Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Recently URP student Suyun Ma and URP alum Adweta Joshi (class of 2009) participated in the American Planning Association (APA) – Iowa Chapter Student Poster Contest, and won second prize! The poster was entitled, “Identifying Spatial Relationship between Elderly Population Distribution and Crashes Related to Elderly Drivers in Des Moines, Iowa.”

The study assumed that due to limited mobility, crashes involving elderly drivers tend to occur around areas of elderly population clusters. Ma and Joshi used GIS based Hot-spot Analysis to identify areas in Des Moines where there are elderly population clusters, and where they are randomly distributed. Network Cross K-Function, another GIS based tool, was applied to these areas to examine the effect of elderly population distribution on crash locations involving the elderly drivers. The results showed that the crashes usually group around areas where high counts or low counts of elderly population cluster. In areas where the elderly population is randomly distributed, there is no clustering of crashes.

The award was presented as part of the APA-Iowa state conference on October 29th at the State Historical Building in Des Moines, Iowa. Ma and Joshi discussed their poster and research during breaks at the conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel October 28th-30th.