Completed & Ongoing Research Initiatives
On one hand, it attempts to focus on the more risky frontier topics of state and national relevance, but issues that others would likely not address.
On the other hand, it attempts to be responsive to pressing state needs. The following is a list of projects conducted by the LPI internally. It is important to note that all projects listed were not commenced until 2004, when the Hannah Professor came to MSU. While some have been completed, others are still ongoing:
- Commerce Centers in Michigan (Completed)
- Density Impact on Infrastructure Costs (Completed)
- Strategy for Agricultural Resiliency in Michigan (Completed)
- Alternative Funding Sources for Farmland Preservation (Completed)
- Equity Insurance and Equity Mortgage Programs for Farmland Preservation(Completed)
- Innovation Fund for Agriculture in Michigan (Completed)
- Michigan Aerial Imagery Partnership (MAIP) (Completed)
- Smart Growth Readiness Assessment Tools (Completed)
- State of Our Cities Report (Completed)
- Economic Impacts of Conserving Natural Resource and Land-Based Industries (Ongoing)
- Land Use and Schools (Ongoing)
- Public Opinion and Preferences for Cities (Ongoing)
- Public Opinion and Preferences about Land Use and Sprawl (Ongoing)
- Public Spending and Sprawl (Ongoing)
- Picture Michigan Tomorrow (Ongoing)
- Options and Tools for Intergovernmental Cooperation (Ongoing)
- Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Land Uses (Ongoing)
- Metropolitan Case Studies (Ongoing)
- Data Democratization (Ongoing)
- Strategic Growth in the Lansing Metro Region (Completed Undergraduate Student Project)
- Land Use and Quality of Life (Ongoing)
- Takings and Land Use (Ongoing)
- Economic, Social, and Environmental Viability in Michigan Agriculture (Ongoing)
- The Role of Universities in Economic Development (Ongoing)
- The Role of Immigration in Metropolitan Economic Development (Ongoing)
- Population and Jobs: Which Comes First? (Ongoing)
- Wind Energy Policy Initiative (Ongoing)
Commerce Centers in Michigan (Completed)
This research contributes to the policy debate in Michigan on location-based economic development strategies. This study analyzed the feasibility of the "Commerce Center" concept by providing information on demographic, economic, and social criteria to assist in the designation of a "Commerce Center" and identified tools needed to help designated communities achieve economic growth. The project team included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Mary Beth Lake (LPI), and Paul Gottlieb (Rutgers University). The full report for this study is available as part of the Land Policy Report Series.
Density Impact on Infrastructure Costs (Completed)
This study compared single-family residential developments to evaluate the implications of alternative housing densities for infrastructure costs (like water pipes, sewers, and roads). The project team included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Mohammad Najafi (Planning, Design & Construction and CUIRE), Adbelkader Tayebi (Planning, Design & Construction and CUIRE), Rayman Mohamed (Wayne State University), and Mary Beth Lake (LPI). The full report for this study is available as part of the Land Policy Report Series.
Strategy for Agricultural Resiliency in Michigan (Completed)
To determine possible acreage and cost targets for farmland preservation at the State, this policy project analyzed Michigan farmland in terms of current viability and future resiliency. Farmland acreage in each county was scored using 22 measures of viability and resiliency, including agro-ecological features, economic features, social features, and land use factors. This study outlines eight scenarios for preserving the most valuable, as well as the most vulnerable, farmland in the state. The project team included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Mike Hamm (CARRS), Jim Bingen (CARRS), Stuart Gage (Entomology and CEVL), Manuel Colunga-Garcia (Entomology/CEVL), Mary Beth Lake (LPI), and Martin Heller (CARRS), and Bill Rustem (PSC). The full report for this study is available as part of the Land Policy Report Series.
