Tuesday, January 29, 2013

WPost: "Driving Behavior" Highlights Role of Commuter Benefits in Shaping Travel Choices

1.25.2013 | The Washington Post:  readexpress.com
Driving Behavior

This January 25th article by Vicky Hallett includes a link to “Role of Commuter Benefits in Shaping Decision to Walk, Cycle, or Ride Transit to Work in Washington, D.C., Region,” a study prepared by Ralph Buehler, assistant professor, Urban Affairs and Planning, and Ph.D student Andrea Hamre.

Thurs Feb 28 @Virginia_Tech in #ArlingtonVa: “Corridor of Cool: A Tale of Washington’s U Street”

Please join us for the kick-off of the 2013 Spring MI+SPIA Lecture Series, hosted by the Urban Affairs and Planning Program.

“Corridor of Cool: A Tale of Washington’s U Street” 
A Lecture by Blair Ruble, Thursday, February 28th, 2013 (6:30 PM – 8:30 PM)

Washington DC’s U Street has become a symbol for the city’s remarkable turn-around from symbol of urban failure to frontrunner of contemporary urban growth.  The story is more complex than it might seem at first glance.  Was U Street in fact a failure a half century ago?  How deep does the neighborhood’s revitalization run?  To answer that question, Blair Ruble, author of Washington’s U Street: A Biography, will recount the history of the U Street community from its origins during the Civil War up to the “gentrification” of today.  In doing so, he will explore the meaning of U Street for the city and the nation at large.

Thursday, February 28th
6:30 to 7:30 pm (presentation); 7:30-8:30 (discussion)
Virginia Tech Research Center
900 N. Glebe Road
East/West Falls Church Room
Arlington, VA
RSVP by 2/26/13

6:00 – 6:30 PM Q&A Session for potential Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) graduate students 

Light refreshments will be served

See the attached flyer for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ralph Buehler’s ‘City Cycling’ finds way to Parliamentary session to ‘Get Britain Cycling’

by Barbara L. Micale

The book “City Cycling” appears in a photo taken during a session in Great Britain’s House of Commons last week, where a motion to “Get Britain Cycling” gained momentum, garnering 125 supportive signatures from members of Parliament. “City Cycling,” recently published by MIT Press, is coedited by Ralph Buehler, assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech National Capital Region, and John Pucher, professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University.

Last week’s Parliamentary session is the first of six inquiries that will examine the barriers which are preventing more people from cycling in the United Kingdom, where cycling makes up only two percent of all journeys, compared to 27 percent in the Netherlands and 18 percent in Denmark. Some European towns have more than 50 percent of all journeys made by bike.

The Early Day Motion 679 on January 23 stated, “That this House notes that cycling benefits public health, the economy, the environment and quality of life; further notes the strength of public and parliamentary support for The Times newspaper’s Cities fit for Cycling campaign, and its backing for an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group on Getting Britain Cycling; further notes calls from national cycling organisations for a cycling action plan to increase cycling among people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, and to reduce the actual and perceived risks of cycling, whether for day-to-day travel, outdoor recreation or sport; and calls on the Government to provide leadership, resources and Cabinet-level co-ordination across Government departments and external partners to produce and implement such a plan as part of our Olympic legacy, including measures to strengthen road traffic law and its enforcement, improve cycling conditions and perceptions of safety, integrate cycling with public transport, promote cycling through schools, colleges, workplaces, community organisations and beyond, and embed cycling into the heart of transport, planning and other relevant policies.”

“Get Britain Cycling” is the result of a campaign launched by “The Times,” which conducted an online survey asking 14,000 people what could be done to encourage people to cycle. More than 25 percent suggested segregated cycle lanes, 23 percent called for simpler and safer junctions and 16 percent wanted 20mph speed limits and road surface improvements. 

As Parliament moves forward on its motion, there are plans for five more sessions to be held through early March to get the views of experts, government departments, and cycling luminaries. A report with recommendations will be published in mid-April.

