Vikas Mehta

Vikas Mehta

Associate Professor, Fruth/Gemini Chair, Ohio Eminent Scholar, Urban Design Certificate Coordinator

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DAAP School of Planning - 0016

Professional Summary

Vikas Mehta, Associate Professor of Urbanism, is the Fruth/Gemini Chair, Ohio Eminent Scholar of Urban/Environmental Design and Coordinator for the Urban Design Certificate. Dr. Mehta’s work focuses on the role of design and planning in creating a more responsive, equitable, stimulating and communicative environment. He is interested in various dimensions of urbanity through the exploration of place as a social and ecological setting and as a sensorial art. This work emphasizes the sense of place and place distinctiveness, design and visualization of urban places and activities, and cities and regions as just, equitable and sustainable living systems. Dr. Mehta’s work on the urban street emphasizes the street as a heterogeneous, multicultural, multigenerational and multiuse public space. He has developed new measures of sociability that have advanced existing methods to study human behavior in public spaces. Dr. Mehta is the author of Public Space, a 4-volume anthology (Routledge, 2015), 101 Things I Learned in Urban Design School (with Matthew Frederick, Three Rivers Press/Penguin) and The Street: a quintessential social public space (Routledge, 2013 and 2014) that received the 2014 Book Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) and was also a finalist for the 2014 Francis Tibbalds Award for Best Book of the Year. He is currently co-editing (with Dr. Danilo Palazzo) the Companion to Public Space (Routledge) that is a multidisciplinary selection of chapters on the state of the art in the intellectual discourse, scholarship, and research on public space around the globe.

Dr. Mehta is the co-editor of Children, Youth and Environments journal.

Education

Ph.D., University of Maryland College Park, MD, 2006 (Urban and Regional Planning and Design, Specialization: Urban Design)

M.Arch., Morgan State University Baltimore, MD, 1998 (Architecture)

Dip.Arch., Institute of Environmental Design Gujarat, India, 1990 (Architecture)

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Mehta, V. and Bosson, J. K. (2018. )Revisiting Lively Streets: Social Interactions in Public Space.Journal of Planning Education and Research, ,

Mehta, V. (2018. )Streets and Social Life in Cities: A Taxonomy of Sociability .Urban Design International, ,Special issue on Future of Public Space ,

Mehta, V. and Mahato, B. (2018. )Measuring the Robustness of Neighbourhood Business Districts.Journal of Urban Design, ,

Brown, R., Carr, V., Mehta, V., and Kochanowski, L. (2018. )Children, Youth and Environments: A Call for Research, Practice, Action and Policy .Children, Youth and Environments, ,28 (1 ),1 -8

Rahman, M. and Mehta, V. (2017. )Letter Forms as Communicative Urban Artifacts for Social Narratives .International Journal of Signage and Wayfinding , ,1 (2 ),

Mehta, V., Carr, V., Brown, R., and Kochanowski, L. (2016. )Exhibition Highlights: CYE Moves to UC: Past, Present and Future .Children, Youth and Environments, ,26 (2 ),

Brown, R., Carr, V. Mehta, V., Kochanowski, L., van Vliet, W., Chawla, L. and Sancar, F. (2016. )History, Transitions, and the Future of Children, Youth and Environments .Children, Youth and Environments, ,26 (1 ),

Mehta, V. (2014. )Evaluating Public Space .Journal of Urban Design, ,19 (1 ),53-88

Mehta, V. (2011. )Small Businesses and the Vitality of Main Street .Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, ,28 (4 ),271-291

Mehta, V. and Bosson, J. K. (2010. )Third Places and the Social Life of Streets .Environment and Behavior, ,42 (6 ),779-805

Mehta, V. (2009. )A Tale of Two Streets: Comparative Experiences on Streets in the East and West .Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, ,3 (5 ),231-242

Mehta, V. (2009. )Look Closely and You Will See, Listen Carefully and You Will Hear: Urban Design and Social Interaction on Streets .Journal of Urban Design, ,14 (1 ),29-64

Mehta, V. (2008. )Walkable Streets: Pedestrian Behavior, Perceptions and Attitudes .Journal of Urbanism, ,1 (3 ),217–245

Mehta, V. (2007. )Lively Streets: Determining Environmental Characteristics to support Social Behavior .Journal of Planning Education and Research, ,27 (2 ),165-187

Other Publications

Mehta, V. (2011. )Urban Design .Craft and Context: SACD at 25, School of Architecture and Community Design, University of South Florida

Mehta, V. (2009. )Tampa Urban Design Studio 2009 . School of Architecture and Community Design, University of South Florida

Mehta, V. (2008. )Education Abroad India 2008 . School of Architecture and Community Design, University of South Florida

Published Books

Frederick, M. and Mehta, V. (2018. )101 Things I Learned in Urban Design School .Three Rivers Press, Penguin

Mehta, V. (2015. )Public Space .London and New York ,Routledge

Mehta, V. (2013. )The Street: a quintessential social public space .London ,Routledge (Author)

