Faculty members in the KU Urban Planning Department are engaged, successful scholars. Our work ranges from articles in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals to professional reports for planning agencies. Faculty research enriches planning students’ classroom experience, and enhances the University of Kansas and the broader community of planning scholars and practitioners. Please see below for a summary of faculty research interests, current projects and some of our recent publications or click here to see faculty profiles and a detailed list of their achievements.
Transportation has always intrigued me: it is inherently ecologically noxious yet critical to the survival of humans and all other species. My research has examined how transportation functions within various contexts of the built environment, cultures, and organizational structures. Impacts internal and external to the transportation system, equity, and the balance of benefits and costs among stakeholders have recurred as themes in my work. I have conducted modally specific work related to public transit, aviation, and pedestrian environments, but my work fundamentally analyzes the integration of all parts of transportation systems, as well as the role of transportation in the comprehensive context of planning for current and future generations. My most recent research projects have focused on stakeholder roles in shouldering the costs associated with infrastructure life cycles. Students I have mentored have conducted evaluations of the influence of vehicle marketing on personal transportation choices, job access, and the potential for long-range planning to reduce surges in intercity travel demand.
Selected Recent Publications
Chowdhury, M.; Dunning, A.; Putman, B. J.; and, Pang, W. (Draft July 2013). “Rate of Deterioration of South Carolina Bridges and Pavement as Affected by Trucks,” a report prepared for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, SPR 694.
Dunning, A. E. (2009). Recreational Areas, ITE Transportation Planning Handbook, edited by Michel D. Meyer for the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Sturm, J.; Chowdhury, M.; Dunning, A.; and, Ogle, J. (2011). Analysis of Cost Estimation Disclosure in Environmental Impact Statements for Surface Transportation Projects, Transportation: Planning, Policy, Research, Practice, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp. 525-544.
My search for effective planning practices results in research projects drawing from my own experiences as a practicing planner and my educational background in the related fields of urban planning, political science, and public administration. All three fields seek to understand how elected officials, public servants, and citizens interact with each other, governmental structures, and bureaucratic agencies to pursue the common good. I am interested in the impact of institutions (elections, types of city government, organizations), culture (organizational cultures, professional cultures, social capital, and civic capital), and individuals (city planners, public administrators, elected officials, citizens) on public policy. This agenda results in research on civic bureaucracy, planning practice, media and planning, public service, and transportation and land use policy related to sustainability.
Selected Recent Publications
Johnson, B. J. and Lyles, W. (2016). The Unexamined Staff Report: Results from an Evaluation of a National Sample. Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(1), 22-36.
Johnson, B. J. and Halegoua, G. R. (2015). Can Social Media Save a Neighborhood Organization? Planning Practice & Research, 30(3), 248-269.
Johnson, B. J. (2014). Codes of Ethics, Public Values, and What Public Servants Offer the Bureaucratic Compact. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, 17(4), 459-497.
Johnson, B. J. (2012). TV, Boon or Bane? Interactive Democracy and a Televised Town Meeting. Planning Theory & Practice. 13 (2), 275-293.
Johnson, B. J. (2012). Public Service Motivation and the Technical, Political, and Facilitator Roles of City Planners. International Journal of Public Administration, 35 (1), 30-45.
My research and teaching interests center on the intersection of people, the built environment, and the natural environment. Over the last few years, I have studied the use of land use approaches to reduce long-term risks from natural hazards and climate change. I couple concepts and tools from social network analysis, collaborative planning, and plan evaluation to increase our understanding of how communities can work cooperatively in planning processes to more effectively steer development out of hazardous locations. Methodologically, I have used content analysis, statistical analysis, surveys, interviews and case studies in my work. My work has been supported by the US Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation and the Public Entity Risk Institute.
Selected Recent Publications
Johnson, B. J., & Lyles, W. 2016. The Unexamined Staff Report: Results From an Evaluation of a National Sample. Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(1), 22-36.
Lyles, W., P. Berke, and G. Smith. 2015. "Local plan implementation: assessing conformance and influence of local plans in the United States." Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 0265813515604071.
Lyles, W. 2015. "Using social network analysis to examine planner involvement in environmentally oriented planning processes led by non-planning professions." Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 58(11): 1961-1987.
My research is focused on the provision of affordable housing and the behavior of housing markets. Much of my work is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helping it understand the workings of its various housing assistance and housing finance programs. My most recent work examines the effectiveness of the Housing Choice Voucher program at helping the poor relocate to safe neighborhoods that offer opportunities for good schools and gainful employment. This work involves analysis of HUD’s many assisted housing data sets, joining them with Census and other data for neighborhoods across the nation.All of this work is designed to help communities and HUD better implement programs to provide affordable housing where needed.
Selected Recent Publications:
McClure, K., Schwartz, A. F, & Taghavi, L. (2015). Housing Choice Voucher Location Patterns a Decade Later. Housing Policy Debate, 25(2), 208-214.
Re-examining the characteristics of census tracts where Housing Choice Voucher households locate, updating a HUD study from 2003.
McClure, K. (2013) Which Metropolitan Areas Work Best for Poverty Deconcentration with Housing Choice Vouchers. Cityscape 15(3): 209-236, 2013.
Examination of the variation between metropolitan areas in terms of the proportion of Housing Choice Voucher households entering low-poverty census tracts.
McClure, K. “Rethinking Federal Housing Policy.” With John Landis. Journal of the American Planning Association 76(3): 319-348, 2010.
Invited article outlining needed changes in federal affordable housing policy.
My research focuses broadly in the realm of environmental planning and sustainability. I am especially interested in questions of what conditions facilitate new sustainability practices at the local government level, and within higher education. My recent work has examined innovations in stormwater management, campus sustainability plans, water quality perceptions, and the future of rural Kansas communities. I am currently part of a 5-year, National Science Foundation-funded grant project team looking at how biofuels production and climate change concern are influencing Kansas farmer land use decisions. I enjoy and typically use qualitative research methods, especially interviews.
Selected Recent Publications
White, S.S.. 2010. “Out of the Rubble and Towards a Sustainable Future: The “Greening” of Greensburg, Kansas.” Sustainability 2, 7: 2302-2319. Available online at: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/7/2302/>>
A case study of Greenburg, Kansas’s sustainability-focused recovery from the 2007 tornado.
White, S.S.. (2014) Campus Sustainability Plans in the United States: Where, What, and How to Evaluate? International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 15 (2): 228-241
An analysis of sustainability plans for U.S. institutions of higher education.
White, S.S, and T. Selfa. 2013. Shifting Lands: Exploring Kansas Farmer Decision-making in an Era of Climate Change and Biofuels Production. Environmental Management 51(2): 379-391. DOI: 101007/s00267-012-9991-6.
An examination of key issues that drive farmer decisions in an era of environmental uncertainty.