Roundup on Accessibility and Mobility in Transportation Planning

Jonathan Levine (U. Michigan) convened a roundtable at last month’s ACSP conference in Milwaukee (where my eldest was born some 20 years ago) on the topic of, “Accessibility and Mobility in Transportation Planning.” The participants were Kevin Krizek (U. Colorado, Boulder), Qing Shen (U. Maryland), Joe Grengs (U. Michigan), Brian Taylor (UCLA), Jonathan and myself. […]

Posted Nov 13th | Comments Off | Topics: , , , ,

Stiftel, on The Personal Tenure Statement, Version 23.7

Guest post by past ACSP President and Florida State University Professor Bruce Stiftel. *********************************************** My Statement, Version 23.7. At last week’s FWIG roundtable on Preparing for your Tenure Evaluation, I spoke about crafting a written statement in support of your tenure review. My visuals are online. The FWIG Yellow Book says, “You must prepare a […]

Posted Oct 26th | Comments Off | Topics: , , ,

5 Easy Pieces On Preparing for Tenure

I gave a short presentation as part of a FWIG (Faculty Women’s Interest Group) panel on preparing for tenure at last week’s ACSP (Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning) conference in beautiful downtown Milwaukee. The idea was to build on the Yellow Book. I added the 5th point to that talk based on a question […]

Posted Oct 22nd | Comments Off | Topics: , , ,

Planning for Global Warming: In the News

The best illustrated planning research blog on the internets appears to be on summer hiatus but I saw a couple of things this week that, against my better judgment and unforgiving schedule, got me thinking a bit more vis-à-vis Global Climate Change. And What Planners Can Do About It. And What Planning Researchers Advise Planners […]

Notes on Bogotá vs Curitiba

Curitiba, Brazil Bogotá is interesting and important for many reasons but I write only to draw some quick comparisons between it and the Latin American success story probably best known by U.S. planners: Curitiba, Brazil. We mostly know Curitiba for its visionary mayor, Jaime Lerner, who made as much progress as anyone in a metropolitan […]

Posted May 31st | 5 comments | Topics: , , , ,

Women’s Quiet Revolutions in Work, Home … and Travel?

October 2007 Update: My article on this topic and these data has now been published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Summer 2007 issue, available as a free download here. ****************** Dear PhD students and junior faculty especially: 1. This post is partly about how one never knows where research questions will pop […]

Posted Apr 5th | 1 comment | Topics: , , , ,

Kahn, On Green Cities

Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment Matthew E. Kahn, Brookings Institution Press, 2006. Matthew E. Kahn is a Professor at the Institute of the Environment at UCLA. He blogs on environmental and urban topics at To read Chapter One of this book go here. My “Green Cities” book was published in September 2006. […]

Posted Mar 14th | 1 comment | Topics: , ,

A Video of Sex, Lies, and Commuting

Click on this graphic for a video of a talk I gave at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, on February 2, 2007, with a full powerpoint accompaniment. (It’s at the bottom of the page; I could only get the realplayer version to work.) Following a too kind introduction by UoT professor Amrita Daniere, because she […]

Posted Mar 8th | Comments Off | Topics: , , ,

Manville, on Why We Don’t Use Congestion Pricing

Guest post by Michael Manville, UCLA. Along with David King and Donald Shoup, I recently completed an article on the politics of congestion pricing, and Dave, Don and I are beginning another project on the same topic. Congestion pricing is getting a lot of press of late, and moving closer to reality, but politically it […]

Posted Mar 1st | Comments Off | Topics: ,

Place-Based vs Person-Based Community Development Policies

Planning debates over the relative merits and consequences of place-based (e.g., policing, enterprise zones, business improvement districts, neighborhood investment strategies, infrastructure, the gamut of supply-side urban development strategies, downtown redevelopment) versus people-based (e.g., training/education, some housing assistance programs, welfare as we knew it, means-tested transfers generally) are omnipresent, yet so far as I can tell […]

Acey, On Why Don’t the Poor Have Water in Africa? Exit, Voice & Loyalty

First things first. Even though I have had my very own blog for a full year, with literally several hits a day, I am slowly, surely grasping that it may not all be about me. What if I am an insignificant excess of affected punctuation in the big top of all things scholarly? I wish […]

