The College of Architecture is pleased to announce Community and Regional Planning Professor Zhenghong Tang’s article “The Role of Local Leaders in Environmental Concerns in Master Plans: An Empirical Study of China’s Eighty Large Municipalities” has been chosen for the 2019 Chester Rapkin Award by the Association of Collegiate School of Planning as the best article to appear in volume 38 of the Journal of Planning Education and Research.
In this article researchers delve into the data gap exploring the reasons behind the level of environmental concerns in master plans in China, where serious environmental degradation has caught the world’s attention. Researchers explore why China’s planning regime is significantly different from those based in representative democracies. Analyzing eighty master plans of China’s large municipalities, researchers found that the education and age of local leaders have a significant effect on environmental concerns in master plans, while their work experience and state mandate do not. They conclude that the well-educated local leaders and a more collaborative planning approach could deal more efficiently with environmental problems in China.
Dr. Tang explains his research team employed a unique research methodology which creatively introduced a wording frequency method to effectively evaluate plan quality. It further improves the methodologies and toolkits for plan evaluation and assessment.The Chester Rapkin Award for the Best Paper in the Journal of Planning Education and Research has been awarded annually since 1998. This award carries a cash grant provided to the author(s) of the article. “I am so proud of the accomplishments of our amazing faculty and Dr. Tang keeps raising the bar of academic excellence here at the college! The Chester Rapkin Award is one of the highest academic awards for faculty members in the field of planning,” said College of Architecture Dean Katherine S. Ankerson, AIA, FIDEC, IIDA, NCARB.