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Michael P. Johnson

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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies

Changing Urban Form In A Shrinking City, Justin Hollander, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Rachel B. Drew Jun 2019

Changing Urban Form In A Shrinking City, Justin Hollander, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Rachel B. Drew

Michael P. Johnson

This paper uses building footprint data in a shrinking city, Baltimore, MD, in 1972 and 2010 to achieve two primary research objectives. The first is to understand the historical patterns of housing construction and demolition in selected row house neighborhoods in Baltimore between 1972 and 2010. The second is to understand changes in housing footprints, and associations between these changes and physical and socio-economic characteristics in selected neighborhoods. We find that housing losses and associated changes in building footprints have shown substantial variation across our study area and exhibit clustering within our study area. Moreover, while housing loss is strongly ...


Community-Focused Problem-Solving With Operations Research And Analytics, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Jan 2019

Community-Focused Problem-Solving With Operations Research And Analytics, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

In these days of ‘analytics’, ‘big data’ and ‘smart cities’, many of us are aware of the importance of data and quantitative analytic methods for program design, implementation and evaluation. Less commonly-understood are specific tools and methods for community-based interventions in which the problem to be solved is unclear, and the ways in which data of many different kinds can be used to develop interventions that represent best-possible uses of organization and community resources. Moreover, it is also less commonly-understood how to put communities, and community members, near the center of problem-solving and decision-making.

Examples of challenging problems include: How ...


Community Operational Research: A Survey Of The Discipline, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Gerald Midgley, Jason D. Wright, George Chichirau Sep 2018

Community Operational Research: A Survey Of The Discipline, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Gerald Midgley, Jason D. Wright, George Chichirau

Michael P. Johnson

Community operational research (COR) is an extension of multiple OR/MS traditions to support participatory research, localized impact and social change. It applies critical thinking, evidence-based policy analysis, community participation and decision modeling to local interventions. It emphasizes the needs, voices and values of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. It rests on a foundation of meaningful engagement with communities. This presentation summarizes a multi-year effort to assemble cutting-edge research in COR in a special issue of European Journal of Operational Research available August 2018. We review principles for community OR, describe the breadth and diversity of the field through the experience ...


Emerging Trends And New Frontiers In Community Operational Research, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Gerald Midgley, George Chichirau Jul 2018

Emerging Trends And New Frontiers In Community Operational Research, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Gerald Midgley, George Chichirau

Michael P. Johnson

Community operational research (Community OR), and its disciplinary relation, community-based operations research, has an increasingly high profile within multiple domains that benefit from empirical and analytic approaches to problem solving. These domains are primarily concentrated within nonprofit services and local development. However, there are many other disciplinary and application areas for which novel applications and extensions of COR could generate valuable insights. This paper identifies a number of these, distinguishing between ‘emerging trends’ (mostly in well-studied areas of operations research, management science and analytics) and ‘new frontiers’, which can be found in traditions not commonly oriented towards empirical and analytic ...


Community-Engaged Operations Research: Localized Interventions, Appropriate Methods, Social Impact, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Jan 2018

Community-Engaged Operations Research: Localized Interventions, Appropriate Methods, Social Impact, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Community-engaged operations research is an extension of multiple OR/MS traditions to support participatory research, localized impact and social change. It applies critical thinking, evidence-based policy analysis, community participation and decision modeling to local interventions. It emphasizes the needs, voices and values of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. It rests on a foundation of meaningful engagement with communities. Through a survey of current scholarship in two complementary areas of inquiry, ‘community operational research’ (referring to work by primarily European researchers) and ‘community-based operations research’ (referring to work by primarily American researchers), I develop principles for community-engaged OR, present critical questions that ...


Course Syllabus: Honors 490 Mayor's Symposium: Housing In A Changing City, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Dec 2017

Course Syllabus: Honors 490 Mayor's Symposium: Housing In A Changing City, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

This course provides students with an introduction to project-based and community-engaged learning through the subject of urban housing policy. The theme of this course is stabilizing and revitalizing Boston’s neighborhoods by increasing access to decent and affordable housing for all, with a focus on reducing incidence of eviction and displacement arising from gentrification and neighborhood change. Through readings, lectures, discussions, site visits and conversations with practitioners, scholars and advocates, students will acquire a comprehensive perspective on urban housing, and develop innovative projects to address important needs of Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab (https ...


