The Economic Benefits of Safe Routes to School

June 29, 2015

Efforts to improve conditions for walking and bicycling near schools can increase safety and travel by foot and bicycle. It turns out these initiatives can also help school districts save money, according to Noreen McDonald, CURS faculty fellow and associate professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. In a recently published research brief “The Economic Benefits of Safe Routes to School,” McDonald explains that many school districts can save significant amounts of money by reducing the need for hazard busing — a practice where districts bus students living within walking distance of their schools because the students face hazardous walking and biking conditions.

Read more in the research brief about hazard busing and communities that can save money while providing safer routes for kids to walk and bike to school.

 

 

Dr. Rohe Visits China as First Step Toward Establishment of Consortium for Urban and Regional Transportation

June 23, 2015

Bill Rohe (second from right) and Roberto Quercia (right) are presented with calligraphy to honor the emerging collaboration between UNC-CH and BJTU.

Bill Rohe (second from right) and Roberto Quercia (right) are presented with calligraphy to honor the emerging collaboration between UNC-CH and BJTU.

CURS Director Bill Rohe returned yesterday from a whirlwind trip to China during which he presented research in three cities (Beijing, Tianjin and Chongqing) and participated in a signing ceremony expressing the intent to establish a Consortium for Urban and Regional Transportation. The Consortium will bring researchers from Beijing Jiaotong University’s (BJTU) Department of Urban Planning, School of Architecture and Design, and Institute of Urban Planning & Design together with faculty and staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s (UNC-CH) Department of City and Regional Planning, Center for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS), and Program on Chinese Cities. Professor Rohe, director of CURS, was joined on the trip by Professor Roberto Quercia, chair of the UNC-CH Department of City and Regional Planning. Professor Yan Song, director of the Program on Chinese Cities, was also a signatory of the letter of intent.

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Concentrations of Housing Choice Voucher Recipients in Charlotte Neighborhoods with Higher High School Dropout Rates

June 2, 2015

A recent Harvard study examining the long-term impact of moving families in public housing to better neighborhoods with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs)—which subsidize households’ rent in private-market apartments—found that children who moved under this program had improved chances of achieving upward economic mobility. The research generated significant media coverage, including this interactive feature in the New York Times, in part because previous studies of this program—known as Moving to Opportunity—indicated that relocation with HCVs had not significantly improved the lives of recipients. Continue reading

Former CURS Director Jonathan Howes Dies at 78

Jonathan Howes / Photo by Dan Sears, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jonathan Howes / Photo by Dan Sears, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

June 2, 2015

Jonathan Broome Howes, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies from 1970 to 1992, passed away last weekend at the age of 78. He will be remembered as a vibrant, dedicated and compassionate leader and public servant.

In 1959, Jonathan, who was completing his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, worked at the Center as a research assistant. After graduation, he left Chapel Hill to work at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development but was recruited back to the University by F. Stuart Chapin, Jr., the outgoing director, to lead the Center into a new era of translating research into practice. Jonathan encouraged his staff to apply the Center’s research expertise to the problems facing urban America and to engage with local and state agencies. He led by example, serving as City Council member for the town of Chapel Hill for over a decade, and as a two-term mayor of Chapel Hill, all while continuing his leadership of the Center and teaching at the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning. Continue reading