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Sustainable water management in Ciudad Juarez

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ABSTRACT Water resources in many parts of the world are subject to increasing stress because of (a) the growth in demand caused by population increase and economic development, (b) threats to supply caused by climate and land cover change, and

ABSTRACT Water resources in many parts of the world are subject to increasing stress because of (a) the growth in demand caused by population increase and economic development, (b) threats to supply caused by climate and land cover change, and (c) a heightened awareness of the importance of maintaining water supplies to other parts of the ecosystem. An additional factor is the quality of water management. The United States-Mexican border provides an example of poor water management combined with increasing demand for water resources that are both scarce and uncertain. This dissertation focuses on the problem of water management in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. The city has attracted foreign investment during the last few decades, largely due to relatively low environmental and labor costs, and to a range of tax incentives and concessions. This has led to economic and population growth, but also to higher demand for public services such as water which leads to congestion and scarcity. In particular, as water resources have become scarce, the cost of water supply has increased. The dissertation analyzes the conditions that allow for the efficient use of water resources at sustainable levels of economic activity--i.e., employment and investment. In particular, it analyzes the water management strategies that lead to an efficient and sustainable use of water when the source of water is either an aquifer, or there is conjunctive use of ground and imported water. The first part of the dissertation constructs a model of the interactive effects of water supply, wage rates, inward migration of labor and inward investment of capital. It shows how growing water scarcity affects population growth through the impact it has on real wage rates, and how this erodes the comparative advantage of Ciudad Juarez--low wages--to the point where foreign investment stops. This reveals the very close connection between water management and the level of economic activity in Ciudad Juarez. The second part of the dissertation examines the effect of sustainable and efficient water management strategies on population and economic activity levels under two different settings. In the first Ciudad Juarez relies exclusively on ground water to meet demand--this reflects the current situation of Ciudad Juarez. In the second Ciudad Juarez is able both to import water and to draw on aquifers to meet demand. This situation is motivated by the fact that Ciudad Juarez is considering importing water from elsewhere to maintain its economic growth and mitigate the overdraft of the Bolson del Hueco aquifer. Both models were calibrated on data for Ciudad Juarez, and then used to run experiments with respect to different environmental and economic conditions, and different water management options. It is shown that for a given set of technological, institutional and environmental conditions, the way water is managed in a desert environment determines the long run equilibrium levels of employment, investment and output. It is also shown that the efficiency of water management is consistent with the sustainability of water use and economic activity. Importing water could allow the economy to operate at higher levels of activity than where it relies solely on local aquifers. However, at some scale, water availability will limit the level of economic activity, and the disposable income of the residents of Ciudad Juarez.

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2011

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Quenching our thirst for future knowledge: participatory scenario construction and sustainable water governance in a desert city

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Transformational sustainability science demands that stakeholders and researchers consider the needs and values of future generations in pursuit of solutions to sustainability problems. This dissertation research focuses on the real-world problem of unsustainable water governance in the Phoenix region of

Transformational sustainability science demands that stakeholders and researchers consider the needs and values of future generations in pursuit of solutions to sustainability problems. This dissertation research focuses on the real-world problem of unsustainable water governance in the Phoenix region of Central Arizona. A sustainability transition is the local water system is necessary to overcome sustainability challenges and scenarios can be used to explore plausible and desirable futures to inform a transition, but this requires some methodological refinements. This dissertation refines scenario methodology to generate water governance scenarios for metropolitan Phoenix that: (i) feature enhanced stakeholder participation; (ii) incorporate normative values and preferences; (iii) focus on governance actors and their activities; and (iv) meet an expanded set of quality criteria. The first study in the dissertation analyzes and evaluates participatory climate change scenarios to provide recommendations for the construction and use of scenarios that advance climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. The second study proposes and tests a set of plausibility indications to substantiate or evaluate claims that scenarios and future projections could become reality, helping to establish the legitimacy of radically different or transformative scenarios among an extended peer community. The case study of water governance begins with the third study, which includes a current state analysis and sustainability appraisal of the Phoenix-area water system. This is followed by a fourth study which surveys Phoenix-area water decision-makers to better understand water-related preferences for use in scenario construction. The fifth and final study applies a multi-method approach to construct future scenarios of water governance in metropolitan Phoenix in 2030 using stakeholder preferences, among other normative frames, and testing systemic impacts with WaterSim 5.0, a dynamic simulation model of water in the region. The scenarios are boundary objects around which stakeholders can weigh tradeoffs, set priorities and reflect on impacts of water-related activities, broadening policy dialogues around water governance in central Arizona. Together the five studies advance transformational sustainability research by refining methods to engage stakeholders in crafting futures that define how individuals and institutions should operate in transformed and sustainable systems.