Alternative Funding Sources for Farmland Preservation (Completed)
This policy project analyzed 20 state taxes and fees that could be changed to provide additional funding for farmland preservation. Fifteen innovative revenue sources were also analyzed. The study team analyzed these potential sources in terms of their capacity to raise $50 million per year. The final policy report emphasizes revenue sources with the greatest potential to provide appropriate, stable, and politically-acceptable funding for Michigan farmland preservation. The project team included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Mary Beth Lake (LPI), Patricia Harlow (Land Use Consultant), Doug Roberts (IPPSR), and Bill Rustem (PSC). The full report for this study is available as part of the Land Policy Report Series.
Equity Insurance and Equity Mortgage Programs for Farmland Preservation (Completed)
As the value of farmland development rights increases, preservation funds become quickly overextended. In response to this policy challenge, Soji Adelaja has pioneered the concepts of Equity Insurance and Equity Mortgage programs. These programs would use a method that allows the state to preserve farmland now, but spreads payments out over time. These new methods would save the state money (approximately 40 percent for Equity Insurance and 47 percent for Equity Mortgage). The project team included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Mary Beth Lake (LPI), Patricia Norris (Agricultural Economics), and Kevin Sullivan (Actuarial Consultant). The full report for this study is available as part of the Land Policy Report Series.
Innovation Fund for Agriculture in Michigan (Completed)
This policy project provides recommendations to encourage entrepreneurship in Michigan agriculture, especially with respect to capital needs, through developing a public/private innovation fund for agriculture. The project team included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Chris Peterson (Agricultural Economics and Product Center), and Mary Beth Lake (LPI). The full report for this study is available as part of the Land Policy Report Series.
Michigan Aerial Imagery Partnership - MAIP (Completed)
Obtaining current, high-resolution imagery for the entire state addresses a key Michigan Land Use Leadership Council (MLULC) goal identified in its 2003 recommendations: "The state should...update its 1978 Michigan Resource Information System (MIRIS) current use inventory by completing a new round of aerial photography and land classification. This data will be an invaluable tool for local planning as well as understanding the changes in land use over time and the effects of those changes on Michigan's land resource-based industries and the environment." In response to this critical information gap, MAIP-a partnership of seven state agencies, the LPI and RS&GIS-was established. This partnership negotiated the funding, selected the contractor, and has acquired critical statewide aerial imagery for the first updating of statewide land cover/land use data since 1978. Responding to urgent needs from across the state, LPI successfully brokered a $1.2 million deal on behalf of the Partnership with the U.S. Farm Service Agency's National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). The deal for acquisition of statewide imagery is funded by $800,000 in federal contributions from U.S. Farm Service Agency, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Forest Service, and $400,000 from Michigan: Center for Geographic Information (CGI); Departments of Environmental Quality, Agriculture, Transportation, Labor and Economic Growth and Natural Resources, as well as the State Police. LPI invested $100,000 in this partnership, some of which came from W.K. Kellogg Foundation funding. This project has laid the foundation for approximately $4 million to CGI to support RS&GIS work in data interpretation. The project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI), Jessica Moy (RS&GIS), and J.D. Snyder.
Smart Growth Readiness Assessment Tool (Completed)
The purpose of this capacity building project is to provide local government officials, developers, and other citizens an online, self-help evaluation tool to rate how well their community is doing on a smart growth matrix. Through twenty or so questions on each of ten Smart Growth Tenets, it provides the community with the necessary information to learn what they need to be a Smart Growth community, and with the necessary self-help resources to improve their score by engaging in more Smart Growth practices. Awards will be given to communities that score well and those that show significant improvement over time. Expected benefits include greater awareness of actions that can be taken locally to improve local quality of life from a Smart Growth perspective, as well as greater activity to embrace Smart Growth practices. The project team includes Mark Wyckoff (PZC), John Warbach (PZC), Wayne Beyea (CPP), and Glenn Pape (CPP).
The purpose of this capacity building project was to evaluate the condition of Michigan's cities, in contrast to their respective metropolitan areas and to each other. The study benchmarks the plight of Michigan cities over time and the special challenges they face in such critical areas such as income, wealth, education, auto dependence, transit, talent retention, employment, information technology, and others. The multi institutional project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI), Bill Rustem (PSC), Gary Sands (Wayne State Univ), Richard Jelier (Grand Valley State Univ), Jeff Horner (Wayne State Univ), Rex LaMore (CEDP), and John Warbach (LPI). This is an initiative of LPI through the Michigan Higher Education Land Policy Consortium.
