Urban Scholar Highlight: Heather Burpee

Urban Scholar Highlight: Heather Burpee

Heather Burpee is a Research Assistant Professor in University of Washington’s Department of Architecture and a director of the Integrated Design Lab in the Center for Integrated Design, located in the Bullitt Center. We sat down with her to discuss her work and research on high-performance buildings.

What are your current research interests at the University of Washington?

I am a research associate professor in...

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What counts as nature? It all depends

What counts as nature? It all depends

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The environment we grow up with informs how we define “nature,” UW psychology professor Peter Kahn says. Encounters with truly wild places inspire people to preserve them.Think, for a moment, about the last time you were out in nature. Were you in a city park? At a campground? On the beach? In the mountains?

Now consider: What was this place like in your parents’ time? Your grandparents’? In many...

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These Are the Countries Where Air Pollution Is the Deadliest

These Are the Countries Where Air Pollution Is the Deadliest

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New Delhi has been engulfed in smog for days. It’s an issue that arises in the Indian capital each year as smoke from illegal crop burning, vehicle exhaust emissions and construction dust fill the air, but health officials say the problem has intensified this year.

India isn’t the only nation that is adversely affected by rising levels of pollution, from contaminated water to dirty air. Pollution, which causes heart attacks,...

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Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

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For generations, Seattle was segregated through racist neighborhood covenants, deed restrictions, even banking policies designed to keep certain minorities out of largely white enclaves.Yet nearly 50 years after the landmark Fair Housing Act sought to reverse that legacy, the city remains strikingly separated along color lines.

A Seattle Times analysis shows that areas dedicated to single-family houses remain the city’s most exclusive havens. If you live in North Capitol Hill or...

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Frances McCue meditates on changing city in new poem collection ‘Timber Curtain’

Frances McCue meditates on changing city in new poem collection ‘Timber Curtain’

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“This is Seattle. A place to love whatever’s left,” writes UW faculty member Frances McCue in her new book of poetry, “Timber Curtain.” “(W)here new things are coming, shinier than the last / I’m the bust standing in the boom / the poet in the technology world / spread along the timber bottom” — from the poem “Along With the Dead Poet Richard Hugo.”

<...

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Three housing myths, debunked: poverty, property values, and gentrification

Three housing myths, debunked: poverty, property values, and gentrification

​Flickr: Mark Moz: Labeled for reuse

Homeownership can come with a hefty supply of emotions, paperwork and financial planning. And as one grows more attached to a residence over the years, feelings often deepen as house becomes home and memories start to accumulate.

So when terms like gentrification, poverty and low-income housing are bandied about in your neighborhood, you may be somewhat wary. But not so fast. Common misconceptions surround these topics. Myths abound. University of...

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Homelessness is Seattle’s public health crisis

Homelessness is Seattle’s public health crisis

In this Crosscut editorial, UW professors Ben Danielson in the Department of Pediatrics and Bill Daniell in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences discuss homelessness as a public health crisis:

“In 2015, Seattle and King County each declared a homelessness State of Emergency. Both have made commendable efforts since then to intensify outreach, coordinate services, facilitate permanent housing and expand safe temporary shelter options. However, these efforts are still too...

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Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

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The best designs can also be the most surprising. A promising new concept for tsunami resistant buildings features breakaway walls and floors on lower levels that, when removed by forceful waves, strengthen the structure and better protect occupants seeking safety on higher floors.

Thanks to a $1 million National Science Foundation Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation grant, CEE faculty will be developing a new structural system to better protect communities during tsunamis. The...

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Homeless artists showcase work at UW

Homeless artists showcase work at UW

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One way to humanize the homeless is through art. “Telling our stories: art and home(lessness)” is a show Oct. 11-Dec. 15 featuring the work of six artists living in a low-barrier supportive housing project. They are part of an artists’ collective developed out of collaboration with University of Washington researchers, the Downtown Emergency Service Center and residents at 1811 Eastlake, a low-barrier supportive housing project.

“We have so much talent...

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Best answer to Seattle affordability may win the race for mayor

Best answer to Seattle affordability may win the race for mayor

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The rising cost of housing is a dominant issue in Seattle’s mayoral election, but political messaging – on trust, results and leadership – could also move voters in the race between Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon.It’s a race away from a scandal and a race to become Seattle’s first woman mayor in about 90 years, a race about beating traffic and beating back President Donald Trump.

Most voters just...

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Urban@UW compiles Faculty Highlights Report for research, teaching and engagement on homelessness

Urban@UW compiles Faculty Highlights Report for research, teaching and engagement on homelessness

As part of its recently launched Homelessess Research Initiative, Urban@UW has collaborated with faculty and staff across all three UW campuses to compile a broad-ranging selection of powerful and robust projects addressing homelessness from a research lens. Check out the Faculty Highlights Report to learn more about these efforts and the people behind them.

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In Seattle, cost of meeting basic needs up $30,000 in a decade

In Seattle, cost of meeting basic needs up $30,000 in a decade

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A Seattle family of four must bring in $75,000 annually to pay for basic housing, food, transportation and health and child care – an increase of 62 percent since 2006, based on a new report from the University of Washington.

The city’s escalating cost of living may not be a surprise. But across the state, the amount of money required to make ends meet for two adults, a preschooler and a school-age child has...

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Earthquakes are inevitable but catastrophe is not

Written by University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Marc Eberherd, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Jeffery Berman, and Department of Human-Centered Design senior scientist Scott Miles.

Many older buildings provide vital, low-cost housing. But we must find a way to make these structures safer. It should not be acceptable to us to subject our fellow citizens to such hazardous conditions.

ONCE again we...

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CUAC holds fall symposium to identify research projects

CUAC holds fall symposium to identify research projects

Image Credit: Emily F. Keller

To understand trends in housing affordability, neighborhood change and multi-modal transportation systems in the Cascadia region, researchers, public agencies and community stakeholders are taking a multifaceted view.

Examining urban ecology and migration patterns, homelessness and development in relation to transit network planning and population health indicators was the subject of discussion at the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative (CUAC) Fall Symposium September 11-12, 2017. The event took place at the University of Washington (UW),...

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UW researchers analyze effects of minimum wage on seattle food prices

UW researchers analyze effects of minimum wage on seattle food prices

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Affiliates UW Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Health Services Jennifer Otten (lead author), UW Professor at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance Jake Vigdor, and Evans School’s Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Public policy and Governance and Adjunct Professor of Economics Mark Long recently published a paper titled “The Impact of a City-Level Minimum-Wage Policy on Supermarket Food Prices in...

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