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Shima Hamidi

Name

[Hamidi, Shima]
  • Assistant Professor, College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs
  • Director, Institute of Urban Studies

Biography

Shima Hamidi Is Director of the Institute of Urban Studies and Assistant Professor of Urban Planning. Hamidi is a transportation planner and a smart growth advocate and, for the past five years, has been working on several funded projects from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation Research Board, National Institute of Transportation and Communities, American Association of Retired Persons, National Institute of Health, and Smart Growth America. Hamidi has published (or has in press) one book and over 20 journal articles in the area of transportation, urban design, walkability, housing affordability, public health, upward mobility as well as urban form and its quality of life impacts.

Her work has appeared in top planning journals such as the Journal of American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Journal of Planning Literature, Landscape and Urban Planning, Health & Place, Journal of Urban Design, Environment and Planning B, Transportation Research Record, and Urban Studies. The results of her research were also presented in a national press release in partnership with Smart Growth America and have been cited in more than 100 national and regional newspapers and magazines such as Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and CNN Money.

Professional Preparation

    • 2015 PhD in Metropolitan Planning, Policy and DesignUniversity of Utah
    • 2009 Master of Science in Urban DesignTechnological University of Malaysia
    • 2005 Bachelor of Arts in ArchitectureShiraz University

Appointments

    • Sept 2015 to Present Assistant Professor
      Dept. of Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington
    • Sept 2015 to Present Director
      Institute of Urban Studies, University of Texas at Arlington

Awards and Honors

    • Jun  2015 Eno Fellow sponsored by Eno Center for Transportation
    • Dec  2015 Weddle Prize sponsored by Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning
    • Dec  2015 ITE Best Paper Award sponsored by Institute of Transportation Engineers (Utah Chapter)
    • Dec  2014 ITE Best Paper Award sponsored by Institute of Transportation Engineers (Utah Chapter)
    • Dec  2014 Medal for Leadership in Publishing Doctoral Work sponsored by University of Utah
    • Dec  2014 Semi-finalist Team sponsored by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Research and Expertise

  • Urban Sprawl and Smart Growth

    My primary research focus is measuring urban sprawl and its effects on quality of life. Urban sprawl has become the dominant development pattern in the United States over the past 60 years, and it has transformed U.S. cities and had broad impacts on society. A major component of my work so far has been developing, along with my advisor, Reid Ewing, a sprawl index that ranks all urbanized areas, counties, metropolitan areas, and census tracts in the U.S. on a continuous scale with sprawl at one end and compactness at the other. Using these indices, I have studied the environmental, economic, social, and public health impacts of urban sprawl. For instance, I have found that urban sprawl has a relationship with individuals’ economic mobility, housing affordability, transportation mode choice, car ownership and car use, traffic safety, life expectancy, obesity and inactivity, chronic diseases, crime rates, and air quality. I am interested in expanding this research to other quality of life issues. 

  • Urban form, Transportation, and Travel Behavior

    I have been studying the effects of transit investments on travel behavior at both the aggregate level of urbanized areas and the disaggregate level of individual. The effects transit investments on the number of vehicle miles travelled (VMT) — known as the “transit-land use multiplier” — has received surprisingly little attention in the academic literature considering its importance to policymakers. I have made an effort to fill some of this gap with a longitudinal study on land use multiplier effects in Portland, Oregon published in the Journal of American Planning Association. I am interested in continuing in this research vein by studying the magnitude of the land use multiplier effect in other cities and comparing them with the results of the Portland study. 

  • Land and Building Prices and Transportation Infrastructure

    In a related effort to link land and building prices with transportation infrastructure, I examined the effects of transit on building- and land-use premiums. For this project, I reviewed more than 114 studies of how transportation investments have affected real estate prices and selected 53 for a meta-analysis summarizing 40 years of research. This is, to my knowledge, the largest study of its kind. I am currently using the same approach to look at how transit has affected prices for other land uses such as commercial, office, and vacant lands. There is reason to believe these premiums would be much higher than what has been found for residential uses, particularly single family homes, but no national study has drawn solid conclusions about the magnitude of these effects.

  • Affordable Housing and Location Efficiency

    I am currently investigating the effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) rental assistance programs on housing affordability when taking into account households’ transportation costs. The goal of the project is to create a model that will predict transportation costs for  HUD’s Multifamily Assistance Programs as well as other HUD programs. 

