HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-323
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD office November 14, 2000


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development yesterday convened an international panel of urban planning experts who will collaborate on a research project using state-of-the art analytical tools to improve urban decision making throughout the world.

Joining HUD in the venture, called the "Global Urban Indicators" project, will be the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, a joint venture between a number of U.S. and foreign universities. HUD recently awarded UCGIS a $240,000 grant to help establish and develop the collaborative venture. The grant is expected to leverage more than $2.6 million in additional funding.The goal of the project is to increase use of geographic information system research as the basis for making informed policy decisions making. GIS research uses such key indicators as poverty rates, housing starts, rents, and access to safe water in helping make informed decisions.To reach the project's goal, the researchers will develop GIS training materials and data sets for a select number of urban indicators available on the Internet by the end of the project's first year. Policy makers in the U.S. and developing countries can benefit from these urban indicators for decision making on housing and urban development programs."This international effort and all the resulting collaboration with project members will provide HUD with critical information about developing nations," said HUD Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez. "And as a result, we'll have a much broader perspective when analyzing issues and developing policies for U.S. communities.""I applaud HUD's efforts to encourage the use of GIS technology on a broad scale," said U.S. Representative Paul Kanjorski. "We know that this mapping technology can be an incredibly effective tool for local policy-makers. This project will bring a greater understanding of how these technologies can be used effectively, both in the U.S. and around the globe."Much of the project will be modeled on HUD's State of the Cities database, which contains similar information for U.S. cities. The project will also build upon the United Nations' Centre for Human Settlements programs and the World Bank's Cities Alliance initiative. The U.N. is using data from 237 cities in 110 countries to assist in its efforts in developing key areas of the world.HUD is the lead U.S. agency on preparing a report for Istanbul +5, the fifth anniversary of the U.N. Global Conference on Cities, called Habitat II. In June 2001, a special session of the U.N. General Assembly will review progress in implementing the "Habitat Agenda.""The roundtable and the Global Urban Indicators research project that we are launching is an opportunity for HUD to solidify its increasing role in efforts to consolidate data collection and research on international urban issues," said HUD Assistant Secretary Susan Wachter. Wachter noted that the roundtable was being held on the first day of National Geography Week, and that Wednesday, November 15 is GIS Day.Reseachers at participating universities will collect and analyze the data using special GIS software donated by the Environmental Systems Research Institute, a UCGIS affiliate.

International GIS Roundtable Participants

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development     Richard Burk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations
    David Chase, Economist
    Danielle Frazier, Presidential Management Fellowship Intern
    John Geraghty, Senior International Affairs Program Officer
    Alven Lam, Advisor, Office of International Affairs
    David Nystrom, Systems Integration
    Gloria R. Parker, Chief Information Officer
    Ayse Can Talen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring
    Susan M. Wachter, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Environmental System Research Institute     Jack Dangermond, President
    Todd Rogers, Federal Account Manager The World Bank     Uwe Deichmann, Environmental Specialist
    Mark Hildebrand, Manager, The Cities Alliance
    Christine Kessides, Urban Economics Advisor
    Somik V. Lall, Economist University Consortium for Geographic Information Science     Gregory Elmes, Past-President UCGIS, West Virginia University
    Susan McDonald Jampoler, Executive Director Others

    Greg Karmazin, Policy Advisor, GIS Management Unit, Wayne County, MI
    Gaetano Leone, United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, The Cities Alliances
    Robert Marx, Chief, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau
    James Reid, Senior Projects Assistant, Congressman Paul Kanjorski's Office
    Robert Rugg, Co-Chair Research Projects Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University


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