Michael R. Glass, senior lecturer and interim director of the Urban Studies program in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, has been selected as the 21st recipient of the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award, which recognizes promising research projects in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences on campus.
Since 2001, the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) has been granting the award in honor of Steven 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.
Glass’ research project is titled “Enhancing Participatory Planning with Spatial Prioritization Indices,” which proposes 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. The research team will partner with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission to test the tool as part of the current Transportation Improvement Program process. According to the project abstract: “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.”