Author: Rob Goodspeed

New Article: ‘Digital Knowledge Technologies in Planning Practice: from Black Boxes to Media for Collaborative Inquiry’

Urban planning technologies are typically conceptualized in positivist terms, which results in a troubling gap between the assumptions of analytical tools and community concerns. Building on ideas from my dissertation, I address this gap in a recent theoretical article appearing in the journal Planning Theory & Practice. Here’s the abstract: Digital knowledge technologies such as […]

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Register now for #micities 2016, Sat., Oct. 8

Together with some great collaborators at the UM School of Information, I’m helping with another edition of the #micities, a one-day conference planned for Saturday, October 8th in Ann Arbor, MI. First held in 2014, this event focuses on the impact of new information technologies on cities, including topics like digital participation, civic technology, smart cities, […]

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New Article on the Analysis of Crowdsourced Visual Survey Data

New websites such as StreetSeen at The Ohio State University or Place Pulse at the MIT Media Lab use crowdsourcing to analyze urban landscapes by showing visitors a large number of paired Google Street View images, and asking them to pick the image which rates higher on the characteristic of interest (such as beauty, liveliness, walkability, etc). In a Research […]

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Review: Sadik-Khan’s Streetfight

Cities are complex, so they can be easily seen in different ways. The same urban block can be viewed as blighted, sustainable, congested, or a historic asset—all depending on who you ask. The fundamental importance seeing means that at the heart of graduate programs in urban planning are courses in observation—sometimes called “research methods”—the survey, the […]

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Building Better Information Tools for Environmental Management and Planning

Expanding access to high-quality data, geographic information systems (GIS), and web-based mapping technology have resulted in an ever-expanding collection of information tools for professionals working in professional fields like urban and environmental planning and management. While these tools hold great promise for improving professional practice, and a large number of have been created, their adoption has […]

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Key Questions for Civic Crowdfunding

I have begun developing a research collaboration with Katie Lorah from the civic crowdfunding organization ioby. We’ve decided to “think out loud,” and share some of our early thoughts about civic crowdfunding in an article published yesterday on Planetizen titled “More Than Money: Civic Crowdfunding for Participatory Community Development.” In the article we discuss three possible […]

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New U-M Course in Sustainability and Social Change

In the Winter 2016 term, I’ll be offering a new course at Michigan titled “How To Change the World: Sustainability and Social Change.” After developing a shared theoretical perspective about social structure, the course considers and critiques several popular change paradigms including the adoption of disruptive innovations, social entrepreneurship, and tactical urbanism. The aim of the course […]

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