The faculty in the Department of Urban Design and Planning has an active involvement in research. Faculty are currently involved in over 14 research grants and contracts that amount approximately $10 million. Much of this research is interdisciplinary, carried out with partners throughout the University. This research makes available research assistantships in the Department for a growing number of students.

Institute for Hazards Mitigation and Planning Research

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The University of Washington Institute for Hazards Mitigation Planning and Research is an interdisciplinary academic Institute housed in the College of Built Environments. The creation of the Institute in the Fall of 1999 was a significant step in the evolution of the College’s involvement in disaster studies. The Institute was an outcome of the participation of Dr. Richard McCormick, President of the University of Washington, at the 1997 Seattle Project Impact signing ceremony in support of the University’s partnership. The Institute is dedicated to exploring ways to integrate hazards mitigation principles into a wide range of crisis, disaster, and risk management opportunities. The Institute is interdisciplinary in focus and structure, and the capabilities of the Institute are enhanced by its close links with other academic and research organizations.

Northwest Center for Livable Communities

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The Department of Urban Design and Planning has initiated a Northwest Center for Livable Communities that will provide assistance to communities in managing growth, in economic revitalization, and in efforts to become more sustainable and livable. The Department has obtained seed money for the Center through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies

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The Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies (UWRC), based in the College of Built Environments at UW, is the focal point for real estate educational activites including teaching, research and service. The UWRC is a service organization, charged with developing a leading real estate program that can help advance the industry and produce students who can launch, or maintain, successful careers.

Urban Ecology Lab

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The Urban Ecology Research Lab works to understand and improve the conditions of human-dominated ecosystems by conducting interdisciplinary research, integrating analytical and participatory approaches to problem-solving, and engaging policy makers and the public in the generation and use of scientific knowledge.

Urban Form Lab

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The Urban Form Lab (UFL), within the University of Washington (UW) College of Built Environments, is directed by Anne Vernez Moudon, Dr ès Sc, a leading researcher and educator in quantifying the properties of the built environment as related to health and transportation behaviors. UFL research aims to affect policy and to support approaches to the design and planning of more livable environments. The UFL specializes in geospatial analyses of the built environment using multiple micro-scale data in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Urban Infrastructure Lab

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The Urban Infrastructure Lab (UIL) brings together students and faculty across numerous disciplines with a shared interest in the planning, governance, finance, design, development, economics, and environmental effects of infrastructure. The interests of the UIL span the systems critical to economic and social well-being, such as energy, water, health, transportation, education, and communications. Across these sectors, UIL studies integrate empirical and applied methods of research to discover the means to obtain long-run objectives, such as decarbonization, resilience, and information security through decisions made today.