Matching Items (14)

Does the Spatial Arrangement of Urban Landscape Matter? Examples of Urban Warming and Cooling in Phoenix and Las Vegas

Description

This study examines the impact of spatial landscape configuration (e.g., clustered, dispersed) on land-surface temperatures (LST) over Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We classified detailed land-cover types via

This study examines the impact of spatial landscape configuration (e.g., clustered, dispersed) on land-surface temperatures (LST) over Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We classified detailed land-cover types via object-based image analysis (OBIA) using Geoeye-1 at 3-m resolution (Las Vegas) and QuickBird at 2.4-m resolution (Phoenix). Spatial autocorrelation (local Moran’s I ) was then used to test for spatial dependence and to determine how clustered or dispersed points were arranged. Next, we used Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data acquired over Phoenix (daytime on 10 June and nighttime on 17 October 2011) and Las Vegas (daytime on 6 July and nighttime on 27 August 2005) to examine day- and nighttime LST with regard to the spatial arrangement of anthropogenic and vegetation features. Local Moran’s I values of each land-cover type were spatially correlated to surface temperature. The spatial configuration of grass and trees shows strong negative correlations with LST, implying that clustered vegetation lowers surface temperatures more effectively. In contrast, clustered spatial arrangements of anthropogenic land-cover types, especially impervious surfaces and open soil, elevate LST. These findings suggest that city planners and managers should, where possible, incorporate clustered grass and trees to disperse unmanaged soil and paved surfaces, and fill open unmanaged soil with vegetation. Our findings are in line with national efforts to augment and strengthen green infrastructure, complete streets, parking management, and transit-oriented development practices, and reduce sprawling, unwalkable housing development.

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  • 2015-06-29

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A preliminary assessment looking at perceived quality of life in neighborhoods in the Phoenix metropolitan area focusing on community-oriented design, walkability, and proximity to nature.

Description

As urban areas continue to grow with an increasing amount of population growth and influx, prudent planning for developed and developing cities has never been as important as it is

As urban areas continue to grow with an increasing amount of population growth and influx, prudent planning for developed and developing cities has never been as important as it is today. Currently, about 54% of the world's population lives in urban areas while that number is expected to increase to 66% by 2050 (United Nations 2014). This being said, planners, politicians, and policymakers among others need to be able to anticipate the ideal urban infrastructure needed with the most effective layout and design for creating and maintaining a high quality of life. The purpose of this research is to identify a potential link between neighborhood-scale urban form criteria that are believed to improve quality of life and the perceived quality of life of people who live in neighborhoods that display these specific urban form criteria. This study looked at three neighborhoods that each exhibited differences in neighborhood urban form such as: community-oriented design, high walkability, and close proximity to nature. A non-scientific preliminary survey was conducted in each of these three neighborhoods to identify potential differences in urban form preference targeting different demographics. The scope of this study is a preliminary assessment to gain an idea of which neighborhood-scale urban form factors, if any, are important for improving quality of life from the point of view of the resident. These results may lead to future study that could determine the relationship between availability of infrastructure and residential preference for certain infrastructure. This could also lead to a guide for planners on important criteria to consider for future neighborhood development in an urban setting as well as areas to focus on in the urban retrofitting process.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Setting a resilient urban table: planning for community food systems

Description

Research indicates that projected increases in global urban populations are not adequately addressed by current food production and planning. In the U.S., insufficient access to food, or the inability to