Economic Impacts of Conserving Natural Resource and Land-Based Industries (Ongoing)
The mission of this capacity-building project is to prioritize critical land conservation issues facing Michigan and to mobilize university resources to build scientific research teams around critical natural resource conservation issues. The project aims to estimate the economic value of natural resources provided by public lands by:
- Estimating the effects of proximity to natural resources on property values throughout the state.
- Estimating the economics impacts of state-owned lands on local communities through their effects on tourism revenues and employment.
- Developing a stakeholder-driven conservation research agenda for Michigan.
Project partners include LPI and Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy. An advisory board of conservation stakeholders has been formed that includes members from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Nature Conservancy, Washtenaw Land Trust, Little Traverse Conservancy, The Right Place, Inc., Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, Michigan Environmental Council, and several others. LPI team members for this project include Soji Adelaja, Mary Beth Lake, Yohannas Hailu and Charles McKeown.
Land Use and Schools (Ongoing)
Since Proposal A in 1994, schools must balance state revenues, which are tied to variable enrollment, against local revenues, which are tied to property based revenues. Land use patterns and policies affect school district finances, and a schools location decision can affect development patterns of a community. A better understanding of the connections between school district finances and socioeconomic and land use characteristics of Michigan communities has the potential to improve school quality and the education of the next generation. This study takes a multi-dimensional approach to analyzing the relationship between schools and land use, including the impact planning and zoning may have on the potential of a school district to bring in revenue, as well as an investigation into optimal lot size/optimal density for a sustainable student population. The project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI), Mark Wyckoff (PZC), John Warbach (PZC), Melissa Gibson (LPI), Bill Rustem (PSC), Doug Roberts (IPPSR), David Arsen (College of Education), Make Addonizio (Wayne State), Valentina Bali (Political Science), Rick Hula (Political Science), Trish Machemer (Geography), Joe Ohren (Eastern), Phil Cusick (College of Education), Dick Norton (University of Michigan), and Tyler Borowy (LPI).
Public Opinion and Preferences for Cities (Ongoing)
The objective of this project was to use the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) conducted State of the State Survey from 2005, supported by LPI, to analyze the socioeconomic factors and attitudes that influence public preferences for cities in Michigan. The study uses a series of logit models to estimate the causality between respondent characteristics and their perceptions of the importance of cities, the importance of Detroit, their perceptions of state responsibility for city revitalization, state responsibility for investment in cities, preferences for living in cities and for living in downtown areas. The analysis revealed many interesting connections between socioeconomic characteristics and attitudes and preferences for cities and overall indicates that metropolitan land use issues need to be approached from a broad perspective that includes perceptions of individuals who do not live in cities. Project partners included IPPSR and LPI, and team members included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Laila Racevskis (LPI) and Mike Forsyth (LPI).
Public Opinion and Preferences about Land Use and Sprawl (Ongoing)
The objective of this Hannah Professor funded project was to use the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) conducted State of the State Survey from 2005, supported by LPI, to analyze the socioeconomic factors and attitudes that influence public preferences for housing, housing characteristics, lot size, and land consumption in Michigan. The study uses logit models to estimate the causality between respondent characteristics and their expressed interest in housing. The relationships between socio-economic and demographic factors and individuals' preferences for lot size, housing square footage and housing type are estimated. The analysis provides critical information about personal and attitudinal factors and their contributions to sprawl. Project partners included IPPSR and LPI, and team members included Soji Adelaja (LPI), Laila Racevskis (LPI) and Mike Forsyth (LPI).
- Influence state and local decision makers to consider patterns of development in making spending decisions.
- Demonstrate through this project how academic research can influence public policy, particularly in this area.
- Demonstrate the value of this project to attract and continue getting funding for this project.