“Successful promotion of city cycling depends on coordinating infrastructure, programs, and government policies, so it is heartening to see that Great Britain’s leaders are taking these issues seriously,” Buehler said.
"City Cycling" reports on cycling trends and policies in countries and cities in North America, Europe, and Australia, and covers such topics as cycling safety, cycling infrastructure provisions including bikeways and bike parking, the wide range of bike designs and bike equipment, integration of cycling with public transportation, and promoting cycling for women and children. The book offers detailed examinations and illustrations of cycling conditions in different urban environments: small cities, large cities, and “megacities.” And it takes a closer look at how cities both with and without historical cycling cultures have developed cycling programs over time.

In the chapter, “International Overview: Cycling Trends in Western Europe, North America, and Australia,” Buehler and Pucher noted the following in regard to the United Kingdom:

  • The daily distance cycled per capita in the United Kingdom is 0.2 km compared to 1 km in Germany, 1.6 km in Denmark, and 2.5 km in the Netherlands.
  • The bike mode share in the United States and the United Kingdom is less than two percent, far lower than the 27 percent bike share of trips in the Netherlands, 18 percent in Denmark, and 10 percent in Germany.
  • Travel to work or school accounts for only 30 percent of all bike trips in the United Kingdom.
  • Women account for less than 30 percent of cyclists in the United Kingdom, compared to a country like Netherlands where women account for 56 percent of cyclists.
  • High levels of car ownership are not necessarily incompatible with high levels of cycling.
  • For example, while Germany has 20 percent more cars per capita than the United Kingdom, the bike share of trips in Germany is ten times higher than in the United Kingdom.

“I had no prior knowledge that “City Cycling” would be noted in any way during the parliamentary session,” said Buehler.  “Of course it is flattering to see the book used in British politics.”

Update on Spring 2013 MOOC Enrollment, Participant Data for TechniCity

From Jennifer Evans-Cowley, who is co-teaching the TechniCity class with UAP's Tom Sanchez:

"Hi all,

Many of you offered notes of encouragement when Tom Sanchez (Virginia Tech) and I announced our planned Massive Open Online Course TechniCity (http://www.coursera.org/course/techcity) and is the equivalent of a 3-credit hour course we teach at our home universities. We are pleased to let you know that well over 7,000 people have signed up for this free four week course (enrolling an average of 800 people per week). I’m sure a handful of these are you and your students.

We will be including a number of guest speakers and interestingly while we had agreement from two professors from two different universities who wanted to provide a lecture, their universities told them that could not participate. I personally found this to be quite interesting that a university would limit a professor’s ability to provide a guest lecture in a class. I will note that other university’s administrations have viewed this activity quite favorably.

We thought we’d share a little about the profile of the participants.

·        Most interesting to me is that 30% of the participants plan to take this course via their mobile device. Certainly cause for us to pause and give deep consideration to how to effectively deliver and engage via the small screen.

·         Attached is a map of the 13% of participants that have provided their location. As you can see this is truly a global course with participants from more than 60 different countries.
  • Our participants are well educated with 67% already hold a degree and 25% currently enrolled in college. 25% hold a degree or significant work experience in city planning, while 27% are new to this field
  • 75% are taking the course because they believe it will be helpful to their career
  • 51% plan to use this course as a credential on their resume
  • For 43% this is their first massive open online course
We welcome all comers. We figure if we can teach to 7,000 we can teach to 10,000, 20,000 or 50,000.

Jennifer Evans-Cowley, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Administration
College of Engineering
The Ohio State University"

Forthcoming Book: Building Walls and Dissolving Borders, Edited by Max Stephenson and Laura Zanotti

Building Walls and Dissolving Borders

The Challenges of Alterity, Community and Securitizing Space

Forthcoming book edited by Max Stephenson and Laura Zanotti, both at Virginia Tech

“This tough-minded and lucid collection offers
a tour of the barriers—both physical and immaterial— that have divided the planet into festering territories of animosity. Investigating sites both familiar and singular, these essays reveal the ironic tenacity
of the building of walls in a globalized era in which the production of the very idea of an inside and
an outside is radically destabilized.”

—Michael Sorkin, City University of New York

This book explores walls as the consequence
of a changing web of social relationships. Whether walls are physical objects on the landscape or metaphors for difference among specific groups or communities, the writers consider them as heterotopias, powerful sites around which ways
of living together are contested and transformed. They also investigate how architectural planning concerning walls may de facto become a means of waging war, as well as how demolishing walls may give way to new ways of imagining security.

