Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Graduate-level Study Abroad Courses from the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability

Courtsy of CLiGS:
"The Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability (CLiGS) is a new program of the College of Natural Resources and Environment in the National Capital Region focused on building leadership for sustainability in a changing world.  CLiGS is developing a suite of integrated education, research, and engagement programs focused on innovative strategies for advancing sustainable development practice in rapidly developing regions of the world.  An integral part of each of these programs is a graduate-level study abroad course that is project-based, professionally-oriented, pragmatic, and interdisciplinary.  The goal of these GSI (Global Sustainability Initiative) Projects is to provide graduate students with valuable professional and international experience without having to take a full to do it. 
CLiGS is offering four GSI Projects over the next two years that we think you might be interested in. 
 This summer, CLiGS is offering two GSI Projects, each for 6-credits:
·      China Waters GSI Project (Summer I) will focus on balancing resource management (particularly water) with tremendous economic development activity on different landscapes in southeast China, including rice terraces
·      Greening of Russia’s Cities GSI Project (Summer II) will focus on the paradoxes presented by Russia’s urban expansion and opportunities and constraints for greening the cities.
 In 2014, CLiGS is offering two additional GSI Projects, each for 6-credits:
·      India’s Urban Ecosystems GSI Project (Spring – travel dates over winter break) will focus on strategies and challenges for managing socio-ecological systems in Mumbai.
·      South Africa’s Ecological Infrastructure GSI Project (Summer I) will focus on innovative partnerships and strategies for managing ecological infrastructure systems in the Durban and Johannesburg regions.
Visit  to learn more about each of the projects, sign-up for updates, and submit an application to become part of a GSI Project Team. The deadline for the Summer 2013 courses is quickly approaching, so be sure to check it out now if you are interested."

UAP Professor Derek Hyra Appointed to Alexandria Planning Commission

Derek Hyra, Ph.D.
Congratulations to UAP's Derek Hyra! Last night he was appointed by the city council to Alexandria's Planning Commission for a 4-year term.  See the story in today's Old Town Patch.

On the planning commission, he plans to focus on promoting affordable housing opportunities as well as equitable and sustainable development.  (Courtesy of SPIA)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

UAP Professor Yang Zhang Selected to Attend 2013 International Faculty Development Program

Yang Zhang. Ph.D.
Please join us in congratulating UAP Professor Yang Zhang on his selection to attend the 2013 Virginia Tech International Faculty Development Program (IFDP).  The focus of this year's program will be leadership development for managing an international program.  Held in late May, the IFDP will take place in Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia, with hosting by the National University of Singapore and the University of Technology, Malaysia.  

In fall 2012, Dr. Zhang was appointed as the MURP Program Director in Blacksburg. His book, entitled “Sustainability, Hazard Mitigation, and Urban Land Use Planning,” was published by Science Press in China. He is currently working on a NSF funded project titled “Developing an Intergovernmental Management Framework for Sustainable Recovery Following Catastrophic Disasters.”

“Local Food and Local Food Hubs” Friday March 22 and Friday May 3

Courtesy of the NOVA Food Coalition:

"Two upcoming NOVA Food Coalition
Presentations and Dialogues

“Local Food and Local Food Hubs”
Friday March 22 and Friday May 3

All Welcome.  Both events are free.
Please do circulate on your networks

The registration form takes 2 minutes to complete.

Any questions: please contact, 571 425 5278

1) Friday March 22, 10 AM - noon

“Highlighting Opportunities for Local Sustainable Food at Fairfax INOVA Hospital”
Seema Wadhwa, Director of Sustainability, INOVA Fairfax Hospital
and John Nichols, Director Food Services, INOVA Fairfax Hospital

At: Inova Fairfax Hospital:
Materials Management Department
Support Services Building

Conference Room, b and c
Map at
Directions at

Hosted by:
Seema Wadhwa
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
Inova Health System

2) Friday May 3, 10 AM  - noon

“Local Food Supply and Distribution Solutions
for Individuals and Larger Institutional Consumers”

Brian LeCouteur, Planner, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, MWCOG
“DC Metro Area: Local Food Supply and Demand”

James Barham, USDA Marketing Specialist
“Overview of Food Hubs: Challenges and Solutions, Local and National”

At: George Mason University, Arlington
Founders Hall,
Arlington Campus - room # 125
Directions and Map
3301 Fairfax Drive
VA 22201

Hosted by:
Danielle Wyman

Sustainability Projects Coordinator
George Mason University

All Welcome.  Both events are free.
Please do circulate on your networks
The registration form takes 2 minutes to complete.