Book Chapter

Mehta, Vikas (2018 )The Street: a fluid place of social cohesion Public Space Design and Social Cohesion: An International Comparison .New York,Routledge

Mehta, Vikas (2018 )Space, Time and Agency on the Indian Street. Handbook on Bottom-up Urbanism .London,Palgrave

Mehta, Vikas (2018 )Neighborhood Authenticity and Sense of Place Planning for AuthentiCITIES .New York, Routledge

Mehta, Vikas (2016 )Streets and Social Life in Cities The Future of Places, .Stockholm, Sweden,Ax:son Johnson Foundation

Mehta, Vikas (2015 )Everyday Social Behavior as a Basis for Design Urban Design: Tools & Resources for the Planning Practitioner .New York,Routledge

Mehta, Vikas (2014 )The Street as Ecology Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, Possibilities. New York,Routledge

Mehta, Vikas (2012 )Lively Streets: Determining Environmental Characteristics to support Social Behavior Best of Recent North American Planning Scholarship: Selections from Journal of Planning Education and Research. China Architecture and Building Press

Technical Reports

Mehta, V. (2006. )Lively Streets: Exploring the Relationship between Built Environment and Social Behavior .Active Living Research Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.,

Additional Publications

Presentations

Invited Presentations

Mehta, V. (2016. )Public Space: What Why How. Habitat III Thematic Meeting on Public Space, Barcelona, Spain. Conference. .Level:International

Mehta, V. (2015. )Streets and Social Life in Cities. Future of Places Conference, Stockholm, Sweden. Conference. .Level:International

Mehta, V. (2015. )The Ecology of the Street. [r+d] Workshop of [r+d] post-carbon Vienna/Future Urban Mobility Lab, Vienna, Austria. Workshop. .Level:International

Mehta, V. (2015. )Strings of Beads: streets as social networks. Linear Livability International Conference, Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy. Conference. .Level:International

Mehta, V. (2015. )The Street: An Urban Ecology. TEDx UCincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

Mehta, V. (2013. )The Street: a quintessential social public space, Making Streets as People-Places. American Planning Association’s National Conference inaugural symposium “Public Space Biennial of the Americas”, Chicago, IL. Professional Meeting. .Level:International

Mehta, V. (2013. )Creating Lively Community Streets. Growing In Place: Sixth Annual Natural Learning Initiative Symposium on Intergenerational Urban Design for Children and Families, NC State University, Raleigh, NC. Other Institution. .Level:National

Mehta, V. (2012. )The Street as Place. Space and Place, Department of Sociology. College of Arts and Science, University of South Florida., Tampa, FL. Other Institution. .Level:University

Mehta, V. (2009. )Urban Vitality for a Sustainable Future. Earth Day sustainability forum. Sponsored by Anthropology Club, Academic Initiatives and Student Environmental Association, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Other Institution. .Level:University

Mehta, V. (2009. )Public Space-Sociability-Walking. School of Art and Art History. College of The Arts, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Other Institution. .Level:University

Mehta, V. (2009. )The Street as Place. Humanities Institute, New Faculty Research Panel, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Other Institution. .Level:University

Mehta, V. (2007. )Streets as People-Places. Designing Our Region – Tampa: Small Medium Large, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL. Professional Meeting. .Level:Regional

Mehta, V. (2006. )Public Space in Urban India. Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Other Institution. .Level:University

Poster Presentations

Mehta, Vikas (2006. )Built Environment, Social Activity and Walking Behavior .Active Living Research Annual Conference, Coronado, CA. .Conference. .Level:International

Paper Presentations

Mehta, Vikas (2014. )The Neighborhood Commercial Street as an Agent of Sustainability .Tampa, FL. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2015. )Personalized, Rich and Rewarding: The Full Potential of Empirical Research, Special session - Rewriting the Field (presented by three past EDRA Book Award winners) .Los Angeles, CA. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2011. )Landscape Urbanism as an Urban Design Paradigm? .Los Angeles, CA. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2010. )Re-stitching the Urban Pattern of Ybor City: A typo-morphological analysis .Hamburg, Germany. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2010. )Integrating Landscape in the Urban Design Curriculum .Maastricht, The Netherlands. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2009. )Evaluating Public Space .Crystal City, VA. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas and Chandler, Rod (2009. )Resolving Sustainability at the Lot, Block and Neighborhood levels. Work from the 2009 Tampa Urban Design Studio .Tampa, FL. Conference. Level:Regional

Mehta, V. (2009. )The Phenomena of Everyday Places in the City .Kyoto, Japan. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, V. (2009. )Reclaiming and Revitalizing the Urban Core: urban design alternatives. Work from the 2009 Tampa Urban Design Studio - Retooling Development in these Economic Times .Tampa, FL. Conference. Level:Regional

