Matching Items (24)

Household Accessibility to Heat Refuges

Description

This document has been superseded by our peer-reviewed publication:
Household Accessibility to Heat Refuges: Residential Air Conditioning, Public Cooled Space, and Walkability, Preprint Online 2016 (Final Publication Expected 2017), Andrew

This document has been superseded by our peer-reviewed publication:
Household Accessibility to Heat Refuges: Residential Air Conditioning, Public Cooled Space, and Walkability, Preprint Online 2016 (Final Publication Expected 2017), Andrew Fraser, Mikhail Chester, David Eisenman, David Hondula, Stephanie Pincetl, Paul English, and Emily Bondank, Environment and Planning B, Volume and Issue Forthcoming, doi: 10.1177/0265813516657342.

The publication is available here.

Access to air conditioned space is critical for protecting urban populations from the adverse effects of heat exposure. Yet there remains fairly limited knowledge of penetration of private (home air conditioning) and distribution of public (cooling centers and commercial space) cooled space across cities. Furthermore, the deployment of government-sponsored cooling centers is not based on the location of existing cooling resources (residential air conditioning and air conditioned public space), raising questions of the equitability of access to heat refuges.

Using Los Angeles County, California and Maricopa County, Arizona (whose county seat is Phoenix) we explore the distribution of private and public cooling resources and access inequities at the household level. We do this by evaluating the presence of in-home air conditioning and developing a walking-based accessibility measure to air conditioned public space using a combined cumulative opportunities-gravity approach. We find significant inequities in the distribution of residential air conditioning across both regions which are largely attributable to building age and inter/intra-regional climate differences. There are also regional disparities in walkable access to public cooled space.

At average walking speeds, we find that official cooling centers are only accessible to a small fraction of households (3% in Los Angeles, 2% in Maricopa) while a significantly higher number of households (80% in Los Angeles, 39% in Maricopa) have access to at least one other type of public cooling resource which includes libraries and commercial establishments. Aggregated to a neighborhood level, we find that there are areas within each region where access to cooled space (either public or private) is limited which may increase the health risks associated with heat.

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Frameworks for Assessing the Vulnerability of U.S. Rail Systems to Extreme Heat and Flooding

Description

Recent climatic trends show more flooding and extreme heat events and in the future transportation infrastructure may be susceptible to more frequent and intense environmental perturbations. Our transportation systems have

Recent climatic trends show more flooding and extreme heat events and in the future transportation infrastructure may be susceptible to more frequent and intense environmental perturbations. Our transportation systems have largely been designed to withstand historical weather events, for example, floods that occur at an intensity that is experienced once every 100 years, and there is evidence that these events are expected become more frequent. There are increasing efforts to better understand the impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure. An abundance of new research is emerging to study various aspects of climate change on transportation systems. Much of this research is focused on roadway networks and reliable automobile travel. We explore how flooding and extreme heat might impact passenger rail systems in the Northeast and Southwest U.S.

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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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Peak travel in a megacity: exploring the role of infrastructure saturation on the suppression of automobile use

Description

Contrary to many previous travel demand forecasts there is increasing evidence that vehicle travel in developed countries may be peaking. The underlying causes of this peaking are still under much

Contrary to many previous travel demand forecasts there is increasing evidence that vehicle travel in developed countries may be peaking. The underlying causes of this peaking are still under much debate and there has been a mobilization of research, largely focused at the national scale, to study the explanatory drivers but research focused at the metropolitan scale, where transportation policy and planning are frequently decided, is relatively thin. Additionally, a majority of this research has focused on changes within the activity system without considering the impact transportation infrastructure has on overall travel demand. Using Los Angeles County California, we investigate Peak Car and whether the saturation of automobile infrastructure, in addition to societal and economic factors, may be a suppressing factor. After peaking in 2002, vehicle travel in Los Angeles County in 2010 was estimated at 78 billion and was 20.3 billion shy of projections made in 2002. The extent to which infrastructure saturation may contribute to Peak Car is evaluated by analyzing social and economic factors that may have impacted personal automobile usage over the last decade. This includes changing fuel prices, fuel economy, population growth, increased utilization of alternate transportation modes, changes in driver demographics , travel time and income levels. Summation of all assessed factors reveals there is at least some portion of the 20 billion VMT that is unexplained in all but the worst case scenario. We hypothesize that the unexplained remaining VMT may be explained by infrastructure supply constraints that result in suppression of travel. This finding has impacts on how we see the role of hard infrastructure systems in urban growth and we explore these impacts in the research.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Anticipating and adapting to increases in water distribution infrastructure failure caused by interdependencies and heat exposure from climate change

Description

This dissertation advances the capability of water infrastructure utilities to anticipate and adapt to vulnerabilities in their systems from temperature increase and interdependencies with other infrastructure systems. Impact assessment models

This dissertation advances the capability of water infrastructure utilities to anticipate and adapt to vulnerabilities in their systems from temperature increase and interdependencies with other infrastructure systems. Impact assessment models of increased heat and interdependencies were developed which incorporate probability, spatial, temporal, and operational information. Key findings from the models are that with increased heat the increased likelihood of water quality non-compliances is particularly concerning, the anticipated increases in different hardware components generate different levels of concern starting with iron pipes, then pumps, and then PVC pipes, the effects of temperature increase on hardware components and on service losses are non-linear due to spatial criticality of components, and that modeling spatial and operational complexity helps to identify potential pathways of failure propagation between infrastructure systems. Exploring different parameters of the models allowed for comparison of institutional strategies. Key findings are that either preventative maintenance or repair strategies can completely offset additional outages from increased temperatures though-- improved repair times reduce overall duration of outages more than preventative maintenance, and that coordinated strategies across utilities could be effective for mitigating vulnerability.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Contingency Analysis for Coupled Power-Water Networks

