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Institutionalizing Urban Resilience: Coordination Strategies within 19 North American City Governments

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City governments are increasingly interested in the concept of urban resilience. While theoretical debates continue to develop and critique the value of ‘urban resilience,’ a growing number of cities are organizing policies and projects around the concept. Building urban resilience

City governments are increasingly interested in the concept of urban resilience. While theoretical debates continue to develop and critique the value of ‘urban resilience,’ a growing number of cities are organizing policies and projects around the concept. Building urban resilience is viewed as a key concern for cities facing, in particular, climatic threats –although other urban challenges and equity concerns are increasingly prioritized. Support from city leadership and large funding opportunities, such as the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, have encouraged some leading cities to create and manage city-wide resilience strategies. Yet pioneering cities have few guideposts to institutionalize resilience. This research evolved out of conversations with city officials in Portland, OR who were interested to learn how other cities were organizing resilience work. We explore how urban resilience is being structured and coordinated in 19 North American cities, focusing on emerging definitions, organizational structures, internal and external coordination efforts, and practitioners’ insights. We situate our findings on emerging governance approaches and lessons learned within the current urban resilience literature on governance by reviewing 40 academic papers and identifying 6 recurrent factors for effective governance. Additionally, we conducted 19 semi-structured interviews with North American resilience practitioners to describe emerging organization trends and share lessons from practice. Based off our interviews, we propose 5 key findings for structuring resilience work in cities effectively. These include: establishing a clear, contextual definition and scope, bringing communities into the process, championing the agreed-upon vision, balancing a centralized and dispersed approach, and recognizing tradeoffs in organizational placement. This research provides practitioners with insights to help facilitate resilience work within their cities and contributed to the scholarly debate on moving resilience theory toward implementation.

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2019-04-25

An Exploration of Communicating Sustainability Ideas Through Technology to Inspire Sustainable Urban Planning Practice

Description

This report describes the process by which I created a concise but comprehensive online source of information about best practices in sustainability for urban planners. The goal of the project was to provide accessible information that would help planners in

This report describes the process by which I created a concise but comprehensive online source of information about best practices in sustainability for urban planners. The goal of the project was to provide accessible information that would help planners in ways that help them comprehend and implement sustainable solutions to common planning problems that are found throughout the United States. To create the website, I researched methods for communicating clearly to planners, took a graduate course in communicating about sustainability, and drew on information that I had compiled on sustainable solutions for transportation, economy, water, green space, and governance.

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Date Created
2017-12-01

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Collaborative Management of Glen Canyon Dam: The Elevation of Social Engineering Over Law

Description

The operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River affects several downstream resources and water uses including water supply for consumptive uses in Arizona, California, and Nevada, hydroelectric power production, endangered species of native fish, recreational angling for non-native

The operation of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River affects several downstream resources and water uses including water supply for consumptive uses in Arizona, California, and Nevada, hydroelectric power production, endangered species of native fish, recreational angling for non-native fish, and recreational boating in the Grand Canyon. Decisions about the magnitude and timing of water releases through the dam involve trade-offs between these resources and uses. The numerous laws affecting dam operations create a hierarchy of legal priorities that should govern these decisions. At the top of the hierarchy are mandatory requirements for water storage and delivery and for conservation of endangered species. Other resources and water uses have lower legal priorities. The Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program ("AMP") has substituted collaborative decision making among stakeholders for the hierarchy of priorities created by law. The AMP has thereby facilitated non-compliance with the Endangered Species Act by the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam, and has effectively given hydroelectric power production and non-native fisheries higher priorities than they are legally entitled to. Adaptive management is consistent with the laws governing operation of Glen Canyon Dam, but collaborative decision making is not. Nor is collaborative decision making an essential, or even logical, component of adaptive management. As implemented in the case of Glen Canyon Dam, collaborative decision making has actually stifled adaptive management by making agreement among stakeholders a prerequisite to changes in the operation of the dam. This Article proposes a program for adaptive, but not collaborative, management of Glen Canyon Dam that would better conform to the law and would be more amenable to adaptation and experimentation than would the current, stakeholder-centered program.

