Matching Items (16)

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Rapid Urban Growth in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal: Monitoring Land Use Land Cover Dynamics of a Himalayan City with Landsat Imageries

Description

The Kathmandu Valley of Nepal epitomizes the growing urbanization trend spreading across the Himalayan foothills. This metropolitan valley has experienced a significant transformation of its landscapes in the last four

The Kathmandu Valley of Nepal epitomizes the growing urbanization trend spreading across the Himalayan foothills. This metropolitan valley has experienced a significant transformation of its landscapes in the last four decades resulting in substantial land use and land cover (LULC) change; however, no major systematic analysis of the urbanization trend and LULC has been conducted on this valley since 2000. When considering the importance of using LULC change as a window to study the broader changes in socio-ecological systems of this valley, our study first detected LULC change trajectories of this valley using four Landsat images of the year 1989, 1999, 2009, and 2016, and then analyzed the detected change in the light of a set of proximate causes and factors driving those changes. A pixel-based hybrid classification (unsupervised followed by supervised) approach was employed to classify these images into five LULC categories and analyze the LULC trajectories detected from them. Our results show that urban area expanded up to 412% in last three decades and the most of this expansion occurred with the conversions of 31% agricultural land. The majority of the urban expansion happened during 1989–2009, and it is still growing along the major roads in a concentric pattern, significantly altering the cityscape of the valley. The centrality feature of Kathmandu valley and the massive surge in rural-to-urban migration are identified as the primary proximate causes of the fast expansion of built-up areas and rapid conversions of agricultural areas.

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  • 2017-10-08

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Turning conflict into collaboration in managing commons: A case of Rupa Lake Watershed, Nepal

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A growing body of literature on the commons has provided fascinating and intricate insights on how some local institutions have successfully managed to avoid a seemingly inevitable “tragedy of the

A growing body of literature on the commons has provided fascinating and intricate insights on how some local institutions have successfully managed to avoid a seemingly inevitable “tragedy of the commons” once popularized by Garrett Hardin. Primarily benefitting from the recent studies on the commonpool resources conducted by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues, polycentric selforganization and autonomy, rather than the direct state or market control over the commons, are often recognized as key features of the long enduring commons. However, these commons are quite diverse and the outcomes are often multiple and complex, accentuating the needs to differentiate among multiple commons outcomes. Furthermore, relatively under-reported are the cases where the degradation of common-pool resources are actually halted, and even restored. This study examines both the turbulent history of fishery mismanagement in Rupa Lake, Nepal and its reversal built around the participation, engagement and inclusiveness in the governance of its watershed. We find that Rupa Lake’s experience tells two stories. Reflecting Hardin’s dire forecast, the Rupa Lake watershed verged on collapse as population grew and seemingly selfish behavior intensified under an open-access regime. But the users also found a way to rebound and reverse their course as they adopted a bottom-up approach to fishery management and established an innovative community institution, the ‘Rupa Lake Rehabilitation and Fishery Cooperative’, dedicated to the sustainable governance of the commons. This case highlights how one community at the threshold of ‘tragedy’ transformed itself by turning conflict into collaboration, which we hope contributes to the effort of better understanding multiple commons.

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  • 2015-09-18

Land Fragmentation Under Rapid Urbanization: A Cross-Site Analysis of Southwestern Cities

Description

Using National Land Cover Data we analyzed land fragmentation trends from 1992 to 2001 in five southwestern cities associated with Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites.

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  • 2011-02-11

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Green Infrastructure and Urban Sustainability: A Case Study Analysis of Latin American Cities

Description

Stormwater run-off control is emerging as one of the key sustainability challenges for the cities around the world, especially the coastal and flood-prone cities. Sustainable management of stormwater run-off is

Stormwater run-off control is emerging as one of the key sustainability challenges for the cities around the world, especially the coastal and flood-prone cities. Sustainable management of stormwater run-off is important because urban infrastructures (e.g., buildings, roads, and parking) effectively seal the land surface and disrupt the natural hydrological cycle, often disproportionately burdening the poor and disfranchised communities inhabiting the flood zones. The devastating results of flooding have pushed urban designers to actively consider "green infrastructure" as a more effective option to mitigate flooding risks and to enhance urban resilience. Green infrastructure connects nature-based solutions to effectively manage stormwater run-offs and provides several social, economic, and environmental benefits. Focusing on the use and governance of green infrastructure, this study addresses two key research questions: What are the ways green infrastructure helps urban stormwater management and overall urban sustainability in the developing countries? What are the challenges Lantin American cities face in comparison to the cities in the developed countries? This study applies a case study analysis approach to compare three Latin American cities: 1) Bogota (Columbia), Curitiba (Brazil), and Santiago (Chile), as those are representative of rapid urbanization trends occurring in the developing countries, and they have already green infrastructure in their urban design. The results of this study suggest that green infrastructure has significant benefits for the cities in developing countries, but it is also important to focus on the governance aspects that allow for a city to properly implement green infrastructure and create more adaptive and resilient cities.

