Matching Items (65)
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Sustainable urbanism offers a set of best practice planning and design prescriptions intended to reverse the negative environmental consequences of urban sprawl, which dominates new urban development in the United States. Master planned developments implementing sustainable urbanism are proliferating globally, garnering accolades within the planning community and skepticism among social

Sustainable urbanism offers a set of best practice planning and design prescriptions intended to reverse the negative environmental consequences of urban sprawl, which dominates new urban development in the United States. Master planned developments implementing sustainable urbanism are proliferating globally, garnering accolades within the planning community and skepticism among social scientists. Despite attention from supporters and critics alike, little is known about the actual environmental performance of sustainable urbanism. This dissertation addresses the reasons for this paucity of evidence and the capacity of sustainable urbanism to deliver the espoused environmental outcomes through alternative urban design and the conventional master planning framework for development through three manuscripts. The first manuscript considers the reasons why geography, which would appear to be a natural empirical home for research on sustainable urbanism, has yet to accumulate evidence that links design alternatives to environmental outcomes or to explain the social processes that mediate those outcomes. It argues that geography has failed to develop a coherent subfield based on nature-city interactions and suggests interdisciplinary bridging concepts to invigorate greater interaction between the urban and nature-society geographic subfields. The subsequent chapters deploy these bridging concepts to empirically examine case-studies in sustainable urbanism. The second manuscript utilizes fine scale spatial data to quantify differences in ecosystem services delivery across three urban designs in two phases of Civano, a sustainable urbanism planned development in Tucson, Arizona, and an adjacent, typical suburban development comparison community. The third manuscript considers the extent to which conventional master planning processes are fundamentally at odds with urban environmental sustainability through interviews with stakeholders involved in three planned developments: Civano (Tucson, Arizona), Mueller (Austin, Texas), and Prairie Crossing (Grayslake, Illinois). Findings from the three manuscripts reveal deep challenges in conceptualizing an empirical area of inquiry on sustainable urbanism, measuring the outcomes of urban design alternatives, and innovating planning practice within the constraints of existing institutions that facilitate conventional development. Despite these challenges, synthesizing the insights of geography and cognate fields holds promise in building an empirical body of knowledge that complements pioneering efforts of planners to innovate urban planning practice through the sustainable urbanism alternative.
ContributorsTurner, Victoria (Author) / Gober, Patricia (Thesis advisor) / Eakin, Hallie (Committee member) / Kinzig, Ann (Committee member) / Talen, Emily (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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The Kootenai River landscape of southwestern British Columbia, northwestern Montana and the very northern tip of Idaho helped unify the indigenous Ktunaxa tribe and guided tribal lifestyles for centuries. However, the Ktunaxa bands' intimate connection with the river underwent a radical transformation during the nineteenth century. This study analyzes how

The Kootenai River landscape of southwestern British Columbia, northwestern Montana and the very northern tip of Idaho helped unify the indigenous Ktunaxa tribe and guided tribal lifestyles for centuries. However, the Ktunaxa bands' intimate connection with the river underwent a radical transformation during the nineteenth century. This study analyzes how the Ktunaxa relationship with the Kootenai River faced challenges presented by a new understanding of the meaning of landscape introduced by outside groups who began to ply the river's waters in the early 1800s. As the decades passed, the establishment of novel boundaries, including the new U.S.-Canadian border and reserve/reservation delineations, forever altered Ktunaxa interaction with the land. The very meaning of the river for the Ktunaxa as a source of subsistence, avenue of transportation and foundation of spiritual identity experienced similar modifications. In a matter of decades, authoritarian lines on foreign maps imposed a concept of landscape far removed from the tribe's relatively fluid and shifting understanding of boundary lines represented by the river at the heart of the Ktunaxa homeland. This thesis draws on early ethnographic work with the Ktunaxa tribe in addition to the journals of early traders and missionaries in the Kootenai region to describe how the Ktunaxa way of life transformed during the nineteenth century. The works of anthropologist Keith Basso and environmental philosopher David Abram are used to develop an understanding of the powerful implications of the separation of the Ktunaxa people from the landscape so essential to tribal identity and lifestyle. Two different understandings of boundaries and the human relationship with the natural world clashed along the Kootenai River in the 1800s, eventually leading to the separation of the valley's indigenous inhabitants from each other and from the land itself. What water had once connected, lines on maps now divided, redefining this extensive landscape and its meaning for the Ktunaxa people. However, throughout decades of dominance of the Western mapmakers' worldview and in spite of the overwhelming influence of this Euro-American approach to the environment, members of the Ktunaxa tribe have been able to maintain much of their traditional culture.
ContributorsColeman, Robert (Author) / Warren-Findley, Jannelle (Thesis advisor) / Szuter, Christine (Committee member) / Fixico, Donald (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful framework for environmental decision making because the broad boundaries called for prevent shifting of burden from one life-cycle phase to another. Numerous experts and policy setting organizations call for the application of LCA to developing nanotechnologies. Early application of LCA to nanotechnology may

