Embodied and Enactive Cognition in Practice: Planning for the Direct Potable Reuse of Wastewater in Arizona

191498-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
How can we understand and pursue sustainability transitions that disrupt everyday practices and social norms? This dissertation finds potential answers to this fundamental sustainability governance question in Arizona utilities’ efforts to legitimate wastewater as a drinking water source. Due to

How can we understand and pursue sustainability transitions that disrupt everyday practices and social norms? This dissertation finds potential answers to this fundamental sustainability governance question in Arizona utilities’ efforts to legitimate wastewater as a drinking water source. Due to widespread public concern regarding the direct potable reuse of wastewater (DPR), utilities and other stakeholders have developed innovative governance approaches. By offering tastings of DPR water (often in the form of beer), utilities create spaces for deliberation within a traditionally top-down policy planning paradigm, and furthermore, invite feelings—emotions and bodily sensations—into policymaking. This dissertation explores and advances Arizona's emerging transition to deliberative water governance through three distinct investigations. The first of these, an institutional analysis based on interviews with 34 regional stakeholders and observations at 56 water industry meetings, identifies direct experiences with DPR (e.g., tastings) as a pivotal strategy to institutionalize new wastewater practices. The second investigation examines utility-sponsored initiatives to promote DPR and finds that, instead of assuming that consumers behave as rational choice or bounded rationality would predict, water utilities’ use of drinking water tastings reflects a new normative assumption, termed embodied rationality. The third investigation applies embodied rationality in action research with skeptical consumers and reuse industry stakeholders to co-design an exhibit about DPR that engaged more than 1,100 people. Drawing insights from the literatures of embodied and enacted cognition, practice theory, organizational institutionalism, sustainability transitions management, and design research, this dissertation proposes an analytical approach, normative framework, and practical tools for collaboratively addressing real-world sustainability challenges.
Date Created
2024
Agent

Pluvial Flood Risk Modeling, Assessment, and Management under Evolving Urban Climates and Land Cover

171754-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Pluvial flooding is a costly, injurious, and even deadly phenomenon with which cities will always contend. However, cities may reduce their risk of flood exposure by changing historically dominant patterns of development that have removed natural landscape features and reduce

Pluvial flooding is a costly, injurious, and even deadly phenomenon with which cities will always contend. However, cities may reduce their risk of flood exposure by changing historically dominant patterns of development that have removed natural landscape features and reduce the damages that flooding causes by identifying and supporting vulnerable populations. Accomplishing either goal requires the development and application of appropriate frameworks for modeling or recording flood exposure. In this dissertation, I used modeling and surveying methods for assessing pluvial flood exposure in two cities, first in Valdivia, Chile, and then in Hermosillo, México. I open with a summary on pluvial flood risk in the present day and the threat it may pose under changing climates. In the second chapter, I explored how a form of urban ecological infrastructure (UEI), the wetland, is being wielded in Valdivia toward pluvial flood mitigation, and found that wetland daily, seasonal, and interannual changes in wetland surface and soil water storage alter pluvial flood risk in the city. In the third chapter, I used a mixed methodology, including projections of future land cover generated by cellular automata models with inputs from visioning workshops conducted by the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN), and found that wetland loss in future land configurations may lead to increased pluvial flood risk. In the fourth chapter, I combined these land cover models from the third chapter with downscaled climate data on precipitation, also generated by the UREx SRN, and found that wetland conservation can help to mitigate the pluvial flood risk posed by changing patterns of rainfall. In the fifth chapter, I applied the Arc-Malstrøm method for pluvial flood assessment in Hermosillo, México, and compared it with the more traditional rational method for flood assessment, and through accompanying surveys found that perception of flood risk is significantly affected by flood dimensions and impacts. This dissertation concludes with a synthesis of pluvial flood risk assessment, suggestions for improvements to modeling, as well as suggestions for future research on pluvial flood risk assessment in cities. This dissertation advances the understanding of the utility of inland wetland UEI in cities under present and future land cover and climate conditions. It also qualifies the utility of common and new pluvial flood risk assessments and offers research directions for future pluvial flood assessments.
Date Created
2022
Agent

Governing Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems in a Rapidly Changing World

161513-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems (FMIS) are community managed and operated irrigation systems, celebrated for their successful governance of water resources for many decades and in several countries. Nevertheless, in the face of climatic, political, and social change, their future is uncertain.

Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems (FMIS) are community managed and operated irrigation systems, celebrated for their successful governance of water resources for many decades and in several countries. Nevertheless, in the face of climatic, political, and social change, their future is uncertain. This dissertation utilizes household adaptive capacity, socio-ecological system (SES) robustness, and the Institutional Analysis and Development framework to structure a multi-scalar and multi-stressor analysis of changes experienced in Nepal’s FMIS. The dissertation documents irrigators’ perception of environmental change, impacts, and response; diagnoses the multiple disturbances impacting the robustness of the FMIS; and analyzes changes in the FMIS as an institution over time, in an effort to understand the major drivers of SES change. Fifteen FMIS from five districts of Nepal were selected for the study. Data were collected through field observations, household surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions. The status of the existing rules was compared with the data collected three decades ago in the Nepal Irrigation Institutions and Systems database. This study finds that FMIS’s robustness is threatened by uncertain water supply, inefficient infrastructure, scarcity of farm labor, weakening collective action, and natural disasters. Farm households, whose actions are necessary to sustain the management of FMIS, perceive environmental change differently according to their ecological region and position along the irrigation canal, leading to different adaptation strategies. Despite livelihood diversification, irrigators rely primarily on irrigation infrastructure management to respond to the impacts of environmental change. Institutional analysis demonstrates the evolution of FMIS in terms of working rules in the face of multiple stressors. In this study, payoff, information, and position rules have exhibited the most substantive change. However, boundary, choice, aggregation, and scope rules are less likely to change. The findings of this work point to the need for geographically differentiated adaptation support policies, and a need for closer attention to the dynamics of labor, environmental change, and institutional persistence in agriculture and irrigation sectors. FMIS being an exemplary institutional arrangement for the study of a SES, the research findings benefit similar institutions globally facing challenges to the sustainable governance of common pool resources.
Date Created
2021
Agent

Governing Climate Change Adaptation Through Insurance: Complexity, Risk and Justice Concerns?

158784-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Climate adaptation has not kept pace with climate impacts which has formed an adaptation gap. Increasingly insurance is viewed as a solution to close this gap. However, the efficacy and implications of using insurance in the climate adaptation space are

Climate adaptation has not kept pace with climate impacts which has formed an adaptation gap. Increasingly insurance is viewed as a solution to close this gap. However, the efficacy and implications of using insurance in the climate adaptation space are not clear. Furthermore, past research has focused on specific actors or processes, not on the interactions and interconnections between the actors and the processes. I take a complex adaptive systems approach to map out how these dynamics are shaping adaptation and to interrogate what the insurance climate adaptation literature claims are the successes and pitfalls of insurance driving, enabling or being adaptation. From this interrogation it becomes apparent that insurance has enormous influence on its policy holders, builds telecoupling into local adaptation, and creates structures which support contradictory land use policies at the local level. Based on the influence insurance has on policy holders, I argue that insurance should be viewed as a form of governance. I synthesize insurance, governance and adaptation literature to examine exactly what governance tools insurance uses to exercise this influence and what the consequences may be. This research reveals that insurance may not be the exemplary adaptation approach the international community is hoping for. Using insurance, risk can be reduced without reducing vulnerability, and risk transfer can result in risk displacement which can reduce adaptation incentives, fuel maladaptation, or impose public burdens. Moreover, insurance requires certain information and legal relationships which can and often do structure that which is insured to the needs of insurance and shift authority away from governments to insurance companies or public-private partnerships. Each of these undermine the legitimacy of insurance-led local adaptation and contradict the stated social justice goals of international calls for insurance. Finally, I interrogate the potential justice concerns that emerged through an analysis of insurance as a form of adaptation governance. Using a multi-valent approach to justice I examine a suite of programs intended to support agricultural adaptation through insurance. This analysis demonstrates that although some programs clearly attempted to consider issues of justice, overall these existing programs raise distributional, procedural and recognition justice concerns.
Date Created
2020
Agent

Reducing Livestock-based Emissions in Argentina: Analyzing Climate Change Mitigation Strategies through Policy and Governance in the Agricultural Sector

131034-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Intensive global animal agricultural practices have proved to be a cause for concern, resulting, in part, from consumer preferences and an increasing global demand for protein, especially meat. Countries like Argentina, contribute to Greenhouse Gas emissions substantially through their livestock