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  • 2020-05

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Doctors and Diapers: Promoting Sustainable Practices Through Pediatric Healthcare

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Incorporating sustainability education in primary healthcare practice is an important step toward promoting sustainability in the US healthcare system. This health strategy is also consistent with a renewed focus of

Incorporating sustainability education in primary healthcare practice is an important step toward promoting sustainability in the US healthcare system. This health strategy is also consistent with a renewed focus of the US healthcare system, mainly prompted by the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010, toward preventive care and patient wellness. The major challenge, however, is an effective implementation of sustainability education in the healthcare industry. This honors thesis project developed a sustainability education model, in which primary healthcare providers or the physicians educated the patients about sustainability and its connection to public health issues. The main purpose of this thesis project is to analyze the effectiveness of this sustainability education model and to evaluate its impact on the individuals and households in terms of sustainable attitudes and practices. The study was conducted with 26 parents of newborn babies at Estrella Pediatrics PC using a classic randomized control-group pretest-posttest design. The Pre- and Post-Surveys were completed to evaluate change in their knowledge and attitudes toward sustainability practices covered in the sustainability education model. In the research, the relationships between sustainability-related issues and their negative impacts on the health of human beings were established in the sustainability education pamphlet provided to the physicians, which they shared with the patients during the wellness visits. This pamphlet focused on waste management, air pollution, and locally grown food. Moreover, samples of environmentally-friendly diapers were given to the study respondents to complement this education. The study demonstrated positive trends with the intervention protocol, though the level of statistical significance was marginal. More specifically, it was observed that the respondents placed the highest significance on the education provided by the pediatricians. Interestingly, the receipt of the diaper samples by itself did not generate any significant effect. However, the education provided by the physician and the pamphlet coupled with the diaper gave very positive results. In conclusion, physician led sustainability education has significant potential in promoting sustainability in primary healthcare practice, and further inquiry should be pursued.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12

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Assessment of Antibiotic Resistance in a Managed Aquifer Recharge System: Water Sustainability and Water Quality

Description

Managed Aquifer Recharge is an increasingly prevalent solution to sustain water availability in arid regions. Recharge of groundwater resources using treated wastewater effluent is one type of managed aquifer recharge

Managed Aquifer Recharge is an increasingly prevalent solution to sustain water availability in arid regions. Recharge of groundwater resources using treated wastewater effluent is one type of managed aquifer recharge that offers long-term sustainable water management. However, there are some concerns regarding the reuse of wastewater and its potential to increase exposures to antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes that could affect human health. Antibiotic resistance genes can confer the ability for bacteria to resist antibacterial treatment, rendering their presence in water supplies as an area of research needed to evaluate where environmental “hot spots” of potential antibiotic resistance disseminate. To evaluate the occurrence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes, sampling of an Arizona managed aquifer recharge facility was performed, with target antibiotic resistance genes measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes was evaluated at several sampling wells and in sediments to examine trade-offs between water quantity benefits and water quality issues. The goal of this work is to inform management operations for secure water quality in the face of climate change.

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  • 2021-05

Sustainability Analysis of Monoculture to Polyculture Transitions: A Palm Oil Case Study

Description

The purpose of this research was to address the viability of a monoculture to polyculture agricultural land-cover transition within the context of the palm oil industry in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The purpose of this research was to address the viability of a monoculture to polyculture agricultural land-cover transition within the context of the palm oil industry in Malaysia and Indonesia. A lifecycle assessment was used as a framework in the Cradle-to-Gate methodology used to understand sustainability hotspots, develop four future scenarios, and to measure three chosen indicators for metric changes. The four scenarios included a business-as-usual, perfect world, and two transition scenarios highlighting greenhouse gases, bio-control chemicals, fertilizer-use, and crop yield as indicators. In the four scenarios, a 1000 ha of plantation land with 140,000 palm oil trees created the backdrop for investigating nutrient cycling, cultivation methods, and the economic trade-offs of a transition. Primary literature was the main source of investigation and a wide-variety of current polyculture research helped create tangible data across the four scenarios. However, polyculture failed to address the socioeconomic barriers present in the governance, business-state, and regulations within this industry and region. An institutional analysis was conducted to investigate the political, financial, and regulatory barriers in this industry and recommend changes. It was concluded that while polyculture is an important form of environmental sustainability and can increase crop yield, the socioeconomic structure of the industry is the largest barrier to change and implement polyculture. In order for this social structure to change, it was recommended that the regulatory institutions, such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), reframe their pressure points and instead focus on the interconnectedness of logging and palm oil companies with the regional governments.

