Matching Items (26)

Urban Heat & Critical Infrastructure Networks: A Viewpoint

Description

The forthcoming century will see cities exposed to temperature rises from urbanisation as well as greenhouse gas induced radiative forcing. Increasing levels of urban heat will have a direct impact

The forthcoming century will see cities exposed to temperature rises from urbanisation as well as greenhouse gas induced radiative forcing. Increasing levels of urban heat will have a direct impact upon the people living in cities in terms of health, but will also have an indirect effect by impacting upon the critical infrastructure networks of the city itself (e.g., ICT, transport and energy). Some infrastructures are more resistant than others, but there is a growing reliance on the energy network to provide the power for all of our future critical infrastructure networks. Unfortunately, the energy network is far from resilient from the effects of urban heat and is set to face a perfect storm of increasing temperatures and loadings as demand increases for air conditioning, refrigeration, an electrified transport network and a high-speed ICT network. The result is that any failure on the energy network could quickly cascade across much of our critical infrastructure. System vulnerabilities will become increasingly apparent as the impacts of climate change begin to manifest and this paper calls for interdisciplinary action outlining the need for high resolution monitoring and modelling of the impact of urban heat on infrastructure.

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Date Created
  • 2013-04-01

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Discounting the Future

Description

The culture of the 1970s in the United States of America was progressive and revolutionary. Due to various events that were unfavorable to the public, U.S. citizens began to lose

The culture of the 1970s in the United States of America was progressive and revolutionary. Due to various events that were unfavorable to the public, U.S. citizens began to lose trust in their government. Signs of the public's revolt and dissention began to show in laws and propositions voters passed. In California, Proposition 13 was one of many anti-tax laws taxpayers voted for to cut back the control of the government. As a result, revenues for public services and improvements decreased and maintenance allocations for infrastructure systems were considerably reduced. Fast-forwarding to today, infrastructure systems in the U.S. are reaching their retirement period and are requiring extreme maintenance and attention. Los Angeles has been experiencing severe water main breaks in its water distribution system for several years now, but the city is lacking funds to replace the aging pipes. The lack of funds paired with aging infrastructure indicates there is a flaw in the forecasting analysis techniques used today to project infrastructure costs. Therefore, an alternative discounting function to the exponential is proposed: the hyperbolic discounting function. A comparative analysis was performed using a hyperbolic and an exponential discounting function. The two functions were calibrated over the course of 50 years and the parameters r and a were determined. Then the discounts were applied to a 50-year expenditure projection for pipe replacements of a water distribution system. The present value was computed with each discount function and results were obtained. By year 50, the hyperbolic function yielded a higher present value of $25.06 million and the exponential function yielded a present value of $14 million. These results lead to the conclusion that the hyperbolic discounting function is the preferred methodology when calculating long-term expenditures, especially those dependent on tax revenue.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Arizona's Transportation Infrastructure: An Investigation into the Quality, Funding Sources, and Maintenance Processes of Roads and Bridges in the State of Arizona

Description

Arizona's transportation infrastructure is in need of an update. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) State Infrastructure 2017 Report Card scores Arizona's roads at a D+ and Arizona's bridges

Arizona's transportation infrastructure is in need of an update. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) State Infrastructure 2017 Report Card scores Arizona's roads at a D+ and Arizona's bridges at a B. These grades are indicative that the serviceability levels of the roads and bridges are less than adequate. These grades may seem tolerable in light of a national bridge C+ grade and a national road D grade, but the real problem lies in Arizona's existing funding gap that is in danger of exponentially increasing in the future. With an influx of vehicles on Arizona's roads and bridges, the cost of building, repairing, and maintaining them will grow and cause a problematic funding shortage. This report explores the current state of Arizona's roads and bridges as well as the policy and funding sources behind them, using statistics from the ASCE infrastructure report card and the Federal Highway Administration. Additionally, it discusses how regular, preventative maintenance for transportation infrastructure is the economically responsible choice for the state because it decreases delays and fuel expenses, prevents possible catastrophes, and increases human safety. To prioritize preventative transportation infrastructure maintenance, the common mentality that allows it to be sidelined for more newsworthy projects needs to be changed. Along with gaining preventative maintenance revenues through increasing vehicular taxes and fees, encouraging transportation policymakers and politicians to make economic decisions in favor of maintenance rather than waiting until failure is a reliable way to encourage regular, preventative maintenance.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Risk-reducing Infrastructure: How Much is too Much?

