Department of Urban Studies and Planning
A major event this year was the meeting of the Visiting Committee to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), held on December 5 and 6, 2001. The report of the committee affirmed that DUSP is in "overall excellent health." The committee gave high marks to faculty leadership, an intellectually strong student body, a broad and diverse curriculum, and acknowledged the significant institutional support from MIT. The visiting committee praised the new core curriculum that we are currently implementing in the Master in City Planning (MCP) Program. The new core focuses more on experience in practice as a medium for action and research in planning. It ends 20 years of separation between international and domestic teaching, recognizes globalization and integrates digital technology and media into all skills classes.
Another top priority for 2001–2002 was to intensify our student recruitment effort, part of our efforts to remain competitive with the other top planning programs, especially Berkeley and Harvard. A new video highlights the wide range of field-based opportunities available for students to work in collaboration with faculty on real-world planning problems. This unique tie between theoretical academic studies and field-based action research is one of the continuing allures of the program. Applications to our master's program were up more than 50 percent this past year, and more than 80 percent of those offered admission accepted our offer. In view of this unprecedented high yield, which will bring us a larger than expected entering class, we will endeavor to admit fewer applicants next year, thereby enhancing our selectivity. Yield on admission to our small doctoral program was also high, surely aided considerably by the offer of Presidential Fellowships, which remain highly valued by the department. In light of the ongoing urgency to provide financial aid to our graduate students, the department agreed to turn in a faculty slot (resulting from the retirement of Professor Bernard Frieden in July 2002) to be used for this purpose.
In additional student recruitment matters, the department is also actively seeking ways to involve our alumni/ae in the life of the department. We are in the process of launching a series of regional receptions for alumni and prospective students, to be held each fall in four cities.
In June 2002, we also presented our first Excellence in Public Service awards, recognizing three DUSP alumni/ae for their outstanding contributions by providing them with some loan forgiveness. We do not yet have sufficient endowment to institutionalize this program, however.
Space continues to have a big impact on the life of the department. While renovations are completed in Buildings 9 and 3, there is still a shortage of classroom and office space. We are anxiously awaiting the availability of space in Building 33 or Building 9. Fortunately, the department's renovated space is used very efficiently and remains a great asset to the program.
One further area of concern, also raised pointedly by the visiting committee, is the future of the School's Center for Real Estate (CRE). With the departure of Professor Tim Riddiough for a business school position at the University of Wisconsin and Larry Bacow's appointment as president of Tufts, the department is actively engaged in recruiting new leadership for CRE.
Professor Anne Whiston Spirn received the ninth annual International Cosmos Prize for research that has contributed to the "harmonious co-existence of nature and mankind." Professor Spirn, who is the youngest person, first woman and the first designer/planner to win the award, received 40 million yen ($324,400), a gold medal and a commendation in Tokyo in October 2001.
The Lewis Mumford Prize of the Society of American City and Regional Planning History went to Professor Robert Fogelson. Professor Keith Hampton won a Canadian Policy Research Award, as well as a Graduate Student Council Teaching Award. Professor Diane Davis was chosen as a Carnegie Scholar. The 2001 Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association went to Lecturer William Shutkin. Professor Ceasar McDowell was selected for a 2001 YMCA Black Achiever Award.
Professor Dara O'Rourke was selected to hold the Mitsui Career Development Professorship. Professor Lawrence Vale was promoted to full professor. The department hosted two Martin Luther King Visiting Professors—Raul Lejano and J. Philip Thompson.
The department launched plans for a series of annual joint studios with faculty and students from the University of Cambridge, as part of the Cambridge-MIT partnership (CMI). The first of these studios in the fall of 2001 proposed design strategies for accommodating growth pressures in Cambridge, England. A follow-up studio will be held in the fall of 2003, focusing on university/high-tech industry development in the Cambridge, MA, vicinity and Route 495 corridor. A second CMI-sponsored research project, examining the planning and economic effectiveness of place-based high-tech research clusters, was launched in 2001, and another CMI-related proposal is being developed in conjunction with British Telecom. This studio sequence and research agenda is part of a larger and longer collaboration, still under consideration by CMI, that creates a Joint Center for Urban and Regional Innovation.