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  • 2016-05

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Cycle Life: Exploring the Attitudes of Bicycle Commuters in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area

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This paper was born of the researcher's personal interest. As someone who commutes by bike and plans to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, the researcher was intrigued

This paper was born of the researcher's personal interest. As someone who commutes by bike and plans to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, the researcher was intrigued by the growing bicycle culture in Phoenix, Arizona, a city that can sometimes make commuting without a car quite difficult. The researcher aimed to uncover why cycling is becoming more popular as a mode of transportation in a city that can often be hostile towards cyclists. This paper first reviews some previous studies done on alternative commuting. Next, it details a commute-shed analysis conducted with the help of the US Census Bureau's On The Map program. After that, the researcher describes the methods used to gather qualitative data about attitudes from local commuters and discusses the results. Finally, suggestions and speculations are made about ways to improve the bikeability of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The research found that cyclists in the area are motivated to commute by bike by factors including cost-savings, health benefits, and others. This data is important because it shows that the target demographic, who are able to exert their desires politically, feel strongly enough about commuting by bicycle to go out of their way to do it.

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  • 2014-05

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An Institutional Analysis of Glacial Floods and Disaster Risk Management in the Nepal Himalaya

Description

Institutional factors are rarely examined in disaster risks in the Himalayan region, as much of the focus so far has been on improving the scientific understanding of the natural hazards

Institutional factors are rarely examined in disaster risks in the Himalayan region, as much of the focus so far has been on improving the scientific understanding of the natural hazards and risks. This is particularly true for glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), which are natural hazards endemic to high mountain ranges such as the Andes, Alps, and Himalayas. While these have put mountain communities at risk for centuries, vulnerability is viewed to be increasing due to climate change. While the science behind the causes and characteristics of these hazards is now better understood, there is an absence of research understanding the social, cultural and institutional drivers behind creating effective strategies to mitigate risks from GLOFs. This is more so for the Himalayan region, where institutions have recently started to address this risk, but contention between local communities and external organizations can hinder mitigation efforts. To better understand how people’s perception towards disaster risk, a study conducted by Sherpa et al. (2019) examined the socio-economic and cultural perceptions surrounding GLOF hazards.

This research highlighted gaps in how scientific knowledge is disseminated to local communities, and the resulting distrust in government mitigation projects such as lake lowering and Early Warning Systems. A clear need developed to conduct an institutional analysis of the governance systems responsible for disaster risk management and their interaction with local communities. This study examines the institutional conditions under which mountain communities create effective adaptation strategies to address climate induced hazards. We use a mixed-methods approach, combining: a) quantitative analysis of household surveys collected in 2016-2017 and b) qualitative analysis that maps out the various factors of institutions that influence the success of community-based adaptation efforts. Additionally, GLOF case studies from Nepal are compared to those in Peru, where institutions have a longer history of managing GLOF risks. The research finds that there are several considerations including: lack of cross-scalar communication networks, lack of local knowledge and participation in policy processes, and ineffective interorganizational coordination of knowledge sharing and funding streams for local projects. This disconnect between external versus local and informal institutions becomes an inherent issue in projects where agenda setting by external organizations plays prevalent roles in project implementation.

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  • 2019-04-26

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Cryospheric Hazards and Risk Perceptions in the Mt. Everest Region, Nepal

Description

Multiple studies have reported potential risks posed by a rapid expansion of glacial lakes in the Mt. Everest region of Nepal. People’s perception of such cryospheric hazards can influence their

Multiple studies have reported potential risks posed by a rapid expansion of glacial lakes in the Mt. Everest region of Nepal. People’s perception of such cryospheric hazards can influence their actions, beliefs, and responses to those hazards and associated risks. This paper analyzes local people’s perceptions of cryospheric hazards and risks using a social survey dataset of 138 households in the Khumbu and Pharak areas of the Mt. Everest region of Nepal. A statistical logit model of categorical household data showed a significant positive correlation with the perceptions of cryospheric risks to their livelihood sources, mainly tourism. Local people’s GLOF risk perceptions are also influenced by their proximity to rapidly expanding glacial lakes and potential flood zones located in Dudhkoshi River basin. The emergency remediation work implemented in the Imja glacial lake by the Government of Nepal in 2016 has served as a cognitive fix, especially in the low lying settlements in Pharak. Uncertainties of cryosphere that exist in the region can be attributed to a disconnect between how scientific knowledge on GLOFs risks is communicated to the local communities and how government policies on climate change adaptation and mitigation have been limited only to awareness campaigns and emergency remediation works. A sustainable partnership of scientists, policymakers, and local communities is urgently needed to build a science-driven, community-based initiative that focuses not just in addressing a single GLOF threat (e.g., Imja) but develops on a comprehensive cryospheric risk management plan and considers opportunities and challenges of tourism in the local climate adaptation policies.

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  • 2018-04-18