Metropolitan Institute Visiting Fellow John Russo, has published a new article in New Geography, titled Fighting the Vacant Property Plague. Russo digs in to the issues surrounding banks abandoning foreclosed properties and how cities are innovating to address the growing blights.
On November 15 at the D.C. Historical Studies Conference, Dr. Katie Wells, the Metropolitan Institute’s new postdoc, will be speaking on the panel “Gentrification and Its Discontents: Displacement and Mitigation Efforts, 1970-2013.” Derek Musgrove of University of Maryland Baltimore County will moderate the conversation about housing crises and how city decision-makers and residents have responded to the ongoing problem of finding decent and affordable places to live. Wells will discuss the contentious repeal of the popularly legislated right to overnight shelter law, which ran from 1985 to 1990, and shed light on how several radical responses to the gentrifying housing market in the early “home rule” period were stymied.
Join the Virginia Tech’s Metropolitan Institute (MI) and the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) in welcoming Steve Nicholas as the next keynote speaker in the MI+SPIA Lecture Series.
Steve recently co-authored the book, The Guide to Greening Cities,which he will discuss in his presentation. Rich in tools, insights, and tricks of the trade, thisis the first book written from the perspective of municipal leaders with successful, on-the-ground experience working to advance green city goals. Through personal reflections and interviews with leading municipal staff in cities from San Antonio to Minneapolis, the book shares lessons for cities to lead by example in their operations, create programs, implement high-priority initiatives, develop partnerships, measure progress, secure funding, and engage the community.
As Vice President for U.S. Programs at the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), Steve oversees a broad portfolio of projects including the Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy (a peer-learning program to advance and accelerate urban climate solutions), and the Sustainable Communities Learning Network, a capacity building program serving about 200 cities and regions across the country that are implementing sustainable communities planning grants from the Federal Government’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
Steve joined ISC as Vice President of Climate and Environment Programs in October 2008. Prior to that, he was Director of the City of Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment for eight years, where he led several urban sustainability initiatives, including the development and implementation of the Seattle Climate Protection Initiative, winner of the 2007 Innovations in American Government Award. He co-authored Seattle’s first-ever climate action plan, as well as the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which sparked a national movement of more than 940 mayors taking local action on global warming and demanding stronger federal action. He also staffed the Mayor’s Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection, led the creation of the Seattle Climate Partnership, and established the Directors’ Climate Network, a coalition of environment directors and senior climate protection staff from about 20 U.S. cities. In 1991 Steve co-founded Sustainable Seattle, a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable practices throughout the Puget Sound region. He holds a Master of Public Policy from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BA in Public Policy from Colby College.
Flyer Available Here
Thursday, December 5
6:30 to 7:30 pm (presentation); 7:30-8:00 (discussion)
Virginia Tech Research Center, 900 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA
East/West Falls Church Room
5 minute walk from Ballston Metro (Orange Line); On-street parking and pay parking garage available.
Joseph Schilling, Terry Schwarz, along with Alan Mallach, FAICP, will be leading a workshop entitled “Tackling the Challenges of Vacant Properties” as part of the APA’s Planners Training Service Workshop Series, November 8-9 in Chicago.
More information on the Metropolitan Institutes Vacant Property Research Network.
Derek Hyra, associate professor in Urban Affairs and Planning in the School of Public and International Affairs, and Faculty Fellow at the Metropolitan Institute is chairing the “DC Initiative,” launched by the Institute of Society, Culture and Environment. Its focus is to “cultivate innovative, cross-disciplinary research that would benefit the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and heighten awareness of Virginia Tech’s presence and commitment in the region.”
Karen Roberto, director of the institute, stated “The “DC Initiative” is composed of 10 faculty in the SPIA in the National Capital Region who bring a wide range of disciplines and expertise to the table: transportation planning, economic development, political science, public policy, urban sociology, psychology, historic preservation, law, and environmental planning.” The team, five Urban Affairs and Planning program faculty: Ralph Buehler and Kris Wernstedt, associate professors; Maggie Cowell and Shalini Misra, assistant professors; and Elizabeth Morton, professor of practice; three Center from Public Administration and Policy program faculty: Matthew Dull and Patrick Roberts, associate professors; and Adam Eckerd, assistant professor; and Joseph Schilling, Director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, will meet quarterly over a four year period. Ralph Buehler, Maggie Cowell, Matthew Dull, Shalini Misra and Kris Wernstedt are Faculty Fellows at the Metropolitan Institute.
According to Dr. Roberto, “The focus of the initiative will be: to discuss the individual, ongoing research projects relevant to the D.C. area; to look for opportunities to initiate new collaborative investigations; and to strategize ways to generate new funding and resources to support the research.”
