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Winter 2016

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.

Car Costs

Rethinking Affordability

New research demonstrates the impact transportation has on housing costs in urban regions 

Shima Hamidi

Shima Hamidi

Cities lauded as having affordable housing may be overlooking a key element: transportation costs. In a study published in the journal Housing Policy Debate, Assistant Professor Shima Hamidi looked into how location affects affordability in reality.

"What we discovered is that many of the locations around the United States that don't have public transportation also don't really offer affordable housing, because residents have to purchase a car and insurance and spend time commuting," explains Dr. Hamidi, who collaborated on the project with Reid Ewing, professor and director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. "It becomes a social equity issue. The ability to get to quality jobs or schools is limited because of the transportation costs involved."

The researchers evaluated more than 18,000 Department of Housing and Urban Development rental assistance properties from around the country. They found that 44 percent of the units had occupants who spent, on average, more than 15 percent of their incomes on transportation costs. The ratio of transportation cost to income rose dramatically in areas without public transit.

Dallas was well above that 44 percent benchmark at 72 percent. Other notable cities included Buffalo at 84 percent and Phoenix at 97 percent.

"The study recommends that public entities locate affordable housing where public transit is available or offer transportation subsidies so people can afford cars and insurance," says Hamidi, who is also director of the Institute of Urban Studies.

More articles from this issue

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