Planning Magazine Features Knowlton School Program

The Knowlton School's City and Regional Planning program features prominently in the October issue of Planning, the official magazine of the American Planning Association (APA).

The cover story, “Theory and Practice,” explores the benefits of planning programs using practitioners as adjunct faculty to teach student “real-world” skills. The article looks at studios conducted by Migg Caulkins Urban Visiting Professor Chad Gibson, AICP (MCRP '97) as successfully grounding theory in practical engagement with local and regional municipalities. 

As the senior planning officer for the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington, Gibson is able to frame his studio’s projects to address topical issues in the community. In many cases, the research and on-the-ground work completed by his students has had a significant impact on the development and outcome of these local projects.  

In his 2017 spring semester transportation studio, Gibson tasked his students to study and recommend additional sites for the CoGo Bike Share program within four jurisdictions of Columbus. Alaina Parrish, an undergraduate planning student in the studio, commented, “Working on this studio gave me an opportunity to apply what I've learned in class to a real project, allowing me to be involved in a major project from the initial brainstorming all the way to creating the final document for clients.”

Gibson's senior studio, "Columbus Rail Today–A Timeline to Multi-Modal Transportation," won the APA's 2016 American Institute of Certified Planners Student Project Award, the most prestigious award available in the discipline of city and regional planning. Gibson has the distinction of the being the only faculty member at the school to have won this award.

Included in the magazine’s six feature articles is “When Every Day Is Sensory Overload,” penned by Professor of Practice Kyle Ezell. The article develops from the research and experiences garnered from two undergraduate studios and a graduate workshop that explored ways planners, architects and landscape architects can create communities where adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can thrive.

Specifically, the article provides lessons for planning with—not for—people with autism, drawing from collaborations with adults on the autism spectrum and their parents who participated with Ezell’s studios. Key takeaways from the participation method the Ohio State team designed include the selection of a space with minimal bright lights, scents and random noises, as well as the availability of quiet rooms and an openness to presentation styles among the adult with autism. 

An outcome of Ezell’s courses was the creation of an APA Interest Group, Planning with Underserved Populations. Most recently, Ezell’s work leading students in planning and designing for adults with autism was published in the July/August 2018 Planner’s Advisory Service Memo.

Both instructors have received recognition for their outstanding teaching. Chad Gibson has received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer, awarded for demonstrated excellence in teaching within the College of Engineering. Kyle Ezell was presented with the Ohio State College of Engineering’s Distinguished Faculty—Charles McQuigg Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2014.

APA web page access to articles in Planning magazine is available through association membership and through subscription to their print editions.