Topic 1: GIS for Transit Oriented Development
The first topic I am going to focus on for this course is the spatial analysis of public transportation services and land use pattern in terms of reducing the use of cars. Climate change increasingly poses serious issues on our society, and CO2 emission from transportation sector occupied large share in the total emission of CO2 in the United States, and has still been increasing. Needless to say, the largest CO2 emission source is the automobile use, therefore, it is key issue to encourage people to use public transportations instead of their cars as countermeasure against climate change.
In order to promote the use of public transportation, transportation planner must analysis urban travel demand such as commuting and shopping, and GIS can provide very helpful tool for them. Also, public transportation services need a certain amount of passengers for their financing to keep and enhance their service qualities, therefore, collaboration with land use planning, Transit Oriented Development (TOD), will play a key role in keeping and enhancing them.
In this course, I would like to practice analyzing traffic demand and land use pattern for TOD with referring some good cases such as San Francisco, CA, Seattle WA, and Portland OR. Following will be major spatial questions;
・How residential area and transportation service is connected? How is the population density around transportation service?
・Where do residents work and how to commute there?
・How is land use pattern around the transit service areas, and how are buildings used?
・How is the residential characteristics such as income level and ethnicity and housing quality around the transportation services.
・GIS for TOD; Transit Oriented Development in the San Francisco Bay Area
・Transit-oriented development in the Seattle, WA, USA, area
Effects of Light Rail Transit in Portland: Implications for Transit-Oriented Development Design Concepts
・Peter Calthorpe & William Fulton (2001) "The Regional City", Islands Press
Topic 2: Water quality issue of the Connecticut River
Another potential topic for this course is the water quality issues of the Connecticut River, which is the largest river in the New England, flowing through the border of New Hampshire and Vermont, western Massachusetts and Connecticut. The river was registered as one of the 14 American Heritage Rivers in 1997, and it has affluent wildlife, and can be used for recreations. However, the water quality of the river has been failing to meet the standard federal class B, which means that water quality is not fishable/ swimmable, and that it has been violating the Water Clean Act. The cause of inferior water quality is storm runoff from urbanized area expanded by sprawl and Combined Sewer Overflow issue. Especially, storm runoff and CSO from the Pioneer Valley region, which includes relatively large cities such as Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee while their infrastructures are not developed relatively, has given significant influence on the river's water quality significantly.
For this course project, I would like to analyze how the runoff from urban areas and CSO impact on the water quality of the Connecticut River actually, and what kind of bad influences by the water pollution can be recognized by the water pollution. Followings are the spatial questions;
・Where are the sources of water pollution of the Connecticut river? Where are the Combined Sewer Systems remained?
・How are storm runoff from urbanized areas and CSO impacting on the water quality of the river?
・How is the relation between residential characteristics and CSO? Are there any issues in terms of environmental justice?
・What kind of bad influences can be recognized in the polluted areas?
・Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, "Combined Sewer Overflows Fact Sheets"
・Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; "Connecticut River 5 year watershed action plan"
・Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, "Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies 2007"
・Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, "Valley Vision 2; The new regional land use plan for Pioneer Valley" http://pvpc.org/val_vision/html/plan_index.html#