Publications

      Journal Article Forthcoming
      • Ewing, R., Hamidi, S., and Grace, J. Compact Development and VMT—Environmental Determinism, Self-Selection, or Some of Both? Environment and Planning B. (online first)

        {Journal Article}
      Forthcoming
      • Hajrasouliha, A. Hamidi, S, Typology of American Metropolis: Monocentricity, Polycentricity or Generalized Dispersion? Urban Geography (in press)

        {Journal Article}
      Forthcoming
      • Hamidi, S., Kittrell, K., and Ewing, R. Transit’s value as reflected in U.S. single family home premiums: A meta-study summarizing 40 years of research. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (in press)

        {Journal Article}

      Book Forthcoming
      • Ewing, R., and Hamidi, S. Costs of Sprawl, Routledge (in press)

        {Book}

      Journal Article 2016
      • Hamidi, S., Ewing, R., Renne, J. (2016) How affordable is HUD affordable housing? Housing Policy Debate (online first)

        {Journal Article}
      2016
      • Ewing, R., Hamidi, S., and Grace, J. Does Sprawl Hold Down Upward Mobility? A National Study of the Association between Urban Sprawl and Upward Mobility, Landscape and Urban Planning 148, 80-88

        {Journal Article}
      2016
      • Ewing, R., Hamidi, S., and Grace, J. B. (2016) Urban Sprawl as a Risk Factor in Motor Vehicle Crashes, Urban Studies 53(2), 247-266

        {Journal Article}

      Book Chapter 2016
      • Garfinkel-Castro, A, Kim, K, Hamidi, S, Ewing, R. (2016) The Built Environment and Obesity. In Ahima RS (Ed.) Metabolic Syndrome. A Comprehensive Textbook, pp 275 - 286. Springer International Publishing Switzerland

        {Book Chapter}
      2016
      • Ewing, R., Hamidi, S., & Nelson, A. C. (2016). Compactness vs. Sprawl–Areas of agreement. in Growing Compact, Fregolent, L., & Tonin, S. (Eds.), 11-47.

        {Book Chapter}

      Conference Proceeding 2015
      • Hamidi, S., Ewing, R., Renne, J. (2015) How affordable is HUD affordable housing? accepted for presentation at Transportation Research Board 96rd Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.

        {Conference Proceeding}
      2015
      • Hamidi, S., Ewing, R., (2015) Compact Development and BMI: Environmental Determinism or Self-selection? ASCP 55thAnnual Conference, Houston, TX.

        {Conference Proceeding}
      2015
      • Hamidi, S., and Ewing, R. (2015) A meta-study summarizing 40 years of research on housing premiums with respect to transit proximity. accepted for presentation at Transportation Research Board 96rd Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.

        {Conference Proceeding}

      Journal Article 2015
      • Nelson, A.C., Eskic, D., Hamidi, S., Petheram, S., Liu, J., and Ewing, R. (2015) Office Rent with Respect to Distance from Light Rail Transit Stations in Dallas and Denver, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (2500), 110-115.

        {Journal Article}
      2015
      • Hamidi, S., and Ewing, R. (2015) Is Sprawl Affordable for Americans? Exploring the Association between Sprawl and Housing Affordability, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (2500), 75-79.

        {Journal Article}
      2015
      • Tian, G., Ewing, R., and White, A., Hamidi, S. Walters J., Goats, J.P., and Joyce, A., (2015) Traffic Generated by Mixed-Use Developments—13-Region Study Using Consistent Built Environmental Measures, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (2500), 116-124.

        {Journal Article}
      2015
      • Ewing, R., and Hamidi, S. (2015) Compactness vs. Sprawl: A Review of Recent Evidence From the United States, Journal of Planning Literature 30(4), 413-432.

        {Journal Article}
      2015
      • Ewing, R., and Hamidi, S. Urban Sprawl as a Risk Factor in Motor Vehicle Occupant and Pedestrian Fatalities – Update and Refinement, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2513, 40-47.

        {Journal Article}
      2015
      • Ameli, S. H., Hamidi, S., Garfinkel-Castro, A., & Ewing, R. (2015). Do Better Urban Design Qualities Lead to More Walking in Salt Lake City, Utah? Journal of Urban Design20(3), 393-410.

        {Journal Article}
      2015
      • Hamidi, S., Ewing, R., Preuss, I., & Dodds, A. (2015) Measuring Sprawl and Its Impacts An Update, Journal of Planning Education and Research35(1), 35-50

        {Journal Article}

      Journal Article 2014
      • Ewing, R., Meakins, G., Hamidi, S., and Nelson, A. C. (2014). Relationship between urban sprawl and physical activity, obesity, and morbidity–Update and refinement. Health & Place26, 118-126

        {Journal Article}
      2014
      • Ewing, R., Hamidi, S., Gallivant, F., Nelson, A. C., and Grace, J. B. (2014). Structural equation models of VMT growth in US urbanized areas. Urban Studies, 51(14): 3079–3096.

