Research activity by professors in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning is conducted through research centers, labs, and institutes affiliated with the College and the University. The college wide certificate programs are offered through the centers to any graduate students in the university.
The Center for Health Systems & Design is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on health facility planning and design. The research interests of faculty fellows range from the effects of stress on patients' health and well being, to the design of healing environments for neonatal patients, children, the elderly, people who live in the Texas colonias and AIDS patients. The primary activities of the Center include: a professional associates program, curriculum development, health lecture series and support of health-related research and design projects.
The Center for Housing and Urban Development (CHUD) in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University has historically focused on the management of the CHUD Colonias Program, which was created in 1991 to meet some of the pressing needs of the residents of the Colonias along the Texas/Mexico Rio Grande border, in accord with a mandate from the Texas Legislature, which provided funding for this purpose.
The mission of the CRS Center is to create useful knowledge in leadership and management that applies to both individual projects as well as firms and organizations in the design, construction and facility management industry.
The center engages in research on hazard mitigation, disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The staff of the HRRC is interdisciplinary in nature and includes the expertise of architects, engineers, geographers, psychologists, and sociologists. The HRRC is dedicated to providing access to hazards information for homeowners, professionals, business investors, and the academic community.
The two-fold mission of the Center of Heritage Conservation is to: Develop, maintain and administer a cross-disciplinary Certificate in Historic Preservation based on strong discipline-based academic programs that prepare graduates to enter the preservation field. Instill a basic awareness of historic preservation and historic resource management issues for undergraduate and graduate audiences through cooperation with other disciplines across the campus.
The Visualization Laboratory supports the research activities of the Visualization Sciences graduate program as well as other related research activities of the college. Activities of the laboratory are centered around the digital computer as a tool for visual communication. Areas of research include 3D modeling, animation, image synthesis, visual effects, visual communication, digital photography and videography, and visualization software. The laboratory houses numerous SGI and NT visual workstations, sophisticated visual software, video production facilities, and specialized devices for data capture, interaction, and image input and output.
Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) is the largest university-affiliated transportation research agency in the United States. Created in 1950 in response to the needs of the Texas Highway Department, TTI has since broadened its focus to address all modes of transportation—highway, air, water, rail and pipeline. TTI is a state agency and a member of The Texas A&M University System. TTI's program of practical, applied research helps hundreds of sponsors address a range of transportation challenges. For example, through decades of research in just the highway area—planning, design, construction, maintenance, safety and operations—virtually every mile of roadway in Texas has been positively impacted by some aspect of the TTI program. Through research, development and technology transfer, TTI is helping to meet the transportation needs of tomorrow.
Global Climate Change (GCC) and Urban Heat Island (UHI) intensification are making American cities hotter places to live. Urban designers need solid evidence on how to reverse this trend, and they need proven strategies for redesigning cities so that they will be more thermally-comfortable. Microclimate is a major part of urban living and is experienced by people as their personal weather. Microclimates affect the air temperature, humidity, wind, as well as solar and terrestrial radiation at the local level. All of these elements are invisible to the human eye, but they strongly influence people’s every-day decision such as whether or not to walk to work, to play sports in a park, or even to garden in the backyard. Microclimatic design can make places more thermally comfortable thus encouraging outdoor activity.