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2008-07-18

Observing and Modeling the Nocturnal Park Cool Island of an Arid City: Horizontal and Vertical Impacts

Description

We examined the horizontal and vertical nocturnal cooling influence of a small park with irrigated lawn and xeric surfaces (∼3 ha) within a university campus of a hot arid city. Temperature data from 0.01- to 3-m heights observed during a

We examined the horizontal and vertical nocturnal cooling influence of a small park with irrigated lawn and xeric surfaces (∼3 ha) within a university campus of a hot arid city. Temperature data from 0.01- to 3-m heights observed during a bicycle traverse of the campus were combined with modeled spatial temperature data simulated from a three-dimensional microclimate model (ENVI-met 3.1). A distinct park cool island, with mean observed magnitudes of 0.7–3.6°C, was documented for both traverse and model data with larger cooling intensities measured closer to surface level. Modeled results possessed varying but generally reasonable accuracy in simulating both spatial and temporal temperature data, although some systematic errors exist. A combination of several factors, such as variations in surface thermal properties, urban geometry, building orientation, and soil moisture, was likely responsible for influencing differential urban and non-urban near-surface temperatures. A strong inversion layer up to 1 m over non-urban surfaces was detected, contrasting with near-neutral lapse rates over urban surfaces. A key factor in the spatial expansion of the park cool island was the advection of cooler park air to adjacent urban surfaces, although this effect was mostly concentrated from 0- to 1-m heights over urban surfaces that were more exposed to the atmosphere.

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2010-05-21

How Do People Perceive Urban Trees? Assessing Likes and Dislikes in Relation to the Trees of a City

Description

Cities are systems that include natural and human-created components. When a city grows without proper planning, it tends to have low environmental quality. If improving environmental quality is intended, people’s opinion should be taken into account for a better acceptance

Cities are systems that include natural and human-created components. When a city grows without proper planning, it tends to have low environmental quality. If improving environmental quality is intended, people’s opinion should be taken into account for a better acceptance of urban management decisions. In this study, we assessed people’s perception of trees by conducting a survey with a controlled sample of citizens from the city of Morelia (west-central Mexico). Citizens liked both native and exotic tree species and rejected mainly exotic ones. Preference for trees were related to tree attributes; such as size. Trees that dropped leaves or tended to fall were not liked. The most-mentioned tree-related benefits were oxygen supply and shade; the most mentioned tree-related damages were accidents and infrastructure damage. The majority of respondents preferred trees near houses to increase tree density. Also, most respondents preferred trees in green areas as well as close to their houses, as they consider that trees provide oxygen. The majority of the respondents thought more trees were needed in the city. In general, our results show that although people perceive that trees in urban areas can cause damages, they often show more interest for the benefits related to trees and consider there should be more trees in cities. We strongly suggest the development of studies that broaden our knowledge of citizen preferences in relation to urban vegetation, and that further policy making takes their perception into account when considering creating new urban green areas, regardless of their type or size.

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Date Created
2014-01-23

Reductions in Air Conditioning Energy Caused by a Nearby Park

Description

Field observations were carried out to determine the influence of a park on the urban summer climate in the nearby areas. The possibilities of reduction in air conditioning energy were investigated. Air temperature, relative humidity and other meteorological factors were

Field observations were carried out to determine the influence of a park on the urban summer climate in the nearby areas. The possibilities of reduction in air conditioning energy were investigated. Air temperature, relative humidity and other meteorological factors were measured at many locations inside a park and in the surrounding areas in the Tama New Town, a city in the west of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Japan. The observations indicated that vegetation could significantly alter the climate in the town. At noon, the highest temperature of the ground surface of the grass field in the park was 40.3 °C, which was 19 °C lower than that of the asphalt surface or 15 °C lower than that of the concrete surface in the parking or commercial areas. At the same time, air temperature measured at 1.2 m above the ground at the grass field inside the park was more than 2 °C lower than that measured at the same height in the surrounding commercial and parking areas. Soon after sunset, the temperature of the ground surface at the grass field in the park became lower than that of the air, and the park became a cool island whereas paved asphalt or concrete surfaces in the town remained hotter than the overlying air even late at night. With a size of about 0.6 km2, at noon, the park can reduce by up to 1.5 °C the air temperature in a busy commercial area 1 km downwind. This can lead to a significant decrease of in air conditioning energy in the commercial area.

