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Cornell Ph.D.s show up strong at ACSP conference this week,_NY_Skyline.jpg

Buffalo (Image: Pete716/Wikimedia Commons)

This week, members of Cornell CRP’s Ph.D. program will speak at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) annual conference in Buffalo, New York. The theme of this year’s event is The Continuing City: People, Planning and the Long Haul to Urban Resurgence.

Cornell Ph.D. CRP students and candidates will lead sessions over the course of the four-day conference, which begins October 25. We will update the post as more information about the event becomes available, but in the meantime, take a look at the sessions below:

Session Title: Working with “Working Rules”: Engaging Institutional Theory in Planning Research 

Subsession: When the Sum of Sectorial Parts Is Greater Than the City as a Whole: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Divergent Institutionalization
Cornell Representative: Andrea Restrepo-Mieth (Ph.D. candidate)
Details: Saturday, October 27, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Session title: What Does Urban Sustainability Really Look Like?

Subsession: Bridging Policy Adoption and Policy Implementation: An Exploration of Local Governments’ Sustainability Actions
Cornell Representatives:  Lu Liao (Ph.D. student); Professor Mildred Warner
Details: Friday, October 25, 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Subsession: Analyzing Trends in Urban Sustainability and Equity Indicators
Cornell Representative: Ryan Thomas (Ph.D. student)
Details: Friday, October 25, 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Session Title: Urban Informality

Subsession: Planning the Invisible City: Migration and Urban Citizenship in Gurgaon, India
Cornell Representative: Shoshana Goldstein (Ph.D. candidate)
Details: Thursday, October 25, 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Subsession: The Land-Based Urban and Regional Development: The Impacts of State Rescaling
Cornell Representative: Yuanshuo Xu (Ph.D. candidate)
Details: Friday, October 26, 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Session Title: Analytical Methods to Understand Expanding Regions 

Cornell Representative: Yuanshuo Xu (Ph.D. candidate), moderator/discussant
Details: Thursday, October 25, 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Panel: Pre-Doctoral Workshop for Students of Color

Cornell Representative: Jared Enriquez (Ph.D. candidate)
Details: Saturday October 27, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Session Title: What Is the Role of Institutions in Regional Governance and Planning?

Subsession: Restructuring Cities, Rethinking Planning? The Impacts of Municipal Mergers on Planning Practices in South Africa
Cornell Representative: Nidhi Subramanyam
Details: Thursday, October 25, 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Subsession: Fragility in Voluntary Regionalism: Efficiency Myths and Impacts for Equity
Cornell Representatives: Austin Aldag (Ph.D. student); Mildred Warner
Details: Thursday, October 25, 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Session Title: The Quest for Gender-Responsive Planning

Subsession: Where Are the Women In India’s Smart City Transport Plans?
Cornell Representatives: Seema Singh
Details: Thursday, October 25, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Registration for the conference is now closed, but a full schedule of events and presentations can be found here. For those who can’t make it out to Buffalo, here’s the link (PDF) to the accepted abstracts.

Support Cornell’s historic preservation students at the Pretty Creepy Pub Crawl on October 19

(Image: HPP/Cornell)

(Image: HPP/Cornell)

This Friday, October 19, the Preservation Studies Student Organization (PSSO) is hosting its third annual Pretty Creepy Pub Crawl to raise money for the organization. Participants will follow clues in a scavenger hunt that will take them around Ithaca’s landmarks (with plenty of stops at the bar, or course). There will be a prize for best costume and a prize for the first person to complete the scavenger hunt.

Festivities will kick off at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Big Red Barn. Tickets are $10, and event organizers Carolyn Gimbal ( and Kaitlin Mitchell ( are accepting payments by cash and Venmo. Find them in the HPP lounge (Sibley 102) or reach out by email before Friday to get a ticket.

Learn design software from fellow CRP students at Friday Free School

As important as it is to cultivate a nuanced understanding of zoning codes and postcolonial planning epistemology, it’s nice to have some practical design skills on your resume, as well. To that end, three enterprising and generous CRP students have agreed to teach their classmates the fundamentals of InDesign, Illustrator, and SketchUp over the course of three Friday afternoons for this semester’ edition of Friday Free School.