        {Journal Article}
      2014
      • Ewing, R., Hamidi, S., Nelson, A. C., and Grace, J. B. (2014). Combined Effects of Compact Development, Transportation Investments, and Road User Pricing on Vehicle Miles Traveled in Urbanized Areas. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2397: 117-124

        {Journal Article}
      2014
      • Hamidi, S., and Ewing, R. (2014) A longitudinal study of changes in urban sprawl between 2000 and 2010 in the United States, Landscape and Urban Planning, 128: 72-82. 

        {Journal Article}
      2014
      • Ewing, R., and Hamidi, S. (2014) Longitudinal Analysis of Transit's Land Use Multiplier in Portland (OR), Journal of the American Planning Association, 80(2): 123-137.

        {Journal Article}

      Book Chapter 2014
      • Nelson, A. C., Petheram, S., Ewing, R., Stoker, P., and Hamidi, S. (2014). 20 Compact development as a factor in income resilience among shrinking counties in the United States. Richardson H. (Eds.) Shrinking Cities: A Global Perspective, 301.

        {Book Chapter}

      Journal Article 2010
      • Ramezani, S., and Hamidi, S. (2010) Privacy and social interaction in traditional towns to contemporary urban design in Iran, American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 3(3), 501.

        {Journal Article}

Projects

  • 2014
    • May 2014 to May 2015 How affordable is HUD’s affordable housing?

      This project assesses the affordability of HUD rental assistance properties from the perspective of transportation costs. HUD housing is, by definition, affordable from the standpoint of housing costs due to limits on the amounts renters are required to pay. However, there are no such limitations on transportation costs, and common sense suggests that renters in remote locations may be forced to pay more than 15% of income, a nominal affordability standard, for transportation costs. Using household travel models estimated with data from 15 diverse regions around the U.S., we estimated and summed automobile capital costs, automobile operating costs, and transit fare costs for households at 8,857 HUD rental assistance properties. The mean percentage of income expended on transportation is 15% for households at the high end of the eligible income scale. However, in highly sprawling metropolitan areas, and in suburban areas of more compact metropolitan areas, much higher percentages of households exceed the 15% threshold. This suggests that locational characteristics of properties should be considered for renewal when HUD contracts expire for these properties, based on location and hence on transportation affordability.

      Role: Other PI:
  • 2012
    • Feb 2012 to Mar 2015 Quantifying Transit’s Impact on GHG Emissions and Energy Use

      Transportation systems and land use patterns coexist in a complex and ever-evolving “ecosystem.” Roads and transit systems are planned and constructed in order to serve homes and businesses, but new homes and businesses also locate where they will have access to existing or planned roads and transit systems.

      A growing body of research analyzes the extent to which public transportation systems beget land use changes in the form of more compact development. The evidence is mixed, but favors the theory that public transportation investments can, under the right circumstances, promote more compact development. The TCRP Project H-46 research team calls this phenomenon the land use effect of transit (or simply the land use effect). (See Figure S1.) Compact development in turn provides a host of environmental and social benefits, including helping to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT), fuel use, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We call these benefits the land use benefits. Since land use effects lead to land use benefits, these terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

      The land use effect of transit is complementary to, but completely separate from, the ridership effect of transit (sometimes referred to as the direct effect of transit), whereby people ride buses and trains instead of driving private vehicles. The land use effect reduces the VMT of non-transit riders by fostering communities where trip distances are shorter and walking and cycling are more attractive options.

      There is evidence that the land use benefits of transit are often greater than the benefits generated by transit ridership. This study develops new methods to quantify land use effects and land use benefits using regionally specific inputs.

      Role: Other PI:

Courses

      • CIRP 5395-001 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PLANNING

        The purpose of the Scholarly Publication Course is to give students the opportunity to convert their current work and/or interests into a paper suitable for presentation to a scholarly conference and/or submission to a scholarly journal. This course combines elements of preparing students for professional oral presentation in scholarly forums; providing instruction on writing and preparing journal articles, and; a simulation of the journal submission and review process.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CIRP 5395-001 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PLANNING

        Quantitative Research Methods

        The course starts at the beginning, with descriptive statistics and simple inferential statistics such as chi-square tests, and proceeds to the most sophisticated statistics being used by planners today, multi-level modeling, structural equation modeling, and spatial econometrics. Two-thirds of the class time is spent working with real data sets (not contrived for class) and excellent statistical software packages. Our mainstay is the most user-friendly of the common statistical packages, SPSS.  However, as SPSS is limited, we will also work with the amazing programs HLM, AMOS, and R.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours

Administrative Appointment

  • 2015
    • Nov 2015 to Present - Committee Member, Doctoral Program, Urban Planning and Public Policy
    • Sept 2015 to Present - Director, University of Texas at Arlington   Office of the President   Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs   College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs   Institute of Urban Studies
    • Sept 2015 to Present - Committee Member,, University Graduate Program Advisory Group, University of Texas Arlington