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2014

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Office design: an exploration of worker satisfaction and their perceptions of effective workspaces

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ABSTRACT Recent studies indicate that top-performing companies have higher-performing work environments than average companies. They receive higher scores for worker satisfaction with their overall physical work environment as well as higher effectiveness ratings for their workspaces (Gensler, 2008; Harter et

ABSTRACT Recent studies indicate that top-performing companies have higher-performing work environments than average companies. They receive higher scores for worker satisfaction with their overall physical work environment as well as higher effectiveness ratings for their workspaces (Gensler, 2008; Harter et al., 2003). While these studies indicate a relationship between effective office design and satisfaction they have not explored which specific space types may contribute to workers' overall satisfaction with their physical work environment. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between workers' overall satisfaction with their physical work environments and their perception of the effectiveness of spaces designed for Conceptual Age work including learning, focusing, collaborating, and socializing tasks. This research is designed to identify which workspace types are related to workers' satisfaction with their overall work environment and which are perceived to be most and least effective. To accomplish this two primary and four secondary research questions were developed for this study. The first primary question considers overall workers' satisfaction with their overall physical work environments (offices, workstations, hallways, common areas, reception, waiting areas, etc.) related to the effective use of work mode workspaces (learning, focusing, collaborating, socializing). The second primary research question was developed to identify which of the four work mode space types had the greatest and least relationship to workers' satisfaction with the overall physical work environment. Secondary research questions were developed to address workers' perceptions of effectiveness of each space type. This research project used data from a previous study collected from 2007 to 2012. Responses were from all staff levels of US office-based office workers and resulted in a blind sample of approximately 48,000 respondents. The data for this study were developed from SPSS data reports that included descriptive data and Pearson correlations. Findings were developed from those statistics using coefficient of determination.

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2013

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Vulnerability to heat stress in urban areas: a sustainability perspective

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Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et al. 2011; Knowlton et al. 2007; Meehl and Tebaldi 2004;

Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et al. 2011; Knowlton et al. 2007; Meehl and Tebaldi 2004; Patz 2005). Heat waves will likely have the worst health impacts in urban areas, where large numbers of vulnerable people reside and where local-scale urban heat island effects (UHI) retard and reduce nighttime cooling. This dissertation presents three empirical case studies that were conducted to advance our understanding of human vulnerability to heat in coupled human-natural systems. Using vulnerability theory as a framework, I analyzed how various social and environmental components of a system interact to exacerbate or mitigate heat impacts on human health, with the goal of contributing to the conceptualization of human vulnerability to heat. The studies: 1) compared the relationship between temperature and health outcomes in Chicago and Phoenix; 2) compared a map derived from a theoretical generic index of vulnerability to heat with a map derived from actual heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix; and 3) used geospatial information on health data at two areal units to identify the hot spots for two heat health outcomes in Phoenix. The results show a 10-degree Celsius difference in the threshold temperatures at which heat-stress calls in Phoenix and Chicago are likely to increase drastically, and that Chicago is likely to be more sensitive to climate change than Phoenix. I also found that heat-vulnerability indices are sensitive to scale, measurement, and context, and that cities will need to incorporate place-based factors to increase the usefulness of vulnerability indices and mapping to decision making. Finally, I found that identification of geographical hot-spot of heat-related illness depends on the type of data used, scale of measurement, and normalization procedures. I recommend using multiple datasets and different approaches to spatial analysis to overcome this limitation and help decision makers develop effective intervention strategies.

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Date Created
2013

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Socio-ecological drivers and consequences of land fragmentation under conditions of rapid urbanization

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Land transformation under conditions of rapid urbanization has significantly altered the structure and functioning of Earth's systems. Land fragmentation, a characteristic of land transformation, is recognized as a primary driving force in the loss of biological diversity worldwide. However, little

