rial and all the students recognized!

Read more

UAP's Ridenour Recognized with Regional Leadership Award

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council has recognized Minnis Ridenour, UAP/Senior Fellow for Resource Development, with its Regional Leadership Award. The award was presented by the Council at its annual dinner on May 10th. Read more at this link.

Job Oppty: Planner, Chesterfield County Va

invites applications for the position of:
An Equal Opportunity Employer
Committed to Workforce Diversity
SALARY: $39,723.00 - $46,750.00 Annually
OPENING DATE: 05/14/12
CLOSING DATE: 05/24/12 05:00 PM

Bachelor's degree in urban planning or related field; or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Good knowledge of research methods, database management, and Geographic Information Systems software and personal computers. Possess good oral and written communication skills. Must have working knowledge of planning theory and state planning laws and regulations. Good driving record required. Must not reflect a total accumulation of six or more negative points within the past three years
or a major violation within the past four years. Pre-employment drug testing and FBI criminal background check required.

Researches, analyzes and communicates data on relevant planning issues including land use, housing, demographics, economics and public facilities. Collects and analyzes data; maintains databases; performs research; prepares professional-grade reports for publication to staff, residents and decision makers. Extensively uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software in performing analyses and in preparing professional-grade maps for internal and external customers. Researches and analyzes national, state, regional and local demographic trends and information. Performs field work pertaining to commercial vacancies and land use development status. Provides technical assistance to county staff and functions as back-up to county demographer. Assists project managers in the creation, adoption and implementation of
amendments to the county's comprehensive plan. Performs related work as required, including field work and meetings after hours.

Monday - Friday; 8:30a.m. - 5:00p.m.



Book by UAP's Ralph Hall, coauthor Nicholas Ashford Recognized with 2012 Green Book Festival Award

UAP's Ralph Hall 
Technology, Globalization and Sustainable Development, written by Dr. Nicholas A. Ashford and UAP's Dr. Ralph P. Hall, has been named the winner of the 2012 Green Book Festival in the Business category. A panel of judges determined the festival winners based on the criteria of 1) The book's overall writing style and presentation and 2) the book's potential for enhancing understanding of the environment and related issues.  Read more about the book at Yale University Press.

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 17 Planners Diversity Network Breakfast

From APA Virginia:

Come join us for the Planners Diversity Network Breakfast on at the Water Street Center (407 E. Water Street) in Charlottesville on May 17. Join us for breakfast with invited guest speaker Helen Cauthen, President of the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development.

The event is free and Certification Maintenance Credit (1 CM) is pending. RSVP is required due to limited availability.

Please RSVP to Daniel Nairn (  or (434 979-7310) without delay. For more information about the ECDC, or to help organize an event, contact Nicole Thompson and Joseph Curtis at ( "

Saturday, May 12, 2012

UAP's John Browder: Thirty Years on South America’s Great Frontier

Check out this new report from UAP's John Browder that summarizes his 30 years of research in the Amazon. 

Entitled "The Will of the Amazon: Thirty Years on South America’s Great Frontier," it's a great report about his work in this fascinating region of the world -- and with lots of photos.

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Book on Planning in Post-Socialist Countries by UAP's Sonia Hirt

UAP's Sonia Hirt has a new book out, "Iron Curtains: Gates, Suburbs and Privatization of Space in the Post-socialist City (Studies in Urban and Social Change)".

About the book:
"The fall of state socialism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was arguably the most significant political event of the late 20th century. For many, this dramatic historic shift was symbolized by the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, an iconic emblem of fear and division. Yet only twenty years later, many new walls—both physical and imaginary—have been erected across Eastern Europe, including redrawn state borders, partitioned cities, and myriad walled-off urban spaces.

Iron Curtains: Gates, Suburbs, and Privatization of Space in the Post-socialist City explores the human dimension of new city-building that has emerged in East Europe. Utilizing firsthand research culled from more than 100 interviews conducted primarily in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia—a city whose public spaces have unravelled over the last two decades—Sonia Hirt examines the ways people live and experience the new, post-socialist urbanism. Also addressed are what these new spaces tell us about their builders, users, and inhabitants. Embracing an explicitly cultural approach, the author suggests that disappointment with socialist and post-socialist conditions has led to mass skepticism toward the public domain, further resulting in a radical de-construction of public spaces. Iron Curtains offers provocative insights into the complex relationship between society and space during times of fundamental change."

Cities in Transition: A Guide for Practicing Planners

From the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech:

"Earlier this month Metropolitan Institute Associate Director Joseph Schilling and Alan Mallach of the Brookings Institution were in Los Angeles at the American Planning Association’s annual conference promoting the new PAS report on Cities in Transition. The report offers practicing planners a comprehensive menu of place-based strategies for addressing different dimensions of urban distress—from the reclamation of vacant properties to rebuilding local government and civic capacity. Schilling and Mallach view cities in transition through a typology that includes older industrial, shrinking cities, fast growing boom-n-bust cities, declining first tier suburbs and small, but growing gateway cities. All of these cities, large and small, east and west, share similar challenges of trying to confront the convergence of many socioeconomic transitions."