Description

A mathematical approach was developed to evaluate the resilience of coupled power-water networks using a variant of contingency analysis adapted from electric transmission studies. In particular, the “what if” scenarios

A mathematical approach was developed to evaluate the resilience of coupled power-water networks using a variant of contingency analysis adapted from electric transmission studies. In particular, the “what if” scenarios explored in power systems research were extended and applied for coupled power-water network research by evaluating how stressors and failures in the water network can propagate across system boundaries and into the electric network. Reduction in power system contingency reserves was the metric for determining violation of N-1 contingency reliability. Geospatial considerations were included using high-resolution, publicly available Geographic Information System data on infrastructure in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area that was used to generate a power network with 599 transmission lines and total generation capacity of 18.98 GW and a water network with 2,624 water network lines and capacity to serve up to 1.72M GPM of surface water. The steady-state model incorporated operating requirements for the power network—e.g., contingency reserves—and the water network—e.g., pressure ranges—while seeking to meet electric load and water demand. Interconnections developed between the infrastructures demonstrated how alternations to the system state and/or configuration of one network affect the other network, with results demonstrated through co-simulation of the power network and water network using OpenDSS and EPANET, respectively. Results indicate four key findings that help operators understand the interdependent behavior of the coupled power-water network: (i) two water failure scenarios (water flowing out of Waddell dam and CAP canal flowing west of Waddell dam) are critical to power-water network N-1 contingency reliability above 60% power system loading and at 100% water system demand, (ii) fast-starting natural gas generating units are necessary to maintain N-1 contingency reliability below 60% power system loading, (iii) Coolidge Station was the power plant to most frequently undergo a reduction in reserves amongst the water failure scenarios that cause a violation of N-1 reliability, (iv) power network vulnerability to water network failures was non-linear because it depends on the generating units that are dispatched, which can vary as line thermal limits or unit generation capacities are reached.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Transit-oriented smart growth can reduce life-cycle environmental impacts and household costs in Los Angeles

Description

The environmental and economic assessment of neighborhood-scale transit-oriented urban form changes should include initial construction impacts through long-term use to fully understand the benefits and costs of smart growth policies.

The environmental and economic assessment of neighborhood-scale transit-oriented urban form changes should include initial construction impacts through long-term use to fully understand the benefits and costs of smart growth policies. The long-term impacts of moving people closer to transit require the coupling of behavioral forecasting with environmental assessment. Using new light rail and bus rapid transit in Los Angeles, California as a case study, a life-cycle environmental and economic assessment is developed to assess the potential range of impacts resulting from mixed-use infill development. An integrated transportation and land use life-cycle assessment framework is developed to estimate energy consumption, air emissions, and economic (public, developer, and user) costs. Residential and commercial buildings, automobile travel, and transit operation changes are included and a 60-year forecast is developed that compares transit-oriented growth against growth in areas without close access to high-capacity transit service. The results show that commercial developments create the greatest potential for impact reductions followed by residential commute shifts to transit, both of which may be effected by access to high-capacity transit, reduced parking requirements, and developer incentives. Greenhouse gas emission reductions up to 470 Gg CO2-equivalents per year can be achieved with potential costs savings for TOD users. The potential for respiratory impacts (PM10-equivalents) and smog formation can be reduced by 28-35%. The shift from business-as-usual growth to transit-oriented development can decrease user costs by $3,100 per household per year over the building lifetime, despite higher rental costs within the mixed-use development.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Addressment of uncertainty and variability in attributional environmental life cycle assessment

Description

'Attributional' Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) quantitatively tracks the potential environmental impacts of international value chains, in retrospective, while ensuring that burden shifting is avoided. Despite the growing popularity of LCA

'Attributional' Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) quantitatively tracks the potential environmental impacts of international value chains, in retrospective, while ensuring that burden shifting is avoided. Despite the growing popularity of LCA as a decision-support tool, there are numerous concerns relating to uncertainty and variability in LCA that affects its reliability and credibility. It is pertinent that some part of future research in LCA be guided towards increasing reliability and credibility for decision-making, while utilizing the LCA framework established by ISO 14040.

In this dissertation, I have synthesized the present state of knowledge and application of uncertainty and variability in ‘attributional’ LCA, and contribute to its quantitative assessment.

Firstly, the present state of addressment of uncertainty and variability in LCA is consolidated and reviewed. It is evident that sources of uncertainty and variability exist in the following areas: ISO standards, supplementary guides, software tools, life cycle inventory (LCI) databases, all four methodological phases of LCA, and use of LCA information. One source of uncertainty and variability, each, is identified, selected, quantified, and its implications discussed.

The use of surrogate LCI data in lieu of missing dataset(s) or data-gaps is a source of uncertainty. Despite the widespread use of surrogate data, there has been no effort to (1) establish any form of guidance for the appropriate selection of surrogate data and, (2) estimate the uncertainty associated with the choice and use of surrogate data. A formal expert elicitation-based methodology to select the most appropriate surrogates and to quantify the associated uncertainty was proposed and implemented.

Product-evolution in a non-uniform manner is a source of temporal variability that is presently not considered in LCA modeling. The resulting use of outdated LCA information will lead to misguided decisions affecting the issue at concern and eventually the environment. In order to demonstrate product-evolution within the scope of ISO 14044, and given that variability cannot be reduced, the sources of product-evolution were identified, generalized, analyzed and their implications (individual and coupled) on LCA results are quantified.

Finally, recommendations were provided for the advancement of robustness of 'attributional' LCA, with respect to uncertainty and variability.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016