The academic year is coming to a close, and the Bloustein School is eagerly preparing for graduation. This is an exciting time of the year for us as we see the tangible results of our work – 42 urban planning and 23 new public policy masters graduates. This is an exciting time to be involved in planning and public policy as the state and federal governments are incubating innovative solutions for the challenges faced by our state and nation. Enrollment in both of the masters programs continues to grow as the school rises through the ranks of institutions that offer degrees in planning and public policy. Six new PhDs will continue our long tradition of noteworthy scholarship. This year, Representative Robert Andrews (NJ-1) will address our graduates at our Convocation Ceremony on Sunday, May 17th at 1:00 pm, at the Nicholas Music Hall on Douglass Campus.
The beginnings of this tradition of scholarship can be found in a recent listing by the American Planning Association of the 100 Essential Books of Planning. The list includes two books by members or former members of our faculty. Urban Planning Analysis by Donald A. Krueckeberg is cited as a clearly written introduction to basic quantitative techniques of urban planning and policy analysis that includes solid chapters on survey research and analysis, population forecasting, transportation modeling, and program analysis and management, including time-sequence scheduling. The Fiscal Impact Handbook by Bloustein Professors Robert Burchell and David Listokin is described as a planning classic on the important topic of assessing development impact on the fiscal condition of the local government. This is a comprehensive treatment of cost-revenue analysis and the limitations of different approaches.
Donald Krueckeberg, PhD, was a highly respected scholar and beloved colleague at the Bloustein School from 1967 until his death in 2006. His interests included examination of the importance of eminent domain, property theory and policy, and planning methods. We dedicated a collection of his books and scholarly research in November to form the Krueckeberg Library on the second floor of the Civic Square Building. We hope that this collection will preserve the tradition of outstanding scholarship and service that Don’s life exemplified.
Our newest cohort of PhD students detailed their scholarship at the first annual Krueckeberg Doctoral Conference in Planning and Public Policy on April 24th. Two of our most recently appointed faculty members, Robert Noland, PhD and Gabriella Carolini, PhD, served as moderators of presentations by Debra Borie-Holtz, Andrew Zitcer, Natash Tursi, Judd Schechtman, Samonne Montgomery, Hsiu-Tzu (Betty) Chang, Alan Cander, and Mi Shih. Their research covers topics such as the legal impediment to reducing greenhouse gases, a look at retail food cooperatives, an analysis of HUD’s Moving-to-Opportunity Program, historic patterns in urban redevelopment and eminent domain in Newark among other current planning and policy issues. Our students’ research is both local and global in scope, but it is all geared to resolving long-standing problems and those that have more recently come to the fore.
Did you ever wonder how planning got its start? Stuart Meck, Director of the Center for Government Services, examines the origins of city planning at the first national conference on city planning in the April 2009 issue of Planning and Environmental Law published by the American Planning Association. This year marks the centennial of the first meeting of planners held in Washington, D.C. What concerns were on the minds of planners in 1909? They looked at congestion, affordable housing, zoning, and the impact of mass transit on cities and regions. If you add energy, the environment, and sustainability, you would have a list for the 21st century.
By the time you read this, the Bloustein School and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development will have participated in the first ever Rutgers Day. The Heldrich Center presented “Solutions at Work: Discover the Heldrich Center,” and in partnership with the Bloustein School, hosted two workshops: “Are you up to the Job?: Skills that Work in New Jersey” and “Autism and Work: New Insights and Opportunity.” Visitors were encouraged to find out “What’s ‘New’ in New Brunswick” while on a walking tour and then view “Cities of the Future: New Urbanism in New Jersey.” If you prefer political action, then “Googling for Good: Community Action in the Internet Age” was a helpful way to find outlets for your energy. We encourage everyone to find “Nature in Your Neighborhood” whether that neighborhood is urban, suburban, exurban or rural. This represents just one day and one way in which the Bloustein School serves the people of New Jersey and is the beginning of a tradition of sharing our scholarship and making it relevant to the diverse constituencies in the Garden State.
The economy continues to put constraints on our resources. We are challenged every day with choices regarding the most efficient use of our ever dwindling funds. Our new graduates, the tangible results of our efforts, inspire us to keep moving forward despite our financial challenges. We deeply appreciate the support that we receive from all of you.