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Tricks of the shade: heat-related coping strategies of urban homeless persons in Phoenix, Arizona

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This research is about urban homeless people's vulnerability to extreme temperatures and the related socio-spatial dynamics. Specifically, this research investigates heat related coping strategies homeless people use and how the urban environment setting impacts those coping strategies. Semi-structured

This research is about urban homeless people's vulnerability to extreme temperatures and the related socio-spatial dynamics. Specifically, this research investigates heat related coping strategies homeless people use and how the urban environment setting impacts those coping strategies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with homeless people in Phoenix, Arizona during the summer of 2010. The findings demonstrate that homeless people have a variety of coping strategies and the urban environment setting unjustly impacts those strategies. The results suggest a need for further studies that focus spatial environmental effects on homeless people and other vulnerable populations.

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Date Created
2011

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Citizen evaluation of local government performance and service

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Government performance and accountability have grown to be predominant areas within public administration literature over the last forty years. The research presented in this dissertation examines the relationship between citizen satisfaction and local government performance. Citizen review of service delivery

Government performance and accountability have grown to be predominant areas within public administration literature over the last forty years. The research presented in this dissertation examines the relationship between citizen satisfaction and local government performance. Citizen review of service delivery provides vital feedback that facilitates better resource management within local government. Using data from a single jurisdiction, two aspects of citizen satisfaction are reviewed. This includes citizen review of overall city performance, and citizen satisfaction with individual service delivery. Logit regression analysis is used to test several factors that affect citizen evaluation of service delivery in local government, while ordinary least squares regression is used to test the relationship between personal factors and citizen evaluation of specific local services. The results generated four major findings that contribute to the scholarly body of knowledge and local government knowledge application. First, citizens who are predisposed to supporting the local jurisdiction are more likely to rate service delivery high. Second, customer service is important. Third, those who experience government services similarly will collectively react similarly to the service experience. Finally, the length of residency has an impact on satisfaction levels with specific services. Implications for the literature as well as for practice are discussed.

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2012

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A multi-factor analysis of the emergence of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam

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This project examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the development of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In the Hohokam case, widespread dependence on the products of a few concentrated pottery producers developed in the

This project examines the social and economic factors that contributed to the development of a specialist-based economy among the Phoenix Basin Hohokam. In the Hohokam case, widespread dependence on the products of a few concentrated pottery producers developed in the absence of political centralization or hierarchical social arrangements. The factors that promoted intensified pottery production, therefore, are the keys to addressing how economic systems can expand in small-scale and middle-range societies. This dissertation constructs a multi-factor model that explores changes to the organization of decorated pottery production during a substantial portion of the pre-Classic period (AD 700 - AD 1020). The analysis is designed to examine simultaneously several variables that may have encouraged demand for ceramic vessels made by specialists. This study evaluates the role of four factors in the development of supply and demand for specialist produced red-on-buff pottery in Hohokam settlements. The factors include 1) agricultural intensification in the form of irrigation agriculture, 2) increases in population density, 3) ritual or social obligations that require the production of particular craft items, and 4) reduced transport costs. Supply and demand for specialist-produced pottery is estimated through a sourcing analysis of non-local pottery at 13 Phoenix Basin settlements. Through a series of statistical analyses, the study measures changes in the influence of each factor on demand for specialist-produced pottery through four temporal phases of the Hohokam pre-Classic period. The analysis results indicate that specialized red-on-buff production was initially spurred by demand for light-colored, shiny, decorated pottery, but then by comparative advantages to specialized production in particular areas of the Phoenix Basin. Specialists concentrated on the Snaketown canal system were able to generate light-colored, mica-dense wares that Phoenix Basin consumers desired while lowering transport costs in the distribution of red-on-buff pottery. The circulation of decorated wares was accompanied by the production of plainware pottery in other areas of the Phoenix Basin. Economic growth in the region was based on complementary and coordinated economic activities between the Salt and the Gila River valleys.

