Matching Items (13)

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A Generalizable Method for Estimating Household Energy by Neighborhoods in US Urban Regions

Description

There is mounting evidence to suggest that the urban built form plays a crucial role in household energy consumption, hence planning energy efficient cities requires thoughtful design at multiple scales

There is mounting evidence to suggest that the urban built form plays a crucial role in household energy consumption, hence planning energy efficient cities requires thoughtful design at multiple scales - from buildings, to neighborhoods, to urban regions. While data on household energy use are essential for examining the energy implications of different built forms, few utilities providing power and gas offer such information at a granular scale. Therefore, researchers have used various estimation techniques to determine household and neighborhood scale energy use. In this study we develop a novel method for estimating household energy demand that can be applied to any urban region in the US with the help of publicly available data. To improve estimates of residential energy this paper describes a methodology that utilizes a matching algorithm to stitch together data from RECS with the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) provided by the Bureau of Census. Our workflow statistically matches households in RECS and PUMS datasets based on the shared variables in both, so that total energy consumption in the RECS dataset can be mapped to the PUMS dataset. Following this mapping procedure, we generate synthetic households using processed PUMS data together with marginal totals from the American Community Survey (ACS) records. By aggregating energy consumptions of synthesized households, small area or neighborhood-based estimates of residential energy use can be obtained.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-01-05

Impact of Urban Form and Design on Mid-Afternoon Microclimate in Phoenix Local Climate Zones

Description

This study investigates the impact of urban form and landscaping type on the mid-afternoon microclimate in semi-arid Phoenix, Arizona. The goal is to find effective urban form and design strategies

This study investigates the impact of urban form and landscaping type on the mid-afternoon microclimate in semi-arid Phoenix, Arizona. The goal is to find effective urban form and design strategies to ameliorate temperatures during the summer months. We simulated near-ground air temperatures for typical residential neighborhoods in Phoenix using the three-dimensional microclimate model ENVI-met. The model was validated using weather observations from the North Desert Village (NDV) landscape experiment, located on the Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus. The NDV is an ideal site to determine the model's input parameters, since it is a controlled environment recreating three prevailing residential landscape types in the Phoenix metropolitan area (mesic, oasis, and xeric).

After validation, we designed five neighborhoods with different urban forms that represent a realistic cross-section of typical residential neighborhoods in Phoenix. The scenarios follow the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification scheme after Stewart and Oke. We then combined the neighborhoods with three landscape designs and, using ENVI-met, simulated microclimate conditions for these neighborhoods for a typical summer day. Results were analyzed in terms of mid-afternoon air temperature distribution and variation, ventilation, surface temperatures, and shading. Findings show that advection is important for the distribution of within-design temperatures and that spatial differences in cooling are strongly related to solar radiation and local shading patterns. In mid-afternoon, dense urban forms can create local cool islands. Our approach suggests that the LCZ concept is useful for planning and design purposes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12-01

Residential Land Use, the Urban Heat Island, and Water Use in Phoenix: A Path Analysis

Description

While previous studies have shown that urban heat islands (UHI) tend to increase residential water use, they have not yet analyzed the feedbacks among vegetation intensity, diurnal temperature variation, water

While previous studies have shown that urban heat islands (UHI) tend to increase residential water use, they have not yet analyzed the feedbacks among vegetation intensity, diurnal temperature variation, water use, and characteristics of the built environment. This study examines these feedback relationships with the help of a path model applied to spatially disaggregated data from Phoenix, Arizona. The empirical evidence from the observations in Phoenix suggests the following: (1) impervious surfaces contribute to increased residential water use by exacerbating UHI; (2) larger lots containing pools and mesic vegetation increase water demand by reducing diurnal temperature difference; and (3) smart design of urban environments needs to go beyond simplistic water body- and vegetation-based solutions for mitigating uncomfortably high temperatures and consider interactions between surface materials, land use, UHI, and water use.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010-07-08