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful framework for environmental decision making because the broad boundaries called for prevent shifting of burden from one life-cycle phase to another. Numerous experts and policy setting organizations call for the application of LCA to developing nanotechnologies. Early application of LCA to nanotechnology may identify environmentally problematic processes and supply chain components before large investments contribute to technology lock in, and thereby promote integration of environmental concerns into technology development and scale-up (enviro-technical integration). However, application of LCA to nanotechnology is problematic due to limitations in LCA methods (e.g., reliance on data from existing industries at scale, ambiguity regarding proper boundary selection), and because social drivers of technology development and environmental preservation are not identified in LCA. This thesis proposes two methodological advances that augment current capabilities of LCA by incorporating knowledge from technical and social domains. Specifically, this thesis advances the capacity for LCA to yield enviro-technical integration through inclusion of scenario development, thermodynamic modeling, and use-phase performance bounding to overcome the paucity of data describing emerging nanotechnologies. With regard to socio-technical integration, this thesis demonstrates that social values are implicit in LCA, and explores the extent to which these values impact LCA practice and results. There are numerous paths of entry through which social values are contained in LCA, for example functional unit selection, impact category selection, and system boundary definition - decisions which embody particular values and determine LCA results. Explicit identification of how social values are embedded in LCA promotes integration of social and environmental concerns into technology development (socio-enviro-technical integration), and may contribute to the development of socially-responsive and environmentally preferable nanotechnologies. In this way, tailoring LCA to promote socio-enviro-technical integration is a tangible and meaningful step towards responsible innovation processes.
ContributorsWender, Ben A. (Author) / Seager, Thomas P (Thesis advisor) / Crozier, Peter (Committee member) / Fraser, Matthew (Committee member) / Guston, David (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Research shows that many water governance regimes are failing to guide social-ecological systems away from points, beyond which, damage to social and environmental well-being will be difficult to correct. This problem is apparent in regions that face water conflicts and climate threats. There remains a need to clarify what is

Research shows that many water governance regimes are failing to guide social-ecological systems away from points, beyond which, damage to social and environmental well-being will be difficult to correct. This problem is apparent in regions that face water conflicts and climate threats. There remains a need to clarify what is it about governance that people need to change in water conflict prone regions, how to collectively go about doing that, and how research can actively support this. To address these needs, here I present a collaborative research project from the dry tropics of Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. The project addressed the overarching questions: How can water be governed sustainably in water-contested and climate-threatened regions? And, how can people transition current water governance regimes toward more sustainable ones? In pursuit of these questions, a series of individual studies were performed with many partners and collaborators. These studies included: a participatory analysis and sustainability assessment of current water governance regimes; a case analysis and comparison of water conflicts; constructing alternative governance scenarios; and, developing governance transition strategies. Results highlight the need for water governance that addresses asymmetrical knowledge gaps especially concerning groundwater resources, reconciles disenfranchised groups, and supports local leaders. Yet, actions taken based on these initial results, despite some success influencing policy, found substantial challenges confronting them. In-depth conflict investigations, for example, found that deeply rooted issues such friction between opposing local-based and national institutions were key conflict drivers in the region. To begin addressing these issues, researchers and stakeholders then constructed a set of governing alternatives and devised governance transition strategies that could actively support people to achieve more sustainable alternatives and avoid less sustainable ones. These efforts yielded insight into the collective actions needed to implement more sustainable water governance regimes, including ways to overcoming barriers that drive harmful water conflicts. Actions based on these initial strategies yielded further opportunities, challenges, and lessons. Overall, the project addresses the research and policy gap between identifying what is sustainable water governance and understanding the strategies needed to implement it successfully in regions that experience water conflict and climate impacts.
ContributorsKuzdas, Christopher Paul (Author) / Wiek, Arnim (Thesis advisor) / Childers, Daniel (Thesis advisor) / Vignola, Raffaele (Committee member) / Eakin, Hallie (Committee member) / Basile, George (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2014
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Climate change has been one of the major issues of global economic and social concerns in the past decade. To quantitatively predict global climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations have organized a multi-national effort to use global atmosphere-ocean models to project anthropogenically induced

