CONTACT: GEORGE McCRORY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
UI Public Policy Center awarded grants to study impact of highway
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Public Policy Center has been
awarded a $200,000 grant from the National Research Council of the National
Academy of Sciences to study the social and economic impact of major highway
David Forkenbrock, director of the center, said, "When billions
of local, state, and federal dollars are invested annually in highways,
much more needs to be known about the effects one can reasonably expect
these investments to bring about." The study will develop a series
of quantitative measures to gauge the probable impact highway projects
will have on economic development, as well as on the quality of life for
nearby residents and the larger region.
Another new study under Forkenbrock's guidance is funded by a $150,000
grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation. The study will analyze
the ways in which highway investments alter residential and commercial
land use in and around cities of different sizes. Researchers will develop
methods to estimate how land use will be impacted by community bypasses,
new or widened arterial roads, additional freeway interchanges, and other
changes to urban highway systems.
A special committee has been formed to work with the study team. Land
developers and local officials from across Iowa are included in the committee.
Forkenbrock said products of two studies will be useful to city council
members, urban planners, business leaders and other decision-makers who
must assess plans for future highway construction. "While the National
Research Council grant takes a national perspective, the research from
both studies will be helpful in evaluating the likely impacts of highway
projects in growing suburban areas like West Des Moines," he explained.
The UI Public Policy Center brings together faculty, staff and students
from numerous disciplines to promote positive social change within Iowa
and region. The center works with public and private organizations to
discover solutions to problems related to public interest.