JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Five Jackson State University (JSU) Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) doctoral candidates and two faculty members will be traveling to the University of California in Berkeley for the department’s first exchange program.

Berneece Herbert, Ph.D., professor and chair for DURP, collaborated with UC Berkeley professor, Matt Kondalf, Ph.D., to make this opportunity possible. During their time in Berkeley, the exchange students will study the revitalization of various cities’ riverfronts.

“We want to see how cities can revive their riverfronts and make them economically sustainable, but environmentally friendly. There’s a lot of issues with riverfronts and riverfront access. The government used to use rivers mostly for transportation of resources, but they realized people are attracted to water, so the idea is to figure out how to make it economically feasible for people to move there,” said Herbert.

The JSU scholars are set to travel to California on May 19th to study the ports and socioeconomic status of waterfronts in California. The five Jackson State doctoral candidates traveling to UC Berkley are Tanisha Hinton, Ras Tafari Cannady II, AICP, PMP, Jon-Vincent S. Holden, Lakesha Stewart, MURP, and BriAnna Baber.

After two years of planning, Herbert and Kondalf were able to earn grants to fund the exchange program. Not only will the students study the economic impact of riverfronts, but also the ecological effects on the area following land development.