DUSP's environmental policy faculty have become increasingly involved in campus-wide environmental policy projects of various kinds. MIT's Alliance for Global Sustainability and its Martin Fellowship Program are supporting graduate students and faculty exploring alternatives to traditional forms of regulation. The Mexico City Project, directed by Professor Mario Molina, is supporting several DUSP faculty and students as part of an effort to reduce air pollution in Mexico City. Environmental policy graduate students were linked to the MIT Global Change Program, examining strategies for carbon sequestration and the introduction of electric vehicles in developing countries.
DUSP continues active involvement in a long-term plan for collaborative research with the Technical University of Delft, with proposals expected in 2002. Other work in collaboration with Dutch officials is already underway.
The intellectual life of the department is organized largely around the activities of the five program groups, which reflect major areas of current planning practice and scholarship: City Design and Development; Environmental Policy; Housing, Community and Economic Development; International Development and Regional Planning; and Planning Support Systems (Information Technology).
During the summer of 2001, faculty and students from the City Design and Development (CDD) group worked with the World Bank Institute to offer a course on urban development in Bhutan, focusing on the future of the capital city, Thimpu. Following the workshop, which involved virtually every urban professional in Bhutan, three students were invited by the Royal Government of Bhutan to continue their research that resulted in three outstanding theses on conservation of traditional culture, landscape and buildings.
CDD faculty and students organized a special colloquium and seminar entitled "The Resilient City: Trauma, Recovery, and Remembrance" that brought together scholars and urbanists to consider the meaning of the September 11 tragedy by examining historical precedents for rebuilding in cities world-wide. The colloquium presentations were transmitted as digital video on the MIT World web site, and enabled the series to engage a worldwide audience. The colloquium was also written up in the Boston Globe. In May 2002, Professor Lawrence Vale, joined by a DUSP graduate student, spoke about the colloquium to a well-attended gathering of major MIT donors in New York. Results of the colloquium, organized by Professor Vale and Dr. Thomas Campanella, will be published in a book.
Research activity of the CDD group continued with major results in several areas. Our collaboration with the Generaletat de Catalunya resulted in the publication of a monograph entitled Designing the Llobregat: The Cultural Landscape and Regional Development, that has been widely distributed. In collaboration with the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), a new research initiative now being considered by the government will establish an MIT/UPC International Laboratory for the Study of the Cultural Landscape in Barcelona. In Seoul, Korea, Professor Dennis Frenchman and Dr. Campanella, along with Research Scientist Michael Joroff and students, led an international team to design the Seoul Digital Media city, the first large-scale project to incorporate digital media into design of the public environment. The work of the team was featured in Fortune and World Herald Tribune. Finally, research continues with the Media Lab on tools for Tangible Urban Simulation and new technology invented at MIT is now being used in studios and workshops.
The Environmental Policy Group (EPG) continues its work on a series of comparative case studies analyzing public policies that encourage sustainable development, particularly the adoption of "greener" technologies in various parts of the world. The Environmental Technology and Public Policy Program (within EPG), with support from the Dutch Government, published a path-breaking study of Public Entrepreneurship Networks—new partnerships among public agencies, private companies and civil society that have been able to encourage environmental innovation. The group also recently launched an environmental justice initiative that includes teaching, research, and capacity-building activities.
Industrial ecology is a new area of research at DUSP. EPG faculty are exploring new policy strategies to promote industrial innovation and new mechanisms for bringing the concerns and energies of consumers, communities and companies to bear on reducing the adverse environmental and social impacts of industrial systems.
EPG hosted a number of distinguished visitors during the year, including Professor Raul Lejano, who was the holder of a Martin Luther King Visiting Assistant Professorship for the second year; Professor Dr. Leo Jansen, former member of Parliament and founder and director of the Sustainable Technology Development Program, the Netherlands, who gave a talk at an EPG lunch entitled Future Present: Planning, Community and Sustainable Development; and Professor Dr. Wim Hafkamp, of the Erasmus Center for Environmental Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Faculty in EPG organized and hosted a number of conferences and workshops, including the continuing Civic Environmentalism Roundtable. The civic environmentalism series, convened in partnership with faculty from Harvard's Kennedy School, produced a report in the spring entitled "Memo to the Governor: The Commonwealth That Could Be," providing policy recommendations to the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates. The project is sponsored by the American Society for Public Administration. EPG also helped convene the Second Annual Regional Sustainable Development Forum at MIT in September 2001, with over 250 in attendance and close to 50 presenters.
For the ninth year in a row, EPG faculty chaired the International Programme on the Management of Sustainability, held each year in the Netherlands to assist 40 governmental and non-governmental staff from the developing world in their efforts to implement Agenda 21.