The Metropolitan Institute and participating faculty members are matching funds from the Institute of Society, Culture and Environment by in-kind donations. The Metropolitan Institute is providing logistical coordination for the group and proposal assistance as well. The first “DC Initiative” proposal will be submitted to the National Science Foundation in December.
Read more here.
Dr. Ralph Buehler, Associate Professor in Urban Affairs and Planning, was recently featured in the Virginia Tech Spotlight on Impact.
Buehler has co-written a new report (with Rutgers Professor John Pucher) on sustainable transport in Freiburg, Germany. The book they co-edited, City Cycling, was noted in a recent Guardian blog article (UK), “How councils can reduce cyclist deaths.” Dr. Buehler also was quoted or his research was referenced in the following articles:
- “Vancouver’s bike lanes have made it a city to watch,” The Globe and Mail, Canada
- Editorial – “Designated bike lanes: Space in the neighborhood,” The Boston Globe
- “Cycling In Canadian Cities: Montreal Highlights Growing Pains Across Canada,” Huffington Post, Canada
- “How can we make Canadian Cities more Bike Friendly?,” Globe and Mail, Canada
- “Who Owns the Roads? Urban Cycling Advocates Raise Safety Concerns,” Montreal Gazette, Canada
For more information on Dr. Buehler, click the tag below.
Find out more about the challenges and opportunities of transforming vacant properties into a revitalized urban landscape. Visit the Metropolitan Institute’s Vacant Property Research Network for more, including the scoop on a new Salon article addressing this issue.
Metros or Archipelagos? Metropolitan Institute’s Visiting Fellow, John Russo, comments on new book, “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing our Broken Politics”
The new book by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing our Broken Politics, has stimulated discussion nationally among government officials, urban planners and community groups. It is no different here at the Metropolitan Institute where faculty and staff have begun a critical reading.
My contribution to that discussion, posed in a recent post on the New Geography, is this question: should we think about clusters of cities and townships as unified metros defined by census data, as Katz and Bradley argue, or should we view them as urban archipelagos, disconnected despite proximity?
“Navigating Contentious Planning and Policy Decisions: Lessons and Insights on Civic Engagement and Community Consensus Building from Public Policy Mediators and Social Justice Advocates,” October 17, 2103
Increasingly, local residents, community leaders and public officials must seek consensus-based solutions to often contentious land use and environmental issues. What were once standard actions, such as infrastructure improvements and zoning changes often get delayed by community opposition. Some residents may resist change while other voices and perspectives may be left out. Larger and more controversial issues, such as how to develop in light of increasing changes to our climate present even more difficulties in building mutual understanding and crafting collaborative solutions that benefit all members of our communities. How can policy makers and planners better deal with confusing, often contradictory civic input within a restrictive regulatory framework and sometimes hostile political climate? What techniques and tools can be harnessed that could lead to sustainable and widely supported public policy decisions?
Two nationally known land use and public policy mediators—Donna Silverberg, Portland, Oregon, and DC-based civic engagement and social justice adviser Don Edwards —will offer their thoughts on how the field and practice of dispute resolution and conflict management can help answer these and other important policy challenges. These two practitioners will share some of their dispute resolution tools and techniques when guiding public policy and civic engagement processes related to land use, sustainability, social equity, and smart growth recommendations and decisions. Ms. Silverberg is unable to attend, but will be presenting via video teleconference. Bruce Engelbert, Virginia, has been added as a commentor. The session will be moderated by Kathryn McCarty, the Administrative Services Chief with Arlington County Environmental Services and Professor of Practice for VT’s Urban Affairs and Planning Program.
6:00 – 6:30 PM Arrive early to meet Faculty if you have questions about becoming a graduate student in Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP)
6:30-7:30 PM (Presentation)
Light Refreshments will be served
Full Flyer Available here.
Please RSVP by October 15, 2013
Virginia Tech Research Center
900 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA
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.
Monday, September 30, 2013, 6–7:30 p.m.
Networking Event: Policy Jobs for Planners
Held at Café Asia, 1550 Wilson Blvd #100, Arlington, VA
Located near the Rosslyn (Orange/Blue Lines) Metro Station
At the intersection of planning and policy are meaningful opportunities to shape the future our communities. As part of the American Planning Association’s Federal Policy & Program Briefing, this happy hour roundtable will feature local policy leaders who have successfully leveraged their planning backgrounds in the policy arena. Join these experts and local young professionals for a discussion about how to apply your planning education and experience to solving big policy dilemmas. This is an excellent opportunity to network and explore professional opportunities in one of the DC region’s fastest growing local economies. APA is proud to co-host this event with the Virginia Chapter of APA and the Mobility Lab.
Monica Groh, Director, Early Career Programs, American Planning Association(moderator)
Stephen Crim, Research Director, Mobility Lab
Colin Peppard, Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Tom Carper
Lilly Shoup, Policy Analyst, U.S. Department of Transportation