The Phoenix metropolitan area provides a model urban laboratory for developing solutions applicable to hot, arid, rapidly growing desert cities around the world. As in many rapidly developing areas, water is the most limited resource. Long-term ASU research has centered on analyzing and testing practical strategies for managing quality water supplies under conditions of uncertainty and future growth. Results will benefit many other urban areas globally.
The Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology manages microbial communities that provide services to society. Most of the services make our society more environmentally sustainable: e.g., generating renewable energy, and making polluted water and soil clean. The microbial services also make humans healthier – directly and indirectly.
Through interdisciplinary projects integrating natural sciences, social science, and engineering, the Central Arizona–Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research project examines the effects of urbanization on a desert ecosystem and vice versa.
The Decision Theater Network actively engages researchers and leaders to visualize solutions to complex problems. The Network provides the latest expertise in collaborative, computing and display technologies for data visualization, modeling, and simulation. The Network addresses cross-disciplinary local, national and international issues by drawing on Arizona State University’s diverse academic and research capabilities.
Urban areas are vulnerable to extreme weather related events given their location, high concentration of people, and increasingly complex and interdependent infrastructure. Impacts of Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, and other disasters demonstrate not just failures in built infrastructure, they highlight the inadequacy of institutions, resources, and information systems to prepare for and respond to events of this magnitude. The Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) will develop a novel theoretical framework for integrating social, ecological, and technological system (SETS) dimensions for conceptualizing, analyzing, and supporting urban infrastructure decisions in the face of climatic uncertainty in a more holistic way.
In Phase II operation, the Water and Environmental Technology (WET) I/UCRC intends to minimize any adverse effects of emerging contaminants (EC) on human health and/or the environment.