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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

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 ...


Are Wide Streets Negligent?, Michael Lewyn Dec 2018

Are Wide Streets Negligent?, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

American commercial streets are typically designed to encourage rapid automobile traffic, thus making streets unsafe for pedestrians. In the 2016 case of Turturro v. City of New York, the New York Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict against a city for failing to slow down such traffic. This article describes Turturro, but shows how limited its holding was: the Turturro court emphasized a city's failure to study traffic calming, so if a city studies its options adequately it can avoid liability even if its policies are unsuccessful.


Planetizen Blog Posts- First Half Of 2019, Michael Lewyn Dec 2018

Planetizen Blog Posts- First Half Of 2019, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Op-ed length articles on various land use-related issues.


Strengthening The Profession Through Diversity And Inclusion-Related Research Within Or, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Oct 2018

Strengthening The Profession Through Diversity And Inclusion-Related Research Within Or, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Diversity, equity and inclusion are well-studied and widely-practiced areas in organization design, human resources and many areas of social sciences. However, the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines are somewhat newer to the notion of diversity, equity and inclusion as a way to improve professions and contribute to substantive research within component disciplines. This is especially true for operations research and the decision sciences. In this talk, given to an interdisciplinary audience of engineering professors, administrators and students, I provide an introduction to operations research, to diversity, equity and inclusion within STEM and OR specifically, ways that DEI might ...


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 ...


Engineering Standards In Highway Design Litigation, Michael Lewyn Dec 2017

Engineering Standards In Highway Design Litigation, Michael Lewyn

Michael E Lewyn

Highway engineers sometimes believe that if they redesign streets to improve pedestrian safety (for example, by introducing traffic calming techniques) they might be successfully sued for negligent design by motorists. This chapter suggests that in such situations, governments are likely to be protected by discretionary function immunity. In addition, the chapter discusses a variety of technical issues.


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 ...


Environmental Advocacy: Insights From East Asia, Mary Alice Haddad Jul 2017

Environmental Advocacy: Insights From East Asia, Mary Alice Haddad

Mary Alice Haddad


Environmental advocacy in East Asia takes place in a context where there are few well-funded professional advocacy organisations, no viable green parties, and governments that are highly pro-business. In this advocacy-hostile environment, what strategies are environmental organizations using to promote better environmental outcomes?  Using an original database of environmental organizations and interviews with activists and officials throughout the region, this paper investigates which strategies are most common and compares them to the advocacy strategies found in the United States.  It finds, perhaps surprisingly, that (a) environmental organizations across East Asia employ similar advocacy strategies even though they are operating in ...


Jefferson Village Downtown District Plan, Wendy A. Kellogg, Kirby Date, Richard Klein, James Wyles, Alicia Dyer, Tim Kobie, Christine Zuniga Jan 2017

Jefferson Village Downtown District Plan, Wendy A. Kellogg, Kirby Date, Richard Klein, James Wyles, Alicia Dyer, Tim Kobie, Christine Zuniga

James Wyles

Jefferson Village is an incorporated municipality in Northeastern Ohio, with a population in 2000 of about 4000 residents. Originally founded in 1803 and incorporated in 1836, the Village has been the county seat for Ashtabula County since 1807. The Village is centrally located in Ashtabula County, 10 miles south of Lake Erie, and 10 miles west of the Pennsylvania border. Interstate highway 90 runs parallel to the lake shore, about 6 miles north of the village; and State Route 11 is a major north-south connector located about 2 miles east of the village. The primary employment locations in the Village ...


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 ...


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 ...


Provide Safe, Healthy Meal Options, Mark Vallianatos, Moira Beery Dec 2015

Provide Safe, Healthy Meal Options, Mark Vallianatos, Moira Beery

Mark Vallianatos

No abstract provided.


Connecting The Parks To The Community And The Community To The Parks, Andrea Azuma, Robert Gottlieb, Mark Vallianatos, Jessica Gudmundson, Amanda Shaffer, Peter Dreier Dec 2015

Connecting The Parks To The Community And The Community To The Parks, Andrea Azuma, Robert Gottlieb, Mark Vallianatos, Jessica Gudmundson, Amanda Shaffer, Peter Dreier

Mark Vallianatos

No abstract provided.


