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Urban Planning Director Receives Grant from National Science Foundation

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By Marisa Ramiccio

The National Science Foundation has awarded urban planning program director Christopher Hawkins, Ph.D., and his research team with a $270,000 grant to study the coordination of sustainability efforts by local government agencies.

The study, titled "Integrated City Sustainability: Administrative Apparatus for Overcoming Collective Dilemmas of Agency Fragmentation," will focus on the authoritative challenges that arise when multiple agencies have set policies on a certain issue. The researchers, which include Richard Feiock, Ph.D., of Florida State University and Rachel Krause, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas, will conduct the study in two phases over the next two years.

During the first phase, the researchers will collect data via surveys of local government officials. In the second phase, the researchers will select eight cities to study in-depth. Their study will conclude with recommendations on how local agencies can overcome collective action dilemmas in city sustainability.

Hawkins, Feiock and Krause -- along with Cali Curley from Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis -- recently published an article on similar research in Urban Studies, a monthly peer-reviewed journal focused on urban scholarship. The article, " Making meaningful commitments: Accounting for variation in cities' investments of staff and fiscal resources to sustainability," focuses on local sustainability and includes empirical data from the Integrated City Sustainability Database.

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