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    Research Centers

    Substantial research is being conducted at the following research centers by DCRP faculty and doctoral students. Students enrolled in the Department of City and Regional Planning have many opportunities to become involved in research and community engagement. Opportunities are as varied as the department's programs of study and the individual faculty members' and students' interests.

    Carolina Transportation Program

    Noreen McDonald, Director

    The Carolina Transportation Program is an interdisciplinary research and education program. CTP focuses on the study of transportation planning, transit, non-motorized transportation, and land use patterns, and their impacts on health, environment, energy and economic development at local, regional, national, and global scale.  Learn more >>


    Center for Community Capital

    Roberto Quercia, Director

    America's economic competitiveness relies on the contribution and involvement of all. Yet, many of our citizens and communities lack the resources to compete and thrive in the New Economy. Neither government nor the private sector working alone can transform our distressed communities — but working together in an environment that fosters innovation, these sectors can help make these communities vital places to live and work. The Center for Community Capital works to create such an environment by helping shape public policies that promote and catalyze innovative community development.   Learn more >>


    Center for Sustainable Community Design
    - at the UNC Institute for the Environment

    David Salvesen, Deputy Director

    As population increases in the United States and worldwide, development pressures also increase. Development is critical to meet legitimate human needs - housing, transportation, jobs - but it can degrade air quality, water quality and other environmental and quality-of-life assets. We need a new way to develop our communities - by creating designs that serve the same human needs, better support landscape conservation and greatly reduce material and energy use. The Institute's Center for Sustainable Community Design and its many campus and external collaborators seeks to advance this "sustainable community design" movement by developing strategies to improve environmental quality through better planning of regions, cities, neighborhoods, buildings and utility and transportation systems.  Learn more >>


    Center for Urban and Regional Studies

    William M. Rohe, Director

    The Center for Urban and Regional Studies, established in 1957, is a focal point for interdisciplinary urban and regional research at UNC-Chapel Hill. The Center's Faculty Fellows, experts from a variety of disciplines, represent many academic departments such as City & Regional Planning, Environmental Sciences & Engineering, Geography, Law, and Social Work. They regularly work with federal, state, and local government agencies as well as foundations to solve problems of center city revitalization, energy use and conservation, environmental management and protection, low-income housing, natural and man made hazards, public service delivery, transportation, urban growth management, and water resources, among others. The Center has received national attention and recognition for its studies on urban growth management, coastal zone management, the mitigation of natural hazards, new community and other large-scale development, housing market dynamics, urban growth models, residential mobility and locational preferences, environmental protection, and planning and financing urban infrastructure. Through its Working-Paper Series, the Center releases its research findings to both the practitioner and academic communities.  Learn more >>

    Program on Chinese Cities

    Yan Song, Director
    Program on Chinese Cities (PCC), a new initiative of the Center for Urban & Regional Studies and the Department of City and Regional Planning, is located on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The purpose of the program is to gain a better understanding of the impacts of rapid urbanization on China's built and natural environments, and to explore processes to make this unprecedented growth more equitable, transparent, and socially and environmentally sustainable. PCC conducts research, training, and education to help meet China's urgent need for state-of-the-art technical expertise, policy analysis and applied research in all fields related to city planning and urban management. PCC collaborates with peer institutions and practitioners in China to facilitate development of research and training networks. 
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    Coastal Resilience Center

    Gavin Smith, Executive Director

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has officially launched its new Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC), made possible through a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Office of University Programs five-year, $20 million grant. The CRC initiative led by UNC-Chapel Hill will include collaboration with more than a dozen partner universities to address the unique challenges facing communities across the United States that are vulnerable to coastal hazards.
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