The overall project mission is to conduct a detailed study that determines the degree to which state policies and programs are likely to have the unintended consequence of promoting sprawl. Project partners include LPI, Public Sector Consultants, and the Michigan Land Use Institute. LPI team members include Soji Adelaja, Mark Wyckoff, John Warbach, Mary Beth Lake, Laila Racevskis, and Annalie Campos.
Picture Michigan Tomorrow (Ongoing)
The mission of this initiative is to build a permanent and sustainable multidisciplinary team at MSU that would develop and maintain new models of Michigan's land use future. The Michigan Land Resource project, previously conducted by MSU scientists, had significant catalytic benefits, but needs to be updated in terms of methodology, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and relevance. This project will enable policymakers, the public, and researchers to better envision a more prosperous, ecologically sound, and healthy Michigan. More than just using computer modeling to paint pictures, we are committed to translating those pictures into things that are important to people. Part of this process is taking a closer look at Michigan's future with the goal of articulating the economic, ecological, and social problems related to land use in more accessible terms, with less jargon, and fewer abstract concepts. The Picture Michigan Tomorrow (PMT) team is currently:
- Developing statistical and spatial analysis of the primary socioeconomic drivers of land use change in Michigan.
- Analyzing the impacts of change predicted in past modeling efforts.
- Developing an integrated spatial and statistical database of socioeconomic and land use data.
- Updating land use and land cover data for model validation.
- Producing several reports on subjects ranging from the landscape fragmentation in Michigan to preliminary land demand forecasts.
The Picture Michigan Tomorrow project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI), Bill Rustem (PSC), Charles McKeown (LPI), Jessica Moy (RS&GIS), Stuart Gage (CEVL and Entomology), Larry Leefers (Forestry), Manuel Colunga-Garcia (CEVL and Entomology), David Lusch (RS&GIS), and Mary Beth Lake (LPI).
Options and Tools for Intergovernmental Cooperation (Ongoing)
This study examines the proposition that changing service areas (i.e. combining or coordinating specific governmental services between two jurisdictions) could positively affect long-term community viability, better protect natural resources, and reduce the costs of public service by reducing the total number of units of government providing particular services in Michigan. The basic premise of this research and outreach project is to compile useful information about local government collaboration and consolidation among Michigan communities. Collaboration/cooperation/consolidation is one of the most important local government issues in Michigan today, and it presents an area of great opportunity for improving the competitiveness of individual communities, regions, and the state as a whole. The project consists of a series of separate but integrated research platforms:
- Addressing the issues of what is necessary for cooperation/collaboration to occur.
- Investigating the fiscal issues and considerations that need to be accounted for.
- Addressing what issues are necessary to maintain cooperation/collaboration.
The project takes a statewide look at such services as Dispatch Centers, Planning and Zoning, and Fire protection, and a more limited approach to services such as Property Assessment. The project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI), Eric Scorsone (Agricultural Economics), Jared Carr (Wayne State University), Eric Lupher (CRC), Melissa Gibson (LPI), Liz Gerber (University of Michigan), Paul Courant (University of Michigan), Roger Hamlin (Geography), John Warbach (PZC), Mark Wyckoff (PZC), John Hoehn (Agricultural Economics), Naheed Huq (SEMCOG), Mary Beth Lake (LPI), Joe Ohren (Eastern), Igor Vojnovic (Geography), and Conan Smith (MI Suburbs Alliance).
Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Land Uses (Ongoing)
Fiscal Impact Analysis (FIA) in land use involves the evaluation of the tax revenues associated with various alternative land uses and the costs associated with providing municipal services to support those land uses. FIA is useful in understanding the fiscal consequences of growth, changing land use, and build out. FIA results for a particular area can be used to predict the impact of anticipated growth on property taxes for that area. Required information includes anticipated population growth, land consumption parameters, and fiscal impact coefficients by locality. While previous FIA in Michigan has only investigated three separate townships, this Hannah Professor funded capacity building study is taking a broad look, at the County level, for all of Michigan. Delhi Township will also be used as a case study for a more in-depth analysis and to create a replicable software program for build-out analysis. Results of this project would be used to create a web-based tool for Michigan communities. The project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI), Melissa Gibson (LPI), Tracy Carne Miller (Delhi Township), Mark Wyckoff (PZC), and Chuck McKeown (LPI).