Any questions: please contact, 571 425 5278"

Tues March 12: Urban Foods - From Fast to Healthy and Sustainable

Courtesy of ACE:

"The 35th ACE Annual Meeting 

Urban Foods - From Fast to Healthy and Sustainable
Tuesday, March 12, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
NRECA, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Join Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) for our annual membership meeting and a celebration of 35 years. ACE promotes stewardship of our natural resources and practical solutions to a sustainable lifestyle in order to protect water, air, and open spaces in the Arlington community. The event will feature Chef Cathal Armstrong as our keynote speaker. Chef Armstrong's work at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria has received numerous awards and accolades. Now with the opening of Eamonn's on Columbia Pike, Chef Armstrong is bringing a taste of his native Dublin to Arlington. Armstrong is a leader in the local food movement and was recently featured in a program on the Kojo Nnamdi show about kids and food with Alice Waters.

Other speakers will include:    

We will also provide an overview of ACE programming for 2013, hold the election for the 2013-2014 board of directors and serve light refreshments.

More information:, or 703-228-6427."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You're Invited: 2013 Spring MI+SPIA Lecture Series on U Street's Transformation, DC Planning and Urban Absorption in a Shrinking City

2013 Spring MI+SPIA Lecture Series 
Virginia Tech Research Center, Arlington, VA

Hosted by: Urban Affairs and Planning Program

All events will convene at the Virginia Tech Research Center – Arlington,  900 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203

Please RSVP to Tina Whaley.



“Corridor of Cool: A Tale of Washington’s U Street”  A Lecture by Blair Ruble, Thursday, February 28th

East/West Falls Church Room
6:00 – 6:30 PM Q&A Session for potential Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) graduate students
6:30-7:30 PM (Presentation)
7:30-8:30 (discussion)
Light Refreshments will be served

Full Flyer Available here.
Please RSVP by February 26, 2013



“Planning Lessons from D.C.”  A Lecture by Harriet Tregoning, Thursday, March 28th

East/West Falls Church Room
6:00 – 6:30 PM Q&A Session for potential Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) graduate students
6:30-7:30 PM (Presentation)
7:30-8:30 (discussion)
Light Refreshments will be served

RSVP by March 26, 2013



Urban Absorption in a Shrinking City: A close examination of depopulation, land use change, and city planning”  A Lecture by Justin Hollander, Thursday, April 11th

Ballston Room
6:00 – 6:30 PM Q&A Session for potential Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) graduate students
6:30-7:30 PM (Presentation)
7:30-8:30 (discussion)
Light Refreshments will be served

Full Flyer Available here.
RSVP by April 9, 2013


Virginia Tech Research Center
900 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA
Directions/Parking Information
Street Parking and Pay Parking Garage Available
5-minute walk from the Ballston-Marymount U Metro Station (orange line)
For questions or more information, please contact Tina Whaley at (703) 706-8100.

MI+SPIA is a joint research effort between the Metropolitan Institute of Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs.

Wed Mar 6: Megaprojects, Megaevents, and the Right to Housing in Rio de Janeiro: The Porto Maravilha Urban Operation

Wednesday, March 6, 7-8:30 pm
100 Hancock, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Presented by the Urban Affairs and Planning Program and the School of Public and International Affairs

This presentation discusses the experience of an urban planning studio of the Master of Planning Program at Columbia University ( ). The studio analyzed the urban megaproject Porto Maravilha and the challenges and opportunities it posed to the maintenance and expansion of affordable and inclusionary housing in the port area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It evaluated the extent to which current policy and institutional conditions of Rio and Brazil helped or hindered an adequate response to the housing challenges in the port and the city, and proposed specific reforms and innovations that could help overcome barriers for maintenance and production of affordable and inclusionary housing in Brazil in general and Rio de Janeiro and the port area in particular. The presentation shows both the substantive planning exercise and a metareflection of the challenges and opportunities of the pedagogical experience.