How Do Variations in Urban Heat Islands in Space and Time Influence Household Water Use? The Case of Phoenix, Arizona

Description

This paper explores how urbanization, through its role in the evolution of Urban Heat Island (UHI), affects residential water consumption. Using longitudinal data and drawing on a mesoscale atmospheric model,

This paper explores how urbanization, through its role in the evolution of Urban Heat Island (UHI), affects residential water consumption. Using longitudinal data and drawing on a mesoscale atmospheric model, we examine how variations in surface temperature at the census tract level have affected water use in single family residences in Phoenix, Arizona. Results show that each Fahrenheit rise in nighttime temperature increases water consumption by 1.4%. This temperature effect is found to vary significantly with lot size and pool size. The study provides insights into the links between urban form and water use, through the dynamics of UHI.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-06-14

Impact of urban form and design on mid-afternoon microclimate in Phoenix Local Climate Zones

Description

This study investigates the impact of urban form and landscaping type on the mid-afternoon microclimate in semi-arid Phoenix, Arizona. The goal is to find effective urban form and design strategies

This study investigates the impact of urban form and landscaping type on the mid-afternoon microclimate in semi-arid Phoenix, Arizona. The goal is to find effective urban form and design strategies to ameliorate temperatures during the summer months. We simulated near-ground air temperatures for typical residential neighborhoods in Phoenix using the three-dimensional microclimate model ENVI-met. The model was validated using weather observations from the North Desert Village (NDV) landscape experiment, located on the Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus. The NDV is an ideal site to determine the model's input parameters, since it is a controlled environment recreating three prevailing residential landscape types in the Phoenix metropolitan area (mesic, oasis, and xeric). After validation, we designed five neighborhoods with different urban forms that represent a realistic cross-section of typical residential neighborhoods in Phoenix. The scenarios follow the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification scheme after Stewart and Oke. We then combined the neighborhoods with three landscape designs and, using ENVI-met, simulated microclimate conditions for these neighborhoods for a typical summer day. Results were analyzed in terms of mid-afternoon air temperature distribution and variation, ventilation, surface temperatures, and shading. Findings show that advection is important for the distribution of within-design temperatures and that spatial differences in cooling are strongly related to solar radiation and local shading patterns. In mid-afternoon, dense urban forms can create local cool islands. Our approach suggests that the LCZ concept is useful for planning and design purposes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-02

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Vulnerability to heat stress in urban areas: a sustainability perspective

Description

Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et

Extreme hot-weather events have become life-threatening natural phenomena in many cities around the world, and the health impacts of excessive heat are expected to increase with climate change (Huang et al. 2011; Knowlton et al. 2007; Meehl and Tebaldi 2004; Patz 2005). Heat waves will likely have the worst health impacts in urban areas, where large numbers of vulnerable people reside and where local-scale urban heat island effects (UHI) retard and reduce nighttime cooling. This dissertation presents three empirical case studies that were conducted to advance our understanding of human vulnerability to heat in coupled human-natural systems. Using vulnerability theory as a framework, I analyzed how various social and environmental components of a system interact to exacerbate or mitigate heat impacts on human health, with the goal of contributing to the conceptualization of human vulnerability to heat. The studies: 1) compared the relationship between temperature and health outcomes in Chicago and Phoenix; 2) compared a map derived from a theoretical generic index of vulnerability to heat with a map derived from actual heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix; and 3) used geospatial information on health data at two areal units to identify the hot spots for two heat health outcomes in Phoenix. The results show a 10-degree Celsius difference in the threshold temperatures at which heat-stress calls in Phoenix and Chicago are likely to increase drastically, and that Chicago is likely to be more sensitive to climate change than Phoenix. I also found that heat-vulnerability indices are sensitive to scale, measurement, and context, and that cities will need to incorporate place-based factors to increase the usefulness of vulnerability indices and mapping to decision making. Finally, I found that identification of geographical hot-spot of heat-related illness depends on the type of data used, scale of measurement, and normalization procedures. I recommend using multiple datasets and different approaches to spatial analysis to overcome this limitation and help decision makers develop effective intervention strategies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Public perceptions of climate change: risk, trust, and policy