Metropolitan Case Studies (Ongoing)
This initiative seeks to jumpstart an ongoing series of studies that focus on case studies of success. In the policy process, often lacking and inaccessible to policy makers is a library of case studies of success stories from around the world. This initiative seeks to build multidisciplinary teams of faculty and graduate students to study and document successful cases and examples of waterfront development, metropolitan area image management, business incubation, urban technology transfer, green buildings, urban restoration projects, brownfield redevelopment, mixed use development, neighborhood commercial center revitalization, regional economic development planning, private sector role in economic development, university - city partnership initiatives, etc.. This initiative aimed at enhancing the strategic research capabilities and connectivity of MSU's Community and Economic Development Program (CEDP) will give MSU significant presence in urban and metropolitan studies. This project will be led by Rex LaMore of CEDP.
Data Democratization (Ongoing)
The goal of this programmatic area is to update and unify information on land use and land cover change at all relevant scales for the state, and to pursue specific analysis from such data that would improve decision making. In order for data collection to be relevant and creditable, efforts need to be made to make it accurate, up to date, at the appropriate scales, and collected through cooperative relationships with local and state stakeholders. The projects undertaken in this programmatic area will both serve as a foundation for other projects as well as help democratize data for those engaged in planning throughout the state. The availability of widely recognized, reliable data is key to fostering the coordination of planning efforts and decision making. The Land Policy Institute has been working extensively with local federal and state agencies to gather a 30-year database that includes both statistical and spatial data to enable research and decision-making. Specific examples include 1980, 1990, and 2000 U.S. Census Bureau population and housing data from the statewide scale down to the block group; U.S. Department of Commerce data for the entire country that details jobs, income, and earnings at the county level over 30 years; and Michigan State Tax Commission data that details the number type and value of every parcel of land in Michigan at the Township level. This data is integrated with governmental boundary mapping data as well as imagery, land use and land cover data, outputs from the Land Transformation Model and other spatial data. The project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI), Charles McKeown (LPI), Max Fulkerson (LPI) and Melissa Gibson (LPI).
Strategic Growth in the Lansing Metro Region (Completed Undergraduate Student Project)
This undergraduate team based project features a group of nine students in FS06 RD 491-002, Land Use Change and Decision Making: People, Institutions, and Policy, a course taught by Dr. Soji Adelaja, Director of LPI, and Dr. John Warbach of PZC at MSU. Students worked with regional leaders from the Greater Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, the Tri-County Commission, the Office of the Mayor of Lansing, and other civic entities to investigate and document the strategic natural resource, human resource, and capital assets of the Lansing Region and make recommendations on how strategic assets could be used to foster sustainable growth in the region. Assets reviewed include transportation network, higher education talent, IT infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, waterfront opportunities, entertainment opportunities, restaurant and nightlife, entrepreneurship, parks and recreation, and other features that are foundational to crafting a regional persona that would be more relevant in a "new economy." The LPI internal project team includes Soji Adelaja, Kaitlyn MacDonald, and Melissa Gibson.
Land Use and Quality of Life (Ongoing)
LPI will soon embark on a research and outreach project that will enhance our understanding of why people live where they do, and why they move to certain locations and away from others. The target case study for this analysis will be the Detroit metropolitan region. Working with community organizations in Detroit, the project team will conduct focus groups of parents who have stayed within the Detroit school system and parents who have moved into the surrounding area schools. This information will allow us to determine what factors caused people to stay or move and measure the impact that those elements had on their decision-making. This effort will also compare perceived situations to reality (i.e. is the perception of unsafe neighborhoods that may cause people to move out of an area founded in what is taking place on the ground (crime rate). The project partners for this project will include faculty from several departments (and possibly Wayne State University), Extension Educators, and relevant community groups in Detroit. The internal LPI project team includes Soji Adelaja, Mary Beth Lake, and John Warbach.