Read more

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

CAUS 50th Anniversary Design Competition


The College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) at Virginia Tech is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014 and is sponsoring a competition for the design of an icon and a poster to commemorate the occasion.

First Prize $5,000 | Honorable Mentions $500/each

02 July – Registration deadline
03 September – Electronic submissions due
24 September – Finalists’ printed posters due

Sagi Haviv | Chermayeff & Geismar
Lisa Mahar | Kid O
Rocco Piscatello | Piscatello Design Centre

Monday, May 7, 2012

Call for TEDxVirginiaTech Speaker Nominations

TED is coming to Virginia Tech!!  On Saturday, November 10, 2012, the inaugural TEDxVirginiaTech event will take place, and we are currently inviting speaker nominations from the Virginia Tech community.  The deadline for speaker nominations is Friday, May 18, 2012.  Those who are nominated should be excellent presenters with amazing ideas… ideas worth spreading.  This year's theme is "knowing."

To learn more about TEDxVirginiaTech, the theme, the nomination process, and to nominate someone to speak at this event, please visit


If you have any questions, please contact the TEDxVirginiaTech Steering Committee Chair, Dr. C. Edward Watson, Associate Director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) at (540-231-7930).

May 8 APA Policy Breakfast on Housing Policy

From APA:

"APA Policy Breakfast

The Rise of Renting & the Future of Housing Policy

May 8, 2012
8:00–9:00 a.m. (networking breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m.)

American Planning Association
1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 750 West
Washington, DC 20005

Featured Speaker

Matthew Yglesias
Slate's business and economics correspondent, writer of the Moneybox blog & author of the newly published The Rent is Too Damn High

Please join the American Planning Association for a policy breakfast discussion on the impact of the rise of rental and multifamily housing on housing and community policy and economics. Homeownership and mortgage policies were at the center of the housing crisis that plunged the nation into the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Increasingly, it appears that recovery in the housing market will be driven by renters and multifamily housing.

Both demographic and real estate trends point to the vital role of rental housing in building strong communities and the overall economy.

· Nationwide apartment vacancy rates are at a decade low while average rents continue to rise to the highest level in more than four years.

· Housing construction has been led by multifamily housing starts with single family construction continuing to decline. In February, multifamily starts grew 21.1% while single family starts declined nearly 10%. Multifamily housing construction is up 85.4% from a year ago and has fully recovered to pre-recession levels.

· Morgan Stanley estimates that converting foreclosed properties to rental properties would generate 1.8 million jobs.

· Three large population segments likely to dominate the housing market: Gen Y, retiring baby boomers, and homeowners displaced during the recession show strong preferences for multifamily and rental housing.

What are the implications of this shift for policymakers and planners? How should housing policy — from Washington to local zoning boards — change in response to the demand for rental and multifamily housing? How should housing and neighborhood policy respond to the challenge of foreclosed properties? How should housing finance policy and institutions change?

Join APA for an examination of these trends, policy options and the implications for the nation's communities. APA hosts quarterly policy breakfasts featuring leading experts, policymakers and thought leaders talking about the key issues affecting planning and community development.

Space is limited. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend.

About the Speaker
Matthew Yglesias is Slate's business and economics correspondent. Before joining the magazine he worked for the Center for American Progress' ThinkProgress blog, the Atlantic, TPM Media, and the American Prospect. His first book, Heads in the Sand, was published in 2008. His second, The Rent Is Too Damn High, was published in March. His popular twitter feed (@mattyglesias) has nearly 40,000 followers."

May 9 Talk on Public Space at NBM

From the National Building Museum:
"Charles H. Atherton Memorial Lecture:
Whose Space? Public Land in the Nation's Capital

Wednesday, May 9, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

What are the limits to the use of public space? And who gets to decide? From the Bonus Army comprised of World War One Veterans camped out on the banks of the Anacostia River to the Occupy D.C. movement in McPherson Square Park, protests and demonstrations often test the boundaries of public property and the first amendment. Architect, urban designer, and City College of New York Professor Lance Jay Brown, FAIA discusses the complex role of open space in our ever urbanizing environment.

Following Professor Brown’s presentation, a panel of respondents explore how design can play a role in creating spaces that serve a variety of functions from large demonstrations to everyday use. Respondents include:

· Historian Lucy Barber
· Landscape architect Faye Harwell
· Secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts Thomas Luebke
· National Building Museum curator Susan Piedmont-Palladino (moderator)

The Charles H. Atherton Memorial Lecture program commemorates the life and legacy of Charles Atherton, who served for almost four decades as Secretary of the U. S. Commission of Fine Arts. The lecture series is dedicated to providing a forum for discourse on the planning and design of Washington, D.C.

1.5 LU HSW (AIA) / 1.5 CM (AICP) / 1.5 LA CES (ASLA)

Register now.
Learn more about this series."