Climate change has been one of the major issues of global economic and social concerns in the past decade. To quantitatively predict global climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations have organized a multi-national effort to use global atmosphere-ocean models to project anthropogenically induced climate changes in the 21st century. The computer simulations performed with those models and archived by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project - Phase 5 (CMIP5) form the most comprehensive quantitative basis for the prediction of global environmental changes on decadal-to-centennial time scales. While the CMIP5 archives have been widely used for policy making, the inherent biases in the models have not been systematically examined. The main objective of this study is to validate the CMIP5 simulations of the 20th century climate with observations to quantify the biases and uncertainties in state-of-the-art climate models. Specifically, this work focuses on three major features in the atmosphere: the jet streams over the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the low level jet (LLJ) stream over central North America which affects the weather in the United States, and the near-surface wind field over North America which is relevant to energy applications. The errors in the model simulations of those features are systematically quantified and the uncertainties in future predictions are assessed for stakeholders to use in climate applications. Additional atmospheric model simulations are performed to determine the sources of the errors in climate models. The results reject a popular idea that the errors in the sea surface temperature due to an inaccurate ocean circulation contributes to the errors in major atmospheric jet streams.
ContributorsKulkarni, Sujay (Author) / Huang, Huei-Ping (Thesis advisor) / Calhoun, Ronald (Committee member) / Peet, Yulia (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2014
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Rapid urbanization in Phoenix, Arizona has increased the nighttime temperature by 5°C (9 °F), and the average daily temperatures by 3.1°C (5.6 °F) (Baker et al 2002). On the macro scale, the energy balance of urban surface paving materials is the main contributor to the phenomenon of the Urban Heat

Rapid urbanization in Phoenix, Arizona has increased the nighttime temperature by 5°C (9 °F), and the average daily temperatures by 3.1°C (5.6 °F) (Baker et al 2002). On the macro scale, the energy balance of urban surface paving materials is the main contributor to the phenomenon of the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI). On the micro scale, it results in a negative effect on the pedestrian thermal comfort environment. In their efforts to revitalize Downtown Phoenix, pedestrian thermal comfort improvements became one of the main aims for City planners. There has been an effort in reformulating City zoning standards and building codes with the goal of developing a pedestrian friendly civic environment. Much of the literature dealing with mitigating UHI effects recommends extensive tree planting as the chief strategy for reducing the UHI and improving outdoor human thermal comfort. On the pedestrian scale, vegetation plays a significant role in modifying the microclimate by providing shade and aiding the human thermal comfort via evapotranspiration. However, while the extensive tree canopy is beneficial in providing daytime shade for pedestrians, it may reduce the pavement surfaces' sky-view factor during the night, thereby reducing the rate of nighttime radiation to the sky and trapping the heat gained within the urban materials. This study strives to extend the understanding, and optimize the recommendations for the use of landscape in the urban context of Phoenix, Arizona for effectiveness in both improving the human thermal comfort and in mitigating the urban heat island effect.
ContributorsRosheidat, Akram (Author) / Bryan, Harvey (Thesis advisor) / Lee, Taewoo (Committee member) / Chalfoun, Nader (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2014
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From Frankenstein to District 9: Ecocritical Readings of Classic and Contemporary Fiction and Film demonstrates how American studies methodologies, ecological literary criticism, and environmental justice theory provide both time-tested and new analytical tools for reading texts from transnational perspectives. Recently, American literary scholars have been responding to calls for collective

From Frankenstein to District 9: Ecocritical Readings of Classic and Contemporary Fiction and Film demonstrates how American studies methodologies, ecological literary criticism, and environmental justice theory provide both time-tested and new analytical tools for reading texts from transnational perspectives. Recently, American literary scholars have been responding to calls for collective interdisciplinary response to widening social disparities and species collapses caused by climate change in the new epoch recently being termed "the anthropocene." In response, I analyze canonical texts, such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in juxtaposition with Neill Blomkamp's South African science fiction thriller District 9 and contemporary US American novels such as Toni Morrison's Sula, William Faulkner's "The Bear" in Go Down, Moses and Richard Power's Generosity and The Echo Maker, to show how writers, filmmakers, and academics have been calling attention to dramatic climate events that consequently challenge the public to rethink the relationships among human beings to other species, and to ecological systems of low predictability, high variability, and frequent extremes. Rather than focusing solely on the "human," I examine how the relationships and livelihoods of multi-species communities shape and are shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces. As a whole, this dissertation seeks to make abstract, often intangible global patterns and concepts accessible by providing models for what I call "readings in the anthropocene" or re-readings of classic and contemporary texts and film that offer insights into changing human behavior and suggesting alternative management practices of local and global commons as well as opportunities to imagine how to live in and beyond the anthropocene.
ContributorsTurner, Kyndra (Author) / Adamson, Joni (Thesis advisor) / Lussier, Mark (Committee member) / Sadowski-Smith, Claudia (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2015
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Postwar suburban sprawl resulted in environmental consequences that engendered backlash from those concerned about the quality life in the places they lived, played, and worked. Few cities grew as rapidly as Phoenix and therefore the city offers an important case study to evaluate the success and limits of environmentalism in

Postwar suburban sprawl resulted in environmental consequences that engendered backlash from those concerned about the quality life in the places they lived, played, and worked. Few cities grew as rapidly as Phoenix and therefore the city offers an important case study to evaluate the success and limits of environmentalism in shaping urban growth in the postwar period.

