Academia uses a vocabulary that can be a bit convoluted, a bit confusing, and frankly a bit exclusionary. We’ll do our best to avoid using words like “concomitantly”, “discursive” and the like. However, sometimes there are words that we can’t help but use. Here is where we define those niche words.

If there is a word that you feel needs a definition, please write it in this issue.


  • Built environment: the human-made features of our physical environment such as buildings, parks, roadways and such.
  • Epistemic: relating to the way in which something is known.
  • Exurb: an area outside of the city that is beyond the suburb. The order here is city center, suburbs, and then exurbs.
  • Land use pattern: the ways in which humans interact with the physical environment. This is typically divided into residential, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, and open space.
  • NIMBY: not in my back yard.
  • POI: place of interest.
  • YIMBY: yes, in my back yard.


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