Intensive global animal agricultural practices have proved to be a cause for concern, resulting, in part, from consumer preferences and an increasing global demand for protein, especially meat. Countries like Argentina, contribute to Greenhouse Gas emissions substantially through their livestock sector. Improved resource management can help to promote sustainable agriculture by reducing the amount of water and energy used to produce livestock, and improve livestock practices in order to reduce GHG emissions. The integration of resource management between food, energy, and water systems can help to decrease livestock-based emissions, through efficiency improvements targeted towards animal agricultural practices. This paper can act as a reference for other researchers studying the FEW nexus, to increase their understanding of how to improve coordination across water, energy, and agricultural sectors by using Argentina’s livestock sector as an example. Furthermore, policy and decision makers in Argentina can use information about FEW systems to make informed decisions about the allocation and prioritization of integrated management between food, energy, and water sectors, to help them implement integrated mitigation strategies within their livestock sector to help reduce GHG emissions.
Date Created
2020-12
Agent

Human Connection and Edible Green Spaces

Description
This paper explores Grace Logan and Emma Zuber’s understanding of how edible green spaces are mediums for emotional and social well-being. Our research aims to answer these questions: How are different populations benefitting in terms of their emotional and social

This paper explores Grace Logan and Emma Zuber’s understanding of how edible green spaces are mediums for emotional and social well-being. Our research aims to answer these questions: How are different populations benefitting in terms of their emotional and social well-being in similar and different ways from edible green spaces in Phoenix, Arizona? How does accessibility to garden spaces as well as time, in both frequency and duration, impact personal and communal connection? To answer these questions, we surveyed volunteers from four different garden populations - Sage Garden at Arizona State University (ASU), Desert Marigold School (DMS), TigerMountain Foundation (TMF), and Growhouse Urban Agriculture Center (GUAC). Before the volunteer surveys, we interviewed a garden leader or founder to gain a better understanding of their intentions for the space and their perspective on how the garden impacts emotional and social well-being benefits in their community. The results of the survey included some variance in subpopulation answers but, overall, volunteers answered similarly. This led us to determine that gardens do bring emotional and social benefits to people, but the degree of these benefits prove difficult to truly determine due to the complexity of personal needs across different subpopulations. As well, our research on time and access proved too limited in this study to make a definitive conclusion on how it impacts personal and communal connections, but the research does suggest that time could be a determining factor for subpopulations. This study also made recommendations based on our findings, so that policies could be enacted to ensure people can access green spaces to improve their overall well-being.
Date Created
2020-05
Agent

Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Urban Gardening and Farming in the Sonoran Desert

131898-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Urban agriculture includes both farming and gardening, typically in a community format, in urban areas. Agrihoods are neighborhoods centered around food production and they are becoming more popular residential areas as the local food movement grows. Agritopia is one of

Urban agriculture includes both farming and gardening, typically in a community format, in urban areas. Agrihoods are neighborhoods centered around food production and they are becoming more popular residential areas as the local food movement grows. Agritopia is one of these agrihoods; located in Gilbert, Arizona, it contains both an urban farm and a community garden. Agritopia is oft cited for being an exemplary agrihood. This thesis uses Agritopia as a case study for exploring the challenges associated with urban agriculture in the Sonoran Desert.
Most urban agriculture sites experience challenges related to sustainability, but in the Sonoran Desert, even more challenges arise as a result of a unique climate, soil conditions, intense storms, and water scarcity. The objective of this project was to obtain information on common barriers to urban agriculture in the Sonoran Desert, as well as ways to overcome these barriers that will be made public for the purpose of improving sustainability of similar agriculture projects. I used interviews with gardeners and farm staff as my primary research method to gain insight to these barriers and solutions, and I coded their responses relating to challenges according to frequency mentioned. Using my findings, I compiled a thorough list of recommendations that urban agriculture projects in the Sonoran Desert or in similar climatic areas can use to achieve greater success and sustainable outcomes.
Date Created
2020-05
Agent

Observations on Sense of Community: Relational Connections in Modern Environments

132005-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
This paper explores patterns of declining sense of community found in many modern-day neighborhoods and maintains that this phenomenon presents a level of vulnerability to our society that has been overlooked. It investigates this by examining four modern environments within