Contents: Introduction: building walls, unmaking borders: the securitization of space and the making of community imagination, Max Stephenson, Jr. and Laura Zanotti. Part i: Walling sPaces, making identity: Bordering violence? Natality and alterity in Hannah Arendt’s thought, Alexander D. Barder and François Debrix; Bamboo walls and culture: military dependents’ villages of Taiwan, Tsungjuang Wang; Gates not walls as a securitization strategy: gated communities and market
rate co-operatives in New York, Setha Low, Gregory Donovan and Jennifer Gieseking; Tinkering with space: heterotopic walls and the privileged imaginary of the ‘new Belfast,’ Scott Tate.
Part ii: enclosing a PoroUs World, secUritizing the movement oF PeoPle: Inside-outside, M. Alaa Mandour; Design as defense, broken barriers and the security spectacle at the US-Mexico border, Timothy W. Luke; Peacekeeping power practices
and women’s insecurity in Haiti, Marsha Henry and Paul Higate. Part iii: Walls and the hybridization oF memory: Reading trails and inscriptions around an old bus-house in Monarga, North Cyprus, Yonca Hurol and Guita Farivarsadri; Cultural memory after the fall of the Berlin Wall: the case of Checkpoint Charlie, Carolyn Loeb and Andreas Luescher. Part iv: conclUsion: Conclusion, Max Stephenson, Jr. and Laura Zanotti; Index.

April 2013 210 pages

Hardback 978-1-4094-3835-9 $99.95 ebook PDF 978-1-4094-3836-6
ebook ePUB 978-1-4094-7345-9

New Study Examines Extent of #Sustainable Transportation in #TRB Research Study Statements

UAP Assistant Professor Ralph Hall and Graduate Research Assistant Erin Puckett recently presented the results of a quantitative analysis that considered the degree to which Transportation Research Board research statements reflect sustainability objectives.  The findings were presented at the Sustainable Transportation Indicators Subcommittee during the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington D.C.

Dr. Hall is research director for the Transportation and Sustainability Committee of the TRB. To read the report, visit http://ralphphall.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/trb-rns-analysis/.

Friday, January 25, 2013

"City Cycling" Focus of Get Britain Cycling Initiative Discussion in UK Parliament

"City Cycling" is among many books on hand as Members of Parliament discuss cycling in Britain (photo by Carlton Reid)  See the image at http://flic.kr/p/dP1kHm

The new book, "City Cycling," (authored by UAP professor Ralph Buehler and MIT's John Pucher) was the focus of a session in the British House of Commons on Wednesday, January 23, as part of the Get Britain Cycling initiative.  Read more about the the motion supporting the initiative at http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/679.

Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 Info Sessions about Planning Graduate Studies at VT in Old Town Alexandria, VA

2013 SPIA Graduate School Information Sessions in Alexandria, VA

Tuesday, February 12
Wednesday, April 10
Tuesday, July 9
Wednesday, October 9
Tuesday, November 12

Virginia Tech's School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) in the National Capital Region offers five graduate degree programs at its Alexandria location:

  • Masters of Public and International Affairs
  • Masters of Public Administration
  • Masters of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy
  • Ph.D. in Planning and Global Governance

The information session for the Masters programs begins at 6 p.m.
The information session for the Ph.D. programs begins at 7 p.m.

An RSVP to the email below is encouraged.

Location: 1021 Prince Street, 2nd Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314 (King Street Metro, Blue/Yellow lines)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Michelle Cullen, MI Visiting Fellow, speaking at 2013 NAED Annual Reception + Workshop

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Institute:

"Michelle Cullen, Metropolitan Institute’s Visiting Fellow for Smart Cities, will be speaking at the 4th Annual National Academy of Environmental Design Reception + Workshop held at the National Building Museum, February 21-22, 2013. The program, Designing Intelligent Environments: Social + Ethical Implications, is led by Susan Piedmont-Palladino, a Faculty Fellow with the MI, and will include Eduard Epp (University of Manitoba), Kathleen Harder (University of Minnesota), Anijo Matthew (Illinois Institute of Technology) and Erik Steiner (Stanford University)."  Read more at http://www.mi.vt.edu/archives/1158.