Description

This paper examines infrastructure spending in a model economy. Infrastructure is subdivided into two types: one that makes future production more efficient, and another that decreases the risk of devastation

This paper examines infrastructure spending in a model economy. Infrastructure is subdivided into two types: one that makes future production more efficient, and another that decreases the risk of devastation to the future economy. We call the first type base infrastructure, and the second type risk-reducing infrastructure. Our model assumes that a single representative individual makes all the decisions within a society and optimizes their own total utility over the present and future. We then calibrate an aggregate economic, two-period model to identify the optimal allocation of today’s output into consumption, base infrastructure, and risk-reducing infrastructure. This model finds that many governments can make substantive improvements to the happiness of their citizens by investing significantly more into risk-reducing infrastructure.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Albania’s Supply Chain & Economic Inefficiencies: Historical and Present-Day Implications

Description

This article serves to provide research and an analysis of the historical and present-day implications of inefficiencies within Albania’s supply chain and economic systems. Several challenges have resulted in a

This article serves to provide research and an analysis of the historical and present-day implications of inefficiencies within Albania’s supply chain and economic systems. Several challenges have resulted in a stagnant business environment within the nation despite ample natural resources, an ideal geographic location, and generally acceptable existing infrastructure. There are three major sectors in the Albanian economy that need substantial improvement, including global trade positioning, transport infrastructure, and the tourism sector. Focusing on strategic improvement within these areas will allow the nation to develop value-driving opportunities and should be investigated further to promote industrial growth and improve Albania’s global economic position.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Effect of Climate Change on Arizona Roadway Drainage Infrastructure

Description

There has been much work done predicting the effects of climate change on transportation systems, this research parallels that past work and focuses on the effect of changes in precipitation

There has been much work done predicting the effects of climate change on transportation systems, this research parallels that past work and focuses on the effect of changes in precipitation on roadway drainage systems. On a macro level, this work addresses the process that should be taken to make predictions about the vulnerability of this system due to changes in precipitation. This work also addresses the mechanisms of failure of these drainage systems and how they may be affected by changes in precipitation due to climate change. These changes may entail more frequent failure by certain mechanisms, or a shift in the mechanisms for particular infrastructure. A sample water basin in the urban environment of Phoenix, Arizona is given as a case study. This study looks at the mechanisms of failure of the infrastructure therein, as well as provides a process of analyzing the effects of increases in precipitation to the vulnerability of this infrastructure. It was found that drainage structures at roadways being currently designed will see increases from 20-30% in peak discharge, which will lead to increased frequency of failure.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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THE STATE OF TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Description

America's infrastructure is in dire straits according to the 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card, giving America a D+ average for all infrastructure categories. "The World Economic

America's infrastructure is in dire straits according to the 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Report Card, giving America a D+ average for all infrastructure categories. "The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 ranks the U.S. 16th in quality of overall infrastructure" (Peters State). This paper addresses the need for investment in transportation infrastructure starting today, with a focus on bridges. The rates at which infrastructure is being built and maintained is not sustainable. Lack of funding causes states to practice deferred maintenance of infrastructure which ultimately results in higher overall costs. Timely maintenance and investment in current infrastructure is almost always the more economical approach. Despite conditions in Arizona, the rest of America is struggling with crumbling infrastructure. This paper stems from the Tex Wash Bridge failure on the Interstate-10 between California and Arizona in July 2015. A case study of four potential causes of the Tex Wash Bridge's collapse are discussed, along with several solutions that could have lessened the likelihood of failure. The condition of bridges are cataloged in the National Bridge Inventory managed by the Federal Highway Administration. In all reality, cost is not incurred at the instance of a bridge collapse, rather it is incremental throughout the infrastructure's lifetime. The impact of infrastructure failures are economic, social, and political. In the last decade, 33 short term fixes for project funding of roadways have been passed by Congress, none lasting longer than two years. The federal budget's underinvestment in infrastructure limits state departments of transportation ability to address high risk issues. Transportation is funded via the federal gasoline tax and vehicle license tax, along with state gasoline taxes. Unfortunately, the federal gasoline tax has not been increased since 1993. The Highway Trust Fund has subsequently faced insolvency in recent years. In 2011, America only committed 2.4% of its GDP to it's over 4 million miles of roads concluding that there is no interest to make transportation infrastructure a national priority. Currently, each state needs an average of $1 billion to address deficient bridges, and America needs $3.6 trillion to raise infrastructure ratings in the next five years. These needs can only be addressed at the federal level through long-term transportation legislation. It will require gaining investor confidence in tax spending, looking towards alternate funding such county taxes or toll roads, and capitalizing on the immediate interest generated by catastrophes. Mary Peters, former United States Secretary of Transportation, emphasizes the economic impact of underinvestment to foster political will, as opposed to focusing on America's crumbling infrastructure. Public safety and the economy are tied directly to the condition of America's infrastructure. For improvement on the national level, the disconnect between public understanding, engineering judgement, and political action must be remedied. The process starts by making America's infrastructure a national priority.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Performance Metrics of US Renewable Energy Initiatives

Description

This study was conducted to better understand the making and measuring of renewable energy goals by the federal government. Three different energy types are studied: wind, solar, and biofuel, for

