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U of U College of Architecture + Planning Moves into Overdrive

Reid Ewing, new addition to University of Utah Architecture + Planning faculty.

Jan 29, 2009 – With the addition of Reid Ewing to its faculty, the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning is taking aim at the top 20 city and metropolitan planning programs in the United States.

Dr. Ewing’s expertise in transportation and environmental issues adds an important dimension to the city and metropolitan planning program at the U, as the Wasatch Front is expected to double in size by 2050, according to Chris Nelson, an expert in metropolitan growth who also joined the Utah faculty last summer.

“By virtue of our faculty, our program has the potential to become a national leader in sustainable development,” Ewing notes.  “I see particular opportunities in planning for climate change and energy security.”  Ewing is co-author of Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change, written in collaboration with Keith Bartholomew, assistant professor at the U who researches the effects of transportation on the environment.

Most recently a research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth, Ewing hopes to establish a center for transportation research while at the university. “Being able to study transportation development in the West will be a critical component of the work that I do,” says Ewing. “Being in Salt Lake City offers a first-hand opportunity to see the growth happen and to play a role in helping others plan.”

Ewing has completed a number of highly influential transportation studies that examine issues critical to successful growth: transportation and the environment, transit-oriented developments, emergency evacuation, pedestrian and transit-friendly design, urban development and greenhouse gases, and the relationship between sprawl and obesity.  His 2003 article on sprawl and obesity is the most widely reported planning study ever.

“Dr. Ewing’s work in transportation and the environment is crucial to our mission,” says Tom Sanchez, chair of the department of city and metropolitan planning. “His background offers our students a unique opportunity to learn from one of the top transportation researchers in the country.

“With the power we’ve added, we are now planning to establish a doctoral program and a metropolitan research center,” Sanchez continues.  “Dr. Ewing will help us become one of the top-ranked planning programs in the United States, if not the top-ranked program in the West; that is our goal.”

Ewing is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, a columnist for Planning magazine, and a Fellow of the Urban Land Institute, an association of the nation’s most successful land developers. His academic credentials include a Ph.D. in urban planning and transportation systems from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master of city planning from Harvard University, a master of science in engineering and applied physics, Harvard University, and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Purdue University.

His previous professional positions include senior planner/engineer with Glatting Lopez Kercher Anglin, Inc., state representative to the Arizona legislature, and analyst for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Congressional Budget Office. His Best Development Practices is one of the best-selling books in the American Planning Association’s history.