The Housing, Community and Economic Development (HCED) group spent academic year 2001–2002 involved in many of the activities and concerns that have motivated it for the last several years:
- Utilization of the Wednesday luncheons as a forum for "reflective practitioners" in the greater-Boston area working in community development. We were fortunate this year to have strong speakers who are actively engaged in planning issues in Boston and who saw the luncheons as a forum both to frame "grounded" problems and to seek explicit advice from our students and faculty.
- Deeper involvement in planning activities in Lawrence, MA, where a number of HCED graduates, a rank that expands annually, are working for a creative community development corporation that is having a major impact on its low-income neighborhood
- Expansion of work in the Boston Main Streets Program where Senior Lecturer Karl Seidman has forged a strong working relationship with program managers of several of the neighborhoods
- Engagement during the fall semester with Ernesto Cortes, south west regional director of the Industrial Areas Foundation, an inspirational visitor from the world of organizing who challenges us on our assumptions about community development
- Expansion of field-based practica that cut across the department's program group boundaries.
In addition to these five areas of continuity the HCED group spent collective time considering how to more effectively connect with the Center for Reflective Community Practice (see below) and other program groups in the department around the issue that we came to call "the new minorities in the cities." Given our experiences in Lawrence with the Hispanic community and the Boston Main Streets program's newly arrived ethnic groups, we are striving to both conceptualize and engage in practice with the "complexity of community" that emerges with the arrival of new immigrant groups. No longer is the formulation simply one of black and white or even Hispanic and black and white. Other ethnic groups from Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean make a more complex and challenging mosaic of interests than our traditional "neighborhood model" accounts for. As the department moves forward with hiring decisions to provide a greater minority presence on the faculty, we are looking to engage any new faculty arrivals in this "new minorities" agenda. Based as it is in practice in the neighborhoods, the department and HCED in particular are in a position to contribute significantly to this new agenda.
The faculty in the International Development and Regional Planning (IDRP) group are involved in nine major multi-year research and teaching activities, each involving two to seven graduate students and/or SPURS (Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies) Fellows.
Professor Balakrishnan Rajagopal is now director of the MIT Program on Human Rights and Justice, which is a collaborative effort between DUSP and the Center for International Studies. The program organized many events this year, including a speaker series, conferences, and is supporting several student internships. Professor Rajagopal has a book forthcoming early next year from Cambridge University Press entitled International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements, and Third World Resistance, and he has recently published several articles, including op-ed pieces in the Washington Post and the Hindu. He also has a multi-year research project on globalization and local democracy and is part of a faculty research team on another project on globalization, development and standards.
A second major highlight was the publication by Professor Alice Amsden of a seminal article in Research Policy, the prestigious non-technical journal on research and development. She developed a new methodology to determine how close a lab's research is to the world frontier without having to delve into the subject matter of the research. This gives policy makers a better chance to customize their science and technology policy efforts.
A third important initiative is being undertaken by Professor Diane Davis, who is investigating public insecurity in cities of the developing world. She and several students are focusing on Mexico City, Johannesburg, and Moscow. They are centering their research on the relations between globalization and spatial changes in cities of the developing world, which manifests itself in more physical polarization in cities, contributing to crime, violence, and public insecurity. For her innovative Scholarship in Education, International Development, Strengthening US Democracy, and International Peace and Security work, Davis has been named one of sixteen leading researchers by the Carnegie Scholars program.
A fourth significant activity is the conclusion of a World Bank-funded research effort by Professor Jennifer Davis on public water and sanitation agencies in four South Asia research sites. These agencies have been able to make substantial improvements in service delivery, accountability to customers, reduced corruption, and increased transparency. Using intensive data collection through interviews and surveys, the researchers have been working to understand the conditions under which various reform strategies have succeeded in boosting public-sector performance within South Asia's highly constrained institutional environment. A series of publications from the research are now in preparation.
A fifth important event was the publication by Professor Judith Tendler of a major critique of social-policy thinking and practice in the developing world, and suggestions about how to solve these problems as part of a comprehensive United Nations' effort to re-think social policy. The publication was one of a number from a multi-year joint research project involving DUSP graduate students and MIT faculty in Northeast Brazil, and funded by Brazilian state governments and the Bank of the Northeast—a body of research that has given rise to 30 publications and theses. The most recent project on re-thinking regional policy, funded by the Bank of the Northeast, has looked into the role of policy, public institutions, and markets to determine which sectors, states, and/or firms fared better, which kinds of development had greater spill-over effects and why, and the conditions under which growth was income-distributing rather than income-concentrating and worker skills and conditions improved rather than degenerated.
