Matching Items (14)

Urban Forestry and Cool Roofs: Assessment of Heat Mitigation Strategies in Phoenix Residential Neighborhoods

Description

The City of Phoenix (Arizona, USA) developed a Tree and Shade Master Plan and a Cool Roofs initiative to ameliorate extreme heat during the summer months in their arid city.

The City of Phoenix (Arizona, USA) developed a Tree and Shade Master Plan and a Cool Roofs initiative to ameliorate extreme heat during the summer months in their arid city. This study investigates the impact of the City's heat mitigation strategies on daytime microclimate for a pre-monsoon summer day under current climate conditions and two climate change scenarios. We assessed the cooling effect of trees and cool roofs in a Phoenix residential neighborhood using the microclimate model ENVI-met. First, using xeric landscaping as a base, we created eight tree planting scenarios (from 0% canopy cover to 30% canopy cover) for the neighborhood to characterize the relationship between canopy cover and daytime cooling benefit of trees. In a second set of simulations, we ran ENVI-met for nine combined tree planting and landscaping scenarios (mesic, oasis, and xeric) with regular roofs and cool roofs under current climate conditions and two climate change projections. For each of the 54 scenarios, we compared average neighborhood mid-afternoon air temperatures and assessed the benefits of each heat mitigation measure under current and projected climate conditions. Findings suggest that the relationship between percent canopy cover and air temperature reduction is linear, with 0.14 °C cooling per percent increase in tree cover for the neighborhood under investigation. An increase in tree canopy cover from the current 10% to a targeted 25% resulted in an average daytime cooling benefit of up to 2.0 °C in residential neighborhoods at the local scale. Cool roofs reduced neighborhood air temperatures by 0.3 °C when implemented on residential homes. The results from this city-specific mitigation project will inform messaging campaigns aimed at engaging the city decision makers, industry, and the public in the green building and urban forestry initiatives.

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  • 2015

Using Watered Landscapes to Manipulate Urban Heat Island Effects: How Much Water Will It Take to Cool Phoenix?

Description

Problem: The prospect that urban heat island (UHI) effects and climate change may increase urban temperatures is a problem for cities that actively promote urban redevelopment and higher densities. One

Problem: The prospect that urban heat island (UHI) effects and climate change may increase urban temperatures is a problem for cities that actively promote urban redevelopment and higher densities. One possible UHI mitigation strategy is to plant more trees and other irrigated vegetation to prevent daytime heat storage and facilitate nighttime cooling, but this requires water resources that are limited in a desert city like Phoenix.

Purpose: We investigated the tradeoffs between water use and nighttime cooling inherent in urban form and land use choices.

Methods: We used a Local-Scale Urban Meteorological Parameterization Scheme (LUMPS) model to examine the variation in temperature and evaporation in 10 census tracts in Phoenix's urban core. After validating results with estimates of outdoor water use based on tract-level city water records and satellite imagery, we used the model to simulate the temperature and water use consequences of implementing three different scenarios.

Results and conclusions: We found that increasing irrigated landscaping lowers nighttime temperatures, but this relationship is not linear; the greatest reductions occur in the least vegetated neighborhoods. A ratio of the change in water use to temperature impact reached a threshold beyond which increased outdoor water use did little to ameliorate UHI effects.

Takeaway for practice: There is no one design and landscape plan capable of addressing increasing UHI and climate effects everywhere. Any one strategy will have inconsistent results if applied across all urban landscape features and may lead to an inefficient allocation of scarce water resources.

Research Support: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant SES-0345945 (Decision Center for a Desert City) and by the City of Phoenix Water Services Department. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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  • 2010-01-04

Desert New Urbanism: Testing for Comfort in Downtown Tempe, Arizona

Description

Outdoor human comfort is determined for the remodelled downtown of Tempe, Arizona, USA, an acclaimed example of New Urbanist infill. The authors desired to know whether changes were accompanied by

Outdoor human comfort is determined for the remodelled downtown of Tempe, Arizona, USA, an acclaimed example of New Urbanist infill. The authors desired to know whether changes were accompanied by more comfortable conditions, especially in hot, dry summer months. The physiological equivalent temperature provided an assessment of year-round outdoor human comfort. Building compactness and tree shade that became part of the changes in the downtown provided more overall daytime human comfort than open nearby streets; however some downtown sites were less comfortable at night, but below 40°C, a threshold for human comfort in this desert environment.

