January 09 2014

A Farewell to The Grid, from Gina Kiani of the East Bay, California

It’s hard to believe that my internship with Global Site Plans (GSP) has come to an end. Being a contributor to The Grid has helped me hone my skills as a writer; to more effectively convey and articulate my topics of interest. Focusing on topics of urban planning, through the lens of sustainability and geographic information science (GIS), has been an enriching experience, expanding my understanding of contemporary issues. Writing for GSP has also introduced me to other individuals and organizations of California’s Bay Area sustainability, planning and GIS communities.

Gina Kiani at ESRI 2013 Conference

Gina Kiani attending the 2013 Esri User Conference

Of the many facets involved in urban sustainability, I covered economic development with interest in Pedestrianization and Popups and Revitalization Through Retail Expansion on Broadway, stimulating downtown Oakland business opportunities. The focus on Economic Development for Sustainability in Oakland, California also made me aware of the many local activists and contributors towards sustainable economic growth from hackerspaces, and local business collectives like the Alliance for Community Development: Promoting an Inclusive Economy in Oakland, CA.

Food independence has been a revisited theme throughout my writing, discussing Oakland’s urban agriculture potential and questioning UC Berkeley for the University’s position on developing over some of the last remaining agriculturally classified soil in Albany.

Lake Merritt View in Oakland, Ca.

A View of Lake Merritt in downtown Oakland, California.

Within the urban landscape of Oakland, CA, Putting Nature to Work, The Living Building Challenge for Sustainability in the Built Environment and the long awaited release of California’s Environmental Goals and Policy Report, were examples of my sustainability coverage in more natural terms while Place-Making for Peace explored the social.

As I am in my last semester of a Master of Science Degree in GIS, attending the Esri 2013 Conference opened up my awareness into the technology and tools available to promote sustainability with empirical analysis for urban policy and planning as I expand upon Advancing Sustainable Urban Planning with GIS. I am now half way through my year-long thesis of developing and documenting a WebGIS application for Urban Sustainability Indicators of Oakland, CA, which you can follow from start to completion and launch, set for the Spring of 2014.

I am grateful to owner/developer Renée van Staveren for the opportunity to bring California’s East Bay to the GSP audience, and to editors Debra Hawryzki and Meg Ryan for minding my P’s and Q’s.

Thank You.

Credits: Images by Gina Kiani. Data linked to sources.

Gina Kiani

Gina Kiani is a Graduate student at the University of Southern California and will complete a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology in the Fall of 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Urban Environments. The primary direction of her objectives and pursuits focus on the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) to facilitate Sustainable Urban Planning. Her interest in GIS concerns how spatial analysis can provide an over-arching context to many of the themes that are relevant to the interpretation of data and information required in efficient decision-making and modeling. With indisputable evidence of anthropogenic induced climate change, she hopes to utilize GIS in areas such as change detection of atmospheric composition and water levels, epidemic outbreaks, deforestation, reforestation, energy and food production etc., to contribute to the continual characterization, monitoring and evaluation of natural resources for sustainability purposes. Her skill-set includes dissecting and performing the critical components of a site suitability analysis, sustainability inventory, spatial analysis, field techniques for GIST, programming and customization, spatial database management, research and dissemination. Her final year of study will include project management and her thesis in GIS for Sustainable Urban Planning. As the Oakland and Berkeley California correspondent for Global Site Plans, she hopes to remain current on relevant development issues and discover emerging GIS strategies while advocating for sustainable planning.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 9th, 2014 at 9:04 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, Environmental Non-Profit, Government/Politics, History/Preservation, Housing, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Social/Demographics, Technology, Transportation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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