Work by the sixth group is in the People's Republic of China. Professor Karen R. Polenske is supervising a multidisciplinary team of chemical engineers, physicists, and planners from China, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States. They are completing research on energy conservation and pollution-reduction projects in the coke-making sector in Shanxi Province and are beginning to study energy-efficiency issues in iron and steel plants in Liaoning Province. She is also one of three lead investigators of another newly funded Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS) project on the yellow dust problem in China. The team is investigating the sequence of events that led to the atmospheric transport of the dust from the north and west of China and the economic and health effects this has on society in China, Japan, and Korea. The researchers are determining the types of critical interventions needed to reduce the problem and the localities where these interventions will be most effective.
Professor Ralph Gakenheimer is working with a seventh group of faculty and students to study the increase of mobility and motorization in developing countries. They are currently focusing on the future of the personal use of automobiles in China and on an integrated assessment of environmental quality in Mexico City. They are also collaborating with others at MIT to organize a graduate program in transportation and logistics systems for the new Malaysia University of Science and Technology.
An eighth group, led by Visiting Lecturer Anna Hardman, is continuing to work on the impacts of rent decontrol on housing markets in Egypt.
Finally, Professor Bish Sanyal is leading an effort to establish a Learning and Education Alliance and Resource Network (LEARN) as a way for universities to influence urban poverty-alleviation policies in developing countries. The collaboration would eventually enhance the legitimacy of the university in facilitating policy discussions among governments, market institutions, and civil society. Using MIT's OpenCourseware Initiative, LEARN can play a leadership role in utilizing information and communication technology for educational purposes.
During June, many of the IDRP faculty lectured to the 50 participants in two development workshops: Municipal Water and Sanitation Pricing and Tariff Design in Developing Countries; and Upgrading Urban Slums in Developing Countries, offered in collaboration with the Cities Alliance.
Many of the research efforts by the IDRP group focus on comparative studies between industrialized and developing countries. Overall, the faculty and students are working or planning to work on all continents.
Research and teaching in the Planning Support Systems (PSS) group has continued to explore the growing impacts of information technology on urban planning, metropolitan governance, and our sense of community. Advances in information technologies have enabled the location and spatial interaction of people, buildings, and events to be tracked, modeled, visualized, and manipulated as never before. The result has been a rapid growth of new opportunities—and risks—ranging from e-government, environmental monitoring, and urban modeling to increased concerns about privacy, security, "big brother," redlining, and a digital divide.
Midway through the year, Professor Lorlene Hoyt joined our faculty after completing her University of Pennsylvania dissertation on the public safety and community development impacts of business improvement districts. Her understanding of spatial analysis tools and municipal agency infrastructure quickly found an audience in the Spring Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Workshop, where two class projects focused on Philadelphia crime analyses and community development in Lawrence, MA. Meanwhile, Professor Keith Hampton's work on community networking and electronic neighborhoods received National Science Foundation funding for a multi-year study. The new grant expands his e-neighborhoods experiment that began in July 2001, and will be a three-year study of how new communication technologies can be used to build local social capital. A spring series of public forums and online web pages culminated another project, "Beyond the Big Dig," spearheaded by Research Scientist Tom Piper. Through collaboration with the Boston Globe and Channel 5, the project experimented with technology-mediated public participation processes for stimulating public dialogue about the future of the 30 acres of public space above the newly sunken central artery. Professor Joseph Ferreira continued work with the Open GIS Consortium and the Federal Geographic Data Committee on the interoperable GIS. These next-generation GIS tools and standards provide the interoperability and modularity that metropolitan agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) need to coordinate programs and share spatially referenced data effectively. We have also worked with MIT Information Systems and the MIT Libraries' newly hired GIS and statistics specialist to enhance the capabilities and interoperability of MIT's spatial data infrastructure.