Description

Global climate change (GCC) is among the most important issues of the 21st century. Adaptation to and mitigation of climate change are some of the salient local and regional challenges

Global climate change (GCC) is among the most important issues of the 21st century. Adaptation to and mitigation of climate change are some of the salient local and regional challenges scientists, decision makers, and the general public face today and will be in the near future. However, designed adaptation and mitigation strategies do not guarantee success in coping with global climate change. Despite the robust and convincing body for anthropogenic global climate change research and science there is still a significant gap between the recommendations provided by the scientific community and the actual actions by the public and policy makers. In order to design, implement, and generate sufficient public support for policies and planning interventions at the national and international level, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the public's perceptions regarding GCC. Based on survey research in nine countries, the purpose of this study is two-fold: First, to understand the nature of public perceptions of global climate change in different countries; and secondly to identi-fy perception factors which have a significant impact on the public's willingness to sup-port GCC policies or commit to behavioral changes to reduce GHG emissions. Factors such as trust in GCC information which need to be considered in future climate change communication efforts are also dealt with in this dissertation. This study has identified several aspects that need to be considered in future communication programs. GCC is characterized by high uncertainties, unfamiliar risks, and other characteristics of hazards which make personal connections, responsibility and engagement difficult. Communication efforts need to acknowledge these obstacles, build up trust and motivate the public to be more engaged in reducing GCC by emphasizing the multiple benefits of many policies outside of just reducing GCC. Levels of skepticism among the public towards the reality of GCC as well as the trustworthiness and sufficien-cy of the scientific findings varies by country. Thus, communicators need to be aware of their audience in order to decide how educational their program needs to be.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions In residential neighborhoods in the Southwest: a built environment life-cycle assessment

Description

In recent years environmental life-cycle assessments (LCA) have been increasingly used to support planning and development of sustainable infrastructure. This study demonstrates the application of LCA to estimate embedded energy

In recent years environmental life-cycle assessments (LCA) have been increasingly used to support planning and development of sustainable infrastructure. This study demonstrates the application of LCA to estimate embedded energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to materials manufacturing and construction processes for low and high density single-family neighborhoods typically found in the Southwest. The LCA analysis presented in this study includes the assessment of more than 8,500 single family detached units, and 130 miles of related roadway infrastructure. The study estimates embedded and GHG emissions as a function of building size (1,500 - 3000 square feet), number of stories (1 or 2), and exterior wall material composition (stucco, brick, block, wood), roof material composition (clay tile, cement tile, asphalt shingles, built up), and as a function of roadway typology per mile (asphalt local residential roads, collectors, arterials). While a hybrid economic input-out life-cycle assessment is applied to estimate the energy and GHG emissions impacts of the residential units, the PaLATE tool is applied to determine the environmental effects of pavements and roads. The results indicate that low density single family neighborhoods are 2 - 2.5 X more energy and GHG intensive, per residential dwelling (unit) built, than high density residential neighborhoods. This relationship holds regardless of whether the functional unit is per acre or per capita. The results also indicate that a typical low density neighborhood (less than 2 dwellings per acre) requires 78 percent more energy and resource in roadway infrastructure per residential unit than a traditional small lot high density (more than 6 dwelling per acre). Also, this study shows that new master planned communities tend to be more energy intensive than traditional non master planned residential developments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Sustainability implications of mass rapid transit on the built environment and human travel behavior in suburban neighborhoods: the Beijing case

Description

The sustainability impacts of the extension of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in suburban Beijing are explored. The research focuses on the neighborhood level, assessing sustainability impacts in terms

