The University of Minnesota’s Resilient Communities Project (RCP) recently announced that Ramsey County and Scott County will be its community partners for the 2018–2019 academic year. It’s the first time in the six-year history of the program that it will assist two partners in the same year.
RCP, housed within the U of M’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, seeks to connect students’ innovation, ingenuity, and fresh perspectives with local government agencies to learn about their needs, conduct research, and develop solutions. In the coming months, staff will define the scope and purpose of individual projects before matching them with courses offered at the University in fall 2018 and spring 2019.
Ramsey County’s proposal identified up to 18 potential projects, including removing transportation barriers to employment and exploring innovative stormwater management practices. Scott County’s proposal identified 14 potential projects, including planning for autonomous vehicles and promoting active living.
U of M researchers shared their work in more than 35 sessions at this year’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on January 7-11. Their posters and papers covered a wide range of topics, including public transportation accessibility, autonomous vehicles, highway safety performance, bike sharing, and pavements.
In addition, 20 graduate students received travel awards to attend the meeting, where they presented research and networked with other attendees.
This fall, 15 professionals from the Shenzhen Urban Transportation Planning Center came to Minnesota for a new training opportunity. The four-week course was offered by the U of M’s Global Transit Innovations (GTI) Program, CTS, and the China Center’s Mingda Institute for Leadership Training.
“The overall goal is to help to advance the participants’ professional skills and knowledge of state-of-the-art transportation research and practices in the United States, and to identify international collaboration opportunities,” says Yingling Fan, associate professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and GTI director.
This summer, civil engineering undergrads put what they’ve learned in the classroom to work in a professional environment as part of the 10-week Civil Engineering Internship Program.
Working in a variety of offices at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), interns gained hands-on experience in roadway engineering, bridge design, roadside vegetation and erosion control, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and more.
Last month, 31 middle schoolers participated in CTS’s third National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI), a two-week program that introduces students to transportation topics through classroom activities, lab sessions, and field trips around the Twin Cities.
Check out highlights and a photo slideshow of this year’s activities.
The Global Transit Innovations (GTI) program coordinated a study-abroad course in spring semester 2017 that included visits to five cities in the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta regions in China. The course—PA 5880: High-Density Urban and Regional Development in China—was offered by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Led by GTI director Yingling Fan, U of M coordinators took 16 students to Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong for the intensive two-week course in May.
“The course gave students first-hand experiences in two of the most densely populated regions on earth,” Fan says. “These two regions are at the center of Chinese economic development, surpassing other regions in levels of economic growth and productivity.”
We’re in a period of rapid demographic change—and that will have significant implications for Minnesota’s workforce, including in the transportation industry.
As Minnesota’s population continues to age for the next two decades, its emerging workforce will be more racially and ethnically diverse than those retiring. In a session at the Minnesota Airports Conference this spring, Peter Mathison with the Wilder Foundation shared these and other insights on Minnesota’s current population make-up and predictions of where it’s headed in the next 20 years.