Livable communities are places that seek to balance economic and natural assets to meet the diverse needs of local residents by offering a variety of housing choices, convenient transportation options, healthy lifestyle options, reduced air and water pollution, and protection of natural landscapes.
As part of its Integrated Assessment (IA) Program, the Graham Institute for Environmental Sustainability is announcing five planning grants that will take place during the next six months. These projects, each receiving $20,000, will determine the feasibility of conducting a comprehensive assessment of key interventions that promote livable communities and sustainable transportation.
Don Scavia, director of the Graham Institute, Graham Family Professor and special counsel to the president for sustainability, says the IA process is ideally suited to, "leverage interdisciplinary faculty expertise to examine livable communities by using the lens of sustainable transportation. The IA will advance livability principles by generating datasets, tools, policy options, and a network of stakeholders that will be extremely useful for decision makers in private and government sectors."
The five projects listed involve 13 U-M faculty from six academic units, and nine different communities — Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Francisco, Portland, Tacoma, Olympia, Kalamazoo, Ypsilanti, and Detroit.
The principal investigators and their projects are:
• Richard Gonzalez, Institute for Social Research — Consumer Uptake of Seamless, Multi-Modal Mobility (the New Mobility Grid): Policies and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Affecting Behavior of Users and Decision Makers
• Larissa Larsen and Joe Grengs, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning — Integrated Assessment to Provide Healthy Food and Transportation Access for Lower Income Populations in Eastern Washtenaw County
• Richard Norton, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning — Realigning Public Services for Sustainability & Social Equity in Kalamazoo County
• Steve Underwood, UM-Dearborn — An Integrated Assessment of the Potential for Innovative, Disruptive Applications of Technology for Transportation to Advance Livability and Sustainability
Teams that successfully meet planning grant objectives will be invited to submit full IA proposals from which the Graham Institute will select a limited number to support at approximately $150,000 per project year during a 15-month period.