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California High Speed Resilience to Climate Change

Description

This LCA used data from a previous LCA done by Chester and Horvath (2012) on the proposed California High Speed Rail, and furthered the LCA to look into potential changes that can be made to the proposed CAHSR to be

This LCA used data from a previous LCA done by Chester and Horvath (2012) on the proposed California High Speed Rail, and furthered the LCA to look into potential changes that can be made to the proposed CAHSR to be more resilient to climate change. This LCA focused on the energy, cost, and GHG emissions associated with raising the track, adding fly ash to the concrete mixture in place of a percentage of cement, and running the HSR on solar electricity rather than the current electricity mix. Data was collected from a variety of sources including other LCAs, research studies, feasibility studies, and project information from companies, agencies, and researchers in order to determine what the cost, energy requirements, and associated GHG emissions would be for each of these changes. This data was then used to calculate results of cost, energy, and GHG emissions for the three different changes. The results show that the greatest source of cost is the raised track (Design/Construction Phase), and the greatest source of GHG emissions is the concrete (also Design/Construction Phase).

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Date Created
2014-06-13

The Water, Energy, & Infrastructure Co-Benefits of Smart Growth Planning in Phoenix

Description

Phoenix is the sixth most populated city in the United States and the 12th largest metropolitan area by population, with about 4.4 million people. As the region continues to grow, the demand for housing and jobs within the metropolitan area

Phoenix is the sixth most populated city in the United States and the 12th largest metropolitan area by population, with about 4.4 million people. As the region continues to grow, the demand for housing and jobs within the metropolitan area is projected to rise under uncertain climate conditions.

Undergraduate and graduate students from Engineering, Sustainability, and Urban Planning in ASU’s Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development course evaluated the water, energy, and infrastructure changes that result from smart growth in Phoenix, Arizona. The Maricopa Association of Government's Sustainable Transportation and Land Use Integration Study identified a market for 485,000 residential dwelling units in the urban core. Household water and energy use changes, changes in infrastructure needs, and financial and economic savings are assessed along with associated energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The course project has produced data on sustainable development in Phoenix and the findings will be made available through ASU’s Urban Sustainability Lab.

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Future Life-Cycle Footprints of Passenger Transportation in San Francisco

Description

Vehicle trips presently account for approximately 50% of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions (San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 2008). City and county officials have developed aggressive strategies for the future of passenger transportation in the metropolitan area, and are determined

Vehicle trips presently account for approximately 50% of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions (San Francisco County Transportation Authority, 2008). City and county officials have developed aggressive strategies for the future of passenger transportation in the metropolitan area, and are determined to move away from a “business as usual” future. This project starts with current-state source data from a life-cycle comparison of urban transportation systems (Chester, Horvath, & Madanat, 2010), and carries the inventoried emissions and energy usage through by way of published future scenarios for San Francisco.

From the extrapolated calculations of future emissions/energy, the implied mix of transportation modes can be backed out of the numbers. Five scenarios are evaluated, from “business as usual” through very ambitious “healthy environment” goals. The results show that when planners and policymakers craft specific goals or strategies for a location or government, those targets, even if met, are unlikely to result in the intended physical outcomes. City and state governments would be wise to support broad strategy goals (like 20% GHG reduction) with prioritized specifics that can inform real projects leading to the goals (for instance, add 5 miles of bike path per year through 2020, or remove 5 parking garages and replace them with transit depots). While these results should not be used as predictions or forecasts, they can inform the crafters of future transportation policy as an opportunity for improvement or a cautionary tale.

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Date Created
2012-05

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Assessing the Potential for Reducing Life-Cycle Environmental Impacts through Transit Oriented Development Infill along Existing Light Rail in Phoenix

Description

Study Background: Researchers at ASU have determined that significant energy and environmental benefits are possible in the Phoenix metro area over the next 60 years from transit-oriented development along the current Valley Metro light rail line. The team evaluated infill

Study Background: Researchers at ASU have determined that significant energy and environmental benefits are possible in the Phoenix metro area over the next 60 years from transit-oriented development along the current Valley Metro light rail line. The team evaluated infill densification outcomes when vacant lots and some dedicated surface parking lots are repurposed for residential development. Life cycle building (construction, use, and energy production) and transportation (manufacturing, operation, and energy production) changes were included and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions were evaluated in addition to the potential for respiratory impacts and smog formation. All light rail infill scenarios are compared against new single family home construction in outlying areas.

Overview of Results: In the most conservative scenario, the Phoenix area can place 2,200 homes near light rail and achieve 9-15% reductions in energy use and emissions. By allowing multi-family apartments to fill vacant lots, 12,000 new dwelling units can be infilled achieving a 28-42% reduction. When surface lots are developed in addition to vacant lots then multi-family apartment buildings around light rail can deliver 30-46% energy and environmental reductions. These reductions occur even after new trains are put into operation to meet the increased demand.

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Created

Date Created
2013