Pathways to Home: URP Students Propose Solutions for Affordable Housing and Accessible Transportation in Gainesville

URP Urban Planning Project Students and Professors Dr. Emre Tepe and Dr. Ruth Steiner

December 11, 2023

Urban and Regional Planning students presented their semester-long findings to members of the Gainesville community at the Matheson Museum on December 6. Enrolled in the Urban Planning Project studio course, these students used the semester to study opportunities for Gainesville to improve affordable housing and multimodal transportation services to support the needs of low-income households in Gainesville, presenting their findings in this public presentation titled, “Pathways to Home: Connecting Gainesville Through Affordable Housing and Accessible Transportation.”

This studio course, facilitated by Drs. Ruth Steiner and Emre Tepe, is intended to involve MURP students in practical real-world experiences, studying different elements of inequity across Gainesville. This studio allow students to focus on doing planning rather than just learning about planning, applying what they have since learned in their studies into real-world practice.  

“Our previous courses in the program gave us the blueprint, however this studio class gave us the space we needed to apply and implement what we’ve learned. This studio allowed for us to blend the theoretical knowledge we gained in classes and apply it to solve a real-world problem. I gained many practical skills that will be useful in my career from collaboration, problem-solving, community research, and logistics”
Camisha Alexis, MURP student

Urban Planning Project 2023 Presentation at the Matheson History Museum.

Urban Planning Project 2023 Presentation at the Matheson History Museum.

A collaborative project, this studio encouraged students to work together to identify the problem and propose solutions. Throughout the course, students performed an existing conditions analysis, gathered and reviewed data, defined opportunities and constraints, engaged community members, and assessed best practices, culminating in a plan identifying proposed solutions and recommendations to this problem.

“Throughout the semester, our class has had the opportunity to work through the complex housing and transportation issues in Gainesville. It certainly was not an easy task but I learned several lessons about working with other classmates and community leaders. By working together, I felt we were able to create a large project from scratch that will hopefully help Gainesville neighborhoods in the future.”
Madison Eichhorn, MURP student

Through these efforts, the students identified and presented on two proposed solutions to this complex issue. The first solution linked transit to affordable housing, intending to create a more affordable Gainesville by decreasing the financial burden of peoples’ two largest household expenditures. The second solution focused on proposing locations and potential designs for the mobility hub project currently being developed by Gainesville’s Community Reinvestment Area. 

With the students outlining their semester-long findings and recommendations in a report, it is hopeful that their work will contribute positively to the development and enhancement of affordable housing and accessible transportation in the community.

Ryan Chisholm and Iwany Martinez Norales

Camisha Alexis Discussing Supporting Data

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