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In this issue: West Coast Drought Study, School Siting and Transportation, Realm of Entrepreneurship Call for Papers, News from the Center
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New Research Shows Five Centuries of West Coast Drought Patterns  
     A severe drought began in California in 2012 and extended across the West Coast by the end of 2013. By spring of 2015, drought emergencies were declared in California, Oregon, and Washington. A newly published study by Erika K. Wise considers this drought in a paleoclimatic (study of past climates) context. Wise uses tree ring records to examine how atmospheric circulation may have resulted in surface hydroclimate patterns like drought. 
     Wise, a CURS faculty fellow, associate professor of geography and head of the Climate & Tree Ring Environment Science research group, recently published her findings, Five centuries of U.S. West Coast drought: Occurrence, spatial distribution, and associated atmospheric circulation patterns, in the Geophysical Research Letters of the American Geophysical Union.
     This drought may have been exacerbated by human-induced climate change, but Wise's study found that the West Coast is a region with high climate variability and large uncertainty concerning future precipitation. Droughts like the one the West is currently experiencing, though relatively rare, have occurred periodically over the past 500 years.
     Read more about Wise’s research, which is supported by an NSF grant, here.
School Siting and Transportation Study Leads to Development of Online Module and Workshops
     Elementary and secondary school enrollments in the United States are expected to increase by 7 percent between 2010 and 2021, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. As communities struggle to meet growing numbers of students, local officials must consider a wide range of factors when planning new education facilities. Despite its importance, school siting has typically been disconnected from transportation and local land use planning.

     A new online tool, School Siting: An Introduction to the School Transportation and Land Use Nexus, seeks to bridge this gap by providing planners, school officials, and policymakers essential information about the impacts of schools siting decisions. The centerpiece of the module is The School Travel Cost Calculator, a public and private cost analysis tool that estimates upfront public capital costs and annual public and private operational and maintenance costs based on a school site’s locational attributes.
     The developers of this tool, CURS Faculty Fellow Noreen McDonald, associate professor and chair, Department of City & Regional Planning, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ruth Steiner, professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida, and Doctoral Candidate W. Mathew Palmer, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, noted that “this is the first resource of its kind. It pulls many threads of research together to help solve school siting problems.”
     This work was sponsored by a grant from the Southeastern Transportation, Research, Innovation, Development and Education (STRIDE) Center.
The Realm of Entrepreneurship: The Local Perspective - Call for Papers
Call for papers deadline: October 31, 2016
Workshop In Trento, Italy: March 13-14, 2017


     CURS is pleased to announce an international workshop on The Realm of Entrepreneurship: The Local Perspective. The workshop will highlight the nature and role of entrepreneurship in modern developed and emerging economies, and its relation to governments, universities and the nonprofit sector. It aims to explain the growth and performance of economies and resilience or vulnerability to crisis with an emphasis on innovation processes and patterns at the local level and in small- and medium-sized enterprises.
     The workshop will take a comparative approach in looking at entrepreneurship and its interplay with governance and the generation of knowledge by focusing on three distinct international cases: a dominant emerging economy (China), a developed independent market economy (United States) and integrated developed market economies – both resilient and vulnerable – within the Eurozone common currency area.
     Theoretical, empirical and methodological analyses and case studies from a wide range of disciplines are welcome. 
     The workshop will take place at the University of Trento on March 13-14, 2017. The organizers will offer accommodations and meals to those selected to present papers at the workshop.
     Partners in this effort include: DELoS (Development Economics and Local Systems) Ph.D. program, Doctoral School of Social Sciences,Department of Economics and Management and School in Social Sciences, University of Trento, Department of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Florence; in collaboration with Department of City & Regional Planning and Center for Urban and Regional Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the School of Economics and Centre for Research of Private Economy, Zhejiang University.
     This workshop is the first of three, to be followed by future events hosted in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Zhejiang, China. For more information on the workshop or the call for papers visit here.
News from the Center

New CURS Scholar-in-Residence (SiR)
Elizabeth Olson     UNC’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Olson, associate professor, Geography and Global Studies, is our Scholar-in-Residence for 2016-17. The SiR program provides a course buy-out and funds for proposal development expenses so that faculty members in the social and behavioral sciences can develop large, ideally interdisciplinary, research proposals.
     Olson will use this opportunity to work with UNC-Chapel Hill collaborators, and consult with members of the Caregiving Youth Research Collaborative (CYRC), to study the experiences of young adult caregivers (17-25 years old) who are enrolled in post-secondary degree-granting programs.
     Her proposed project is one branch of a broader research program focused on youth caregivers, or young people who provide essential care for family members suffering from chronic illness, disease, or disability. 

