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Manners Award


Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards

Recipients  ·  Announcement

2021 Manners Awardee

"Enhancing Participatory Planning with Spatial Prioritization Indices"

Michael R. Glass, PhD
Michael R. Glass, PhD
Senior Lecturer and Interim Director of the Urban Studies Program
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
University of Pittsburgh

ABSTRACT:   Critical infrastructure is a pressing concern for economic competitiveness and the quality of life of US citizens. Infrastructure development, maintenance and delivery tend to be understood and governed in highly localized terms. Yet because critical infrastructure systems frequently transcend local and state administrative boundaries, it is crucial to recognize that they almost always function more as a regional concern, both in terms of the regulatory spaces and constellations of actors involved. The problems facing different regions vary, meaning that infrastructure planning needs to remain sensitive to geographic contingencies and stakeholder perceptions at multiple scales. The diversity of regional populations and priorities creates problems for visioning exercises that intend to build consensus for large-scale infrastructural projects. This creates pervasive challenges for federally mandated organizations including Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) that allocate funds to meet transportation infrastructure needs. We propose developing a toolkit for infrastructure planning that draws on a novel regional application of geoinformatics. The technical, policy, and methodological insights of an interdisciplinary project team will redesign a sketch mapping methodology that has proven successful with neighborhood-scale projects for use in regional infrastructure planning. Sketch mapping integrates user perspectives of place with geospatial data analysis. We will partner with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) to test the tool as part of the current Transportation Improvement Program process. If we succeed, this new methodology has the potential to enhance participatory planning and prioritization of multiple critical infrastructure systems at the regional scales at which they are implemented, governed, and utilized.

Manners Award

Award Overview

Each year, the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) awards the Steven D. Manners Research Development Awards to promising research projects in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences on campus. These awards honor the memory of Steve Manners, a sociologist who began working at the Center in 1974 and served as its Assistant Director from 1989 until his death in September 2000. His research and service to the Center and the University community were dedicated to improving social conditions in the urban environment.

Steven MannersSteven D. Manners

We will make two awards of up to $20,000 each, contingent upon the quality of applications and availability of funds. The proposed research must align with UCSUR's mission of working collaboratively to conduct interdisciplinary research that improves communities and addresses social, economic, health, and policy issues most relevant to society. Full-time faculty, post docs, and research associates from all University of Pittsburgh campuses may apply.

Manners Award Summary List

University Center for Social & Urban Research
3343 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260   ·   412-624-5442