Jan 29 Tuesdays at APA on Housing, Energy and Sustainability in Argentina: Challenges and Solutions

Courtesy of APA:

"Tuesdays at APA-DC
January 29 @ 5:30pm
Housing, Energy and Sustainability in Argentina: Challenges and Solutions
Nicolás Maggio, Founder & President/CEO, FOVISEE (Housing, Sustainability and Energies Forum)
& Ashley Valle, FOVISEE                 
FOVISEE (Housing, Sustainability and Energies Forum) is a non-profit based in Buenos Aires, Argentina dedicated to creating “laboratories in the neighborhood” where we demonstrate the feasibility of applying sustainability criteria to low-income housing, and produce replicable project models for government and the private sector.

In addition FOVISEE aims to provoke a “cultural change” in Argentine society by diffusing the importance of sustainability, housing and energy through workshops, conferences, and the media. FOVISEE projects are diverse and range from the installation of solar thermal energy in public housing to the creation of an “Instructions Manual for the Sustainable Use of the Home”.

The presentation will contextualize the current housing and energy situation in Argentina from a macro and micro perspective. FOVISEE staff will present on the actual “energy, housing, and sustainability” triangle in Argentina, identifying barriers and demonstrating through FOVISEE’s projects how sustainability in housing, in particular low-income housing, can be achieved.

Recently FOVISEE designed a project which was awarded a grant from the US Embassy in Buenos Aires to develop a pilot experience of the US Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in Argentina. Part of the presentation will focus on the process of adapting policy from abroad to the Argentine context, and feedback will be welcomed. As with the case of WAP, there are many successful housing and energy policies in the US that could serve as project models for the Argentine public and private sectors. The presentation will open up a dialogue where policies, NGO projects, and consumer strategies will be considered, with feedback and collaboration from US planners encouraged.

CM | 1.0

Learn more about this event and upcoming events on the APA website

Tuesdays at APA–DC
Join APA in Washington, D.C., each month for this after-work lecture and discussion series. Practicing planners, researchers, and professionals from allied fields discuss innovative ideas and concepts or present their latest projects.
The events are free and open to APA members and nonmembers.

Please enter on 15th Street and check in with security desk.
American Planning Association - Headquarters
1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 750 West
Washington, DC 20005

Metro rail stations– Farragut North (red line)
                                      McPherson Square (orange/blue lines)
Many Metro bus lines are convenient.
Several Capital Bikeshare stations are nearby.
Parking available in paid parking lots or on street.

We hope to see you there!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Job Opportunity: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring

Courtesy of the PLANET listserve:

"The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research is seeking qualified applicants for a career Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring. This position oversees HUD’s major demonstrations, evaluations, technology research, and compilation of the administrative data across HUD’s many programs. The position is a Senior Executive Service position.


VAPDC 2013 Winter Conference

From the Virginia Association of Planning District Commission:

"VAPDC 2013 Winter Conference

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - Friday, February 01, 2013

VAPDC will once again join VML and VACo for the annual Local Government Day on January 31, 2013. That evening following the day’s activities, VAPDC will kick off its 2013 Winter Conference with a dinner/reception at the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park. On Friday, the conference will feature an awards breakfast followed by several speakers and end with lunch."

This year's theme is Virginia's PDCs: Saving Public Dollars through Regional Efficiencies

Learn more at https://m360.vapdc.org/event.aspx?eventID=67327.

Monday, January 7, 2013

What’s Next Alexandria? Your Input Needed for Online Civic Engagement Activity

From the City of Alexandria:

"What’s Next Alexandria? Your Input Needed for Online Civic Engagement Activity
For Immediate Release: January 3, 2013

The City of Alexandria and ACTion Alexandria invite you to participate online [www.actionalexandria.org/principles] in refining the principles of civic engagement discussed at the November 15, 2012 What’s Next Alexandria Community Dialogue.  This online event, open to all Alexandrians, will run until January 14.    

Your input will form the basis of the Second Community Dialogue scheduled for January 29, 2013, 7 p.m., at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. The goal of the January Dialogue is to complete work on the principles of civic engagement and discuss the methods for achieving those principles, including the range of approaches identified by the community.  Childcare and simultaneous Spanish translation will be available.

For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/WhatsNext or contact Carrie Beach, project manager, at 703.746.3853."