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  • 2016-06-01

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

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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  • 2014-01-23

Mitigating Urban Sprawl Effects: A Collaborative Tree and Shade Intervention in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Description

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city level, new alliances at the neighbourhood level are initiating community development programmes and projects. This article reports on an intervention study carried out in collaboration with community representatives, city staff, and non-profit organisations to mitigate adverse effects of urban sprawl in the Sky Harbour Neighbourhood in Phoenix. Participatory research was conducted to design and test a tree and shade intervention. Challenges associated with navigating community desires and broader principles of sustainable development are discussed. The study offers a replicable and adaptable intervention research design aimed at empowering communities to meet urban challenges.

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  • 2014-05-01

Tree and Shade: City of Phoenix Master Plan

Description

Creating a Healthier, More Livable and Prosperous Phoenix

Phoenix is poised to become the next great American City. The Tree and Shade Master Plan presents Phoenix’s leaders and residents a roadma

Creating a Healthier, More Livable and Prosperous Phoenix

Phoenix is poised to become the next great American City. The Tree and Shade Master Plan presents Phoenix’s leaders and residents a roadmap to creating a 21st Century desert city. The urban forest is a keystone to creating a sustainable city because it solves many problems with one single solution. By investing in trees and the urban forest, the city can reduce its carbon footprint, decrease energy costs, reduce storm water runoff, increase biodiversity, address the urban heat island effect, clean the air, and increase property values. In addition, trees can help to create walkable streets and vibrant pedestrian places. More trees will not solve all the problems, but it is known that for every dollar invested in the urban forest results in an impressive return of $2.23 in benefits.

Phoenix has a strong foundation on which to build the future. Phoenix residents value natural resources and have voted repeatedly to invest in the living infrastructure. For instance, the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative was passed twice with over 75 percent voter approval. This modest sales tax has purchased land for the Sonoran Preserve, funded habitat restoration efforts along Rio Salado, built new parks and planted hundreds of new trees. These projects and others like it provide the base for a healthy urban forest. Trees and engineered shade have the potential to be one of the city’s greatest assets and the Tree and Shade Master Plan provides the framework for creating a healthier, more livable and prosperous Phoenix.

The Urban Forest – Trees for People

The urban forest is a critical component of the living infrastructure. It benefits and attracts residents and tourists alike to live, work, shop and play in the city. Phoenix’s urban forest is a diverse ecosystem of soils, vegetation, trees, associated organisms, air, water, wildlife and people. The urban forest is found not only in parks, mountain preserves and native desert areas, but also in neighborhoods, commercial corridors, industrial parks and along streets. The urban forest is made up of a rich mosaic of private and public property that surrounds the city and provides many environmental, economic, and social benefits.

In order for the urban forest to be a profitable investment, Phoenix must do more than just plant trees. The entire lifecycle of the tree must be addressed because the current planting, maintenance, and irrigation practices are preventing many trees from providing their maximum return on investment. The Tree and Shade Master Plan provides a detailed roadmap to address these issues, as well as many others, with realistic and incremental steps. To succeed, this plan requires a long-term investment from the residents and leaders of Phoenix.

Trees are Solution Multipliers

Solution multipliers solve numerous problems simultaneously. Trees are a perfect example of a solution multiplier because when planted and maintained correctly, they can provide many economic, environmental, and social benefits. According to the US Forest Service, trees benefit the community by: providing a cooling effect that reduces energy costs; improving air quality; strengthening quality of place and the local economy; reducing storm water runoff; improving social connections; promoting smart growth and compact development; and creating walkable communities (US Forest Service and Urban & Community Forestry). Trees are high-yield assets; for example, the City of Chicago values its trees at $2.3 billion dollars. Trees have a documented return on investment (ROI) in Arizona of $2.23 for every $1 invested (US Department of Agriculture Forest Service). This demonstrates the important role that trees have within the city's economy. This is why it is critical to manage and invest in the urban forest; the health of the urban forest is closely linked to the economic health of the city.

