The winner of the 2016 CLASS Fund Award goes to Dr. Galen Newman, Principal Investigator, Texas A&M University for his submission entitled "Smart Shrinkage: Design for the In-developing Landscape." Dr. Newman's co-principal investigator is Associate Professor Justin Hollander of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University.
The award-winning proposal “will investigate the Land Transformation Model (LTM), a geographic information systems (GIS)-based model to explore the (land) vacancy issue in an effort to alleviate systems of urban decline. The LTM is generally accepted as one of the more accurate artificial neural networks (ANN)-based land-use/land-cover models.”
“We are extremely excited to receive such a prestigious award,” said Dr. Newman. “Our sincere appreciation goes out to CELA and the CLASS Fund Committee. I will add that myself and a graduate student, Jaekyung Lee, have actually been hard at work testing the accuracy of existing land use prediction models and have developed a sound method for predicting vacant land to utilize in the research. I will also share that we currently have a paper submitted on our approach to forecasting decline. The funding provided by CELA and the CLASS Fund will significantly assist our capacity to continue this research, specifically in the ability to apply these predictions at the neighborhood scale, using appropriate case sites. We believe that the application of accurate vacant land use predictions in real cities effected by widespread vacancy and abandonment issues will allow us to assist designers and planners in developing more impactful design strategies/policies for dealing with the problem. In urban areas experiencing massive depopulation, our future research will greatly contribute to their ability to shrink smartly. We are greatly honored by this award and look forward to disseminating our results at future conferences, in journal publications and in other peer reviewed outlets.”