Clara Irazábal is the Director of the Latin Lab ( and an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, New York City. She received a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, and has two Masters in Architecture and Urban Design and Planning from the University of California at Berkeley and the Universidad Central de Venezuela, respectively. In her research and teaching, she explores the interactions of culture, politics, and placemaking, and their impact on community development and socio-spatial justice. She primarily focuses on Latin American cities and Latino communities in the US. Irazábal has worked as consultant, researcher, and/or professor in Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Germany, Spain, Vietnam, and the US; and has lectured in many other countries. She is the author of Urban Governance and City Making in the Americas: Curitiba and Portland Ashgate, 2005) and the editor of Ordinary Places, Extraordinary Events: Citizenship, Democracy, and Public Space in Latin America (Routledge/ Taylor & Francis, 2008). Irazábal has published academic articles in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Check her work at and contact her at

Tues Mar 5 HEIGHTENEDCONVERSATIONS: Impacts of Building Heights in Capital Cities

Courtesy of the YIPPS listserve:

Impacts of Building Heights in Capital Cities
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 | 7:00 – 9:00 PM  | National Archives 

Washington's horizontal skyline is shaped by the Height of Buildings Act of 1910, a federal law which regulates the height of all buildings. But, is this the right policy to guide future growth in the nation’s capital? Join a panel of international experts as they consider the role governments play in managing building height in capital cities and examine strategies to balance city character and economic vitality.
AICP CM | 2.0 (pending)

The event is free and open to the public; RSVPs are not required.
Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Jurgen Bruns-Berentelg | BERLIN/HAMBURG
CEO of HafenCity and former manager of Berlin’s Sony Center

François Dagnaud | PARIS
Mayor of the 19th arrondissement and former deputy mayor

Robert Tavernor | LONDON
Architect, urbanist, and historian involved with key London development sites

John Worthington | LONDON
Principal, DEGW Architects, and Visiting Professor
University of Sheffield

Professor Emeritus of City & Regional Planning
University of Pennsylvania School of Design

The HeighteneDConversations speaker series is part of the Washington Building Height Study jointly led by NCPC and the District of Columbia Office of Planning.

Sign-up for event reminder and height study updates

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thurs Feb 28 Community Voices on "Story: A Unit of Change"

Courtesy of the VT Institute for Policy and Governance:

Thurs Feb 28 Community Voices on "Story: A Unit of Change"

"On Thursday, February 28, Community Voices will present Thenmozhi Soundararajan, writer, director and singer.  Her Community Voices talk will be from 7-8 p.m. in the Historic Lyric Theatre in downtown Blacksburg, Virginia.  Admission is free and all are welcome. 
Transmedia Artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan will share an evening of digital stories from her work with communities and digital storytelling around the world. She will lead an interactive dialogue with song, digital stories, and audience participation about the purpose of story in community building and explore the links between identity, narrative, and community change. Of special focus will be her work with co-collaborator and research faculty at Virginia Tech's Institute for Policy and Governance, Holly Larson Lesko and their emerging New River Valley Narrative Praxis Collaboration funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Thenmozhi has been engaged in digital storytelling creation and training for nearly 15 years and has worked with local youth and adult groups to build personal stories of health and community in the New River Valley over the past two years.
Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a singer and Transmedia artist who in 2003 was featured in Utne Reader as One of the Top Visionaries Under 30, and the same year was profiled in The Source as One of the Top Ten Political Forces in Hip Hop. Growing up as an Indian Untouchable, she was driven to tell the stories of marginalized communities, which led her, upon graduating from UC Berkeley, to found the international media training organization, Third World Majority, for which she taught in the U.S., France, Tunisia, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, and India. She also spent time in residence at the MIT Center for Reflective Community Practice, writing about storytelling, diversity, and future technology, and that research inspired her transition to narrative filmmaking, and enrollment in USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Since then, Soundararajan’s work has been recognized by the Producers Guild of America Diversity Program, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Annenberg Innovation Center, Slamdance, MIT Center for New Media Studies, The Sorbonne, The National Center for the Humanities, International Children’s Festival, The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Currently, she’s directing her documentary, Touchable: The Journey from Untouchable to Dalit and its related album Broken People.
Community Voices speakers are engaged in fostering work that strengthens community.  Their leadership includes the capacity to speak cogently and concisely about their experiences, to tell stories that are revealing of their work and to present ideas for change, ideas that matter.

