Strong Cities, Strong Communities
Sponsor: German Marshall Fund
Principal Investigator: Joe Schilling; 2012
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) selected the German Marshall Fund (GMF) partnership as the recipient of the $2.5 million award to manage the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) fellowship program. The partnership is comprised of the German Marshall Fund, Cleveland State University, and the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. To fund the fellowship program, the Rockefeller Foundation donated $2.5 million to HUD to manage and implement the fellowship program.The MI team will provide fellow mentoring, local organizational outreach, and evaluation activities.
Vacant Properties Research Initiative
Sponsor: Ford Foundation
Principal Investigator: Joe Schilling; 2010, Renewed 2013
In 2013, the Institute received a two year grant renewal from the Ford Foundation to develop a comprehensive research agenda on vacant property reclamation and urban regeneration. The objective of this effort is to support the policy work and technical assistance of practitioners, policymakers, and organizations such as the new Center for Community Progress. Part of this grant will involve organizing research policy roundtables, establishing a virtual network for policy makers and research, and writing a Planning Advisory Service (PAS) report on shrinking cities in collaboration with the American Planning Association.
In August of 2010, the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech launched the Vacant Property Research Network (VPRN) as part of a initial two year grant from the Ford Foundation to develop a comprehensive research and policy agenda on vacant property reclamation and urban regeneration. The objectives of this effort are to 1) translate research and field work into policy/programmatic reforms at the federal, state, and local levels; 2) assist local practitioners and policymakers in reclaiming vacant and abandoned properties; and 3) provide rigorous support for designing new, holistic models for community regeneration. Through a variety of quantitative and qualitative research activities- such as policy case studies, statutory and programmatic assessments, participatory research projects and technical assistance activities – the professors, staff, and graduate students at Metropolitan Institute are doing original research for the VPRI. Additionally, the Metropolitan Institute is creating a national network of expert researchers, policymakers, academic institutions, and policy organizations involved with vacant and abandoned properties. The VPRI involves, but is not limited to, organizing research policy roundtables, establishing a virtual network for policy makers and researchers, and writing a practitioner’s guide on cities in transition in collaboration with the American Planning Association.
Analysis of Determinants of Bicycle Use in the Washington Metropolitan Area
Sponsor: The Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center (MAUTC) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Ralph Buehler; 2010-2011
Students: Dan Sonenklar
This project seeks to gain a better understanding of determinants of bicycle use in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Region—with a special focus on the role of gender, age, ethnicity, income, trip purpose, access to bicycle infrastructure, trip distance, and variability of bicycle policies across municipalities. We compare characteristics of cyclist in the Washington D.C. region and national averages, based on the most recent 2008 Regional Household Travel Survey and the new 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS). Multiple regression analysis identify determinants of bicycling in the DC region. The goal is to provide recommendations for Washington D.C. area governments on how to best increase the share of trips by bicycle—with a focus on policies, infrastructure provision, and programs.
Analysis of Bicycling Trends and Policies in Large American Cities: Lessons for New York
Sponsor: The Research and Innovative Technology Administration / United States Department of Transportation, Washington, DC, and the University Transportation Research Consortium, New York, NY
Co-Principal Investigator: Ralph Buehler; 2008-2011
Project Site. Final Report.
This research report reviews trends in cycling levels, safety, and policies in large North American cities over the past two decades. We analyze aggregate national data as well as city-specific case study data for nine large cities (Chicago, Minneapolis, Montréal, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver). Cycling rates have risen much faster in the nine case study cities than in their countries as a whole, at least doubling in all the cities since 1990. The case study cities have implemented a wide range of infrastructure and programs to promote cycling and increase cycling safety: expanded and improved bike lanes and paths, traffic calming, parking, bike-transit integration, bike sharing, training programs, and promotional events. We describe the specific accomplishments of the nine case study cities, focusing on each city’s innovations and lessons for other cities trying to increase cycling.
Mobilitätsmuster junger Menschen im Wandel? Analysis of Trends in Young People’s Mobility Patterns—An International Comparison of Eight Countries
Sponsor: Institute for Mobility Research (IFMO)
Principal Investigator for United States: Ralph Buehler; 2010
There is initial evidence that young people’s mobility patterns have changed over the last two decades. For example, in Germany since the 1990s the number of registered vehicles per capita has decreased for young males. In addition, once reaching driving age teenagers seem to delay getting a driver’s license. Moreover, automobile mileage driven by young adults has been decreasing significantly and surveys show modal shifts away from the car. Similar developments have been observed in other industrialized countries.The project focuses on three key facets of mobility: mobility tools, every day travel, and long distance travel. The project investigates trends of young people’s mobility (specifically the age group between 16 and 35) in industrialized societies over the last decade. The objective is to identify changes in mobility behavior. Reasons for changes in mobility may include: (1) changes in the population structure (e.g. longer education times, more urban population); (2) changes in the economic structure (e.g. incomes); (3) changes of values and life styles (e.g. environmental awareness); and (4) changes in the transport supply (e.g. car sharing schemes, better public transport, more bike paths and lanes).
Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing near Transit
Sponsor: U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development. Livable Communities Initiative
Co-Virginia Tech Principal Investigators: Ralph Buehler and Casey Dawkins. 2009-2010.
Students: Jeremy Sewall and Cindy Lintz
In this third paper in the “Affordable Housing near Public Transit” paper series, we discuss the role of federal, state, and local plans in promoting the preservation and expansion of affordable housing opportunities near transit. The report describes how policies are coordinated at different scales and highlights the role of local and regional plans, discussing tools such as regional coordinated housing and transportation plans, specific area plans, local inclusionary zoning regulations, and financing streams tied to specific planning requirements. Following our review of planning requirements, we examine how each of these plans is utilized within three different regions. The case studies examined in this paper include the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area, and the San Francisco, California metropolitan area. The paper concludes with a discussion of overall themes and lessons learned from the cases.
Principal Investigator: Joe Schilling; 2010