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2013

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Heat-related morbidity and thermal comfort: a comparison study of Phoenix and Chicago

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I present the results of studies from two historically separate fields of research: heat related illness and human thermal comfort adaptation. My research objectives were: (a) to analyze the relationships between climate and heat related morbidity in Phoenix, Arizona and

I present the results of studies from two historically separate fields of research: heat related illness and human thermal comfort adaptation. My research objectives were: (a) to analyze the relationships between climate and heat related morbidity in Phoenix, Arizona and Chicago, Illinois; (b) explore possible linkages of human thermal comfort adaptation to heat-related illness; and (c) show possible benefits of collaboration between the two fields of research. Previous climate and mortality studies discovered regional patterns in summertime mortality in North America: lower in hot, southern cities compared to more temperate cities. I examined heat related emergency (911) dispatches from these two geographically and climatically different cities. I analyzed with local weather conditions with 911 dispatches identified by responders as "heat" related from 2001 to 2006 in Phoenix and 2003 through 2006 in Chicago. Both cities experienced a rapid rise in heat-related dispatches with increasing temperature and heat index, but at higher thresholds in Phoenix. Overall, Phoenix had almost two and half times more heat-related dispatches than Chicago. However, Phoenix did not experience the large spikes of heat-related dispatches that occurred in Chicago. These findings suggest a resilience to heat-related illness that may be linked to acclimatization in Phoenix. I also present results from a survey based outdoor human thermal comfort field study in Phoenix to assess levels of local acclimatization. Previous research in outdoor human thermal comfort in hot humid and temperate climates used similar survey-based methodologies and found higher levels of thermal comfort (adaptation to heat) that in warmer climates than in cooler climates. The study presented in this dissertation found outdoor thermal comfort thresholds and heat tolerance levels in Phoenix were higher than previous studies from temperate climates more similar to Chicago. These differences were then compared to the differences in weather conditions associated with heat-related dispatches. The higher comfort thresholds in Phoenix were similar in scale to the climate differences associated with the upsurge in heat-related dispatches in Phoenix and Chicago. This suggests a link between heat related illness and acclimatization, and illustrates potential for collaboration in research between the two fields.

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Date Created
2012

Life Cycle Assessment of Ecosystem Services for Phoenix’s Building Stock

Description

Better methods are necessary to fully account for anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems and the essential services provided by ecosystems that sustain human life. Current methods for assessing sustainability, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), typically focus on easily quantifiable indicators

Better methods are necessary to fully account for anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems and the essential services provided by ecosystems that sustain human life. Current methods for assessing sustainability, such as life cycle assessment (LCA), typically focus on easily quantifiable indicators such as air emissions with no accounting for the essential ecosystem benefits that support human or industrial processes. For this reason, more comprehensive, transparent, and robust methods are necessary for holistic understanding of urban technosphere and ecosphere systems, including their interfaces. Incorporating ecosystem service indicators into LCA is an important step in spanning this knowledge gap.

For urban systems, many built environment processes have been investigated but need to be expanded with life cycle assessment for understanding ecosphere impacts. To pilot these new methods, a material inventory of the building infrastructure of Phoenix, Arizona can be coupled with LCA to gain perspective on the impacts assessment for built structures in Phoenix. This inventory will identify the origins of materials stocks, and the solid and air emissions waste associated with their raw material extraction, processing, and construction and identify key areas of future research necessary to fully account for ecosystem services in urban sustainability assessments. Based on this preliminary study, the ecosystem service impacts of metropolitan Phoenix stretch far beyond the county boundaries. A life cycle accounting of the Phoenix’s embedded building materials will inform policy and decision makers, assist with community education, and inform the urban sustainability community of consequences.

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E assim que eu sonho do velho Brasil: Brazilian immigrants maintaining identity through music in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

The number of Brazilian immigrants in the United States has greatly increased over the past three decades. In Phoenix, Arizona, this population increase reveals itself through a greater number of large Brazilian cultural events and higher demand for live Brazilian

The number of Brazilian immigrants in the United States has greatly increased over the past three decades. In Phoenix, Arizona, this population increase reveals itself through a greater number of large Brazilian cultural events and higher demand for live Brazilian music. Music is so embedded in Brazilian culture that it serves as the ideal medium through which immigrants can reconnect to their Brazilian heritage. In this thesis, I contend that Brazilian immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona maintain their identity as Brazilians through various activities extracted from their home culture, the most prominent being musical interaction and participation. My research reveals three primary factors which form a foundation for maintaining cultural identity through music within the Brazilian immigrant community in Phoenix. These include the common experiences of immigration, diasporic identity, and the role of music within this diaspora. Music is one of the stronger art forms for representing emotions and creating an experience of relationship and connections. Music creates a medium with which to confirm identity, and makes the Brazilian immigrant population visible to other Americans and outsiders. While other Brazilian activities can also serve to maintain immigrants' identity, it is clear to me from five years of participant-observation that musical interaction and participation is the most prominent and effective means for Brazilians in Phoenix to maintain their cultural identity while living in the U.S. As a community, music unites the experiences of the Brazilian immigrants and removes them from the periphery of life in a new society.

