Town+Gown Working Groups
Our working groups provide the “architecture” for action research to focus on what we need to know to make changes in practice and policy. The working groups develop research projects with experiential learning programs and synthesize and translate the results to serve as useful resources for policy makers. The working group’s research needs are in the Town+Gown research agenda below.
- Urban Resource Recovery (URR): The URR working group has developed Closing Loops City Program Initiative (CLCPI) that outlines changes to City agency construction practices and policies that would leverage the City's capital program to support the market and close CDW material loops by increasing overall direct re-use of recovered CDW materials generated on City capital projects without interim processing as available materials on City capital projects and increasing intentional redirection of recovered CDW generated on City capital projects away from landfills to interim processing facilities as feedstock for manufacturing facilities producing new construction materials. The CLCPI was introduced at the 10/13/21 Pushing the Urban Resource Recovery and Re-use Envelope: Closing Loops City Program Initiative (URR.8) or You Can’t Have Zero Waste without CDW.
Urban Resource Recovery "on the Map"
- Construction Culture+Data (CC+D): This new working group combines the efforts of the prior Systemic Construction Data Analytic (SCDA) working group with the exploration of the nexus between culture and data begun at the 11/14/19 Culture+Data for Better Project Delivery symposium event. For the earliest work demonstrating administrative data are amenable to data analytic techniques to produce insight for construction process management that Town+Gown supported with data analytic students (see video). The SCDA working group had expanded these initial analyses by using city-wide data from the Capital Project Dashboard and using granular DDC project data to generate additional insights.
- Resilient People, Places and Projects (RP3): Following symposium events focusing on place-based resiliency, the RP3 working group developed a research project to apply the City’s Neighborhood Activation Study methodology, lifecycle cost benefit analysis and the Envision framework holistically to clusters of capital projects in pre-selected neighborhoods to identify potential project synergies to create increased infrastructural resiliency (and community resiliency) and assess whether such project synergies can be done for less or the same amount of investment. This research project will also focus on ways to make existing community-based processes more effective in translating community knowledge during capital project planning and design phases. The RP3 working group’s efforts to date have generated important insights and possible solutions, and efforts are underway with the academic partner to identify 3rd party grant opportunities to fund continuation of the research project.
- Toward a "Smarter" City: Utilidors (Utilidor): Town+Gown has been focusing on “under the roadway” and the idea of multi-utility tunnels—or utilidors—for some time. The Utilidor working group has focused on life cycle cost benefit analysis modeling of implementing utilidors, modeling to identify opportunities for innovative subsurface design, and changes to current practice based on knowledge gained from the 4/28/21 Under the Ground: Planning, Management and Utilization of the Subsurface for a Smart, Sustainable and Resilient City symposium event.
Utilidors "on the Map"
- Water In and Water Out—Innovative Water Research (IWR): Town+Gown has been supporting city agencies in connection with the Megacities Alliance for Water and Climate (MAWAC) - European North American Region (ENAR) collaborative research efforts, which began on March 20-21, 2023, with the first MAWAC-ENAR Water Research & Innovation (WRI) Workshop. The IWR working group will continue to support future WRI Workshops and any resulting multi-megacity research projects.
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