PSS researchers have also continued collaborative work with other MIT departments and centers. For example, we have worked with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Transportation Studies on IT-related transportation planning work with the Chicago Transit Authority as well as with Puerto Rico's new "Tren Urbano." We have also completed a NASA-funded project on urban "respiration" that teamed up with atmospheric modelers in MIT's Chemical Engineering Department and several scientists at other universities and research firms to study how land-use planning can affect metropolitan air pollution patterns. Other active research areas include welfare-to-work accessibility, land use and transportation interactions, urban design assistance, environmental justice screening, and political redistricting. Each of these areas has involved class projects and thesis work with "real world" partners and impacts involving several federal, state, regional and local agencies and NGOs. All the work has been challenging this past year since the group and its computer facilities moved twice to accommodate a complete remodeling of our workspace on the fifth floor of Building 9. The work has been especially rewarding for several PSS students who won the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) prize for the best student paper at their annual conference (PhD candidate Liou Cao), the department's prize for the best undergraduate thesis (Jonathan Reed), and the best PhD dissertation (Mizuki Kawabata).
Our graduate programs enrolled 196 students this year. Of the total, 57 percent were women, 13 percent were underrepresented minorities, and 33 percent were international students. The department granted 59 MCP, 1 SM, and 8 PhD degrees.
Faculty continued to offer a wide array of for-credit offerings during the Professional Development Institute held in the Independent Activities Period. In addition to Introduction to Computers in Public Management II—required of all first-year master's students—four additional for-credit courses were offered this year: Management Fundamentals for Leaders in Non-Profit Organizations; Turning Disasters into Development Opportunities; Springfield Design Studio: Organizing with Information; Market-Based Inner-City Economic Growth; and Planning Use of Online Socioeconomic Data. These classes, combined with non-credit offerings, attracted both undergraduate and graduate students from across the Institute, alumni/ae and local professionals.
The Master's in City Planning (MCP) Committee devoted much of its time this year to developing the new core curriculum in the Master's in City Planning Program that was approved last year. This is the flagship academic program of our department. The major thrust of the new curriculum is to reassert the common values and practices that bind together different areas in the profession. Within recent years, these areas have become increasingly independent, threatening our focus on the core mission of city planning and its increasingly international role.
Elements of the new curriculum that will be implemented this fall include:
- New "gateway" subjects on cross-cutting issues and recurring themes of planning, entitled Planning Action and Planning Economics
- Introductory subjects to specialization areas in planning
- A new subject entitled Planning Communications and Media, the first in a sequence of skill subjects that will integrate computing skills into content (rather than offering separate computer classes). Other new or revised subjects will include Quantitative Reasoning and Computing, and Research Methods and Computing
Finally, a new requirement that all MCP graduates participate in a practicum workshop involving communities and clients in the field will be implemented next year.
The PhD Committee addressed a number of issues during the year, including admissions, methodological course requirements, shifting the timing and content of the first-year methods course during which time students write their first-year paper, how the students are reviewed, and the distinction between the first and second fields in the general exam. Further work on these issues will continue next year. In particular, the committee plans to expand its efforts to recruit the best students.
During 2001–2002, the Undergraduate Committee worked with DUSP undergraduate majors, minors and students in the DUSP/Political Science Public Policy Minor to improve course offerings and to give DUSP courses greater visibility among MIT undergraduates. These efforts are beginning to bear fruit. During the year, eight upperclassmen transferred into the department as urban studies majors. In the late spring, after DUSP's open house, an additional four freshman declared an urban studies major, indicating a modest increase of undergraduate commitment to the department.
As in earlier years, the department offered an annual study trip to a foreign city. During IAP 2002, Professor Diane Davis led a study trip to Mexico City in which six majors participated. The trip was preceded by a fall seminar introducing students to issues of governance, planning and economic development in a city experiencing explosive population growth.
In cooperation with the Department of Political Science, we continued to refine the jointly run HASS Public Policy Minor. Changes include shifting one of the required courses to a capstone course to allow students to draw on policy knowledge they have acquired in electives. This year, the introductory course in the minor, 11.002/17.30 Public Policy and Government Action, had an enrollment of 28 students. As the course minor's reputation spreads through word of mouth and a redesigned web site (http://web.mit.edu/polisci/publicpolicy/), we expect enrollment in the minor to grow significantly.
Through the Teacher Education Program (TEP), directed by Dr. Eric Klopfer, MIT undergraduates can complete certification in secondary math and science teaching. While the number of students currently certified by the TEP is relatively small, it does certify teachers in high-need areas such as physics and mathematics.