This study was conducted to better understand the making and measuring of renewable energy goals by the federal government. Three different energy types are studied: wind, solar, and biofuel, for two different federal departments: the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. A statistical analysis and a meta-analysis of current literature will be the main pieces of information. These departments and energy types were chosen as they represent the highest potential for renewable energy production. It is important to understand any trends in goal setting by the federal government, as well as to understand what these trends represent in terms of predicting renewable energy production. The conclusion for this paper is that the federal government appears to set high goals for renewable energy initiatives. While the goals appear to be high, they are designed based on required characteristics described by the federal government. These characteristics are most often technological advancements, tax incentives, or increased production, with tax incentives having the highest priority. However, more often than not these characteristics are optimistic or simply not met. This leads to the resetting of goals before any goal can be evaluated, making it difficult to determine the goal-setting ability of the federal government.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Assessing the Long-Term Viability of the Belt and Road Initiative: An Analysis of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Description

Over the past six years, China has embarked on an international economic initiative titled, “The Belt and Road Initiative” in which it finances and constructs multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development projects around

Over the past six years, China has embarked on an international economic initiative titled, “The Belt and Road Initiative” in which it finances and constructs multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development projects around the world. Aimed at building out energy and transportation infrastructure, these projects are being undertaken in approximately 68 countries. So far, China has pledged $1 trillion to the initiative, 95% of which is has come from public sources . However, it is projected that, in order to maintain its current growth, Developing Asia will require an additional $26 trillion in investment by 2030 .

The hundreds of projects have been grouped into six maritime and land-based economic corridors that retrace many of the original routes of the Silk Road. Of these corridors, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has proven to be one of the most important in China’s quest for Asian economic integration. The CPEC is the BRI’s first major economic corridor and one of the largest, receiving approximately $39 billion in investments to date.

Despite the thousands of articles and research papers that have been written on the topic, there are very few resources that provide a more comprehensive view of the Belt and Road Initiative. Consistent information on BRI projects is difficult to find, as both China and its debtors have been withholding many of the details regarding construction progress and lending activity. As a result, this thesis attempts to reconcile the simultaneous surplus of research with the shortage of conclusive information by framing its analysis in the form of a question about the BRI’s likelihood of success.

This thesis explores the history of the Silk Road, the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the project’s global implications. In order to determine the BRI’s likelihood of success, this thesis identifies the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as the economic corridor most likely to succeed of the six. It then analyzes the CPEC, determining that, despite the fact that it is the economic corridor most likely to succeed, it likely will not. It then builds upon this to conclude that the BRI, too, is unlikely to succeed.

In addition, this thesis critiques many of the expansionary policies, loose lending practices, and near-term decisions made by Chinese leadership by arguing that the BRI is an initiative for the benefit of China and not its debtors.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Complex Systems Approach for Simulation & Analysis of Socio-Technical Infrastructure Systems - An Empirical Demonstration

Description

Over the past century, the world has become increasingly more complex. Modern systems (i.e blockchain, internet of things (IoT), and global supply chains) are inherently difficult to comprehend due to

Over the past century, the world has become increasingly more complex. Modern systems (i.e blockchain, internet of things (IoT), and global supply chains) are inherently difficult to comprehend due to their high degree of connectivity. Understanding the nature of complex systems becomes an acutely more critical skill set for managing socio-technical infrastructure systems. As existing education programs and technical analysis approaches fail to teach and describe modern complexities, resulting consequences have direct impacts on real-world systems. Complex systems are characterized by exhibiting nonlinearity, interdependencies, feedback loops, and stochasticity. Since these four traits are counterintuitive, those responsible for managing complex systems may struggle in identifying these underlying relationships and decision-makers may fail to account for their implications or consequences when deliberating systematic policies or interventions.

This dissertation details the findings of a three-part study on applying complex systems modeling techniques to exemplar socio-technical infrastructure systems. In the research articles discussed hereafter, various modeling techniques are contrasted in their capacity for simulating and analyzing complex, adaptive systems. This research demonstrates the empirical value of a complex system approach as twofold: (i) the technique explains systems interactions which are often neglected or ignored and (ii) its application has the capacity for teaching systems thinking principles. These outcomes serve decision-makers by providing them with further empirical analysis and granting them a more complete understanding on which to base their decisions.

The first article examines modeling techniques, and their unique aptitudes are compared against the characteristics of complex systems to establish which methods are most qualified for complex systems analysis. Outlined in the second article is a proof of concept piece on using an interactive simulation of the Los Angeles water distribution system to teach complex systems thinking skills for the improved management of socio-technical infrastructure systems. Lastly, the third article demonstrates the empirical value of this complex systems approach for analyzing infrastructure systems through the construction of a systems dynamics model of the Arizona educational-workforce system, across years 1990 to 2040. The model explores a series of dynamic hypotheses and allows stakeholders to compare policy interventions for improving educational and economic outcome measures.

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Date Created
  • 2020