Posted Feb 18th | Comments Off | Topics: , , , , , , ,

Rejection Letter to Professor Plumbago

(Guest post by Chris Plumbago, associate professor of urban planning at the University of Columbus. He/she invites comments or favorite examples of your own amusing, tragic, or tragically amusing rejections as comments. P.S. I am not Professor Plumbago.) Dear Dr. Plumbago: I am writing to inform you that your paper, “Understanding Roadside Ecology: Methodological Pitfalls […]

Posted Jan 28th | 2 comments | Topics: , ,

Olshansky, On Planning Following Catastrophic Disaster: Research Challenges

(Guest post by Rob Olshansky, professor and interim head of the urban & regional planning program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.) I have been studying post-disaster planning for several years, with a particular interest in catastrophic disasters. Fortunately for society, these don’t occur very often. But this infrequency poses a challenge to the […]

Posted Jan 10th | Comments Off | Topics: , ,

City Rankings: Safe, Slow, Delicious or Cantankerous?

Planetizen plans to release a plain-speaking ranking of planning programs soon, based on both objective and subjective data. (Update: Their “Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs” was released November 1, with the “top 10 overall” summarized here.) At the same time, ACSP launched an ongoing investigation into “planning school assessment,” which will be discussed at […]

Posted Oct 31st | 2 comments | Topics: , , ,

Forsyth, On Writing and Tenure

In 1997 I was invited to talk about writing and tenure at a student-sponsored workshop for doctoral students in planning. After that talk several members of the audience asked me to publish it in a forum, like JPER, that would be fairly accessible to their doctoral colleagues. As I showed it to other doctoral students I received a similar response. After more deliberation than it probably needed, I decided to go through the process of getting it in wider circulation. While it is not the kind of scholarly research or education article that I promote in the main text, there seems to be a great need of at least some doctoral students and new faculty to have an accessible starting place for thinking and talking about issues of writing, scholarly communication, and tenure practicalities. It is in that spirit that I offer it. […]

Posted Oct 22nd | 1 comment | Topics: , , ,

Global Climate Change and Cities

I likely don’t know your governor’s name, so you might not know mine: Mr. Schwarzenegger, über-body builder, actor, businessman, and celebrity politician. A Republican as well, he signed a very green bill into law last week aimed at substantially rolling back the state’s contribution to greenhouse gases, mainly via much toughened regulatory caps. In fact, […]

Posted Oct 2nd | 1 comment | Topics: , ,

Manville on Downtown Revitalization: What, How and Why?

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about downtown Los Angeles, which led in turn to my thinking about downtowns in general. Downtown revitalization is one of the oldest policy projects in urban planning and calls to rescue the downtown, or assertions that a city is nothing without a 24-hour downtown, are common in conversations about cities. So too is the idea that downtown is having a comeback. The American downtown, at long last, seems to be growing again. Fueled by loft conversions, the Los Angeles downtown is growing as well (which has led to a curious boom in stores devoted to dog-pampering).

Aside from dogs and their needs, what should planning researchers ask about when they ask about downtown? I can think of three broad questions. […]

Top Secret: UCLA Housing Affordability Research Initiative

As do many, our university has a real estate center — The Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate — which sponsors faculty research on housing and related topics. In urban planning alone, we have a fair sized group (i.e., Blumenberg, Burns, Cuff, Leavitt, Loukaitou-Sideris, Mukhija, Ong, Richman, Stoll, Takahashi) interested in what could be […]

Posted Sep 4th | Comments Off | Topics: , ,

A Young Planning Academic’s Guide to Professional Etiquette

–> Sandi Rosenbloom is right about a good many things, but the vital role of faculty mentoring has to be up there. When she was ACSP president I once nervously, stupidly, and drunkenly blurted out how, “while FWIG is a great idea, it’s a pity its mentoring activities don’t extend to junior faculty of, um, […]

Posted Aug 19th | 1 comment | Topics: , ,

Academic Blog = Friend of Information, Enemy of Thought?

This site is meant to distribute short, not-ready-for-formal-publishing essays, ostensibly about urban planning research. But one could fairly ask if the venue suits the tactic. Indeed, does a self-published spiel amount to more than a hill of beans in this crazy mixed up world, given its pronounced lack of editors, deadlines, referees or, really, any […]

Posted Aug 14th | 2 comments | Topics: