Urban Planning Faculty present to legislators, staff about the importance of revitalizing Michigan cities

As part of the University of Michigan’s Wolverine Caucus Forums, Taubman College urban planning faculty will present sessions regarding the state of Michigan’s role in strengthening its cities and the significance of improving their infrastructure into the future.

Taubman College faculty members Margi Dewar, Joe Grengs and June Manning Thomas will discuss proposals that could help address regional inequities, including concerns with transportation access in Southeast Michigan, and the implications of widespread property abandonment in Detroit during their forum—entitled Creating a Vibrant Future for Michigan’s Cities: Why Urban Revitalization Matters!—on Friday, Feb. 12, 2010.

Their presentations are part of the 2010 Michigan Wolverine Caucus Forums, supported in part by U-M’s Office of Government Relations and Alumni Association office.

2010 Michigan Wolverine Caucus Forum Schedule:

The 2010 U.S. Census – How Will Michigan Fare? Featured speakers: State Representative Rebekah Warren, and Norma Rivas-Ricci, Senior Partnership Specialist, Detroit Regional Census Center, U.S. Census Bureau. Wed., Jan. 13, 2010, 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.

Creating a Vibrant Future for Michigan’s Cities: Why Urban Revitalization Matters!
Featured speakers: Professors Margi Dewar, Joe Grengs and June Thomas of the U-M Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. Fri., Feb. 12, 2010, 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.

The Role of the Great Lakes in Providing “Green Jobs for Blue Waters”
Featured speakers: This panel session will include John Austin (non-resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution), Jim Diana (Michigan Sea Grant) and Allen Burton (Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystem Research) and Don Scavia (Graham Institute for Sustainability) as moderator. Wed., March 17, 2010, 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
Return on Investment: Why the Cost of Higher Education is Worth It
Featured speaker: UM Provost Terry Sullivan will discuss the big national picture of economics vs. universities and the value of the University of Michigan in that discussion. (Note: MSU IPPSR has a forum the same date and time). Wed., April 14, 2010, 11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m., Christman Bldg., Lower Level.

Teaching Ethics in Research and Service in Today’s World
Featured speakers: Professor John Chamberlin, Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy, Professor of Political Science, College of LSA and Director, Office Provost and Executive Vice President Academic Affairs. Wed., June 9, 2010, 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.

What is the Role of Public Health in Health Care Reform?
Featured speakers: Dr. Matthew Boulton, Associate Dean for Practice and Director of the University of MI Preventive Medicine Residency; Dr. Greg Holzman, Chief Medical Executive for the State of MI – Michigan Department of Community Health; and a local person/graduate of the program – Dr. Dean Sienko who is an outstanding health officer/medical director in Ingham County. Wed., June 30, 2010, 11:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.

Elections 2010
Featured speaker: Political Scientist and Communications Professor Michael Traugott. Tues., Sept. 21, 2010, 11:30 a.m.—1:00 p.m., Christman Bldg., Lower Level.

U-M Taubman College Faculty Presenter Bios:

Margaret Dewar is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a faculty coordinator for housing, community, and economic development concentration. She is also the faculty director of the University’s Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning. She earned her Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Master of City Planning from Harvard University. Her research is in economic development, urban environmental planning, and urban land use. Dewar’s current projects are concerned with remaking cities following abandonment, strengthening deteriorated neighborhoods, and planning across the Great Lakes region. Her projects deal with how planners can address issues facing troubled industries, declining regions, cities with high rates of poverty, and low-income neighborhoods.

Joe Grengs is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan. He coordinates the transportation planning concentration and teaches courses in Transportation Policy, Geographic Information Systems, and Urban Theory. Professor Grengs is a certified planner and a registered professional engineer with work experience in both the private and public sectors and in international settings. He is an affiliate of the National Poverty Center and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at the University of Michigan. Also, he researches the relationships between transportation policy and urban development patterns. Other research interests include methods of spatial analysis, urban politics, and new forms of social movements emerging in the field of transportation.

June Manning Thomas is Centennial Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2003 she was inducted as a Fellow in the American Institute of Certified Planners. Dr. Thomas writes about diversification of the planning profession, planning history, and social equity in neighborhoods and urban revitalization. Recent research examined the implications of current research for urban policy in the state of Michigan, assessed the role of minority-race planners in the quest for a just city, explored the relationship between the concept of social equity and the civil rights movement, and examined the link between sustainability and social equity. She continues to explore planning history, particularly in Detroit, through examination of the evolution of thinking about public housing.

Forums will be held at the Christman/MML Building, 208 N. Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933.