Land transformation under conditions of rapid urbanization has significantly altered the structure and functioning of Earth's systems. Land fragmentation, a characteristic of land transformation, is recognized as a primary driving force in the loss of biological diversity worldwide. However, little is known about its implications in complex urban settings where interaction with social dynamics is intense. This research asks: How do patterns of land cover and land fragmentation vary over time and space, and what are the socio-ecological drivers and consequences of land transformation in a rapidly growing city? Using Metropolitan Phoenix as a case study, the research links pattern and process relationships between land cover, land fragmentation, and socio-ecological systems in the region. It examines population growth, water provision and institutions as major drivers of land transformation, and the changes in bird biodiversity that result from land transformation. How to manage socio-ecological systems is one of the biggest challenges of moving towards sustainability. This research project provides a deeper understanding of how land transformation affects socio-ecological dynamics in an urban setting. It uses a series of indices to evaluate land cover and fragmentation patterns over the past twenty years, including land patch numbers, contagion, shapes, and diversities. It then generates empirical evidence on the linkages between land cover patterns and ecosystem properties by exploring the drivers and impacts of land cover change. An interdisciplinary approach that integrates social, ecological, and spatial analysis is applied in this research. Findings of the research provide a documented dataset that can help researchers study the relationship between human activities and biotic processes in an urban setting, and contribute to sustainable urban development.

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2013

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Crafting sustainability visions: integrating visioning practice, research, and education

Description

Sustainability visioning (i.e. the construction of sustainable future states) is considered an important component of sustainability research, for instance, in transformational sustainability science or in planning for urban sustainability. Visioning frees sustainability research from the dominant focus on analyzing problem

Sustainability visioning (i.e. the construction of sustainable future states) is considered an important component of sustainability research, for instance, in transformational sustainability science or in planning for urban sustainability. Visioning frees sustainability research from the dominant focus on analyzing problem constellations and opens it towards positive contributions to social innovation and transformation. Calls are repeatedly made for visions that can guide us towards sustainable futures. Scattered across a broad range of fields (i.e. business, non-government organization, land-use management, natural resource management, sustainability science, urban and regional planning) are an abundance of visioning studies. However, among the few evaluative studies in the literature there are apparent deficits in both the research and practice of visioning that curtails our expectations and prospects of realizing process-based and product-derived outcomes. These deficits suggests that calls instead should focus on the development of applied and theoretical understanding of crafting sustainability visions, enhancing the rigor and robustness of visioning methodology, and on integrating practice, research, and education for collaborative sustainability visioning. From an analysis of prominent visioning and sustainability visioning studies in the literature, this dissertation articulates what is sustainability visioning and synthesizes a conceptual framework for criteria-based design and evaluation of sustainability visioning studies. While current visioning methodologies comply with some of these guidelines, none adhere to all of them. From this research, a novel sustainability visioning methodology is designed to address this gap to craft visions that are shared, systemic, principles-based, action-oriented, relevant, and creative (i.e. SPARC visioning methodology) and evaluated across all quality criteria. Empirical studies were conducted to test and apply the conceptual and methodological frameworks -- with an emphasis on enhancing the rigor and robustness in real world visioning processes for urban planning and teaching sustainability competencies. In-depth descriptions of the collaborative visioning studies demonstrate tangible outcomes for: (a) implementing the above sustainability visioning methodology, including evaluative procedures; (b) adopting meaningful interactive engagement procedures; (c) integrating advanced analytical modeling, sustainability appraisal, and creativity enhancing procedures; and (d) developing perspective and methodological capacity for long-range sustainability planning.

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Date Created
2013

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Harnessing the impacts of schools: new insights for sustainable community development

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This dissertation explores the unique role schools play in contributing toward a sustainable future for their communities. This was undertaken by first conducting a thorough review and analysis of the literature on the current utilization of schools as agents of

This dissertation explores the unique role schools play in contributing toward a sustainable future for their communities. This was undertaken by first conducting a thorough review and analysis of the literature on the current utilization of schools as agents of sustainable development, along with an evaluation of schools engaging in this model around the United States. Following this, a framework was developed to aid in the assessment of school-community engagements from the perspective of social change. Sustainability problem solving tools were synthesized for use by schools and community stakeholders, and were tested in the case study of this dissertation. This case study combined methods from the fields of sustainable development, transition management, and social change to guide two schools in their attempts to increase community sustainability through addressing a shared sustainability problem: childhood obesity. The case study facilitated the creation of a sustainable vision for the Phoenix Metropolitan Area without childhood obesity, as well as strategic actions plans for each school to utilize as they move forward on addressing this challenge.

