Faculty Research Round-Up: Gavin Shatkin

Gavin Shatkin

When our faculty aren’t busy teaching or conducting research, they’re often publishing or promoting their work. Continue reading for a look at what Gavin Shatkin, Associate Professor of Public Policy & Architecture, has been working on.

Data tells a compelling story

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By Matt Collette | Northeastern News | June 24, 2013

The jour­nal­ists behind The Boston Globe’s “68 Blocks” series, which takes an in-​​depth look at life in the city’s Bowdoin-​​Geneva neigh­bor­hood, knew they wanted hard data to play a key role in their work. But they didn’t want the series to read like a run­down of facts and fig­ures, according to Steve Wilmsen, enter­prise editor for the Globe’s Metro sec­tion. “We wanted it to seem like a story,” he said.

Wilmsen and a team of Globe jour­nal­ists behind the series served as the keynote speakers at this year’s Data Day, an event held on Northeastern’s campus Friday and orga­nized by the Mass­a­chu­setts Area Plan­ning Council, the Boston Indi­ca­tors Project, and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Their panel dis­cus­sion on how data fig­ured into the ground­breaking series kicked off a day of events for pol­i­cy­makers, researchers, and advo­cates aimed at teaching them how data can help guide and inform better public policy.

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From a Devastating Earthquake, a Blueprint for Recovery

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By Matt Collette | News@Northeastern | March 8, 2013

Matthias Ruth, a Northeastern professor of public policy and engineering, and an international team of scholars studied how the response to a 2009 earthquake in Italy can guide future city-planning efforts.

“It looks like a war zone of the worst kind,” said Matthias Ruth, a pro­fessor with dual appoint­ments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Depart­ment of Civil and Envi­ron­mental Engi­neering.

Ruth is part of a team of about 20 researchers from the Organ­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-operation and Devel­op­ment that has studied the after­math of the Italian earth­quake in hopes of teaching other cities how to improve their resilience to major dis­as­ters. The research team released a report of their rec­om­men­da­tions, “Building Resilient Regions after a National Dis­aster,” in Rome ear­lier this month. Read More

Boston humming as appeal of life in city booms

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The century’s first decade has brought a historic surge of newcomers to the city, most settling downtown. They carry fresh expectations — and pose real challenges

By Casey Ross | The Boston Globe | March 3, 2013

Susan Mai’s Beacon Hill apartment is a postage stamp of a place. The kitchen isn’t much bigger than the bathroom, and entertaining friends is a bit like playing Frisbee in a phone booth.

But for all its drawbacks, Mai says she couldn’t be happier. She walks to work at a local publisher, eats out five times a week, and thinks of Boston Common as an ideal front yard.

“It hasn’t crossed my mind to ever want to leave the city,” said the 25-year-old Mai, who shares the 450-square-foot apartment with her boyfriend. “I’ve never thought of our place as too small. I really don’t need a big kitchen or a garden.”

Mai is among the thousands of young professionals whose devotion to urban living is causing Boston to grow at its fastest rate in decades. The influx has spawned a sweeping transformation of the city, with new residences and office buildings filling the skyline and reinventing commercial districts that once felt hopelessly time-worn. Read More

Quincy redevelopment project drawing attention from afar

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By Jack Encarnacao | The Patriot Ledger | March 2, 2013

Demolition of Quincy Center’s timeworn buildings is set to begin next month, the first step in the first piece of the long-awaited $1.6 billion downtown redevelopment project. When it starts, eyes far from Quincy will be watching.

The project, which will see the creation of 3.5 million square feet of business, retail and residential space in Quincy Center during the next seven years, has been picked up on the radar of experts in development and urban planning circles – experts who until recently did not know Quincy from Milwaukee.

In presentations across the country, the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Land Institute is citing the Quincy project as one to watch. Northeastern University is planning a course for the fall semester called “The Quincy Model,” in which the public-private partnership behind the project will be used as a teaching tool. The New York Times and trade journals have published articles about the project.

So far, the project has attracted nearly $200 million in investment from outside Massachusetts, and the venerable Boston firm The Beal Companies has signed on as a venture partner.” Read More

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