Jamaal Green on geographic information systems, urban planning and housing quality

Planner and geographer jamal green joined Weitzman as a postdoctoral fellow in 2020 and he will join the permanent faculty as an assistant professor effective July 1, 2022. For the Department of Urban and Regional Planning he has taught land use and environmental modeling and Modeling of Geographic Objects, an introductory course on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Jamaal Green, assistant professor of urban and regional planning at the Weitzman School.

“My approach to modeling geographic objects is different from how people have traditionally approached introductory GIS courses. I approach it as a researcher,” says Green. hypothetical situation For example, imagine you are sitting in your planning office, you receive an email from your manager and the manager wants to know how many people are in a particular space. students is that you’re going to have questions like this, where the deliverable isn’t necessarily a map, but you’re going to have to use GIS or spatial analysis to be able to answer the question. focus a lot on what I call the workflow of this analysis. You have a question, and how do you collect that data, do you clean that data? If you need to do some kind of spatial analysis, co How do you make it spatial? »

Green has researched the management of industrial land in cities, which suggests it is often driven by misinformation. “I became interested in industrial land management thanks to the work of Nancey Green Leigh, who has written about how smart growth and the rise of new types of infill development leave no room for industrial land,” he says. “Industrial land is usually shown as a net negative. This land is often described as dirty and contaminated. Economically or politically, it is considered obsolete. There’s this belief that we don’t make anything in the United States anymore, and that’s not true. People say we don’t make anything in the cities, and that’s not true either. Industrialized land, or land that allows for flexible or light industrial space, also provides plenty of room for job and business growth.

“I work with Vincent Reina [associate professor of city and regional planning, and faculty director of the Housing Initiative at Penn], examining housing quality issues for low-income homeowners. We compare data from the US National Housing Survey and the City of Philadelphia’s Basic Systems Repair Program,” says Green.

“Housing quality is really a black box in many cities, especially for owner-occupied properties. We generally assume that if you own your home, you’re good. But for low-income homeowners, especially facing years of economic stress in a relatively poor, older city like Philadelphia, deferred maintenance can pile up for years. Your home can literally become a death trap. You don’t have the money to fix it, and your home probably isn’t worth enough to get financing. This triggers a cycle of degradation.

“Many people in Philadelphia are aware that this cycle exists, but its magnitude and the burden of substandard housing are not well known. The City’s efforts through the Basic Systems Repair Program to help people improve the condition of their homes are also helping to stabilize neighborhoods.

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