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Date Created
2012

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Optimizing the effect of vegetation for pedestrian thermal comfort and urban heat island mitigation in a hot arid urban environment

Description

Rapid urbanization in Phoenix, Arizona has increased the nighttime temperature by 5°C (9 °F), and the average daily temperatures by 3.1°C (5.6 °F) (Baker et al 2002). On the macro scale, the energy balance of urban surface paving materials is

Rapid urbanization in Phoenix, Arizona has increased the nighttime temperature by 5°C (9 °F), and the average daily temperatures by 3.1°C (5.6 °F) (Baker et al 2002). On the macro scale, the energy balance of urban surface paving materials is the main contributor to the phenomenon of the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI). On the micro scale, it results in a negative effect on the pedestrian thermal comfort environment. In their efforts to revitalize Downtown Phoenix, pedestrian thermal comfort improvements became one of the main aims for City planners. There has been an effort in reformulating City zoning standards and building codes with the goal of developing a pedestrian friendly civic environment. Much of the literature dealing with mitigating UHI effects recommends extensive tree planting as the chief strategy for reducing the UHI and improving outdoor human thermal comfort. On the pedestrian scale, vegetation plays a significant role in modifying the microclimate by providing shade and aiding the human thermal comfort via evapotranspiration. However, while the extensive tree canopy is beneficial in providing daytime shade for pedestrians, it may reduce the pavement surfaces' sky-view factor during the night, thereby reducing the rate of nighttime radiation to the sky and trapping the heat gained within the urban materials. This study strives to extend the understanding, and optimize the recommendations for the use of landscape in the urban context of Phoenix, Arizona for effectiveness in both improving the human thermal comfort and in mitigating the urban heat island effect.

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Date Created
2014

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From desert city to suburban metropolis: urban growth and environmentalism in Phoenix, 1945-1980

Description

Postwar suburban sprawl resulted in environmental consequences that engendered backlash from those concerned about the quality life in the places they lived, played, and worked. Few cities grew as rapidly as Phoenix and therefore the city offers an important case

Postwar suburban sprawl resulted in environmental consequences that engendered backlash from those concerned about the quality life in the places they lived, played, and worked. Few cities grew as rapidly as Phoenix and therefore the city offers an important case study to evaluate the success and limits of environmentalism in shaping urban growth in the postwar period.

Using three episodes looking at sanitation and public health, open space preservation, and urban transportation, I argue three factors played a critical role in determining the extent to which environmental values were incorporated into Phoenix's urban growth policy. First, the degree to which environmental values influenced urban policy depends on the degree to which they fit into the Southwestern suburban lifestyle. A desire for low-density development and quality of life amenities like outdoor recreation resulted in decisions to extend municipal sewers further into the desert, the creation of a mountain preserve system, and freeways as the primary mode of travel in the city. Second, federal policy and the availability of funds guided policies pursued by Phoenix officials to deal with the unintended environmental impacts of growth. For example, federal dollars provided one-third of the funds for the construction of a centralized sewage treatment plant, half the funds to save Camelback Mountain and ninety percent of the construction costs for the West Papago-Inner Loop. Lastly, policy alternatives needed broad and diverse public support, as the public played a critical role, through bond approvals and votes, as well as grassroots campaigning, in integrating environmental values into urban growth policy. Public advocacy campaigns played an important role in setting the policy agenda and framing the policy issues that shaped policy alternatives and the public's receptivity to those choices.

Urban policy decisions are part of a dynamic and ongoing process, where previous decisions result in new challenges that provide an opportunity for debate, and the incorporation of new social values into the decision-making process. While twenty-first century challenges require responses that reflect contemporary macroeconomic factors and social values, the postwar period demonstrates the need for inclusive, collaborative, and anticipatory decision-making.

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Date Created
2015