THIS THURSDAY: 10-11-12 Lecture Series “The High Costs of Urban Sprawl”

Date – December 1, 2011
Time – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Place – The Leonardo, Salt Lake City, Utah

Part of the 10.11.12. Lecture Series, which features 10 urban planning professors in 2011-12.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Since World War II, urban or suburban sprawl has become the nation’s dominant development pattern. In widely cited studies, Ewing has rated metropolitan areas and counties with respect to this sprawl and studied the relationship between sprawl and such outcomes as walking and transit use, obesity rates, and greenhouse gas emissions. Much of South Salt Lake County (think Sandy and Draper) is classic sprawl. Much of North Salt Lake County is more compact, including downtown Salt Lake City, the Avenues, and Sugarhouse. Compact development is possible in newly developed and redeveloped areas such as City Creek, Gateway, and Daybreak. This lecture will review the available empirical evidence on the high costs of sprawl and the benefits of compact development, including reduced vehicle emissions, energy consumption, and traffic accidents and increased physical activity and social interaction. The lecture will also identify some benefits of sprawl. It will conclude with policy recommendations to increase the likelihood that Salt Lake City will look more like Boston and less like Atlanta in 2050.

Reid Ewing is a Professor of City & Metropolitan Planning and Director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah, associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, columnist for Planning magazine, Fellow of the Urban Land Institute, and member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED LP-Technical Advisory Group. Earlier in his career, he was Director of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University and research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth. He served two terms in the Arizona legislature, and worked on urban policy issues at the Congressional Budget Office. He holds masters degrees in Engineering and City Planning from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Transportation Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ewing’s research and writing are aimed at planning practitioners. He authored Developing Successful New Communities for the Urban Land Institute; Best Development Practices and Transportation and Land Use Innovations for the American Planning Association; and Traffic Calming: State-of-the-Practice for the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Best Development Practices made him APA’s top selling author for many years and is listed by the American Planning Association as one of the “100 Essential Books of Planning” over the past 100 years. His most recent books are Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change, written for EPA and published by the Urban Land Institute, and U.S. Traffic Calming Manual, co-published by the American Planning Association and American Society of Civil Engineers.

Ewing’s study of sprawl and obesity, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, received more national media coverage than any planning study before or since, reaching an estimated 41 million Americans. It was the most widely cited academic paper in the Social Sciences as of late 2005, according to Essential Science Indicators. His 1997 point-counterpoint on urban sprawl is listed as a classic by the American Planning Association. He has recently co-authored research published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Literature, Journal of Urban Design, Urban Design International, Environmental Practice, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Journal of Urbanism, Housing Policy Debate, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Transportation Research Record, and ITE Journal. In 2010, Ewing’s article with Robert Cervero of UC Berkeley, entitled “Travel and The Built Environment: A Meta-Analysis,” won the best article of the year award from the Journal of the American Planning Association.

The 10.11.12 lecture series is generously supported by APA Utah, EPG, FFKR Architects, Salt Lake City Corporation, the Utah Center for Architecture, and  VODA Landscape + Planning.