This paper explores patterns of declining sense of community found in many modern-day neighborhoods and maintains that this phenomenon presents a level of vulnerability to our society that has been overlooked. It investigates this by examining four modern environments within the U.S.: two primarily low-income, immigrant communities in or near the Tempe area, and two middle-income class communities in downtown Mesa and on the South Texas border, respectively. It uses a multi-methods approach to understand how sense of community could manifest itself at varying levels depending on the type of community establishedamong different types of communities. The locations studied were fundamentally different in nature, and, therefore, could not be subject to comparative analysis. However, the study gives evidence of weaker sense of community and general relational connection among moderate to upper-class environments. Literature review utilized in the two low-income immigrant neighborhoods revealed that residents experience high sense of community, as well as high satisfaction with their environments. Qualitative analyses consisting of interviews approached through an assets-based community development perspective, as well as forms of coding employed in the South Texas neighborhood, revealed that the two middle to upper-income communities experience low to moderate sense of community, and corresponding satisfaction with their environments. This paper suggests that trends of decreasing sense of community, such as these, create unnoticed vulnerabilities for our modern environments that present disadvantages for sustainable development. It also suggests that we can learn from the former two communities, and proposes that strong communities are critical for our society on many levels, as well as advantageous for the future of sustainable development.
Date Created
2019-12
Agent

Health Implications of Impure Water Consumption and the Implementation and Outcome Analysis of Water Filters in Puerto Penasco, Sonora

132071-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Consumption of clean, pathogen-free water is vital in maintaining health. The water infrastructure in Puerto Penasco, Sonora is not sufficient in providing clean water for its residents. Water in this region is being overdrafted, meaning it is distributed from dee

Consumption of clean, pathogen-free water is vital in maintaining health. The water infrastructure in Puerto Penasco, Sonora is not sufficient in providing clean water for its residents. Water in this region is being overdrafted, meaning it is distributed from deep wells faster than it can be regenerated, which prevents more wells from being constructed. There is a high need for a cost-efficient solution to the clean water shortage in this impoverished town. The purpose of this study was to determine: (1) how clean drinking water affects health, (2) how contaminated water and water substitutes, such as soda and juices, negatively impact health, and (3) the impact on water consumption by local residents after providing them with a portable filtration system to create clean drinking water in their own homes. Water filters were distributed in two trials to a convenience sample of 45 participants, 27 of whom were successfully contacted for a post-implementation survey. Out of the 27 participants who took the survey, 27% reported that they drank more water after receiving the filter than before, 40% reported drinking less soda after receiving the filter, 63% reported using their filter on a daily basis, 63% believed that drinking clean water is important for their health, and 74% thought that it was difficult for them to obtain clean drinking water before receiving the filter. Providing residents with a filtration system was effective in increasing water consumption and saving residents money on water but did not provide conclusive data, negating the use of soda as a water substitute. This was an effective small-scale solution to a much larger problem that may be beneficial in other similarly impoverished communities.
Date Created
2019-12
Agent

Multilevel Governance of Climate Change Adaptation in Coastal Areas: Evidence from Bangladesh

157440-Thumbnail Image.png
Description
Climate change impacts are evident throughout the world, particularly in the low lying coastal areas. The multidimensional nature and cross-scale impacts of climate change require a concerted effort from different organizations operating at multiple levels of governance. The efficiency and

Climate change impacts are evident throughout the world, particularly in the low lying coastal areas. The multidimensional nature and cross-scale impacts of climate change require a concerted effort from different organizations operating at multiple levels of governance. The efficiency and effectiveness of the adaptation actions of these organizations rely on the problem framings, network structure, and power dynamics of the organizations and the challenges they encounter. Nevertheless, knowledge on how organizations within multi-level governance arrangements frame vulnerability, how the adaptation governance structure shapes their roles, how power dynamics affect the governance process, and how barriers emerge in adaptation governance as a result of multi-level interactions is limited. In this dissertation research, a multilevel governance perspective has been adopted to address these knowledge gaps through a case study of flood risk management in coastal Bangladesh. Key-informant interviews, systematic literature review, spatial multi-criteria decision analysis, social network analysis (SNA), and content analysis techniques have been used to collect and analyze data. This research finds that the organizations involved in adaptation governance generally have aligned framings of vulnerability, irrespective of the level at which they are operated, thus facilitating adaptation decision-making. However, this alignment raises concerns of a neglect of socio-economic aspects of vulnerability, potentially undermining adaptation initiatives. This study further finds that the adaptation governance process is elite-pluralistic in nature, but has a coexistence of top-down and bottom-up processes in different phases of adaptation actions. The analysis of power dynamics discloses the dominance of a few national level organizations in the adaptation governance process in Bangladesh. Lastly, four mechanisms have been found that can explain how organizational culture, practices, and preferences dictate the emergence of barriers in the adaptation governance process. This dissertation research overall advances our understanding on the significance of multilevel governance approach in climate change adaptation governance.
Date Created
2019
Agent