Sponsors and Partners:
·       Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance
·       Virginia Tech Center for the Arts
·       Virginia Tech Department of Religion and Culture
·       Virginia Cooperative Extension
·       Virginia Tech Department of English
·       Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs
·       Virginia Tech College of Architecture and Urban Studies
·       The Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series
·       Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology"

Feb 19 Film & Facilitated Discussion: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

Courtesy of APA:
"You’re Invited!
Tuesdays at APA-DC
February 19 @ 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Film & Facilitated Discussion: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
Join us for a viewing of The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, a recent documentary that explores the social, economic, and legislative issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in the United States.

Watch the film and then participate in a facilitated discussion about the past, present, and future of housing development and the transformation of U.S. cities.

CM | 0.5

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!"

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tues Feb 26 Lecture on Landscapes of Post-Modernity: Changes in the Built Fabric of Belgrade and Sofia since 1990

Please join The Wilson Center’s Comparative Urban Studies Project and Global Europe Program
for a presentation and discussion of
Landscapes of Post-Modernity:
Changes in the Built Fabric of Belgrade and Sofia since 1990
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
3:30 - 5:00 pm
6th Floor Board Room, Wilson Center
Washington, DC
Please RSVP to; acceptances only

Sonia Hirt, Chair and Associate Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Virginia Tech
Ellen Hamilton, Lead Land and Housing Specialist, Finance, Economics and Urban Department, The World Bank

Sonia Hirt will present research on the recent physical changes in the built fabric of the Serbian capital of Belgrade and the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. She will apply two bodies of literature, involving postsocialist urban transitions and postmodern urban transitions. Hirt will present empirical observations on changes in building functions, scales, and styles in both cities. The presentation will highlight common traits that prevail in the evolution of urban forms in both Belgrade and Sofia, but will examine how contrasting social and cultural experiences of Serbia and Bulgaria during socialism and postsocialism have produced locally specific results. Hirt’s work suggests that postsocialist cities represent textbook examples of urban postmodernization, much as socialist cities epitomized the essential legacy of modernist urbanity.
Ellen Hamilton will comment on the presentation, assessing the broader implications of Hirt’s research for the future of urban areas of Eastern Europe.

The Wilson Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW ("Federal Triangle" stop on Blue/Orange Line). A map to the Center is available at Entrance to the building is restricted and photo identification is required.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 12 Research in Progress: Empowering America’s Rural Communities Through Planning and Design

Dear Prince Street Community,
Please join us in the Library Room at 12pm for the following Research in Progress Lunchtime discussion on Tuesday February 12th, 2013!
Empowering America’s Rural Communities Through Planning and Design
Shelley Mastran
Urban Affairs and Planning

Rural communities across the U.S. are in decline as economic forces favor urban, suburban, and resort- or retirement-oriented exurban places.  To what extent can good planning and design help declining rural communities survive?  What role should the federal government play in fostering rural community planning?  This discussion will feature one federally funded program that provides design assistance to rural communities - the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design - as an introduction to the topic.

Coming Up:
Shalini Misra, UAP
Descriptive, but not Injunctive, Normative Appeals Increase Response Rates In Web-based Surveys
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tues Feb 19 Lecture in #AlexandriaVa on "Making Cycling Irresistible in Alexandria, Lessons from European & N. American Cities"

From the City of Alexandria's Local Motion Newsletter:

"The Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory (BPAC) Committee is delighted to announce that Ralph Buehler, co-author of City Cycling, will give a lecture on "Making Cycling Irresistible in Alexandria, Lessons from European and North American Cities."

Time: Tuesday February 19, 6:30 pm
Place: Durant Center, 1605 Cameron St, 22314
Cost: Free and open to the public

This lecture will be followed by the regular monthly meeting of the BPAC committee at 7:30 pm. BPAC meetings are also open to the public.

BPAC has the goal of making walking and bicycling attractive and fun for Alexandrians of all ages and abilities. We hope you will attend.

To learn more about BPAC click HERE "