Research indicates that projected increases in global urban populations are not adequately addressed by current food production and planning. In the U.S., insufficient access to food, or the inability to access enough food for an active, healthy life affects nearly 15% of the population. In the face of these challenges, how are urban planners and other food system professionals planning for more resilient food systems? The purpose of this qualitative case study is to understand the planning and policy resources and food system approaches that might have the ability to strengthen food systems, and ultimately, urban resiliency. It proposes that by understanding food system planning in this context, planning approaches can be developed to strengthen urban food systems. The study uses the conceptual framework of urban planning for food, new community food systems, urban resiliency, and the theory of Panarchy as a model for urban planning and creation of new community food systems. Panarchy theory proposes that entrenched, non-diverse systems can change and adapt, and this study proposes that some U.S. cities are doing just that by planning for new community food systems. It studied 16 U.S. cities considered to be leaders in sustainability practices, and conducted semi-structured interviews with professionals in three of those cities: Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; and Seattle, WA. The study found that these cities are using innovative methods in food system work, with professionals from many different departments and disciplines bringing interdisciplinary approaches to food planning and policy. Supported by strong executive leadership, these cities are creating progressive urban agriculture zoning policies and other food system initiatives, and using innovative educational programs and events to engage citizens at all socio-economic levels. Food system departments are relatively new, plans and policies among the cities are not consistent, and they are faced with limited resources to adequately track food system-related data. However they are still moving forward with programming to increase food access and improve their food systems. Food-system resiliency is recognized as an important goal, but cities are in varying stages of development for resiliency planning.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Advancing sustainable urbanism through civic space planning & design

Description

The lack of substantive, multi-dimensional perspectives on civic space planning and design has undermined the potential role of these valuable social and ecological amenities in advancing urban sustainability goals. Responding

The lack of substantive, multi-dimensional perspectives on civic space planning and design has undermined the potential role of these valuable social and ecological amenities in advancing urban sustainability goals. Responding to these deficiencies, this dissertation utilized mixed quantitative and qualitative methods and synthesized multiple social and natural science perspectives to inform the development of progressive civic space planning and design, theory, and public policy aimed at improving the social, economic, and environmental health of cities. Using Phoenix, Arizona as a case study, the analysis was tailored to arid cities, yet the products and findings are flexible enough to be geographically customized to the social, environmental, built, and public policy goals of other urbanized regions. Organized into three articles, the first paper applies geospatial and statistical methods to analyze and classify urban parks in Phoenix based on multiple social, ecological, and built criteria, including landuse-land cover, `greenness,' and site amenities, as well as the socio- economic and built characteristics of park neighborhoods. The second article uses spatial empirical analysis to rezone the City of Phoenix following transect form-based code. The current park system was then assessed within this framework and recommendations are presented to inform the planning and design of civic spaces sensitive to their social and built context. The final paper culminates in the development of a planning tool and site design guidelines for civic space planning and design across the urban-to-natural gradient augmented with multiple ecosystem service considerations and tailored to desert cities.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Understanding the generative process in traditional urbanism: an application using pattern and form languages

Description

Scholars have called for better understanding of the generative process, a process underlying the creation of urban form that often has positive qualities such as coherence, human scale, flexibility, and

Scholars have called for better understanding of the generative process, a process underlying the creation of urban form that often has positive qualities such as coherence, human scale, flexibility, and adaptability. The generative process is incremental and continually refined, producing urban settlements that respond to feedback. Redefining the pattern language as a system of knowledge generation, and a method to acquire essential information and re-create historical contexts, this dissertation aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the generative process and the corresponding urban codes of traditional cities. The dissertation consists of three complete yet interconnecting articles. The first article examines the structural components of the generative process— place-based norms and urban codes—and their roles in generative development. Two traditions of urbanism with distinctive and coherent forms and different levels of imposed regulations were investigated: medieval European and Arabic-Islamic. The study finds that place-based norms are the core of any generative process. Whenever written codes do not control urban space, these norms emerge to operationalize the building process. The second article investigates the generative process through the operationality of patterns, properties, and a sequence in the creation of the traditional form of the town of Hoian, Vietnam. The recurrence of each property and the pattern of its repetition in urban elements are investigated to assess the impact of generative forces on the urban form of Hoian. Fifteen of Alexander’s properties and ten of Lynch’s qualities were also combined into a set of twenty properties of urban elements. Finally, the third article observes and then explores the unfolding of the generative process using the virtual online platform OpenSim, thereby verifying the operationality of the generative process revealed in the previous two articles. The paper substantiates the proposition that the generative system includes patterns and urban properties that can serve as rules for directing urban growth. These rules build diverse and unified urban settlements.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Effects of neighborhood design on residential habits and sense of community: testing the claims of new urbanism

