Matching Items (105)

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Revamping Site Design Specifications to Support Human-Scaled Transport Networks, in "State of Transportation Planning 2020, Moving People over Cars: Mobility for Healthy Communities"

Description

The last half-century of urban transport planning is defined primarily by accommodating personal cars. This may be changing. New transport technologies and devices that are more human-scaled have developed, particularly

The last half-century of urban transport planning is defined primarily by accommodating personal cars. This may be changing. New transport technologies and devices that are more human-scaled have developed, particularly over the past few years, and have fueled prospects to dislodge the primacy of cars. The efficacy of these newer and human-scaled vehicles, however, is bounded by the networks that are available—networks which are defined by the rights of way on which they travel (links) and destinations at the terminal location of a trip (nodes). Both are important. The overwhelming majority of planning efforts to better accommodate human scaled vehicles has focused on network links for these new modes. Less attention has been devoted to how site design and planning at nodes impedes or supports human-scaled transport. Efforts to help transport networks evolve, and their corresponding systems, will be compromised if only some parts to the networks adapt while others remain idle. Options to support first and last mile legs of transit are important, but have limited value when the first or last few feet are largely impermeable to anything but driving. We argue that lack of attention to developing human-scale nodes is important and lack of action will eventually bound capacity. We therefore point to rationales and avenues for reforming site development guidelines.

Better sidewalks, more bike lanes, and multi-modal cross-sections of streets present the “much-turned-to” remedy for progressive transport planning efforts. Recent editions of National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines are evidence of this. These guides largely focus improvements to street and the emphasis on such links in a transport system come at the expense of focus on nodes. Improvements to terminal locations such as apartment complexes, shopping centers, schools, municipal buildings and more are often not considered. For travelers accessing such sites via foot or bicycle, at issue is that site entrances are generally wired only for automobiles, as is travel within it. Consider auto-only-oriented drop-off zones, seas of parking lots, curb cuts long enough to accommodate multiple lanes of traffic and more. These conditions render such nodes as mostly impermeable for these other forms of travel.

The features that make these places impermeable for human-scaled travel are prescribed by the regulations that city officials enact (or have enacted some years ago). Mandated rules in zoning regulations, building codes, and site planning guidelines hold court here. For any substantial change in transport, whether mode choice, congestion or emissions, to have effect, these site characteristics are important. Yet, they have mostly been considered in a peripheral manner against the body of transport and land use scholarship. This essay demonstrates the need for new site design guidelines to steer such developments in ways that allow a human-scaled transport network to develop. Considering the city as a canvas, city codes lack prescriptions to design—and more importantly, redesign—these spaces in ways that are supportive of human-scaled travel.

To support our argument that development nodes are important components to an evolving transport system, we present rationales for new site design guidelines that will help steer actions in ways that allow a human-scaled transport network to develop. Site planning elements interface in many ways with the larger transport system and are too often left off the table. Our aim is to help lay the foundation for a new generation of site design guidelines that will help old standards (e.g., Lynch and Hack, 1984) evolve. A new generation of site planning manuals, supported by new research into these issues, are needed and poised to address human-scaled movement that supports both permeability to sites and comforting travel within them (e.g., how should a half-acre parking lot be transformed to allow safe cycling access?).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Residential Choice’s Impact on Sustainable Transportation Options: A Study in the Phoenix Metro Area

Description

This study adds to the literature about residential choice and sustainable transportation. Through the interviews and the personal stories gathered, there was diversity shown in the residential location choice process.

This study adds to the literature about residential choice and sustainable transportation. Through the interviews and the personal stories gathered, there was diversity shown in the residential location choice process. We also noticed that “commute” means different things to different households, and that many people did not consider their commute to work to be a primary factor determining their final home location. Moreover, many people were willing to increase their commute time, or trade access to desirable amenities for a longer commute. Commuting time to work was one example of the tradeoffs that homeowners make when choosing a home, but there were also others such as architectural type and access to neighborhood amenities. Lastly, time constraints proved to be a very significant factor in the home buying process. Several of our households had such strict time constraints that limited their search to a point of excluding whole areas. Overall, our study sheds light on transportation’s role in residential choice and underscores the complexity of the location choice process.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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How does crayfish diet vary with extreme hydrologic events?