Maintainable Infrastructure

Phoenix is a desert city that has a history of several decades of drought. In order to achieve a healthy urban forest we must use water wisely. Currently, 60 percent of Phoenix’s water is used outdoors, mainly for landscape irrigation. According to the City of Phoenix’s Water Services Department, Phoenix has an adequate sustainable water supply to meet the State of Arizona’s 100-year assured water supply standard. This includes growth in Phoenix’s system water demand over the next 20 years or more. Nonetheless, to achieve a maintainable urban forest, water must be used more efficiently. This is done with high-efficiency irrigation systems, use of drought-tolerant plant material, strategic placement of shade corridors and continued education. In order for a healthy urban forest to exist, it must be coupled with strong water management.

Implementation

The Urban Forest Infrastructure Team and the Parks and Recreation Department are charged with coordinating and maintaining the Tree and Shade Master Plan. Many City departments will implement the plan as they work to fulfill their own missions. The Tree and Shade Master Plan will not only provide a framework to achieve an average 25 percent tree canopy coverage by 2030 but will also help to achieve many goals and policies from the Green Phoenix Initiative and the voter ratified General Plan.

The plan proposes incremental steps to achieve the 2030 vision and canopy goal. The City of Phoenix is beginning to put a process in place to preserve, maintain, and redevelop the urban forest. This plan intends to increase the quality of life and economic vitality of the city by recommending ways to create a sustainable urban forest for future generations.

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  • 2010

City of Phoenix Cool Urban Spaces Project: Urban Forestry and Cool Roofs - Assessment of Heat Mitigation Strategies in Phoenix

Description

The City of Phoenix’s Cool Urban Spaces Report (2014) investigated the impact of the Phoenix Cool Roofs and Tree and Shade Master Plan initiatives on the city. The study evaluated

The City of Phoenix’s Cool Urban Spaces Report (2014) investigated the impact of the Phoenix Cool Roofs and Tree and Shade Master Plan initiatives on the city. The study evaluated how these heat mitigation efforts affect microclimates and human thermal comfort in the Phoenix metropolitan area. These findings are especially relevant as rapid and extensive urbanization has led to an urban heat island (UHI) effect that has increased steadily at approximately 0.9°F per decade. The city’s questions guiding this research were: 1. What are the cooling benefits achieved by increasing tree canopy from 10% (current) to 25% (2030 goal) and/or implementing cool roofs under existing conditions and projected warming? 2. What is the diurnal thermal benefit of tree canopy shade for a typical heat wave day during pre-monsoon summer?

The impacts of cool roofs and trees on near-ground air temperatures were modeled through 54 scenarios for a typical residential neighborhood in Phoenix. We ran the model for a combination of three tree-planting scenarios (no trees, current canopy cover and 2030 canopy goal) and three landscaping scenarios (mesic, oasis and xeric) with regular roofs and cool roofs under current climate conditions and two climate change projections. Two significant results of the tree and shade initiative are: 1. Increasing tree canopy cover to 25% leads to an additional temperature reduction of 4.3°F, which is a total cooling benefit of 7.9°F as compared to a bare neighborhood, and 2. Switching landscaping from xeric to oasis, i.e., adding grass patches to residential backyards, reduces average neighborhood temperatures by 0.4°F to 0.5°F.

The scenario with the lowest air temperatures is the residential neighborhood with mesic landscaping, 25% tree canopy cover and cool roofs under current climate conditions with an average neighborhood temperature of 99.5°F. In contrast, the xeric neighborhood with no tree cover and regular roofs under the high-emissions climate change scenario is the hottest. This indicates that the combination of increased tree canopy cover and cool roofs does lower temperatures as well as reduce the demand for air conditioning, thereby reducing anthropogenic heat. However, trees and cool roofs are only part of the solution and need to be included in a broader, more comprehensive mitigation and adaptation plan.

Across all climate and tree scenarios, the effect of cool roofs alone on local daytime temperatures is relatively low. Air temperature reduction only amounts to 0.5°F in the neighborhood. Regarding the city’s cool roofs initiative, results show little benefit for extending this project to commercial and residential properties based on its cooling impacts alone. Our research thus far indicates that there is no simple solution to mitigating the UHI, but a complex balance of strategies will be necessary so that efforts to lower the daytime temperatures do not increase nighttime temperatures or shift UHI impacts to more vulnerable populations.