Description

This is a study that tests the New Urbanist claims that neighborhood design impacts sense of community and residential habits. Through the framework provided by New Urbanist theories, a social

This is a study that tests the New Urbanist claims that neighborhood design impacts sense of community and residential habits. Through the framework provided by New Urbanist theories, a social survey is used to examine residential perception and behavior among three fringe neighborhoods in southeast Tucson, each representing a different approach to neighborhood design: New Urbanist, traditional suburban, and a hybrid variety. The primary relationships studied are between neighborhood design and use of public space, neighborhood design and travel habits, and neighborhood design and sense of community. The findings show that the New Urbanist community does support the highest levels of sense of community and use of public space, but conclusions cannot be drawn concerning the relationship between sense of community and travel behavior, especially non-vehicular travel to public space. While these results are inconclusive concerning the direct impact of the neighborhood type on certain behaviors and perceptions, the findings support the notion that a New Urbanist design does indeed enhance social interactions and use of public space. It also offers insight into the importance of residential preferences, not as much towards walkability but towards general environmental concern.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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A Framework to Evaluate the Impact of Building Legislation on the Performance of the Built Environment: The Case of Kuwait, a Master-Planned City-State

Description

This thesis focuses on the impacts of building regulations, in the form of building codes, on the development of an urban fabric. In particular, it investigates the role of building

This thesis focuses on the impacts of building regulations, in the form of building codes, on the development of an urban fabric. In particular, it investigates the role of building codes on a place that has an inherent sociocultural structure that manifests itself spatially. Using Kuwait City, a once traditional Islamic city, impacts of ‘international’ standards employed through master planning are explored at the neighborhood scale. Kuwait City serves as an ideal case study because of its historic Islamic and Arabic urban pattern that was derived from sociocultural customs, religious beliefs and terrestrial conditions. These influences resulted in a once cohesive city of a courtyard house typology, with narrow and shaded alleyways structured on longitudinal corridors of diverse land-uses promoting access and connectivity; however, the Minoprio, Spencely, and Macfarlane master plan of 1951 eradicated this close-knit urban fabric in favor of “modern” planning ideals which were loosely based on a fusion of Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City and Clarence Perry’s Neighborhood Unit. The 1951 plan called for a tabula rasa and relocation of homes from the historic city center to newly formed ‘super-blocks’ and ‘neighborhood units’. Houses were built following strict building codes governing building heights, floor- area-ratio, and plot-line setbacks, along with other regulations. The Kuwait Building Code (KBC), introduced in 1955, is based on Western planning ideals that are far removed from the existing contextual complexities of Kuwait City.

This thesis will unpack the KBC by virtually translating this canonical text into its parametric spatial envelope, proposing a framework to evaluate its impact on the performance of the urban environment. Using urban modeling and micro-climate simulation tools, the virtual build-up of the rules will allow for a quantifiable examination to evaluate the putative “efficiency” of a modernist building code that determines urban form, by considering multiple performance metrics. By objectively evaluating the role that the KBC plays in determining future urban quality, this research aims to make the case for building in enough space within the code to allow for a more diverse influence of performance indicators to promote a ‘resilient and sustainable’ built environment at the neighborhood level.

