In his 2016 State of the University address, President Fenves introduced Bridging Barriers, a university-wide grand challenges initiative that brings together experts from across the 40 acres to address pressing problems facing Texas, the nation, and beyond. Community and Regional Planning faculty members Dr. Katherine Lieberknecht and Dr. Junfeng Jiao have been involved with two of the Bridging Barriers programs: Planet Texas 2050 and Good Systems. Come hear about the critical role of the built environment and community and regional planning in these major research programs.
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Dr. Katherine Lieberknecht
Katherine Lieberknecht is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research areas include urban water resources planning, metropolitan-scaled green infrastructure planning, and food systems of metropolitan areas.
Dr. Lieberknecht currently teaches courses on urban agriculture systems, water resources planning, and urban ecology and has taught courses on land conservation, non-profit management and property rights. She has published academic articles in the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Hydrology, and the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, chapters in books published by Yale Press and SpringerNature, and professional reports focused on land conservation, sustainable economic development, and neighborhood sustainability planning. Prior to joining the UT Austin faculty, she worked as a planner in private practice in Oregon and as staff member at the Finger Lakes Land Trust in upstate New York. She received her Bachelors of Science in Biology from the College of William and Mary, a Masters in Environmental Management from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.
Dr. Junfeng Jiao
Junfeng Jiao is an assistant professor in the Community and Regional Planning program and founding director of Urban Information Lab at UTSOA. He received his PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington.
His research focuses on using information technologies (GIS, GPS, Drone, smart phone, social media, wearable devices, etc) to quantify built environments and understand its impact on people’s behaviour (e.g. travel, physical, eating etc) and its health consequence. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how people react and reflect the built environments where they live, work, and play. He has investigated how built environments affect people's access to grocery stores, transit facilities, and bicycle infrastructures, and how people describe cities in cyber space through Twitter. He firstly coined the term of Transit Desert and developed various measurement methods. His intensive research on Transit and Food Deserts were widely reported by the Associated Press, Yahoo, MSN, NBC, NPR, USA today, Finance and Commerce, City Lab, The Conversation, Chicago Tribute, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, Seattle Times, Seattle Met, Dallas News, Houston Chronicle, Austin Statesman, Texas Tribune, Wired etc.
He has worked on projects funded by the NIH, USDOT, UT Austin, Intel, WSDOT, RWJF, and others. These works have been published in journals like Journal of Urban Planning and Development, Journal of Urban Design, Journal of Urban Technology, Land Use Policy, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Transport and Land Use, and Journal of Public Transportation etc. He is the co-chair for Analytical Methods & Computer Applications track at the ACSP conference and on the editorial board of Transportation Research Part D, PLOS one, and AIMS Public Health. He published six book chapters through the Springer and Routledge.