The sustainability impacts of the extension of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system in suburban Beijing are explored. The research focuses on the neighborhood level, assessing sustainability impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and energy consumption. By emphasizing suburban neighborhoods, the research targets the longest commuting trips, which have the most potential to generate significant sustainability benefits. The methodology triangulates analyses of urban and transportation plans, secondary data, time series spatial imagery, household surveys, and field observation. Three suburban neighborhoods were selected as case studies. Findings include the fact that MRT access stimulates residential development significantly, while having limited impact in terms of commercial or mixed-use (transit-oriented development) property development. While large-scale changes in land use and urban form attributable to MRT access are rare once an area is built up, adaptation occurs in the functions of buildings and areas near MRT stations, such as the emergence of first floor commercial uses in residential buildings. However, station precincts also attract street vendors, tricycles, illegal taxis and unregulated car parking, often impeding access and making immediate surroundings of MRT stations unattractive, perhaps accounting for the lack of significant accessibility premiums (identified by the researcher) near MRT stations in suburban Beijing. Household-based travel behavior surveys reveal that public transport, i.e., MRT and buses, accounts for over half of all commuting trips in the three case study suburban neighborhoods. Over 30% of the residents spend over an hour commuting to work, reflecting the prevalence of long-distance commutes, associated with a dearth of workplaces in suburban Beijing. Non-commuting trips surprisingly tell a different story, a large portion of the residents choose to drive because they are less restrained by travel time. The observed increase of the share of MRT trips to work generates significant benefits in terms of lowered energy consumption, reduced greenhouse gas and traditional air pollution emissions. But such savings could be easily offset if the share of driving trips increases with growing affluence, given the high emission intensities of cars. Bus use is found to be responsible for high local conventional air pollution, indicating that the current bus fleet in Beijing should be phased out and replaced by cleaner buses. Policy implications are put forward based on these findings. The Intellectual Merit of this study centers on increased understanding of the relationship between mass transit provision and sustainability outcomes in suburban metropolitan China. Despite its importance, little research of this genre has been undertaken in China. This study is unique because it focuses on the intermediate meso scale, where adaptation occurs more quickly and dramatically, and is easier to identify.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Examining the role of urban spatial structure, housing submarkets, and economic resiliency in U.S. residential foreclosures, 2000-2009

Description

After a relative period of growth (2000-06), the U.S. economy experienced a sharp decline (2007-09) from which it is yet to recover. One of the primary factors that contributed to

After a relative period of growth (2000-06), the U.S. economy experienced a sharp decline (2007-09) from which it is yet to recover. One of the primary factors that contributed to this decline was the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which triggered a significant increase in residential foreclosures and a slump in housing values nationwide. Most studies examining this crisis have explained the high rate of foreclosures by associating it with socio-economic characteristics of the people affected and their financial decisions with respect to home mortgages. Though these studies were successful in identifying the section of the population facing foreclosures, they were mostly silent about region-wide factors that contributed to the crisis. This resulted in the absence of studies that could identify indicators of resiliency and robustness in urban areas that are affected by economic perturbations but had different outcomes. This study addresses this shortcoming by incorporating three concepts. First, it situates the foreclosure crisis in the broader regional economy by considering the concept of regional economic resiliency. Second, it includes the concept of housing submarkets, capturing the role of housing market dynamics in contributing to market performance. Third, the notion of urban growth pattern is included in an urban sprawl index to examine whether factors related to sprawl could partly explain the variation in foreclosures. These, along with other important socio-economic and housing characteristics, are used in this study to better understand the variation in impacts of the current foreclosure crisis. This study is carried out for all urban counties in the U.S. between 2000 and 2009. The associations between foreclosure rates and different variables are established using spatial regression models. Based on these models, this dissertation argues that counties with higher degree of employment diversity, encouragement for small business enterprises, and with less dependence on housing related industries, experienced fewer foreclosures. In addition, this thesis concludes that the spatial location of foreclosed properties is a function of location of origination of sub-prime mortgages and not the spatial location of the properties per se. Also importantly, the study found that the counties with high number of dissimilar housing submarkets experienced more foreclosures.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012