In the past, MIT students who wanted to obtain teacher certification were required to attend classes at Wellesley College. This year, TEP piloted a new program to certify teachers entirely at MIT. The program was a success and has attracted great student interest for next year. Through this program TEP should be able to greatly increase the number of MIT students receiving teacher certification.
Over the last year, the TEP has also strengthened its relationship with the Cambridge Public Schools through new projects. At the same time, it has furthered relationships with the Boston Public Schools, especially Boston High School (which will become a pilot school in the fall) and the new Tech Boston Academy. Dr. Klopfer has also hosted summer institutes on educational technology for teachers from around the Boston area and around the world in conjunction with TEP. We are delighted that he has become the first holder of the newly created Joseph B. (1954) and Rita P. Scheller Career Development Professorship in Teacher Education. For more information on TEP see http://education.mit.edu/.
Our graduate and undergraduate students received many awards from national and international organizations, the Institute, and the department.
The American Institute of Certified Planners, Outstanding Student Award winner is Ronald Mallis of Brooklyn, NY. Jean Riesman of Providence, RI, won the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Intellectual Life of the Department. The Departmental Service Award went to Rosemary Dudley of Albuquerque, NM, and Marisa Gaither of Los Angeles, CA. Katherine Fichter of Boston, MA, won the Flora Crockett Stephenson Writing Prize.
Jason Corburn of New York, NY, and Mizuki Kawabata of Tokyo, Japan, received the Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award. The Outstanding MCP Thesis Award went to Alberto Criscuolo of Napoli, Italy, and a team consisting of Alexis Bennett of Venice, CA, Rosemary Dudley of Albuquerque, NM, and Rachel Loeb of Kansas City, KS. The Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis/Project Award was presented to Jonathan Reed of Bristol, RI.
Peilei Fan of Shanghai, China; Alexis Gensberg of Carmel, CA; and Emi Mizuno of Kishiwada, Japan won Lloyd and Nadine Rodwin International Travel Fellowships. Beatrice Chen of Taipei, Taiwan, Julie Kirschbaum of Edina, MN, and Desiree Sideroff of Los Angeles, CA, received Rubinstein Foundation Resilient City Fellowships.
Urban Design Certificates went to Hope Fang of Berkeley, CA, Eric Feldman of New Haven, CT, Rachel Loeb of Kansas City, KS, Richard Milk of Miami Beach, FL, Laurie Pessah of Los Angeles, CA, Masayoshi Sasazawa of Tokyo, Japan, Carol Tucker of Westford, MA, and Chong Yean Teo of Penang, Malaysia.
Malo Hutson of Roswell, NM, Celina Su of East Brunswick, NJ, and Yan Zhang of Beijing, China, received Harold Horowitz (1951) Student Research Fund Awards. Hutson also won an Industrial Performance Center Summer Research Grant. Raquel Gomes of Fortaleza, Brazil, and Raja Shankar of Pune, India, received Industrial Performance Center Fellowships. Program on Human Rights and Justice, Summer Internship Awards went to Jovonne Bickerstaff of Akron, OH, Jeff Duritz of Philadelphia, PA, Christina Erickson of Sacramento, CA, Tina Pihl of Toronto, Canada, and Shinu Singh of Los Altos, CA. Bickerstaff also received the Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes Competition 2001–2002, Robert A. Boit Prizes, First Prize in Short Story and Honorable Mention in Essay, and the William L. Steward Jr. Award.
Smita Srinivas of Bangalore, India, won an Industrial Performance Center Pre-Dissertation Grant. Sunil Tankha of Calcutta, India, received a Center for International Studies Energy Technology and International Affairs Grant. The Marvin E. Goody Award went to Alexis Bennett of Venice, CA. Ben Hudson of Vicksburg, MS, received the Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship (2000, 2002). Kathy Diaz of Bronx, NY, won a Mellon Grant on NGOs and Forced Migration. Tamam Mango of Amman, Jordan, won the Boit Manuscript Second Prize. Karen Thundiyil of Rockford, IL, received an Anthony Sun MISTI Internship Award. Seniors inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society included Jeffrey Roberts of Troy, OH, and Jaisel Vadgama of Calgary, Canada.
Brett Ballard of Marietta, OH, won a Heifer Project/International/Cambodia Grant. The Phellan Fellowship from the International Labour Organization went to Monica Pinhanez of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Switzer Environmental Fellowships were presented to Cybele Chang of Glencoe, IL, and Carol Tucker of Westford, MA. Chang also won an American Association of University Women Education Grant.
