Transportation land uses have a significant impact on vulnerable ecologies, especially in a rapidly urbanizing region like Dallas-Fort Worth. To study this relationship, the research team will develop a pilot ArcGIS lab course to expose high school students to critical regional tools and technology. This course will demonstrate the connections between transportation planning & design and environmental justice. The College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs at UT Arlington will partner with CityLab high school in the Dallas Independent School District to develop a 4-week lab course curriculum in ArcGIS and other emerging regional mapping technologies.
High School students will be introduced to mapping tools, literature on transportation land uses, and access to alternative transportation types around the Trinity River in Dallas. The curriculum will be developed jointly by the research team and the high school teachers, to ensure replicability by the teachers beyond the pilot course. The pilot course will include a lab course in GIS, guest lectures by transportation and environmental planning experts, and site surveys with emerging technologies such as an analysis using a drone. The GIS analyses and findings from the lab course will help students formulate a program for their planning and design studios that addresses transportation and environmental justice issues of accessibility around the Trinity River. The findings will also feed into the larger research that documents various aspects impacting the well-being of the Upper Trinity watershed.
The pilot course aims to demonstrate the interdisciplinary relationship between transportation planning, sustainability, and architecture to students with future trajectories in transportation and related fields. It will also help students to apply new software skills to real world cases around them.