Mehta, V. (2009. )Urban Design Lessons from a Third Place .Portland, OR. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, V. (2009. )Designing the Main Street for Children .Kansas City, MO. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, V. (2009. )Sense of Place in Everyday Spaces: Lessons for Urban Design .San Antonio, TX. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, V. (2008. )Territoriality and Social Interaction on Main Streets .Veracruz, Mexico. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, V. (2008. )Small Businesses and the Vitality of Main Street .Baltimore, MD. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, V. (2008. )Third Places and Social Life of Streets .Milwaukee, WI. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2007. )Streets for People: Determining Urban Design Characteristics using Behavior Mapping and User Interviews .Leuven, Belgium. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2006. )Lively Streets: Exploring the Relationship between Built Environment and Social Behavior .Fortworth, TX. Conference. Level:International

Mehta, Vikas (2005. )Lively Streets: Exploring the Relationship between Built Environment and Social Behavior .University of California, Berkeley, CA . Other Institution. Level:National

Mehta, Vikas (2004. )From Open Spaces to Public Places .Washington, DC. Professional Meeting. Level:National

Honors and Awards

2018 -2019 DAAP Outstanding Research Award Status:Recipient Level:College Type:Recognition

2014 Winner - Book Award Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Status:Recipient Level:International

2014 Finalist - Best Book of the Year - Francis Tibbalds Award Urban Design Group, UK Status:Nomination Level:International

2013 Summer Research Grant - Designing the Walkable City College of The Arts, University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:College Type:Grant

2012 -2013 Faculty Research Grant - Designing the Walkable City College of The Arts, University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:College Type:Grant

2011 Provost’s Summer Research Grant - Reading Landscapes, Telling Stories: Mapping the Culture of Place University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Grant

2010 -2011 Faculty Research Grant. The Street: a quintessential social public space (book project) College of The Arts, University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:College Type:Grant

2009 -2010 Faculty Research Grant - Exploring “Found” Space: the untapped urban public domain College of The Arts, University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:College Type:Grant

2009 Provost’s Summer Research Grant - Representing and Evaluating Public Space in the City University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Grant

2009 Innovative Learning-Centered Grant: Faculty Creativity in Teaching - Evaluating Public Space: creating a user-friendly web-based instrument University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Grant

2008 -2009 Faculty Research Grant - A Tale of Two Streets: Comparative Experiences on Streets in the East and West College of The Arts, University of South Florida Status:Recipient Level:College Type:Grant

2008 Chester Rapkin Award - Honorable Mention for Best Research Paper of the year in the Journal of Planning Education and Research Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Status:Recipient Level:International

2005 -2006 Active Living Research Program’s Doctoral Dissertation Grant Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living Research Program Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Grant

2004 -2005 Doctoral Fellowship Award University of Maryland Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Fellowship

2004 Travel Grant to Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Conference Fannie Mae Foundation Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Grant

2003 -2004 Doctoral Fellowship Award University of Maryland Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Fellowship

1998 Alumni Design Award for Graduate Thesis Project Morgan State University Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Recognition

1998 Merit based Scholarship Award for Graduate Studies Morgan State University Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Monetary

1990 Best Overall Performance Award for Major (Architectural Design Studio) School of Architecture, Institute of Environmental Design, Gujarat, India Status:Recipient Level:Department Type:Recognition

1988 Best Performance Award & Scholarship for Architectural Design Studio VIII School of Architecture, Institute of Environmental Design, Gujarat, India Status:Recipient Level:Department Type:Monetary

1986 Best Performance Award & Scholarship for Architectural Design Studio V School of Architecture, Institute of Environmental Design, Gujarat, India Status:Recipient Level:Department Type:Recognition

1986 Best Performance Award & Scholarship for Architectural Design Studio IV School of Architecture, Institute of Environmental Design, Gujarat, India Status:Recipient Level:Department Type:Recognition

Positions and Work Experience

2012 -2014 Associate Professor of Urbanism, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

2006 -2012 Assistant Professor of Urbanism, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

2006 -2006 Adjunct Professor of Urban Design, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA

2001 -2003 Architect & Project Manager, RCG Architects, Baltimore, MD

1998 -2001 Architect & Project Manager, GWWO Architects, Baltimore, MD

1994 -1997 Principal Architect, In-house Architecture Office, Somaiya Trust, Bombay, India

1993 -1994 Principal Architect, Private Practice, New Delhi, India

1991 -1993 Architect, Ashok B. Lall Architects, New Delhi, India

1990 -1991 Architect, Design Atelier, New Delhi, India

Research and Practice Interests


Dr. Mehta’s research explores the sense of place and place distinctiveness, planning, design and management of urban places for sociability, and cities and regions as just, equitable and sustainable living systems. His research, teaching and community engagement efforts are committed to focusing design and planning toward urban vitality and regeneration, environmental sustainability through urbanism, creating place identity through urban communication, understanding of environment-behavior relationships, multi-cultural understanding of place for the sustainable growth of cities and regions. Dr. Mehta’s work has advanced the existing methods to study human behavior in public spaces and has developed measures of sociability of public spaces that are useful to urban designers, planners, architects and landscape architects.