Description

This study examined crayfish diet within varying hydrologic environment in lotic systems using stable isotope analysis of crayfish and basal resources to add depth to previous findings. Crayfish are numerous

This study examined crayfish diet within varying hydrologic environment in lotic systems using stable isotope analysis of crayfish and basal resources to add depth to previous findings. Crayfish are numerous and are omnivorous, opportunistic feeders, feeding on invertebrates, vegetation and detritus. Arizona streams stand apart from the Eastern and Northwestern aquatic ecosystems of the United States because Arizona has no native crayfish species. Two species have been introduced and become widely established in Arizona (Orconectes virilis and Procambarus clarkii), with concern for further introduction of crayfish species and more information on how these two species impact the native species in the streams is needed. Previous studies have focused on crayfish abundance with hydrologic variation and crayfish diets within a lentic system, but few have focused on how the diet of consumers varies with hydrologic variability. Crayfish are hardy and have a dramatically increasing population within Arizona and therefore inhabit systems with a wide range of hydrologic variability which may contribute to spatial variability. The results show that crayfish diets do show a significant level of seasonal variation in some study locations, in both C source and trophic level. Hydrologic variation was also shown to impact crayfish diet at several study sites, with increasing magnitude of event (both floods and droughts) correlating with a change toward more aquatic C sources and lower trophic position in several of the study sites. In some locations, the correlation was not as strong with variation and diet change and showed less change in C source and rather showed an increase in trophic position.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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The EcoCode: Redesigning the Urban Block

Description

Midwestern cities are in decline, with shrinking populations and corresponding disinvestment. Many organizations and city governments are working on addressing the problem of vacancy while bringing these urban areas into

Midwestern cities are in decline, with shrinking populations and corresponding disinvestment. Many organizations and city governments are working on addressing the problem of vacancy while bringing these urban areas into the global economy. The EcoBlock Organization (EBO), a St. Louis-based non-profit, proposes block-level redevelopment as a method of fostering community and economic development while minimizing the impact on the environment. The EcoCode is a block-level form-based code describing the vision of the EBO and its implementation. This vision is centered around eight key design principles: energy, public health, social, urban design, water, transportation, resilience, and landscape. It manifests as an EcoBlock: a block of buildings surrounding a shared green space, connected by an energy grid and a shared geothermal loop with the goal of net-zero energy. The residences are a mix of building types for a variety of incomes and some building space will be designated for shared use, all physically reflecting the historic design of houses in the city in which the EcoBlock is implemented. Specifications like design, building placement, and mechanisms by which to strive towards net-zero energy and water will be determined in each location in which the EcoBlock is developed. The EcoCode describes the process and the desired outcome, providing a framework for this implementation.
The EcoCode resembles a typical form-based code in structure, but at a smaller geographic scale. General Provisions describes the context of the surrounding area that must be assessed before choosing to create an EcoBlock. Development and Adoption strategy explains the evolving role of the EBO and how the realization of this design is currently envisioned. Regulating Block, Block Development Standards, Building Envelope Standards, and Building Development Standards describe the detail that will need to be developed for the physical aspects of each block. Streetscape Standards describe the vision of the EBO as applicable to the streets surrounding an EcoBlock. Finally, the Sustainability Standards contain the contribution of each board member of the EBO with their unique expertise on implementing the design principles.
As a supplement to The EcoCode itself, this document contains three topics for case studies looking into the feasibility of the EcoBlock as a whole: shared space, net-zero energy, and mixed-income housing. Shared space development and management uses Montgomery Park in Boston to show the potential of community-based organization while warning against gentrification. The West Village campus of the University of California in Davis shows the technical possibility and the financial challenges of a net-zero community. Brogården, an affordable housing community in Sweden, demonstrates the possibility for decreasing energy consumption in public housing. Finally, Via Verde in New York City is an example of combining health, green space, and affordability in a mixed-income housing development. Though there is not yet an example of a fully implemented EcoBlock, these case studies speak to the challenges and the facilitators that the EBO will likely face.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

Queering Hamlet: The Tragedy of Hamlet and Horatio

Description

Queering Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Hamlet and Horatio is a creative project that reimagines Shakespeare's Hamlet. Inspired by my own experiences as a queer teen, the play explores how gender

Queering Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Hamlet and Horatio is a creative project that reimagines Shakespeare's Hamlet. Inspired by my own experiences as a queer teen, the play explores how gender and sexual identities affect the lives of queer youth. Hamlet is reimagined as a polyamorous, transgender man, who is dating a lesbian Ophelia and nonbinary Horatio. The play is told from the perspective of Horatio, who has lived through the tragedy to tell Hamlet's story. They present the events through a compilation of personal videos, filmed from a variety of perspectives. The interactions between the characters of the play showcase the importance of open communication with friends, partners, and family members, while touching on issues of abusive relationships and mental illness. The project aims to foster discussion on the use of Shakespearean adaptation for modern audiences and create more LGBTQ+ representation in media.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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What's for Dinner?