Community-Engaged Operations Research: Trends, New Frontiers And Current Applications, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Nov 2017

Community-Engaged Operations Research: Trends, New Frontiers And Current Applications, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Community-engaged operations research is an extension of multiple OR/MS traditions to support participatory scholarship, localized impact and social change. It applies critical thinking, evidence-based policy analysis, community participation and decision modeling to local interventions. It emphasizes the needs, voices and values of disadvantaged and marginalized populations. Through a survey of current scholarship in two complementary areas of inquiry, ‘community operational research’ (referring to work by primarily UK-based researchers) and ‘community-based operations research’ (referring to work by primarily US-based researchers), we develop principles for community-engaged OR, present critical questions that represent opportunities to expand the impact of this work, and ...


Improving Decision-Making Skills Of Nonprofit Professionals, Michael P. Johnson Jr., George Chichirau, Jason Wright Oct 2017

Improving Decision-Making Skills Of Nonprofit Professionals, Michael P. Johnson Jr., George Chichirau, Jason Wright

Michael P. Johnson

Nonprofits face gaps in organizational capacity, including program design and evaluation, but previous research suggests that capacity-building exercises have a positive effect. We describe a data analytics training workshop with staff from Boston-area nonprofits reflecting a wide range of sectors. Through analysis of participant work on case studies provided by the instructor, we examine how participants made sense of training materials, the various strategies employed by participants to solve three case study problems, and participant feedback about the session. Our findings provide a basis for novel interventions in community based operations research. 


Decision Modeling For Housing And Community Development: A Methodology For Evidence-Based Urban And Regional Planning, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Aug 2017

Decision Modeling For Housing And Community Development: A Methodology For Evidence-Based Urban And Regional Planning, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Urban community development corporations and other local institutions routinely face challenging problems in housing and economic development that require substantial expertise in data analytics and decision modeling. Recent research, inspired by local responses to the housing foreclosure crisis, and developed in cooperation with Boston-area CDCs, has resulted in a collection of applications that can assist CDCs and similar organizations to design local interventions for acquisition and redevelopment of housing. This paper describes these applications. The first of these is values and objective design, i.e. the process of identifying decision opportunities. The second of these is data analytics, or the ...


Community-Engaged Operations Research: Trends, New Frontiers And Opportunities, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Feb 2017

Community-Engaged Operations Research: Trends, New Frontiers And Opportunities, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Scholars in multiple disciplines intersecting operations research have developed theory and applications to address the question, how can the decision sciences develop new ways to solve problems of special interest to organizations and individuals situated in geographically, economically and socially circumscribed communities? The motivation for this work is the belief that mission-driven and resource-constrained nonprofit organizations, and underrepresented, underserved, or vulnerable populations may have special needs for analytic and empirical problem-solving methods that have traditionally received less emphasis in traditional operations research and management science research and teaching. Scholarship in this area, alternatively labeled ‘community operational research’ (mostly in the ...


Measuring Success: Community Analytics For Local Economic Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Sandeep Jani Nov 2016

Measuring Success: Community Analytics For Local Economic Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Sandeep Jani

Michael P. Johnson

Main Street organizations develop local development initiatives that support economic and social goals. We describe an application of value-focused thinking and community-based operations research to identify economic development performance metrics and decision alternatives for local development interventions. Using interviews with stakeholders in three Boston communities, we show how values structures vary across communities and stakeholder groups and how attributes can be quantified using a variety of data sources. We conclude by presenting a composite values structure to support improved operations management and strategy design for all Boston Main Street districts.


Decision Modeling For Housing And Community Development: #11;A Methodology For Evidence-Based Urban And Regional Planning, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Nov 2016

Decision Modeling For Housing And Community Development: #11;A Methodology For Evidence-Based Urban And Regional Planning, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Urban community development corporations and other local institutions routinely face challenging problems in housing and economic development that require substantial expertise in data analytics and decision modeling. While CDC employees have significant experience in diverse application areas, they often face limitations in acquiring, analyzing and sharing data, and using these data to solve decision problems whose solutions can generate novel strategies to address localized needs. Recent research, inspired by local responses to
the housing foreclosure crisis, and developed in cooperation with Boston‐area CDCs, has resulted in a collection of analytic methods and applications that can assist CDCs and similar ...