Kris Kolodziej of Edison, NJ, won a National Council of State Garden Clubs Award (2001), Geospatial Information Technology Association Award (2001) and a GIScience 2000 Scholarship. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellows were Roxanne Figueroa of Berkeley, CA, Marisa Gaither of Los Angeles, CA, Antonio Gonzalez of San Francisco, CA, Moshe McKie-Krisberg of Berkeley, CA, Olga Merchan of Cali, Columbia, and Jesse Williamson of Berkeley, CA. Diana Aubourg of Cambridge, MA, and Jimar Wilson of Los Angeles, CA, were Woodrow Wilson/Public Policy and International Affairs Fellows. Aubourg was also a Harry S. Truman Scholar. Aubourg and George Proakis of Boston, MA, won Rappaport Public Policy Fellowships. Larisa Ortiz of Ossining, NY, received a Rappaport Internship.
The Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association gave the Student Project of the Year award to the team of Chang; Hilary Chapman of Lovettsville, VA; Jennifer James (MCP '01), Esther Lee of Bellevue, WA; Rachel Loeb of Kansas City, KS; Ronald Mallis of Brooklyn, NY; George Proakis of Boston, MA; Jeffrey Roberts of Troy, OH; and Frances Switkes of Santa Cruz, CA. Apiwat Ratanawaraha of Bangkok, Thailand won a Yenching Fellowship. Chapman won a Capital City Fellowship. An American Planning Association Smart Growth Congressional Fellowship went to Michael Donovan of Tacoma, WA. Celina Su of East Brunswick, NJ won a Javits Fellowship.
Liou Cao of Nanchang, China won Best Student Paper at the 2001 Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Annual Conference. The Charles Abrams Award went to Kathy Diaz of Bronx, NY. Laurie Goldman of Mineral Wells, TX received a HUD Early Doctoral Student Dissertation Grant. Ana Nogueira of Sao Paulo, Brazil won an Inter-American Development Bank Japan Scholarship. German Lleras of Bogota, Columbia and Sushila Maharjan of Kathmandu, Nepal received Fulbright Scholarships. Katherine Fichter of Boston, MA; Chitra Kumar of Granger, IN; Tina Rosan of New York, NY; and Emily Rubenstein of New York, NY were selected for Presidential Management Internships.
Local alumni/ae continued to play an active role in sponsoring internships for students, providing career advice at the alumni/ae career forums organized by each of the department's program groups and participating as guest lecturers in numerous classes. At the same time, the department stepped up efforts to enhance connections with alumni/ae across the country and abroad. In July 2001, DUSP hosted a well-attended alumni/ae reception in Shanghai in association with the Shanghai MIT Club on the occasion of the World Planning Schools Conference. In the fall, more than a dozen doctoral alumni/ae from across the country joined Chancellor Phil Clay, Department Chair Bish Sanyal, the DUSP PhD Committee, current PhD students and other DUSP faculty at a day-long session focused on Doctoral Planning Education Today. This session was part of the department's efforts to involve alumni/ae to a greater and more meaningful extent in discussions about curriculum.
In support of our Alumni/ae Relations Initiative's goal of establishing a series of regional groups across the US, Chancellor Phil Clay and Departmental Chair Bish Sanyal hosted a leadership breakfast in Washington, DC, in the fall and a leadership dinner in Chicago in the spring. The department also again hosted successful receptions for DUSP alumni/ae and prospective students in Los Angeles and New York City in the fall. Departmental receptions held at the annual conferences of the American Planning Association and Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning provided venues to catch up with alumni/ae from across the country. Local alumni/ae joined faculty and students at a special lecture by Manuel Castells and associated reception.
The department proudly presented the first annual Excellence in Public Service Awards to Kristin Harol (MCP '99) of Lawrence, MA, Anthony Ng (MCP '98) of Brooklyn, NY, and Colin Riley (MCP '00) of Boston, MA.
The Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) hosted sixteen fellows from Brazil, China, Ecuador, Korea, Latvia, Russia, and Venezuela. Of this year's fellows, five from China were sponsored by UNIDO and two from Ecuador and Venezuela completed the MS SPURS degree. The work of the fellows embraced several fields, including economic history and thoughts, economic development, infrastructure planning, low-income housing, NGO management, transportation infrastructure, and urban design and development.