MRP students Josh Rotbert, Rhea Lopes, and Kristen Collins will each be leading a class. This year, sessions kick off October 26 in the computer lab on the third floor of West Sibley (officially the Barclay Jones Lab).

Here’s the sign-up link for sessions (which are open only to current CRP students, sorry!). More info on the classes can be found on the flier below:

(Image: Elyse Belarge‎/Cornell CRP)

(Image: Elyse Belarge‎/Cornell CRP)

Hope to see you there!

Good news, West Coast: Cornell CRP is coming to L.A. and San Francisco!

San Francisco (Image: UN Photo/Mark Garten)

Are you interested in studying city and regional planning at Cornell? Are you on the West Coast? Well good news, because AAP will be on your side of the world next week.

City and Regional Planning Department Manager Heidi Berrettini will be at the Idealist Grad Fair in San Francisco Fair on October 8 and in L.A. on October 10. The grad fairs are a great place to ask Heidi questions about all the programs on offer at Cornell CRP. More information on both of those events can be found here.  

Here’s what CRP students did on our recent trip to Cleveland

This past week, more than 40 first-year students in the MRP and HPP programs trekked to fabulous Cleveland, Ohio to learn about distinctive urban planning challenges and opportunities in a city that’s more commonly known for its terrible-but-beloved football team, burning river, and delicious regional sandwich. This year’s iteration of the annual fall field trip was one part experiential learning exercise, one part mild sleep deprivation, and a whole lot of group bonding.

At around 11 a.m. Thursday, bleary-eyed students stumbled out of our bus (we all managed to rouse ourselves for a 5:45 a.m. departure from Ithaca) and onto a boat for a tour of Cleveland along the windy Cuyahoga River. On the journey, our tiny vessel was dwarfed by massive ships that drop raw industrial materials off for the factories along the shore. The waterway is the industrial artery that connects Cleveland to Lake Erie and out to Canada. As Cleveland rose (and declined) on its industrial bona fides, the tour was solid grounding for the field trip’s series of panels and tours on revitalizing post-industrial cities.

These sessions included ones with planners from local and regional development organizations like Slavic Village CDC and Thriving Communities, as well as a talk with Freddy Collier, Cleveland’s director of city planning. The sit-downs complemented a historic preservation walking tour of downtown, as well as a class trip to Severance Hall to hear the Cleveland Orchestra bang out Bartók and Prokofiev.

Take a look at the gallery above to learn more about what we did in Cleveland, and check out #CornellCRP on Instagram and Twitter for the latest news and updates on the program.

Want to study planning at Cornell? Learn all about CRP grad programs at the open house!

Sibley Hall in winter. (Image: Cornell AAP)

The Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) will hold its annual fall open house for prospective graduate students on Friday, October 15. The event will feature an overview of graduate programs in historic preservation, regional science, and regional planning, as well as Q&As with faculty and current students. Prospies will also be able to tour Sibley Hall, sit in on classes, and drink $1 beers with current grad students at the Big Red Barn.

More information on the open house, including a full schedule of events and an RSVP form, can be found here.

Econ prof Amit A. Batabyal to speak on Schumpeterian competition within the creative class

An ostensible member of the creative class, hard at work. (Image: kimdokhac/Flickr)

This Thursday, Amit A. Batabyal, a professor of economics at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), is coming to Sibley to discuss how Schumpeterian competition affects entrepreneurial activity and innovation within the creative class, and how that competition affects economic growth. The talk, in W. Sibley’s Room 101, is slated for September 27 at 4:30 p.m.

Although Batabyal is a Cornell alumnus, he didn’t graduate from the MRP program (missing out!). Instead, Batabyal left Ithaca in 1987 with a B.S. in applied economics and business management.