Takings and Land Use (Ongoing)
Down-zoning, which is the act of regulating land use through large lot zoning, is becoming more frequently used as a growth management tool. One implication of large lot zoning is its tendency to result in the devaluation of the assets of owners of large vacant and agricultural properties. For agriculture, this often means the diminution of property values, with the implication that farmers are stripped of the wealth base of agriculture as they move into the future. Previous work by Dr. Adelaja and others suggest that down-zoning is an endogenous choice variable or tool that is chosen based on specific characteristics of communities and pressures they face. This capacity building project of the Hannah Professor seeks to study the down-zoning process using a logit political economy model. The relationships between community characteristics, growth characteristics, political characteristics, market demand characteristics, and the choice of down-zoning as a tool are being examined. Preliminary results suggest that the three leading determinants of the choice of down-zoning are growth pressures, inability to mobilize farmland preservation funds, and declining political clout of the farm community. The project team includes Soji Adelaja (LPI) and Paul Gottlieb (Rutgers University).
Economic, Social and Environmental Viability in Michigan Agriculture (Ongoing)
This project examines the viability of agriculture in Michigan in the context of environmental and equity considerations by evaluating social and environmental objectives and their complimentarity to economic viability objectives. This study establishes a framework for evaluating sustainability. County-level data reveal the fact that viability is not necessarily compromised when agriculture becomes more environmentally and socially compatibly. The project team is Soji Adelaja (LPI) and Cristin Popelier (LPI).
The Role of Universities in Economic Development (Ongoing)
Universities are increasingly being recognized as conduits for economic development, especially in urban areas. This study examines the drivers of university engagement in economic development initiatives and the impacts and consequences of such involvement. Issues such as initial motivation, level of initiative leadership, urban/rural differences, nature of intervention, impacts, and existing documentation of effectiveness are being explored. The internal LPI project team includes Soji Adelaja, Melissa Gibson, and Daniel Brooks.
The Role of Immigration in Metropolitan Economic Development (Ongoing)
Economic growth has become highly contestable as communities must increasingly utilize asset-based strategies to compete for pre-cursers to growth. Immigrants are known to generate relatively higher rates of job creation and company formation than most of their cohorts. This study investigates the role of immigration in metropolitan and urban development by exploring the nature of immigrants, the drivers of their location decisions, their job creation propensity, and various local policies that could be implemented to attract the immigrant population. The internal LPI project team includes Soji Adelaja, Melissa Gibson, and Kaitlyn MacDonald.
Population and Jobs: Which Comes First? (Ongoing)
The basic premise of economic development was that jobs preceded population. To facilitate economic development, communities simply had to attract the right kind of employer in order to create jobs and attract people. This philosophy was central to economic development strategies. The central theme of the New Economy Paradigm, however, is that people drive jobs, which means that the optimal strategy for economic development is to create attractive and livable places that would attract the creative, talented, and innovative class that would create the high-paying new economy jobs of tomorrow. To investigate the legitimacy of this new paradigm, this study examines the dynamic relationship between population growth and job creation. The internal LPI project team includes Soji Adelaja, Melissa Gibson, Kaitlyn MacDonald, Daniel Brooks, Chuck McKeown, and Eric Bailey.
Wind Energy Policy Initiative (Ongoing)
Wind energy development represents a sustainable economic development strategy for many states. However, despite the significant wind capacity of states, many have only achieved limited deployed capacity. This initiative evaluates the barriers to wind energy deployment, the potential role of renewable portfolio standards, the potential optimal locations of wind farms, the inherent potential challenges at such locations, the viability of wind farms at such locations, and the potential economic and environmental implications. The study also involves the assessment of abandoned industrial facilities in order to determine the potential for adaptive re-use for the manufacturing of turbines and other wind components. The LPI project team includes Soji Adelaja, Mike Klepinger, Melissa Gibson, John Warbach, and Chuck McKeown.