Urban 2 Point 0 Examines Transportation Affordability in NC's Largest Metro Areas

     Urban 2 Point 0's latest series of blog posts examine the issue of transportation affordability in North Carolina’s three largest metro areas: Charlotte, the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham), and the Triad (Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem). Each post features interactive maps that allow readers to visualize job access and transportation costs for several income levels/household configurations.
 
#ICYMI: UNC Signs MOU with Beijing Jiaotong University
     A delegation from Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) visited The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on May 9, 2016 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and to explore new opportunities for collaboration. 
     The agreement formalizes the partnership between the two universities, which was initiated through research collaborations on urban and regional transportation planning led by CURS Faculty Fellow Yan Song, professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) and director of the Program on Chinese Cities (PCC). Song, along with then DCRP Chair Roberto Quercia and Bill Rohe, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies, traveled to Beijing last year to establish the Consortium for Urban and Regional Transportation, a collaboration between UNC-Chapel Hill and BJTU. “The consortium will enable research collaboration, student exchange, and many other activities between our two campuses,” said Song.
    In addition to this agreement, UNC's PCC has also developed the UNC-Peking University Consortium for Urban and Regional Planning and Management, an agreement with the College of Economics at Harbin Institute of Technology, and an agreement with Eco-forum organized by China's Ministry of Housing and Urban and Rural Development.

CURS Welcomes New Faculty Fellows
  • Townsend Middleton, is an New CURS Faculty Fellowsassistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. As a cultural anthropologist who specializes in political anthropology in South Asia, his research is organized around questions of recognition, belonging, autonomy, and the politics thereof.
  • Jeremy Moulton, assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy, works in the fields of public and labor economics. His research primarily utilizes public policy shocks as “natural experiments” to investigate labor market outcomes, retirement decision-making, and the intergenerational transmission of wealth and education. 
  • Danielle Spurlock is an assistant professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning. Her work focuses on plan and policy implementation and addresses policy questions in the areas of planning, public health, environmental and social justice, and dispute resolution.
  • Andrew Whittemore is an assistant professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning. Whittemore’s research focuses on urban form and design, planning history and theory, land use planning and zoning, primarily in the North American context.
Fall 2016
Also in this issue...

New Research Shows Five Centuries of West Coast Drought Patterns

School Siting and Transportation Study Leads to Development of Online Module and Workshops

The Realm of Entrepreneurship: The Local Perspective - Call for Papers

News from the Center
Created in 1957, the Center for Urban and Regional Studies is one of the oldest university-based research centers of its kind. The Center’s mission is to promote and support high-quality basic and applied research on urban, regional, and rural planning and policy issues.
CURS is part of the national conversation about the affordable housing crisis that has emerged on social media. Researchers at CURS have a deep understanding of the challenges of finding affordable housing in the open market and of the obstacles facing public housing authorities as they strive to provide homes and promote economic mobility among our most vulnerable populations. Follow us!
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Faculty Fellow Grant Award Announcements

Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for Three Small Towns in Mississippi
Brian Morton (STRIDE)

Chokepoints: A Comparative Global Ethnography
Townsend Middleton (NSF)

Developing a How-To Guide for Public Housing Authorities Interested in Applying for the Moving to Work Program
Bill Rohe (Housing Authority Insurance Group)

Economic Development Incentives Research
Bill Lester & Nichola Lowe (Kauffman Foundation)

Evaluating the Relationship Between School Site Selection, Residential Developments and School Transportation in North Carolina
Noreen McDonald (STRIDE)

Planning for India's Urban Century
Meenu Tewari & Simon Alder (World Bank)


Technology-Transfer Workshops Based on “A Regional Land Use-Transportation Decision Support Tool for Mississippi"
 Brian Morton & Bill Rohe (STRIDE)
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