Thinking Outside The Big Box: Food Access, Labor, Landuse, And The Wal-Mart Way, Mark Vallianatos, Amanda Shaffer, Moira Beery, Robert Gottlieb, Abby Wheatley Dec 2015

Thinking Outside The Big Box: Food Access, Labor, Landuse, And The Wal-Mart Way, Mark Vallianatos, Amanda Shaffer, Moira Beery, Robert Gottlieb, Abby Wheatley

Mark Vallianatos

In just four decades, the Wal-Mart Company has transformed the retail sector, infl uenced the way we shop and work and shaped the nation’s rural, suburban and urban communities. Now Wal-Mart Supercenters, vast stores that house full-scale grocery stores within their walls, are beginning to affect the food system. After summarizing Wal-Mart’s labor and land use impacts, this working paper addresses an issue that has received less attention: the implications of the Supercenter model of food retailing on food access. The paper includes an examination of such issues as food selection, pricing and store accessibility, based on a ...


Tax Incentives And Housing Investment In Low-Income Neighborhoods, Matthew Freedman Sep 2015

Tax Incentives And Housing Investment In Low-Income Neighborhoods, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

This paper examines how tax incentives to promote housing investment affect communities by exploiting the lottery structure of Missouri’s Neighborhood Preservation Act (NPA). The NPA offers tax credits to homeowners and developers that improve or expand the owner-occupied housing stock in low-income areas. Taking advantage of the random assignment of NPA tax credits and detailed property-level data, I find that the program increases construction activity modestly. There are positive but highly localized spillovers on neighbors’ investment behavior. Spillovers on property values are larger in geographic scope, implying important roles for both neighbor interactions and amenity effects in local housing ...


Place-Based Programs And The Geographic Dispersion Of Employment, Matthew Freedman Jun 2015

Place-Based Programs And The Geographic Dispersion Of Employment, Matthew Freedman

Matthew Freedman

Government efforts to improve local economic conditions by encouraging private investment in targeted communities could affect the broader geographic distribution of employment in a region, especially to the extent that subsidized businesses face few constraints on whom they hire. This paper examines the labor market impacts of investment subsidized by the U.S. federal government’s New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which provides tax incentives to promote business investment in low-income neighborhoods. To identify the program’s effects, I exploit a discontinuity in the rule determining the eligibility of census tracts for NMTC-subsidized investment. Using rich administrative data on ...


The Smart Cities Movement And Advancing The International Battle To Eliminate Homelessness - Barcelona As Test Case, John Travis Marshall, Jessica Venegas Jun 2015

The Smart Cities Movement And Advancing The International Battle To Eliminate Homelessness - Barcelona As Test Case, John Travis Marshall, Jessica Venegas

John Travis Marshall

Barcelona is a leader in the smart cities movement, a movement that aims to help cities deliver services to citizens more efficiently and economically as a way of making the city a more inviting and inclusive place to live and work. As with any city committed to forward-looking economic, social, and urban development initiatives, it is important to consider whether ambitious goals to reinvent the city include an agenda to solve the persistent problems that have faced major cities for decades, including affordable housing and caring for roofless or homeless men and women. This article ties together the challenges Barcelona ...


Affordable Housing For Sustainable Cities: A North American Perspective, Detroit Metropolitan Area And Montreal (Quebec), Courtney Lauren Anderson, Maryse Grandbois Jun 2015

Affordable Housing For Sustainable Cities: A North American Perspective, Detroit Metropolitan Area And Montreal (Quebec), Courtney Lauren Anderson, Maryse Grandbois

Courtney L Anderson

Housing is an integral part to elevating and maintaining a quality of life to ensure a healthy and productive citizenship. The overwhelming number of citizens in Montreal and the United States who are unable to find housing that is less than 33% of their income stifles that economic progression of individuals and the society in which these individuals live. The ability for cities to dictate their own plans for creating and maintaining affordable housing without mandates from the federal vacillates among the various levels of government with each level having certain positive and negative elements. Although city autonomy can provide ...


Global Trade Impacts: Addressing The Health, Social And Environmental Consequences Of Moving International Freight Through Our Communities, Martha Matsuoka, Andrea Hricko, Robert Gottlieb, Juan Delara Apr 2015

Global Trade Impacts: Addressing The Health, Social And Environmental Consequences Of Moving International Freight Through Our Communities, Martha Matsuoka, Andrea Hricko, Robert Gottlieb, Juan Delara

Martha Matsuoka

As ports and goods movement activity expands throughout the United States, a major challenge is how to make the adverse impacts of freight transportation a more central part of economic development, policy and planning discussions and transportation decision making. In 2009, faculty and staff from the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute of Occidental College and from the environmental health sciences and regional equity programs of the University of Southern California (USC) began a study of this evolving global trade and freight transportation system, focusing on areas in the United States where the system is expanding and where community, labor and social ...


