Prof. Ward Ward Lyles, PhD, AICP

Assistant Professor
Primary office:
785-864-2553
317A Marvin Hall
Room 317A


Dr. Lyles’ research and teaching interests center on the intersection of people, the built environment, and the natural environment. His current research projects explore 1) the use of planning to reduce long-term risks from natural hazards and climate change, 2) the use of social network analysis to examine the role of planners in local planning efforts, and 3) applying content analysis methods to evaluate planning documents.

Dr. Lyles has published articles in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Cityscape, the Journal of Planning Literature, and Natural Hazards Review, plus other journals. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also worked as a post-doctoral research associate. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., he lived in Madison, Wisconsin, where he worked at 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, a planning-oriented non-profit organization, co-founded Madison Magnet, a social capital-oriented non-profit organization, and was very engaged in the civic and political life of the city. Dr. Lyles is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Teaching

Engagement. All my teaching and mentoring extends from a desire to engage students. I structure my courses to engage each student with academic content, with their peers, with the experienced world beyond campus, with me as instructor, and with their own personality, values and approach to learning and action. I firmly believe – and have experienced in the classroom – that students learn more deeply through active learning in a safe, respectful environment that challenges everyone to engage socially and emotionally, as well as intellectually.

Classroom Teaching

All my courses employ active learning approaches. I emphasize concept application and evaluation, structured interactions that simulates professional settings, and student and instructor accountability. I teach one course (Quantitative Methods) strictly available to graduate students, mostly in Urban Planning, one course (Planning the American City) strictly available to undergraduates, and two courses (Sustainable Land Use Planning and Environmental Planning Techniques) primarily intended for urban planning graduates students interested in human-environment interactions. I have also taught an online course (Planning for Climate Change and Disasters) that focused on actually writing climate plans for cities in Kansas and Missouri that do not have them currently.

Teaching Interests

  • Environmental Planning
  • Land Use Planning
  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Sustainable
  • Planning
  • Cities
  • Natural Hazards
  • Climate Change
  • Mitigation
  • Adaptation

Research

Focus

Reducing long-term risks to individuals, communities, and nations from disasters and climate change is a grand challenge of the 21st century – perhaps the grand challenge facing humanity. Generating better understanding of risk-reduction planning processes and is essential for creating more sustainable and resilient communities. In my research program I aim to advance theoretical frameworks and conceptual understandings on how to develop policy and planning practices that foster better interactions between human and natural systems.

To date, my research has focused on five main areas: substantively: 1) natural hazards mitigation and 2) climate change adaptation; procedurally: 3) planning processes and implementation; and methodologically: 4) planning evaluation and 5) network analysis. In addition to its direct contributions to knowledge on risk reduction, my hazards and climate-focused research program has broader implications for other areas of environmental management and planning and policy more generally.

Research Interests

  • Environmental Planning
  • Land Use Planning
  • Research Methods
  • Statistics
  • Sustainable
  • Planning
  • Cities
  • Natural Hazards
  • Climate Change
  • Mitigation
  • Adaptation
  • Social Networks
  • Network Analysis
  • Plan Quality
  • Plan Implementation

Memberships

American Institute of Certified Planners
American Planning Association
International Research Committee on Disasters (International Sociological Association)
Planning Evaluation Lab, University of British Columbia
Institute of Policy and Social Research, University of Kansas

Selected Publications

Lyles W.  Accepted.  “Using Social Network Analysis to Examine Planner Involvement in Environmentally-Oriented Planning Processes Led by Non-Planning Professions” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management

Lyles, W. and M. Stevens.  October 9, 2014 (online)  “Plan Quality Evaluation 1994-2012: Growth and Contributions, Limitations, and New Directions.” (Journal of Planning Education and Research)  DOI: 10.1177/0739456X14549752

Lyles, W., P. Berke and G. Smith.  2014.  “Do Planners Matter?  Examining Factors Driving Incorporation of Land Use Approaches into Hazard Mitigation Plans” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 57(5): 792-811.

Lyles, W., P. Berke, and G. Smith. 2014. “A Comparison of Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Quality in Six States, USA”  Landscape and Urban Planning 122: 89-99.

Berke, P., W. Lyles, and G. Smith.  2014.  “Impacts of Federal and State Hazard Mitigation Policies on Local Land Use Policy” Journal of Planning Education and Research 34: 60-76.

Stevens, M.R., W. Lyles and P. Berke.  2014.  “Measuring and Reporting Intercoder Reliability in Plan Quality Evaluation Research.”  Journal of Planning Education and Research 34: 77-93.

Smith, G., W. Lyles, and P. Berke. 2013. “The Role of Hazard Mitigation Planning in Building Local Capacity and Commitment: A Tale of Six States” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 31(2): 178-203.

Berke, P. and W. Lyles.  2013. “Public Risks and the Challenges to Climate Adaptation: A Proposed Framework for Planning in the Age of Uncertainty” Cityscape 15(1): 181-208

Dempwolf, C.S. and W. Lyles. 2012. “The Uses of Social Network Analysis in Planning: A Review of the Literature” Journal of Planning Literature. 27(1): 3-21.

Berke, P, G. Smith, and W. Lyles.  2012. “Planning for Resiliency: An Evaluation of State Hazard Mitigation Plans under the Disaster Mitigation Act” Natural Hazards Review 13: 139-150.

Horney, J., A. Naimi, W. Lyles, M. Simon, D. Salvesen and P. Berke.  2012. “Assessing the relationship between hazard mitigation plan quality and rural status in a cohort of 59 counties from 3 states in the Southern United States.” Challenges 3: 183-193.


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