The events of September 11 were felt in a special and troubling way in a program so specifically intended to deepen understanding across all national and cultural boundaries. This theme ran through the Spring Monday SPURS seminar series, which brought speakers from throughout the world to speak on the "Culture of Planning" in their home country.
In October 2001, we lodged a successful application with the Humphrey Fellowship Program in Washington to renew MIT as a site to host the Humphrey Fellows in urban and regional development for the period 2002–2008. As a result, this fall we will be welcoming five Humphrey Fellows alongside an expected group of about ten SPURS Fellows for a total group of about fifteen fellows.
The January SPURS Seminar brought forward vigorous and interesting presentations by this year's fellows under the title "Text and Context: A Toolbox for International Development." The IAP seminar also gave us the pleasure of welcoming Aprodicio (Prod) Laquian, who carried the responsibilities of director of the program during the spring semester while John de Monchaux took a sabbatical leave.
The core activities of the Center for Reflective Community Practice (CRCP) are organized around long-term community partnerships, through both inquiry-based practice and applied research. This year's activities included:
- Community reflection groups: Springfield and Lower Roxbury—These groups were made up of CRCP community fellows who agreed to be part of community-based groups meeting regularly to learn reflective practice techniques and apply them to their work in the community.
- Reflective practice seminars—CRCP initiated its first reflective practice seminar in February 2002 with a reflection seminar for community organizers to examine the theoretical framework and assumptions guiding their organizing practice.
- Funders' Seminar—CRCP hosted a two-day seminar for its funding partners aimed at examining the issues of bringing reflective practice into grant-making organizations, and reviewing tools and strategies for supporting reflective practice among grantees.
- Waitt Foundation grantee reflection and learning process—CRCP designed an approach for foundation directors and grantees to develop a context for reflection and learning from their partnership.
- Rockefeller project: Reflection on building racially inclusive democratic participation in communities—The center carried out the planning stage of a project to document the work of five community organizations involved in grassroots democracy-building work.
- Community Practice Exploratorium—CRCP conducted its first annual open forum showcasing the work, knowledge, and products that emerged from the year's seminars, studios, and fellowships. The exploratorium is open to DUSP students and faculty, funders, participants in the reflective practice seminars and members of our partner communities.
- Research and development—Research fellows Jass Stewart from Invent Media Corp and Thenmozhi Soundararajan from Third World Majority completed initial development of an online tool that will support the creation, storage and sharing of digital stories for communities, as well as support the use of digital stories for reflection and knowledge sharing. StoryLink is a multimedia tool that provides the infrastructure for individuals and communities to create, share, and network through their digital stories.
- Springfield Design Studio—The design studio provides opportunities for students from MIT to work with community residents on specific problems. This year, two workshop courses were offered as part of the studio. One assessed the available agency database that could be used to build a community information system. The other built the first health risk assessment layer for the community GIS system.
Faculty raised $512,989 in new funds for the following projects.
Faculty received funding from the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS) for a variety of projects. Professor Polenske received $29,000 to research the impact of yellow dust and its economic and health effects in China, Korea and Japan. She also has an AGS grant for $61,000 to study energy-efficient and low-pollution technologies in China. Professor Lawrence Susskind and Research Scientist David Laws received $40,000 of a larger AGS grant funding an examination of breakthroughs in the systems of sustainable technologies. They also have a $25,000 grant for the Wisconsin-Netherlands Environmental Learning Project, funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
CMI has funded a joint project with the Cambridge Department of Land Economy and Professor Bernard Frieden and Research Scientist Christie Baxter. MIT's portion is $221,989 over two years for "Creating Places for Enterprise Development."
Professor Klopfer received $22,000 from the committee that administers the Class of '51 Fund for Excellence in Education, the Class of '55 Fund for Excellence in Teaching, and the Class of '72 Fund for Educational Innovation for the Teacher Education Program Undergraduate Initiative.
Research Scientist Thomas Piper was granted $24,000 from the Boston Globe for the Beyond the Big Dig project.
For the seventh funding cycle, the department received $90,000 from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to support minority and economically disadvantaged graduate students. However, we have recently learned that MIT will not be able to continue receiving funds from this program.
After eight years of leadership, Professor Sanyal is stepping down as department head. He is succeeded by Professor Vale, a Margaret McVicar Faculty Fellow and associate head for the past two years. Ford Professor Langley Keyes joins the leadership team as associate department head.
More information about the Department of Urban Studies and Planning can be found on the newly redesigned web site at http://dusp.mit.edu/.