Increasing Environmental Performance In A Context Of Low Governmental Enforcement: Evidence From China, Mary Alice Haddad Jan 2015

Increasing Environmental Performance In A Context Of Low Governmental Enforcement: Evidence From China, Mary Alice Haddad

Mary Alice Haddad

How can activists and policy makers encourage better environmental behavior in a context of poor governmental enforcement? This article examines the case of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, a Chinese nonprofit organization, to show how a transparency-based platform can encourage brand-sensitive multinational corporations, their suppliers, their investors, local governments, and consumers to behave in more environmentally responsible ways, even in a context of low governmental enforcement. Using Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs as its model, this article argues that a transparency-based platform can serve an important coordinating function across multiple sectors, creating a mechanism through which market forces are ...


Changing Cities, Changing Roles: Municipal Developments And The Urban Social Contract In Nineteenth Century Vienna, J. Alexander Killion Dec 2014

Changing Cities, Changing Roles: Municipal Developments And The Urban Social Contract In Nineteenth Century Vienna, J. Alexander Killion

J. Alexander Killion

Humans have congregated in urban areas for millennia, but the way in which people have viewed the cities they live in has varied greatly over time. The nineteenth century brought extremely rapid changes in the interactions between people and space, especially in urban areas such as the Austrian capital of Vienna. The experience of Viennese inhabitants during this period is typical of what historian Reinhart Koselleck described as a “denaturalization of historical temporalities,” in which “the relations of time and space have been transformed, at first quite slowly, but in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, quite decisively.” This rapid transformation ...


Low-Income Housing Development, Poverty Concentration, And Neighborhood Inequality, Matthew Freedman, Tamara Mcgavock Dec 2014

Low-Income Housing Development, Poverty Concentration, And Neighborhood Inequality, Matthew Freedman, Tamara Mcgavock

Matthew Freedman

Considerable debate exists about the merits of place-based programs that steer new development, and particularly affordable housing development, into low-income neighborhoods. Exploiting quasi-experimental variation in incentives to construct and rehabilitate rental housing across neighborhoods generated by Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program rules, we explore the impacts of subsidized development on local housing construction, poverty concentration, and neighborhood inequality. While a large fraction of rental housing development spurred by the program is offset by a reduction in the number of new unsubsidized units, housing investment under the LIHTC has measurable effects on the distribution of income within and across communities ...


Curriculum Vitae, Judah J. Viola Feb 2014

Curriculum Vitae, Judah J. Viola

Judah J. Viola, Ph.D.

No abstract provided.


Shelter Poverty In Boston: Problem And Program, Michael E. Stone Feb 2014

Shelter Poverty In Boston: Problem And Program, Michael E. Stone

Michael E. Stone

This paper argues, first, that most housing problems—in Boston and throughout the nation—are ultimately the result of the squeeze between inadequate incomes, on the one hand, and the cost of profitably providing housing on the other. It is also argued that housing cost and incomes together are the most decisive determinants of the overall quality of life of families and communities. Third, it is contended that the long history of inadequate attempts to cope with the affordabiiity problem have not only failed to solve the problem, but have indeed contributed significantly to the broader and serious problems of ...


Town Of Cohasset Senior Center Study, Jan Mutchler, Hayley Gravette, Caitlin Coyle Feb 2014

Town Of Cohasset Senior Center Study, Jan Mutchler, Hayley Gravette, Caitlin Coyle

Jan Mutchler

The Town of Cohasset is considering the construction of a new Senior Center that will provide the opportunity for expanded programming within a dedicated building. In support of planning efforts by the Town of Cohasset, a study was conducted by the Gerontology Institute of the McCormack Graduate School at UMass Boston. The study addresses the need for, and probable utilization of, a new Senior Center, and includes consideration of the recreational, educational and health-related programs that are likely to be offered through the new Center. Results of the study presented in this report respond to three questions: First, what are ...


Economic Diversity In Appalachia: Statistics, Strategies, And Guides For Action, Edward Feser, Troy Mix, Mark White, Kenneth Poole, Deborah Markley, Erik Pages Jan 2014

Economic Diversity In Appalachia: Statistics, Strategies, And Guides For Action, Edward Feser, Troy Mix, Mark White, Kenneth Poole, Deborah Markley, Erik Pages

Troy D Mix

Commissioned by the Appalachian Regional Commission, this report accomplishes three aims. First, it offers a quantitative portrait of economic diversity trends in Appalachian counties and sub-regions, benchmarked to U.S. trends. The portraits draws on four complementary indexes of diversity: industrial, functional, occupational, and knowledge, with the first two based on the mix of industries in a place and the latter two based on the mix of occupations. Second, the report summarizes diversity trends, economic development practices, and diversification strategies in ten Appalachian counties. The ten cases offer insights into economic development practitioners’ understanding of what economic diversity means for ...