Measuring Success: Community Analytics For Local Economic Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Sandeep Jani Sep 2016

Measuring Success: Community Analytics For Local Economic Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Sandeep Jani

Michael P. Johnson

Main Street organizations are community-based nonprofits across the USA dedicated to local economic development through physical improvements, technical assistance to businesses, marketing and placebuilding. In this paper we identify metrics associated with success in local economic development and generate decision opportunities for improved program design and implementation. Our community partners, Main Street organizations in the city of Boston, want to ensure that data they collect about their service areas can help them measure progress towards achieving their individual goals as well as identify programs and initiatives that make best use of their resources and expertise. Using a mixed methods, inductive ...


Community-Based Operations Research: Data Analytics And Decision Modeling For Community Development And Social Change, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Mar 2016

Community-Based Operations Research: Data Analytics And Decision Modeling For Community Development And Social Change, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

‘Community-based operations research’ is an extension of multiple traditions in OR/MS to produce research for local change. CBOR attempts to incorporate critical thinking, evidence-based policy design and prescriptive decision modeling. This presentation introduces a theory of CBOR and reviews current applications to support a collection of new scholarship. These applications include foreclosure response, vacant land management and local economic development. We conclude with suggestions to expand the field of CBOR.


How Can Value Elicitation In Adult Basic Education Support Learners’ Success In Goal-Setting Policy?, Alma H. Biba, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Feb 2016

How Can Value Elicitation In Adult Basic Education Support Learners’ Success In Goal-Setting Policy?, Alma H. Biba, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

For the last two decades, federal legislation and Massachusetts’ state ABE policies have linked adult learners’ educational outcomes to accountability requirements. Using a multi-method approach ABE learners’ goal setting was presented as a decision problem in order to reveal and disentangle the conflicting preferences fueled by outcome-based accountability requirements. Elicitation of values using value-focused thinking (VFT) methodology revealed that learner’s self-defined goals are consistently distinct from program-defined goals, that teachers recognize this disjunction, and that efforts to reconcile the two could yield significant improvements in ABE program outcomes.


Smart Engagement: Planning And Decision-Making In Distressed Urban Neighborhoods, Justin Hollander, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Eliza D. Whiteman Dec 2015

Smart Engagement: Planning And Decision-Making In Distressed Urban Neighborhoods, Justin Hollander, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Eliza D. Whiteman

Michael P. Johnson

This book addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of decision science and information technologies to help stabilize and revitalize distressed urban communities in the United States.

While cities in the U.S. grow and decline at various rates and for different underlying reasons, neighborhoods within cities that have faced sustained demographic and socio-economic challenges over time may have multiple factors in common, such as physical blight, widespread vacancies, underserved and marginalized populations and, in some cases, local markets that do not respond to traditional economic development strategies. These distressed communities are often indicative of high levels of ...


Data And Analytics For Neighborhood Development: Smart Shrinkage Decision Modeling In Baltimore, Maryland, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Justin Hollander, Eliza D. Whiteman Jul 2015

Data And Analytics For Neighborhood Development: Smart Shrinkage Decision Modeling In Baltimore, Maryland, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Justin Hollander, Eliza D. Whiteman

Michael P. Johnson

Many older cities in the United States confront the problem of long-term decline in population and economic activity resulting in blighted conditions that make conventional revitalization initiatives unlikely to succeed. Smart shrinkage, a planning approach that emphasizes alternative land uses while preserving quality of life, offers a way for cities to remain desirable places to live and work. However, there is little research on empirical methods to support planning decisions consistent with smart shrinkage. We present results from two studies with planners from the City of Baltimore that provide novel insights regarding ways in which planners can perform vacant property ...


Data And Analytics For Neighborhood Development: Smart Shrinkage Decision Modeling In Baltimore, Maryland, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Justin Hollander, Eliza D. Whiteman Jun 2015

Data And Analytics For Neighborhood Development: Smart Shrinkage Decision Modeling In Baltimore, Maryland, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Justin Hollander, Eliza D. Whiteman

Michael P. Johnson

Many older cities in the United States confront the problem of long-term declines in population and economic activity resulting in blighted conditions that make conventional revitalization initiatives unlikely to succeed. Smart shrinkage, a planning approach that emphasizes alternative land uses while preserving quality of life, offers a way for cities to remain desirable places to live and work. However, there is little research on empirical methods to support planning decisions consistent with smart shrinkage. We present results from two studies with planners from the City of Baltimore that provide novel insights regarding ways in which planners can perform vacant property ...


