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Blakely Center Wins $154,000 Grant

Blakely Center Wins $154,000 Grant

Haynes Foundation will fund a UCR study of urban design and sustainability.

(October 25, 2007)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Edward J. Blakely Center for Sustainable Suburban Development has been awarded a $154,452 grant for a two-year study on the link between urban design and sustainability.

The study, called “The Hope of New Urbanism: Energy Conservation and Sustainability through Urban Design,” will be funded through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.

The study will investigate whether “new urbanism” residential design increases energy efficiency by reducing the number of miles driven and commutes. New urbanism, an urban design movement first appearing in the early 1980s, encourages a mix of housing and jobs within walkable communities, often close to mass transit and everyday amenities.

“Specifically, we are interested in whether residential design can lower energy consumption and help control pollution as new urbanism has claimed,” said Juliann Allison, associate professor of political science at UCR and principal investigator for the project. Allison also is associate director of the Blakely Center.

Co-principal investigators for the study will be Matthew Barth, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT); and Martin Johnson, associate professor of political science and co-director of the UCR Survey Research Center.

The project will analyze the commuting behavior of residents in two communities — Playa Vista in West Los Angeles and the Dos Lagos community in Corona. Mail and phone surveys will ask selected residents in both communities what factors influenced their move, how much they use live/work amenities built into their homes, and whether they take advantage of shopping, dining and entertainment available in their community. Residents also will be asked about their daily vehicle use and energy/gasoline consumption.

The study also will include complex traffic modeling by CE-CERT of newer residents in the two communities to determine if commute habits change from move-in through several fixed points in time over a six-month period. Respondents will log daily trips and points of origin and destination.

The Edward J. Blakely Center for Sustainable Suburban Development was established in 2003 to study all issues related to the growth and development of suburbs around the world. The Center is named after Edward J. Blakely, a native of San Bernardino and distinguished educator and researcher on urban and suburban issues. Blakely currently is executive director for Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans, where he is directing Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. He also is the chair of Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Sydney.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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