A summary of his talk, officially “Schumpeterian Creative Class Competition, Innovation Policy, and Regional Economic Growth,” is reprinted below:

Batabyal focuses on a region that is creative as described by Richard Florida. The creative class is broadly composed of existing and candidate entrepreneurs. The general question the class analyzes concerns the effects of Schumpeterian competition between existing and candidate entrepreneurs on economic growth and innovation policy in this region. The class performs four specific tasks. First, when the flow rate of innovation function for the existing entrepreneurs is strictly concave, we delineate the circumstances in which competition between existing and candidate entrepreneurs leads to a unique balanced growth path (BGP) equilibrium. Second, the class examines whether it is possible for the BGP equilibrium to involve different levels of R&D expenditures by the existing entrepreneurs. Third, they show how the BGP equilibrium is altered when the flow rate of innovation function for the existing entrepreneurs is constant. Finally, they study the impact that taxes and subsidies on R&D by existing and candidate entrepreneurs have on R&D expenditures and regional economic growth.

More information on this and other Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) lectures can be found here.

Susan Handy to question received wisdom of U.S. transit planning in September 20 talk

(Image: Minesweeper/Wikimedia Commons)

Why are the core principals of U.S. transit planning rarely questioned, and why is transportation in this country so dang inefficient? On September 20, University of California–Davis’s Susan Handy will examine those questions in front of a roomful of Cornellians in Sibley 101 at 4:30 p.m..

An abstract of her talk, officially “Roundabout of a Figurative Kind: The Ebb and Flow of Ideas about Transportation and What This Means for Our Communities,” is reprinted below:

Transportation planning in the U.S. has, for more than a century, been guided by several core principles: speed, mobility, vehicle throughput, capacity expansion, traffic control, mode separation. These principles are hugely influential, yet they are largely implicit and rarely questioned, at least not officially, despite their general failure to produce an efficient transportation system. But each of these principles has an equal and opposite principle that, if adopted, would lead to a very different approach to providing for society’s transportation needs. In this talk, Handy examines the ebb and flow of these ideas and their implications for our communities.

More information on this and other Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) lectures can be found here.

Celebrate Park(ing) Day at Sibley with Cornell planners

Park(ing) Day (Image: sv johnson/Flickr)

This Friday, September 21, the Organization of Cornell Planners (OCP) and Cornell AAP are celebrating Park(ing) Day by transforming the small sea of asphalt behind Sibley into a public gathering place.

Park(ing) Day is an annual international design event where participants take parking spaces and turn them into parklets for public use. The event generates discourse around how space in cities and towns is used, and spotlights how much public or semi-public space is devoted to the storage of private vehicles. Park(ing) Day also offers designers and planners a way to show off their creativity in a diminutive space.

This year, OCP is converting a few spots on the asphalt into a garden, bike repair station, and yoga area. Although the preliminary meeting for the September 21 event has passed, potential participants can contact Natalia Sanchez for more information.

See you on the lot!

Attention, students: The NY Upstate APA chapter conference is coming to Ithaca this October

(Image: Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons)

Here’s some great news for planning students who want to meet future colleagues without traveling too far afield: For the first time in a decade, the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) is holding its annual conference right here in Ithaca. The three-day event kicks off Wednesday October 3 at Hotel Ithaca.

Highlights include mobile workshops like a LimeBike ride around Ithaca’s waterfront, a survey of Tompkins County’s tiny homes, and a Downtown Ithaca walking tour focused on building density. These sessions are complemented by professional development seminars like 5A: Zoning and Land Use Law – the Latest and Greatest and Everything You Wanted to Know about FOIL and Open Meetings…But Were Afraid to Ask!

Conference poster (Image: APA Upstate)

There’s three Cornell-specific workshops, too: Planning at Cornell, the meta-sounding Planning for Planning Education, and a session on the resources available from New York State through Cornell for flood risk and resiliency planning.

A full schedule of events can be found here.

Normally, students would pay $65 to attend the conference, but the Department of City and Regional Planning will knock $20 off the fee for the first 100 students to register. At the time of this writing, there were still discounted spots available via the event registration page. (CRP students should have received an email from department chair Jeff Chusid with the discount code.)