Researching What Matters With Community Members: Session Introduction, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Jun 2015

Researching What Matters With Community Members: Session Introduction, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Data and technology can and do change people’s lives, but most often they are conceived as market-driven entities, where changes in people’s lives arise from consumption of goods and services they pay for. Of course, government is a big user of technology and data, but impacts are usually aggregate in nature, not usually targeted at specific communities. Yet, with inequality and structural barriers to economic and social progress quite high in the U.S., can there be a way to think of data and technology as a means to support individual and group opportunity, engagement, action for social ...


Community Development Analytics: From Data To Decisions For Boston Main Streets, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Sandeep Jani Jun 2015

Community Development Analytics: From Data To Decisions For Boston Main Streets, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Sandeep Jani

Michael P. Johnson

A successful Main Street organization should be able to identify community strengths and deficits, to formulate a range of potentially effective local initiatives for economic and neighborhood development, to implement select initiatives using the best mix of volunteer and paid resources, to share data and best practices among all Boston Main Street districts, and to communicate project progress and outcome measures with the Office of Business Development. This project seeks to help Boston Main Street DIstricts operate more effectively by articulating values, identifying performance metrics and choosing decision opportunities. We present preliminary study results from a survey of Boston Main ...


Reconstructing Neighborhoods: Case Studies In Foreclosed Housing Acquisition And Redevelopment By Community Development Corporations, David A. Turcotte, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Emily Vidrine, Rachel B. Drew, Felicia M. Sullivan Dec 2014

Reconstructing Neighborhoods: Case Studies In Foreclosed Housing Acquisition And Redevelopment By Community Development Corporations, David A. Turcotte, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Emily Vidrine, Rachel B. Drew, Felicia M. Sullivan

Michael P. Johnson

Community development corporations (CDCs) play a central role in addressing the foreclosed housing crisis in America’s urban neighborhoods. The success of CDCs, however, is closely tied to market forces, neighborhood characteristics, and policies at multiple levels, as well as factors internal to CDCs. What factors support or impede the success of CDCs that operate in such complex environments? We examine the experiences of two CDCs serving two small, ethnically diverse cities in Massachusetts regarding resources, policy, practices and local markets related to neighborhood revitalization. We derive lessons about the factors internal and external to these CDCs that affect their ...


Data, Analytics And Community-Based Organizations: Transforming Data To Decisions For Community Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Dec 2014

Data, Analytics And Community-Based Organizations: Transforming Data To Decisions For Community Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

The past ten years have seen a revolution in two disciplines related to operations and strategy design. “Big Data” has transformed the theory and practice of producing and selling goods and services through methods associated with computer science and information technology. “Analytics” has popularized primarily quantitative models and methods by which organizations and systems can measure multiple aspects of performance. As these fields rely on information technology to collect, store, process and share data, we refer to the collection of knowledge and applications associated with Big Data and analytics as “data analytics and information technology.” The impacts of data analytics ...


Value Focused Thinking For Community-Based Organizations: Objectives And Acceptance In Local Development, Jeffrey Keisler, David A. Turcotte, Rachel B. Drew, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Nov 2014

Value Focused Thinking For Community-Based Organizations: Objectives And Acceptance In Local Development, Jeffrey Keisler, David A. Turcotte, Rachel B. Drew, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

A multi-site case study applies value-focused thinking methods in a community engaged research framework within three organizations. All three organizations are community development corporations (CDCs), a type of community based organization (CBO) who direct assets and efforts toward housing stock and neighborhood improvement. Objectives hierarchies were developed for the three sites. A set of common aspects of these structures suggest ways to operationalize the generic mission of CDCs. Other aspects which vary across sites can be related to specific characteristics of the organizations and the communities in which they operate. The process of applying value-focused thinking is also compared across ...


Electronic Supplement: Value Focused Thinking For Community-Based Organizations: Objectives And Acceptance In Local Development, Jeffrey Keisler, David A. Turcotte, Rachel B. Drew, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Nov 2014

Electronic Supplement: Value Focused Thinking For Community-Based Organizations: Objectives And Acceptance In Local Development, Jeffrey Keisler, David A. Turcotte, Rachel B. Drew, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

This is an electronic supplement to the manuscript "Value Focused Thinking for Community-Based Organizations: Objectives and Acceptance in Local Development", published by the EURO Journal on Decision Processes.