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  • 2016

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Does context matter?: understanding the urban design requirements of successful neighborhood parks

Description

Literature on the design and management of urban parks has been informed by empirical research on the value of public space in terms of economic value, public health, social, and

Literature on the design and management of urban parks has been informed by empirical research on the value of public space in terms of economic value, public health, social, and environmental benefits. Although there is significant value in discussing these benefits, there has been a lack of understanding about the production of public space as a normative goal. Neighborhood parks have been recognized as one of the key urban public spaces that serve the social, economic, and environmental needs of adjacent neighborhoods. However, relevant studies mostly focus on the contribution of neighborhood parks as discrete space, instead of neighborhood parks as built spaces within the urban context. This research provides a better understanding of the relationship between the context of surrounding neighborhoods and the success of neighborhood parks. The research addresses two major research questions. First, what are the major characteristics of the morphological context around neighborhood parks? Second, how do the characteristics of morphological context associate with the success of neighborhood parks? For the first question, the `context' refers to the layout and configuration of urban form including blocks, parcels, and buildings; street network; pedestrian-oriented attributes; and property land uses. For the second question, the `success' of neighborhood parks is defined by property/ violent crime rate. The study is based on a quarter mile buffer area around 150 neighborhood parks in the City of Chicago, Illinois. The research employed factor and cluster analysis to develop a typology of neighborhood park contexts. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to identify the relationship between park morphological contexts and crime rate. Based on understanding the dimensional structure of urban form elements, neighborhood park surroundings were classified into six categories. This study provided an alternative way of constructing public space typology based on surrounding urban form. The findings of regression analysis revealed that variables associated with higher-density, permeability, and mixed-use development do not necessarily correlate with reduced property/ violent crime rates. However, some variables representing `traditional neighborhood' characteristics were correlated with lower property/ violent crime rates. The study provides guidelines for urban design and physical planning strategies for neighborhood park development.

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  • 2013

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Are dense neighborhoods more equitable?: evidence from King County, Washington

Description

The aims of the study are to investigate the relationship between density and social equity. Social equity is an important social goal with regard to urban development, especially smart growth

The aims of the study are to investigate the relationship between density and social equity. Social equity is an important social goal with regard to urban development, especially smart growth and sustainable development; however, a definition of the concept of social equity from an urban planning perspective was still lacking. In response to these deficiencies, the study used quantitative and qualitative methods and synthesized multiple social and spatial perspectives to provide guidance for density and social equity planning, community design, and public policy. This study used data for the area of King County, Washington to explore the empirical relationship between density and social equity at the neighborhood level. In examining access to several facilities, this study found that distances to parks and grocery stores were shorter than those to other facilities, such as the library, hospital, police station, and fire station. In terms of the relationship between density and accessibility, the results show that higher density is associated with better accessibility in neighborhoods. Density is also positively associated with both income diversity and affordable housing for low-income families. In terms of the relationship between density and crime, density is positively associated with violent crime, while density is negatively associated with property crime. The findings of this study can aid in the development and evaluation of urban policy and density planning aimed at promoting social benefits in urban space. Therefore, this study is useful to a range of stakeholders, including urban planners, policy makers, residents, and social science researchers across different disciplines.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Exploring definitional, spatial, and temporal issues associated with the creative class and related variations in creative centers

Description

There are many different approaches to the analysis of regional economic growth potential. One of the more recent is the theory of the creative class, and its impact on creative

There are many different approaches to the analysis of regional economic growth potential. One of the more recent is the theory of the creative class, and its impact on creative centers. Much of the criticism surrounding this theory is in how the creative class is defined and measured. The goal of this thesis is to explore alternate definitions to better understand how these variations impact the ranking of creative centers as well as their location through space and time. This is important given the proliferation of rankings as a benchmarking tool for economic development efforts. In order to test the sensitivity that the creative class has to definitional changes, a new set of rankings of creative centers are provided based on an alternate definition of creative employment, and compared to Richard Florida's original rankings. Findings show that most cities are not substantially affected by the alternate definitions derived in this study. However, it is found that particular cities do show sensitivity to comparisons made to Florida's definition, with the same cities experiencing greater variations in rank over time.

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Date Created
  • 2014