Using three episodes looking at sanitation and public health, open space preservation, and urban transportation, I argue three factors played a critical role in determining the extent to which environmental values were incorporated into Phoenix's urban growth policy. First, the degree to which environmental values influenced urban policy depends on the degree to which they fit into the Southwestern suburban lifestyle. A desire for low-density development and quality of life amenities like outdoor recreation resulted in decisions to extend municipal sewers further into the desert, the creation of a mountain preserve system, and freeways as the primary mode of travel in the city. Second, federal policy and the availability of funds guided policies pursued by Phoenix officials to deal with the unintended environmental impacts of growth. For example, federal dollars provided one-third of the funds for the construction of a centralized sewage treatment plant, half the funds to save Camelback Mountain and ninety percent of the construction costs for the West Papago-Inner Loop. Lastly, policy alternatives needed broad and diverse public support, as the public played a critical role, through bond approvals and votes, as well as grassroots campaigning, in integrating environmental values into urban growth policy. Public advocacy campaigns played an important role in setting the policy agenda and framing the policy issues that shaped policy alternatives and the public's receptivity to those choices.

Urban policy decisions are part of a dynamic and ongoing process, where previous decisions result in new challenges that provide an opportunity for debate, and the incorporation of new social values into the decision-making process. While twenty-first century challenges require responses that reflect contemporary macroeconomic factors and social values, the postwar period demonstrates the need for inclusive, collaborative, and anticipatory decision-making.
ContributorsDi Taranto, Nicholas (Author) / Hirt, Paul (Thesis advisor) / Vandermeer, Philip (Committee member) / Smith, Karen (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2015
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The sacred San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona have been at the center of a series of land development controversies since the 1800s. Most recently, a controversy arose over a proposal by the ski area on the Peaks to use 100% reclaimed water to make artificial snow. The current state

The sacred San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona have been at the center of a series of land development controversies since the 1800s. Most recently, a controversy arose over a proposal by the ski area on the Peaks to use 100% reclaimed water to make artificial snow. The current state of the San Francisco Peaks controversy would benefit from a decision-making process that holds sustainability policy at its core. The first step towards a new sustainability-focused deliberative process regarding a complex issue like the San Francisco Peaks controversy requires understanding the issue's origins and the perspectives of the people involved in the issue. My thesis provides an historical analysis of the controversy and examines some of the laws and participatory mechanisms that have shaped the decision-making procedures and power structures from the 19th century to the early 21st century.
ContributorsMahoney, Maren (Author) / Hirt, Paul W. (Thesis advisor) / Tsosie, Rebecca (Committee member) / White, Dave (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2011
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With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community water systems. Community water system managing entities and the biophysical

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community water systems. Community water system managing entities and the biophysical and social characteristics of a place mediate communities' vulnerability to hazards such as drought and long-term climate change. The arid southwestern Phoenix metropolitan area is illustrative of the challenges that developed urban areas in arid climates face globally as population growth and climate change stress already fragile human-environmental systems. This thesis reveals the factors abating and exacerbating differential community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in communities simultaneously facing drought and rapid peri-urban growth. Employing a grounded, qualitative comparative case study approach, this thesis explores the interaction of social, biophysical and institutional factors as they effect the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of community water systems in Cave Creek and Buckeye, Arizona. Buckeye, once a small agricultural town in the West Valley, is wholly dependent on groundwater and currently planning for massive development to accommodate 218,591 new residents by 2020. Amid desert hills and near Tonto National Forest in the North Valley, Cave Creek is an upscale residential community suffering frequent water outages due to aging infrastructure and lack of system redundancy. Analyzing interviews, media accounts and policy documents, a narrative was composed explaining how place based factors, nested within a regional institutional water management framework, impact short and long-term vulnerability. This research adds to the library of vulnerability assessments completed using Polsky et al.'s Vulnerability Scoping Diagram and serves a pragmatic need assisting in the development of decision making tools that better represent the drivers of placed based vulnerability in arid metropolitan regions.
ContributorsZautner, Lilah (Author) / Larson, Kelli (Thesis advisor) / Bolin, Bob (Committee member) / Chhetri, Netra (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2011