Strategy Design For Community Response To Distress And Decline Using Data Analytics, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Oct 2014

Strategy Design For Community Response To Distress And Decline Using Data Analytics, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

The foreclosure crisis in the U.S. has resulted in immense economic and social losses for individuals and neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods face long-term declines in population and economic activity that have been compounded by the foreclosure crisis. How can government and non-profit organizations design responses to neighborhood distress that reflect distinctive community characteristics and are consistent with long-term policy and planning goals? In this talk, I discuss alternative decision modeling strategies that support neighborhood health. Where foreclosure responses are likely to ensure that neighborhoods remain vital places for residential housing, productive strategies may include property acquisition and redevelopment. Other neighborhoods ...


Data, Analytics And Community-Based Organizations: #11;Transforming Data To Decisions For Community Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Mar 2014

Data, Analytics And Community-Based Organizations: #11;Transforming Data To Decisions For Community Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Big data and analytics for community-focused nonprofits can improve analytic capabilities and increase impact. However, Community-based organization needs do not match well with conventional notions of data and analytics. Decentralized model for data-driven research may be preferred, but centralized model is dominant. CBOs can articulate data needs, but are often not yet able to access relevant data easily and use data effectively. Finally, certain values maximize impact of big data and analytics


Stochastic Models For Strategic Resource Allocation In Nonprofit Foreclosed Housing Acquisitions, Armagan Bayram, Senay Solak, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Jan 2014

Stochastic Models For Strategic Resource Allocation In Nonprofit Foreclosed Housing Acquisitions, Armagan Bayram, Senay Solak, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Increased rates of mortgage foreclosures in the U.S. have had devastating social and economic impacts during and after the 2008 financial crisis. As part of the response to this problem, non-profit organizations such as community development corporations (CDCs) have been trying to mitigate the negative impacts of mortgage foreclosures by acquiring and redeveloping foreclosed properties. We consider the strategic resource allocation decisions for these organizations which involve budget allocations to different neighborhoods under cost and return uncertainty. Based on interactions with a CDC, we develop stochastic integer programming based frame- works for this decision problem, and assess the practical ...


Parcel-Level Redevelopment Strategies For Distressed Neighborhoods, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Justin Hollander Oct 2013

Parcel-Level Redevelopment Strategies For Distressed Neighborhoods, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Justin Hollander

Michael P. Johnson

Certain distressed neighborhoods cannot support traditional residential-focused development. For these communities, we develop decision models for acquisition and redevelopment of chronically vacant lands and structures for primarily non-residential and greening uses. We address social benefits and costs of redevelopment strategies, parcel clustering to exploit economies of scale, and conflicting values among stakeholders. We illustrate our models using data from Baltimore, MD.


Practicum 2012 - 2013: Lift Boston Client Well Being Study, Lisa Kalimon, Buki Usidame, Ryan Kling, Ryan Mclane, Ryan Whalen, Ana M. Sanchez, Tanya Stepasiuk, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Oct 2013

Practicum 2012 - 2013: Lift Boston Client Well Being Study, Lisa Kalimon, Buki Usidame, Ryan Kling, Ryan Mclane, Ryan Whalen, Ana M. Sanchez, Tanya Stepasiuk, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

A Boston based non-profit and a team of public policy PhD students engaged in several months of collaborative problem identification and goal setting focused on the effectiveness of the organization’s unique service delivery model. The nonprofit uses volunteer advocates and a goal-oriented process with no eligibility criteria to assist clients in distress. We collected administrative data, administered a survey, and conducted interviews to explore client well-being.


Community-Based Analytics: Big Data And Decision Making For Community-Based Organizations, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Oct 2013

Community-Based Analytics: Big Data And Decision Making For Community-Based Organizations, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Community-based organizations face significant challenges in identifying data needs, and assembling data resources for service provision, strategy design and advocacy. We develop principles by which CBOs can develop and share large datasets in order to formulate and solve decision problems that improve the well-being of localized, often marginalized or distressed communities. We illustrate these ideas using field research from Boston, MA.