August 17, 2011
Assistant Professor Michael Manville has joined the Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) this fall, bringing his expertise in transportation planning, land use, and local public finance.
Manville’s research explores the relationship between transportation and housing. In one current project, funded by the John and Dora Haynes Foundation, he is examining voter-approved growth-control policies in Southern California. The policies are designed to mitigate traffic congestion but Manville is finding they end up having other consequences — most notably rising housing prices. In another research effort, Manville is comparing the parking requirements in the zoning codes of New York City and Los Angeles, and analyzing how differences in parking requirements lead to differences in housing supply, vehicle ownership, and population density in the two cities.
Prior to his arrival at Cornell, Manville served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, where his research primarily revolved around traffic congestion and zoning laws in developed countries.
“At Cornell, I’ve come to a renowned planning department that all other institutions pay attention to, and I’ve gained access to the incredible people and resources in other disciplines and colleges across the university,” says Manville. “You can spend years here and not come close to exploiting all that’s available.”
“We are delighted to have Michael Manville join us,” says Professor Kieran Donaghy, chair of CRP. “He is the first professor in transportation planning the department has had, and the courses he will teach and the research he will conduct will meet critical needs. “
Originally from Boston, Manville found himself working with planning agencies on Nantucket Island after abandoning a two-year stint as a newspaper reporter. He worked with the island’s Economic Development Commission where he played a role in crafting Nantucket’s comprehensive plan. Additionally, he worked on tourism development and outreach for business initiatives for Nantucket’s Chamber of Commerce. Due to the island’s comparably small size — “it’s a little world; you see a bit of everything” — Manville gained experience in a number of planning arenas and was inspired to pursue a degree in the field. He subsequently earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in urban planning at UCLA.
This fall Manville will be teaching Public and Spatial Economics for Planners, one of the core courses of the Masters in Regional Planning program.