ASU urban planning students to be recognized for research project, outreach

Genevieve Pearthree (left) presenting her research at ASU's Institute for Social Science Research's annual poster contest. ASU's Student Planning Association (right) celebrates the conclusion of their "Wandering Stories" event.


Student planners with Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning are raking in the accolades leading up to the 2018 National Planning Conference in New Orleans.

ASU's Student Planning Association, comprised of students interested in urban planning and issues associated with it, has been selected for the 2018 Outstanding Planning Student Organization Award for Community Outreach. ASU’s Student Planning Association created a special event in honor of Native American Heritage Month, “Wandering Stories,” to create awareness and learning opportunities surrounding planning within Native American communities. This event brought together architects, urban designers, engineers, and construction managers to discuss the challenges and opportunities of planning for Native Americans' communities on tribal land.

Also receiving recognition is Genevieve Pearthree, a recent graduate of the school’s Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program. Pearthree has been selected for the 2018 American Institute of Certified Planners’ Student Project Award for Applied Research. Her submission, which also served as her capstone project, focused on affordable housing in communities with a strong tourism industry.

Pearthree spent 16 months researching Ketchum, Idaho, as she examined the affect of short-term rentals and vacation rentals on affordable housing within the community. Funded via a $10,000 fellowship from the city of Ketchum, the research project was created in response to Idaho House Bill 216 that limits a county or city from enacting and enforcing an ordinance prohibiting short-term or vacation rentals. As a result of her research, Pearthree submitted policy recommendations to the city that would positively impact the supply of affordable, long-term housing including incentivizing long-term rentals by increasing the lodging sales tax collection from short-term rentals. She also recommended tracking the short-term rental market to better inform future policy.

As a result of Pearthree’s research, the city of Ketchum has shared the results and recommendations to other communities in Idaho who also face similar housing issues. The findings were also discussed at the annual statewide Idaho Housing and Finance Association conference and the annual Sun Valley Economic Development Summit, and has sparked conversations about affordable housing across the state.

Pearthree and the Student Planning Association will be recognized for their great work at the 2018 National Planning Conference in April.

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