Visiting scholars in residence in CRP

September 30, 2009

Visiting scholars are an integral part of the City and Regional Planning community and provide opportunities for students and faculty to collaborate on new research endeavors and add to the intellectual growth and development of the department. This year’s visiting scholars offer a diverse array of research interests.

Visiting Scholar Thomas Hahn, a geographer and China-specialist by training, has conducted extensive research in regards to China’s territorial assets (both urban and rural). This fall he is offering a course, Modern Chinese Urban Development and Preservation, which will address China’s present and future urbanization, issues related to land use and land abuse, new green planning, and the nagging question of local identity within the framework of China’s global aspirations.

Visiting Scholar Maria do Carmo L. Bezerra, a professor in the technology department of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Brasilia (UnB), will spend the fall consulting with faculty regarding her work on the environment and illegal/informal settlements in Brazilian cities. Bezerra cites that while 80 percent of Brazilian population lives in cities and that in the largest of those cities more than half the population lives in illegal or informal neighborhoods where authorities hope to use urban land regularization programs to resolve serious environmental problems. These problems extend to modern cities, such as the capital city Brasilia, which is less than 50 years old and was developed according to formal and strict land use and design plans. Bezerra has participated in CRP’s summer program in Brasilia and plans to use her time at Cornell to consolidate research work done by students and other faculty at UnB on the Urban Environmental Management Integrated Research Project that began in 2003.

Inaki Permanyer has been working in the research project “Development Indices in Multidimensional Settings: An Application to the Measurement of Gender Inequality” as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Together with Professor Lourdes Beneria he has co-authored a research paper on a proposal to measure and compare international gender inequality levels that can be used as an alternative to the gender-sensitive indices proposed by United Nations Development Program. During the 2009 fall semester Permanyer will be teaching the graduate course Social Indicators: Theory and Applications. The course will critically examine the different ways social scientists and policy makers construct social indicators that are later used for informed decision-making.

Professor Wang Zhenpo, a physicist and urban planner, is visiting CRP from the Tianjin Institute of Urban Construction for the next four months. His main research interests are housing policies and strategic planning for the greater Tianjin area. Wang has published extensively in professional journals and is collecting materials and data for his ongoing research on urban economies.