Description

Food’s implication on culture and agriculture challenges agriculture’s identity in the age of the city. As architect and author Carolyn Steel explained, “we live in a world shaped by food,

Food’s implication on culture and agriculture challenges agriculture’s identity in the age of the city. As architect and author Carolyn Steel explained, “we live in a world shaped by food, and if we realize that, we can use food as a powerful tool — a conceptual tool, design tool, to shape the world differently. It triggers a new way of thinking about the problem, recognizing that food is not a commodity; it is life, it is culture, it’s us. It’s how we evolved.” If the passage of food culture is dependent upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations, the learning environments should reflect this tenability in its systematic and architectural approach.

Through an investigation of agriculture and cuisine and its consequential influence on culture, education, and design, the following project intends to reconceptualize the learning environment in order facilitate place-based practices. Challenging our cognitive dissonant relationship with food, the design proposal establishes a food identity through an imposition of urban agriculture and culinary design onto the school environment. Working in conjunction with the New American University’s mission, the design serves as a didactic medium between food, education, and architecture in designing the way we eat.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The Political, Financial & Cultural Difficulties of Operating a Microcredit Lending Institution in Israel & the Palestinian Territories

Description

The purpose of this study is to identify, analyze, and understand the concept of microcredit lending as a method of combating poverty, as well as the political, financial, and cultural

The purpose of this study is to identify, analyze, and understand the concept of microcredit lending as a method of combating poverty, as well as the political, financial, and cultural difficulties of operating such an organization. The study investigates microcredit lending organizations (also referred to as microlending organizations or microlending banks) in the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; these organizations are used as a case study to analyze the challenges faced by microlending organizations around the world, as well as an interesting lens to observe the geopolitical and socioeconomic difficulties of small-scale economic engagement in this area of heavy conflict. Finally, interesting patterns, behaviors, policies, and operating methods of microlending banks are scrutinized in order to deeply understand the challenges and philosophies behind microlending.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Lessons in Arcology: An Overview of Two Experimental Urban Projects and Their Viability in Phoenix's Sustainable Urban Development

Description

Defines the concept of the arcology as conceived by architect Paolo Soleri. Arcology combines "architecture" and "ecology" and explores a visionary notion of a self-contained urban community that has agricultural,

Defines the concept of the arcology as conceived by architect Paolo Soleri. Arcology combines "architecture" and "ecology" and explores a visionary notion of a self-contained urban community that has agricultural, commercial, and residential facilities under one roof. Two real-world examples of these projects are explored: Arcosanti, AZ and Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Key aspects of the arcology that could be applied to an existing urban fabric are identified, such as urban design fostering social interaction, reduction of automobile dependency, and a development pattern that combats sprawl. Through interviews with local representatives, a holistic approach to applying arcology concepts to the Phoenix Metro Area is devised.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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A Numerical and Analytical Study of Wave Reflection and Transmission across the Tropopause

Description

A numerical study of wave-induced momentum transport across the tropopause in the presence of a stably stratified thin inversion layer is presented and discussed. This layer consists of a shar

A numerical study of wave-induced momentum transport across the tropopause in the presence of a stably stratified thin inversion layer is presented and discussed. This layer consists of a sharp increase in static stability within the tropopause. The wave propagation is modeled by numerically solving the Taylor-Goldstein equation, which governs the dynamics of internal waves in stably stratified shear flows. The waves are forced by a flow over a bell shaped mountain placed at the lower boundary of the domain. A perfectly radiating condition based on the group velocity of mountain waves is imposed at the top to avoid artificial wave reflection. A validation for the numerical method through comparisons with the corresponding analytical solutions will be provided. Then, the method is applied to more realistic profiles of the stability to study the impact of these profiles on wave propagation through the tropopause.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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SOCIAL CONFLICT AND WATER ACCESS IN MEXICO CITY'S URBAN WATER NETWORK

Description

Protest has been both a practice of citizenship rights as well as a means of social pressure for change in the context of Mexico City's water system. This paper explores

Protest has been both a practice of citizenship rights as well as a means of social pressure for change in the context of Mexico City's water system. This paper explores the role that citizen protest plays in the city's response to its water challenges. We use media reports of water protests to examine where protests happen and the causes associated with them. We analyze this information to illuminate socio-political issues associated with the city's water problems, such as political corruption, gentrification, as well as general power dynamics and lack of transparency between citizens, governments, and the private businesses which interact with them. We use text analysis of newspaper reports to analyze protest events in terms of the primary stimuli of water conflict, the areas within the city more prone to conflict, and the ways in which conflict and protest are used to initiate improved water management and to influence decision making to address water inequities. We found that water scarcity is the primary source of conflict, and that water scarcity is tied to new housing and commercial construction. These new constructions often disrupt water supplies and displace of minority or marginalized groups, which we denote as gentrification. The project demonstrates the intimate ties between inequities in housing and water in urban development. Key words: Conflict, protest, Mexico City, scarcity, new construction

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05