Bloustein graduate studio, NJCAA receive NJ Planning Excellence Awards by APA-NJ Chapter

November 6, 2017

The Bloustein School spring 2016 graduate studio “Plainfield District School Travel Plan,” and the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance (NJCAA), a project facilitated by the Bloustein School and the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, are recipients of 2017 Planning Excellence Awards.

The awards are presented annually by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Members of the Plainfield School District Travel Plan project.

The “Plainfield District School Travel Plan” is the recipient of the Outstanding Student Project Award, presented to outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students that contribute to advances in the field of planning. Graduate students in the class, taught by staff at from NJ Safe Routes to School Resource Center, analyzed demographics, mapped pedestrian and bicycle crashes and school catchment areas, gathered survey data on student travel mode and school principal concerns, conducted walkability assessments with a photo inventory, gathered feedback from the steering committee, crossing guards and parents, and identified municipal or school district policies that support or hinder walking and bicycling. The students developed an action plan that describes barriers and solutions that address education, encouragement, enforcement, engineering, and evaluation. The plan supported an application for over $300,000 in federal funding that was recently awarded by New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Graduate students in the class included Nan Chen, Yupo Chiu, Karan Gandhi, Ziye Guo, Ganlin Huang, Chao Lyu, Chihuangji Wang. Leigh Ann Von Hagen, AICP/PP, senior research specialist and Sean Meehan, research project coordinator at the Bloustein School’s Alan M. Voorhees Transporation Center, served as class advisors.

Earlier this year, the travel plan was the recipient of a New Jersey Future Smart Growth Award.

Marjorie Kaplan, associate director of the Rutgers Climate and Environmental Change Initiative and Jeanne Herb, associate director of the Bloustein School’s Environmental Analysis and Communications Group.

The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance was the recipient of the inaugural James W. Hughes Applied Research Award. The award is presented to an individual or organization whose applied research has affected change in New Jersey, as the substantive basis for legislative, regulatory or policy change, or as the driver of a shift in a fundamental approach to planning.

NJCAA is a network of diverse sector leaders enhancing climate change preparedness in New Jersey. The Alliance created a Science and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to develop consensus science projection regarding sea level rise, coastal storms and coastal flood hazards to support local planning and decision-making. The outcomes of the STAP’s efforts are already being used by planners in several contexts in New Jersey. In addition to developing science-informed projections, the Alliance also developed a framework that planners and decision-makers can use to apply the scientific projections for purposes of coastal planning and decision-making.

Jeanne Herb, associate director of the Bloustein School’s Environmental Analysis and Communications Group and Marjorie Kaplan, associate director of the Rutgers Climate and Environmental Change Initiative at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, accepted the award on behalf of NJCAA.

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