Graebert and SPDC PhD student Dalton presented on World Class Corridor project at WSEAS Conference

MSU Land Policy Institute's associate director Mary Beth Graebert and Robert Dalton, PhD student in the School of Planning, Design and Construction, presented at the World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society Conference.

September 30, 2015

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Mary Beth Graebert, associate director of the MSU Land Policy Institute

On Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, MSU Land Policy Institute's associate director Mary Beth Graebert and Robert Dalton, PhD student in the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC), presented the “Core Elements of a World Class Built Environment” at the World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society (WSEAS) Conference, which took place at the MSU Union Sept. 20-22, 2015.

In this era of shifting demographics, fossil fuel energy scarcity and global economic and environmental challenges, what defines a “world class” city? During their presentation, Graebert and Dalton shared the ten most important and prevalent factors of world class communities that were identified and applied in a design for the 4.5-mile Michigan/Grand River Avenue corridor in Lansing-East Lansing, MI. These factors included functional and attractive; private-public partnerships with anchor institutions; compact, connected and oriented downtowns; diverse, affordable housing options; livable neighborhoods; resilient and scale-appropriate infrastructure; carbon neutrality, and building and community scale; regional interdependence and community vision; green, resilient ecosystems; and inclusivity and innovation. They also discussed that during the design process, which engaged many stakeholders, the key needs and opportunities for development in the corridor were identified as connectivity (transportation), opportunity (jobs) and density and mixed use (housing). The result was a vision for a creative and globally competitive atmosphere where individuals can work, live, learn, and play.

Other speakers during this session included:

  • Jon Burley, PhD, associate professor of Landscape Architecture at SPDC, spoke about “A Cluster Analysis Comparison of Classical Chinese Gardens with Modern Chinese Gardens;”

  • Barbara Firman-Mcmanus, SPDC PhD student, presented on “Belle Isle State Park: The Case of Race;” and

  • Rohit Menon, an MSU master’s student in Environmental Design, talked about the “Built Environment Core Values and the Creation of a New University School.”

The WSEAS is an international organization that promotes the development of novel mathematical methods and computational techniques, as well as their applications in science, in general, and engineering, in particular. Its main activities revolve around collaboration with universities and organization of scientific conferences all around the world, publication of proceedings, books, monographs and journals and any other activity that advances the science. The SPDC's Jon Burley assisted in organizing the Landscape Architecture portion of the 2015 WSEAS Conference at MSU.


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