Matching Items (3)

Walking and Transit and Heat, Oh My!: An Exposure Study of Phoenix Pedestrians

Description

Many people use public transportation in their daily lives, which is often praised at as a healthy and sustainable choice to make. However, in extreme temperatures this also puts people

Many people use public transportation in their daily lives, which is often praised at as a healthy and sustainable choice to make. However, in extreme temperatures this also puts people at a greater risk for negative consequences resulting from such exposure to heat. In Phoenix, public transportation riders are faced with extreme heat in the summer along with the increased internal heat production caused by the physical activity required to use public transportation. In this study, I estimated total exposure and average exposure per rider for six stops in Phoenix. To do this I used City of Phoenix ridership data, weather data, and survey responses from an ASU City of Phoenix Bus Stop Survey conducted in summer 2016. These data sets were combined by multiplying different metrics to produce various exposure values. During analysis two sets of calculations were made. One keeping weather constant and another keeping ridership constant. I found that there was a large range of exposure between the selected stops and that the thermal environment influences the amount of exposure depending on the time of day the exposure is occurring. During the morning a greener location leads to less exposure, while in the afternoon an urban location leads to less exposure. Know detailed information about exposure at these stops I was also able to evaluate survey participants' thermal comfort at each stop and how it may relate to exposure. These findings are useful in making educated transportation planning decisions and improving the quality of life for people living in places with extreme summer temperatures.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Transportation infrastructure and heat vulnerability

Description

In the American Southwest, an area which already experiences a significant number of cooling degree days, anthropogenic climate change is expected to result in higher average temperatures and the increasing

In the American Southwest, an area which already experiences a significant number of cooling degree days, anthropogenic climate change is expected to result in higher average temperatures and the increasing frequency, duration, and severity of heat waves. Climatological forecasts predict heat waves will increase by 150-840% in Los Angeles County, California and 340-1800% in Maricopa County, Arizona. Heat exposure is known to increase both morbidity and mortality and rising temperatures represent a threat to public health. As a result there has been a significant amount of research into understanding existing socio-economic vulnerabilities to extreme heat which has identified population subgroups at greater risk of adverse health outcomes. Additionally, research has shown that man-made infrastructure can mitigate or exacerbate these health risks. However, while recent socio-economic heat vulnerability research has developed geospatially explicit results, research which links it directly with infrastructure characteristics is limited. Understanding how socio-economic vulnerabilities interact with infrastructure systems is a critical component to developing climate adaptation policies and programs which efficiently and effectively mitigate health risks associated with rising temperatures.

The availability of cooled space, whether public or private, has been shown to greatly reduce health risks associated with extreme heat. However, a lack of fine-scale knowledge of which households have access to this infrastructure results in an incomplete understanding of the health risks associated with heat. This knowledge gap could result in the misallocation of resources intended to mitigate negative health impacts associated with heat exposure. Additionally, when discussing accessibility to public cooled space there are underlying questions of mobility and mode choice. In addition to captive riders, a growing emphasis on walking, biking and public transit will likely expose additional choice riders to extreme temperatures and compound existing vulnerabilities to heat.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Urban Heat and Transportation: Human Exposure and Infrastructure

Description

Environmental heat is a growing concern in cities as a consequence of rapid urbanization and climate change, threatening human health and urban vitality. The transportation system is naturally embedded in

Environmental heat is a growing concern in cities as a consequence of rapid urbanization and climate change, threatening human health and urban vitality. The transportation system is naturally embedded in the issue of urban heat and human heat exposure. Research has established how heat poses a threat to urban inhabitants and how urban infrastructure design can lead to increased urban heat. Yet there are gaps in understanding how urban communities accumulate heat exposure, and how significantly the urban transportation system influences or exacerbates the many issues of urban heat. This dissertation focuses on advancing the understanding of how modern urban transportation influences urban heat and human heat exposure through three research objectives: 1) Investigate how human activity results in different outdoor heat exposure; 2) Quantify the growth and extent of urban parking infrastructure; and 3) Model and analyze how pavements and vehicles contribute to urban heat.

In the urban US, traveling outdoors (e.g. biking or walking) is the most frequent activity to cause heat exposure during hot periods. However, outdoor travel durations are often very short, and other longer activities such as outdoor housework and recreation contribute more to cumulative urban heat exposure. In Phoenix, parking and roadway pavement infrastructure contributes significantly to the urban heat balance, especially during summer afternoons, and vehicles only contribute significantly in local areas with high density rush hour vehicle travel. Future development of urban areas (especially those with concerns of extreme heat) should focus on ensuring access and mobility for its inhabitants without sacrificing thermal comfort. This may require urban redesign of transportation systems to be less auto-centric, but without clear pathways to mitigating impacts of urban heat, it may be difficult to promote transitions to travel modes that inherently necessitate heat exposure. Transportation planners and engineers need to be cognizant of the pathways to increased urban heat and human heat exposure when planning and designing urban transportation systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019