Cornell alumnus Luis E. Santiago to speak on post-Maria coastal planning in Puerto Rico

The US Coast Guard speaking with boat owners in Vieques, Puerto Rico, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria. (US DOD)

Next week, Cornell alum and University of Central Florida professor Luis E. Santiago is returning to campus to present findings from his study of coastal sites in Puerto Rico post–Hurricane Maria. Santiago, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida School of Public Affairs, examined green, blue, and gray infrastructural changes after the hurricane, with an eye towards developing a coastal marine ecosystem data bank that could assist in future post-disaster responses.

Santiago received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning at Cornell in 1999. His talk, “Coastal Indicators to Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria,” is slated for Thursday, September 13 at 4:30 p.m. in W. Sibley Hall, Room 113.

An abstract of the talk is reprinted below:

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, bringing sustained category four winds and up to 45 inches of rain. Residents experienced widespread flooding, vegetation loss, and physical infrastructure systems failure. Santiago’s study assessed post-hurricane changes in green, blue, and gray infrastructure and associated changes in ecosystem service provision levels at two coastal sites. The research team aims to develop a coastal marine ecosystem databank that will inform extreme event planning and emergency response efforts. Post-hurricane coastal infrastructure and ecosystem services data became critical due to the magnitude of losses in community assets, resulting in fragmentation and displacement.

More information on this and other Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) lectures can be found here.

Ben Austen to discuss the rise and fall of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green on September 14


Next Friday, journalist Ben Austen is coming to Cornell to discuss the rise and fall of Cabrini-Green, the Chicago public housing project that was razed in 2011. Often portrayed in the media as a crucible of vice and violence, Austen’s recent book on the development, High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing, explores Cabrini-Green’s origins and decline through the stories of its residents.

An abstract of the talk is reprinted below:

The rise and fall of high-rise public housing is the story of America’s ever-changing inner cities — and the story of the country’s always uneasy relationship to poverty and race. Cabrini-Green, located just blocks from Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast, was the most “infamous” of these housing projects. Depicted constantly in the news, in TV shows, in horror films, Cabrini-Green became synonymous with crime, squalor, and government failure. For the thousands of people who lived there, it was also a much-needed home. What was myth and what was reality there? What went wrong in our nation’s effort to provide affordable housing to the poor? What can we do now?

Austen will deliver his talk, officially the Russell Van Nest Black Lecture. on September 14 at 12:20 p.m. in the Milstein Hall auditorium. More information on this and other Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) lectures can be found here.

Michael Manville to speak on why Angelenos voted for public transit they don’t use

Los Angeles (Photo: Luke Jones/Flickr)

This Thursday, transit expert Michael Manville is coming to Cornell to explain why taxpayers vote to fund public transit but then don’t use it. Manville, associate professor of urban planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, uses a recent L.A. transit ballot measure to examine why, unless policies make it harder to drive, residents will choose their cars over buses and trains. The talk , “Measure M and the (Potential) Transformation of Mobility in Los Angeles,” will begin at 4:30 p.m. on September 6 in Room 115, W. Sibley Hall.

Here’s a preview of the conversation:

In the last ten years hundreds of local governments across the U.S. have used direct democracy to increase funding for public transportation. Transit ridership, however, continues to fall, even in places where voters have explicitly approved new taxes to fund it. Why do voters support transit taxes if they do not want to ride transit? This paper uses evidence from Measure M in Los Angeles — a large transportation ballot measure approved in 2016 — to examine this question. Using both original survey data and archival qualitative data provided by L.A. Metro, Manville suggest that voters supported Measure M because they believed public transportation would benefit them in their role as drivers by reducing traffic congestion. Voters believed this, moreover, because transit advocates saw a congestion-reduction message as most likely to be successful at the ballot box. Transit, however, is most successful in places where driving is harder, not easier, so a vote for transit based on the idea that it will make driving easier suggests opposition to many of the complementary policies — higher density, less parking, congestion charges — that actually make transit work. Survey data confirms that most L.A. residents do not support transit-complementary policies, and further suggests that many current L.A. transit riders would prefer to travel by car. Manville concludes that transit ballots in auto-oriented cities succeed in part because they suppress latent conflicts over space, but that transit itself will only succeed when those conflicts are settled in favor of nonauto modes.

More information on this and other Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) lectures can be found here.

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