CURA is hiring!

Are you a geospatial geek who wants to make cities and regions more sustainable, equitable and resilient places? Do you have technical and management skills combined with a passion for engaged urban science? Would you like to build a career at dynamic, interdisciplinary urban research and outreach center at a highly collaborative and comprehensive university?

The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) at The Ohio State University is seeking a Consulting Manager to join our team. CURA engages in a diverse portfolio of data-intensive research projects focused on urban and regional issues, with a special emphasis on geospatial data science. Many of our projects involve close collaboration with community partners in Central Ohio and beyond. The Consulting Manager is responsible for managing these projects and ensuring that they have the necessary resources and provides direct supervision for the center’s student research associates. The Consulting Manager also helps to define the strategic direction of the organization and to identify and develop new project opportunities.

Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in Geography, Geographic Information Science, Computer Science, or a related field.  Experience in research involving geospatial analysis or data science is required, as well as experience using Python or R in this context.

Desired Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree and 5 years’ experience or Master’s degree and 3 years’ experience in a related field. Detailed understanding of urban and regional issues, as demonstrated by possession of a related degree, professional experience, or extensive personal engagement.  Supervisory experience is desired, with preference for supervision of students. Experience in a consulting service or similar is desired.

More information and to apply:

External Career Site:

Internal Employee Career Site:$392530/9925$97204.htmld

Internal Student Career Site:$392530/9925$97206.htmld

Impacts of bus rapid transit (BRT) on residential property values: A comparative analysis of 11 US BRT systems

New paper: Acton, B., Le, H.T.K. and Miller, H.J. (2022) “The impacts of bus rapid transit (BRT) on residential property values: A comparative analysis of 11 US BRT systems,Journal of Transport Geography, 100, 103324.

Abstract: Bus rapid transit (BRT) is growing in popularity as a lower-cost alternative to light rail transit. Although the impacts of rail transportation on residential property values is well-explored, the impact of BRT on property values remains less well-understood, particularly in the United States where BRT infrastructure is more heterogeneous than the rest of the world. This paper addresses this gap by evaluating and comparing the before-and-after effect of 11 BRT systems on nearby property values in ten metropolitan areas across the United States. We used a quasi-experimental approach and hedonic spatial error models with propensity score matching to measure change in residential property transaction prices within walking distance of a BRT station. Overall model results show a mix of appreciation, depreciation, and no change in residential properties value across different BRT systems. Multi-family properties nearby BRTs with on-street dedicated lanes generally experienced the most appreciation while single-family properties around off-street busway systems experienced depreciation. BRT-lite systems without dedicated lanes associate with property appreciation in relatively dense and congested metropolitan areas with developed transit networks and high ridership. Our model results emphasize the ability of BRT to improve transit accessibility in these regions and to provide an attractive alternative to driving. Furthermore, the lack of property appreciation around busways indicates these systems may not provide nearby residents with an amenity bonus greater than its nuisance effects. Our study informs stakeholders and public officials about the broad effects of BRT on land values and invites researchers to continue investigating the role of walkability, nuisance effects, and individual BRT amenities on residential property values.



Urban Sustainability Observatories: Leveraging Urban Experimentation for Sustainability Science and Policy

Cities are complex systems, and sustainability is a wicked problem. How should we approach sustainable urban systems science and policy? In this paper published in Harvard Data Science Review, we discuss the concept of data-enabled urban sustainability observatories that leverage real-world experimentation for deeper understanding and better policies.

Miller, H.J., Clifton, K., Akar, G., Tufte, K. Gopalakrishnan, S., MacArthur, J., Irwin, E., Ramnath, R., Stiles, J. (2021) “Urban sustainability observatories: Leveraging urban experimentation for sustainability science and policy,Harvard Data Science Review, 3.2, DOI: 10.1162/99608f92.2025202b


Humanity is experiencing revolutionary changes in the 21st century, including accelerating urbanization, the introduction of disruptive mobility technology services, and new sources of data generated and consumed by urban and mobility processes. However, the environmental, social, and economic sustainability implications of these new mobility services are unclear given the complex nature of urban systems and the multifaceted, contested nature of sustainability goals. In this article, we discuss the concept of urban sustainability observatories that leverage urban experimentation through ongoing data collection and analysis capabilities. The goal is to generate new scientific insights and design effective policies to meet sustainability goals for cities. We outline their functional requirements and related research challenges. We also discuss challenges in building and sustaining these observatories and how university, community, and industry partnerships may establish successful observatories that serve as critical drivers of research, technology transfer, and commercialization.

Keywords: data observatory, sustainability, urban experimentation, geospatial data, mobility data