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A preliminary analysis of a South Florida urban research site. (Essay Sample)


This sample is about an in-depth description of a South Florida research site.

A Preliminary Analysis of a South Florida Urban Research Site
Section 1: The Site
The research site chosen for this study is the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida. The Center for Urban Transportation Research conducts research in growing urban areas in South Florida with a view to developing pragmatic and innovative ways of improving the public transport system that efficiently meets the needs of the citizens.
This facility is nationally recognized and has full mandate to carry out its research activities. Being housed inside the University of South Florida gives it a strong academic backdrop which renders credibility to its research projects. The research site can be accessed from the E Flower Avenue through Alumni Drive, past the Research and Innovation Park. One can also access it from the Embassy Suites Tampa.
Map showing the location of the Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida.
Section 2: The Context
The rapid population growth, accompanied with a steady economic growth in the US has led to an increased demand for transport services. South Florida is one of those places in the US that exerts pressure on transport services within and without its boundaries. For this reason, the Center for Urban Transport was set up in order to look into the issue of transport in South Florida.
Nevertheless, a number of urban change processes have affected the location of the Center for Urban Transportation Research. There are four such processes. First is very slow change: networks and land use (Wegener, p. 2). This process identifies urban transport, communications and utility networks as the most permanent elements of the physical structure of cities. This is due to the fact that large infrastructure requires a decade or more to plan and put into place, and that they are rarely abandoned. The land use is also stable as changes are only incremental.
The Center for Urban Transportation Research, being housed inside a university complex, is a large-scale infrastructure that took a long time to complete and become operational. It was established in 1988 and has been in operation since then. It has taken more than two decades and has not been abandoned. The land use is incremental, as can be seen in the setting up of another research subsidiary at the site, known as the National Center for Transit Research.
The permanent and massive complex housing the Center for Urban Transportation Research
The second process is the slow changes in workplaces and housing. This process indicates that although buildings and workplaces may last for very many years (usually more than a hundred) the people who use them do not. Non-residential buildings, like universities, usually outlast the institutions that occupy them, while housing goes far beyond the people that live in them. This applies to the Center for Urban Transportation Research site which is both a building complex and a workplace for scores of people. The building has been in existence for more than two decades and is expected to last for many more years. However, the people who work in the building have a shorter life span compared to the building. The researchers, clerks, secretaries and other staff on the site are not expected to be around for a hundred years. This is a clear indication that the research site is completely in tandem with the urban change processes.
A review of the geographical environment surrounding the Center for Urban Transportation Research site reveals a well developed transport and communication network. This is because the distribution of land uses determines the location of human activities in the area. The area around the research site has buildings mainly used for academic purposes. Consequently, human activities here include education, teaching and even shopping. Since there are no residential buildings in this area, people working in this facility have to stay elsewhere; hence, the need to and from the research institution.
According to the Integrated Land Use, Transportation, Environment (ILUTE...
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