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  • 2014-07

Impact of Shade on Outdoor Thermal Comfort: A Seasonal Field Study in Tempe, Arizona

Description

Shade plays an important role in designing pedestrian-friendly outdoor spaces in hot desert cities. This study investigates the impact of photovoltaic canopy shade and tree shade on thermal comfort through

Shade plays an important role in designing pedestrian-friendly outdoor spaces in hot desert cities. This study investigates the impact of photovoltaic canopy shade and tree shade on thermal comfort through meteorological observations and field surveys at a pedestrian mall on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. During the course of 1 year, on selected clear calm days representative of each season, we conducted hourly meteorological transects from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and surveyed 1284 people about their thermal perception, comfort, and preferences. Shade lowered thermal sensation votes by approximately 1 point on a semantic differential 9-point scale, increasing thermal comfort in all seasons except winter. Shade type (tree or solar canopy) did not significantly impact perceived comfort, suggesting that artificial and natural shades are equally efficient in hot dry climates. Globe temperature explained 51 % of the variance in thermal sensation votes and was the only statistically significant meteorological predictor. Important non-meteorological factors included adaptation, thermal comfort vote, thermal preference, gender, season, and time of day. A regression of subjective thermal sensation on physiological equivalent temperature yielded a neutral temperature of 28.6 °C. The acceptable comfort range was 19.1 °C–38.1 °C with a preferred temperature of 20.8 °C. Respondents exposed to above neutral temperature felt more comfortable if they had been in air-conditioning 5 min prior to the survey, indicating a lagged response to outdoor conditions. Our study highlights the importance of active solar access management in hot urban areas to reduce thermal stress.

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  • 2016-05-18

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Assessing the value of sustainability indicators through the case study of Valley Permaculture Alliance

Description

The ecological benefits provided by trees include improving air quality (Nowak, et. al., 2006), mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon (Nowak, 1993), providing animal habitats (Livingston, et. al., 2003), and

The ecological benefits provided by trees include improving air quality (Nowak, et. al., 2006), mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon (Nowak, 1993), providing animal habitats (Livingston, et. al., 2003), and reducing heat (Edmonson, 2016), among others. Trees also provide numerous social benefits, impacting urban sustainability in particular by improving human health (Salmond, 2016), aesthetically and economically improving neighborhoods (Torres, 2012), and contributing to thriving communities by creating gathering spaces and even reducing crime (Abraham, et. al., 2010). Because of the tremendous potential of trees to provide social and ecological services, particularly in urban areas, tree planting has become an important facet of many sustainability initiatives. This thesis assesses one such initiative aimed at planting trees for the diverse benefits they provide. Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA), a nonprofit based in Phoenix, Arizona, is known for its Shade Tree Program. The author conducted an internal, quantitative assessment of the program between August and December of 2015. The assessment included evaluation of several indicators of ecological and community health related to the presence of shade trees, culminating in a report released in 2016. This paper evaluates the use of sustainability indicators in the VPA assessment as well as their value in different types of organizations. It culminates with an assessment of VPA's strengths, challenges faced by the organization, and suggestions for its future development.

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  • 2016-12

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Meeting trees halfway: environmental encounters in theatre and performance

Description

How do trees (live and representational) participate in our theatrical and performed encounters with them? If trees are not inherently scenic, as their treatment in language and on stage might

How do trees (live and representational) participate in our theatrical and performed encounters with them? If trees are not inherently scenic, as their treatment in language and on stage might reinforce, how can they be retheorized as agents and participants in dramatic encounters? Using Diana Taylor’s theory of scenario to understand embodied encounters, I propose an alternative approach to understanding environmental beings (like trees) called “synercentrism,” which takes as its central tenet the active, if not 100 percent “willed,” participation of both human and non-human beings. I begin by mapping a continuum from objecthood to agenthood to trace the different ways that plants and trees are used, represented, and included in our encounters. The continuum provides a framework that more comprehensively unpacks human-plant relationships.

My dissertation addresses the rich variety of representations and embodiments by focusing on three central chapter topics: the history of tree representation and inclusion in dramatic literature and performance; interactions with living trees in gardens, parks, and other dramatic arenas; and individual plays and plants that have a particularly strong grasp on cultural imaginaries. Each chapter is followed by one or more corresponding case studies (the first chapter is followed by case studies on plants in musical theatre; the second on performing plants and collaborative performance events; and the last on the dance drama Memory Rings and the Methuselah tree). I conclude with a discussion of how the framework of synercentrism can aid in the disruption of terministic screens and facilitate reciprocal relationships with trees and other environmental agents.

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  • 2018