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1998-05-27

Cooler Phoenix Research Symposium 2017

Description

ASU faculty and students share research at Phoenix City Hall regarding urban heat, including causes, consequences, and potential solutions.

The video is accessible here.

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  • ASU (Contributor)

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Date Created
2017-09-29

Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategies: Phoenix

Description

The growing urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is having detrimental effects on urban populations and must be addressed in planning. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of urban heat island effect reduction factors for Metropolitan Phoenix.

The growing urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is having detrimental effects on urban populations and must be addressed in planning. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of urban heat island effect reduction factors for Metropolitan Phoenix. Current strategies, case studies, and the ENVI-Met modeling software were used to finalize conclusions and suggestions to further progress Phoenix’s goals in combating urban heat islands. Results from the studies found that the implementation of green walls and roofs, the integration of wind towers into existing and new construction, improving building energy efficiency, and an establishment of a task force responsible for researching applying UHI strategies to the cities are all expected to halt Phoenix’s progression into a more intense UHI, and to reverse the adverse effects that city development has had on the environment.

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2017-04-12

Determinants of Changes in the Regional Urban Heat Island in Metropolitan Phoenix (Arizona, USA) Between 1990 and 2004

Description

We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in June mean minimum temperatures for weather stations in and around metropolitan Phoenix, USA, for the period 1990 to 2004. Temperature was related to synoptic conditions, location in urban development zones (DZs), and

We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in June mean minimum temperatures for weather stations in and around metropolitan Phoenix, USA, for the period 1990 to 2004. Temperature was related to synoptic conditions, location in urban development zones (DZs), and the pace of housing construction in a 1 km buffer around fixed-point temperature stations. June is typically clear and calm, and dominated by a dry, tropical air mass with little change in minimum temperature from day to day. However, a dry, moderate weather type accounted for a large portion of the inter-annual variability in mean monthly minimum temperature. Significant temperature variation was explained by surface effects captured by the type of urban DZ, which ranged from urban core and infill sites, to desert and agricultural fringe locations, to exurban. An overall spatial urban effect, derived from the June monthly mean minimum temperature, is in the order of 2 to 4 K. The cumulative housing build-up around weather sites in the region was significant and resulted in average increases of 1.4 K per 1000 home completions, with a standard error of 0.4 K. Overall, minimum temperatures were spatially and temporally accounted for by variations in weather type, type of urban DZ (higher in core and infill), and the number of home completions over the period. Results compare favorably with the magnitude of heating by residential development cited by researchers using differing methodologies in other urban areas.

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2007-02-22

The Social and Spatial Distribution of Temperature-Related Health Impacts From Urban Heat Island Reduction Policies

Description

Cities are developing innovative strategies to combat climate change but there remains little knowledge of the winners and losers from climate-adaptive land use planning and design. We examine the distribution of health benefits associated with land use policies designed to

Cities are developing innovative strategies to combat climate change but there remains little knowledge of the winners and losers from climate-adaptive land use planning and design. We examine the distribution of health benefits associated with land use policies designed to increase vegetation and surface reflectivity in three US metropolitan areas: Atlanta, GA, Philadelphia, PA, and Phoenix, AZ. Projections of population and land cover at the census tract scale were combined with climate models for the year 2050 at 4 km × 4 km resolution to produce future summer temperatures which were input into a comparative risk assessment framework for the temperature-mortality relationship. The findings suggest disparities in the effectiveness of urban heat management strategies by age, income, and race. We conclude that, to be most protective of human health, urban heat management must prioritize areas of greatest population vulnerability.

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Date Created
2016-09-07