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Date Created
2013

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Relationship between single-family residential water use and its determinants: a spatio-temporal study of Phoenix, Arizona

Description

The dynamics of urban water use are characterized by spatial and temporal variability that is influenced by associated factors at different scales. Thus it is important to capture the relationship between urban water use and its determinants in a spatio-temporal

The dynamics of urban water use are characterized by spatial and temporal variability that is influenced by associated factors at different scales. Thus it is important to capture the relationship between urban water use and its determinants in a spatio-temporal framework in order to enhance understanding and management of urban water demand. This dissertation aims to contribute to understanding the spatio-temporal relationships between single-family residential (SFR) water use and its determinants in a desert city. The dissertation has three distinct papers to support this goal. In the first paper, I demonstrate that aggregated scale data can be reliably used to study the relationship between SFR water use and its determinants without leading to significant ecological fallacy. The usability of aggregated scale data facilitates scientific inquiry about SFR water use with more available aggregated scale data. The second paper advances understanding of the relationship between SFR water use and its associated factors by accounting for the spatial and temporal dependence in a panel data setting. The third paper of this dissertation studies the historical contingency, spatial heterogeneity, and spatial connectivity in the relationship of SFR water use and its determinants by comparing three different regression models. This dissertation demonstrates the importance and necessity of incorporating spatio-temporal components, such as scale, dependence, and heterogeneity, into SFR water use research. Spatial statistical models should be used to understand the effects of associated factors on water use and test the effectiveness of certain management policies since spatial effects probably will significantly influence the estimates if only non-spatial statistical models are used. Urban water demand management should pay attention to the spatial heterogeneity in predicting the future water demand to achieve more accurate estimates, and spatial statistical models provide a promising method to do this job.

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Date Created
2013

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Food security and financial success in Central Arizona farmers' markets: presences, absences, lived experience, and governance

Description

Farmers' markets are a growing trend both in Arizona and the broader U.S., as many recognize them as desirable alternatives to the conventional food system. As icons of sustainability, farmers' markets are touted as providing many environmental, social, and economic

Farmers' markets are a growing trend both in Arizona and the broader U.S., as many recognize them as desirable alternatives to the conventional food system. As icons of sustainability, farmers' markets are touted as providing many environmental, social, and economic benefits, but evidence is mounting that local food systems primarily serve the urban elite, with relatively few low-income or minority customers. However, the economic needs of the market and its vendors often conflict with those of consumers. While consumers require affordable food, farmers need to make a profit. How farmers' markets are designed and governed can significantly influence the extent to which they can meet these needs. However, very little research explores farmers' market design and governance, much less its capacity to influence financial success and participation for underprivileged consumers. The present study examined this research gap by addressing the following research question: How can farmers' markets be institutionally designed to increase the participation of underprivileged consumers while maintaining a financially viable market for local farmers? Through a comparative case study of six markets, this research explored the extent to which farmers' markets in Central Arizona currently serve the needs of farmer-vendors and underprivileged consumers. The findings suggest that while the markets serve as a substantial source of income for some vendors, participation by low-income and minority consumers remains low, and that much of this appears to be due to cultural barriers to access. Management structures, site characteristics, market layout, community programs, and staffing policies are key institutional design features, and the study explores how these can be leveraged to better meet the needs of the diverse participants while improving the markets' financial success.

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Date Created
2013

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Sustainable urban development and the political economy of growth in Phoenix, Arizona

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Sustainable development in an American context implies an ongoing shift from quantitative growth in energy, resource, and land use to the qualitative development of social-ecological systems, human capital, and dense, vibrant built environments. Sustainable urban development theory emphasizes locally and

Sustainable development in an American context implies an ongoing shift from quantitative growth in energy, resource, and land use to the qualitative development of social-ecological systems, human capital, and dense, vibrant built environments. Sustainable urban development theory emphasizes locally and bioregionally emplaced economic development where the relationships between people, localities, products, and capital are tangible to and controllable by local stakeholders. Critical theory provides a mature understanding of the political economy of land development in capitalist economies, representing a crucial bridge between urban sustainability's infill development goals and the contemporary realities of the development industry. Since its inception, Phoenix, Arizona has exemplified the quantitative growth paradigm, and recurring instances of land speculation, non-local capital investment, and growth-based public policy have stymied local, tangible control over development from Phoenix's territorial history to modern attempts at downtown revitalization. Utilizing property ownership and sales data as well as interviews with development industry stakeholders, the political economy of infill land development in downtown Phoenix during the mid-2000s boom-and-bust cycle is analyzed. Data indicate that non-local property ownership has risen significantly over the past 20 years and rent-seeking land speculation has been a significant barrier to infill development. Many speculative strategies monopolize the publicly created value inherent in zoning entitlements, tax incentives and property assessment, indicating that political and policy reforms targeted at a variety of governance levels are crucial for achieving the sustainable development of urban land. Policy solutions include reforming the interconnected system of property sales, value assessment, and taxation to emphasize property use values; replacing existing tax incentives with tax increment financing and community development benefit agreements; regulating vacant land ownership and deed transfers; and encouraging innovative private development and tenure models like generative construction and community land trusts.

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Date Created
2013