Urban Climate News

Urban Climate Student wins ISSR Poster Award!

The ISSR poster contest is hosted by the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and is for graduate students at ASU conducting social science research in any field to present proposed and completed research.  This spring semester, 51 students competed and our own Mary Wright was one of 3 first-place winners!

Title: Indoor Temperature and Air Conditioning Use in Phoenix, AZ: A Household Study

Abstract:

Extreme heat is a climate-sensitive health hazard of concern in many cities around the world. Heat vulnerability is higher in many lower-income neighborhoods where vegetation coverage is lower and land surface temperatures are higher. Future health impacts from long-term stressors like global and urban-scale warming are expected to hit resource-constrained populations the hardest.  Despite knowledge that people in the developed world spend 90% of their time indoors, and that indoor exposure accounts for a sizable fraction of heat-related illnesses and deaths, very little is known about the thermal environment indoors, especially in private residences. Thus, the indoor environment is vital to understanding the thermal experience of individuals.

This poster investigates data collected for a project that aims to improve regional hazard resilience. Funded by an NSF Hazards-SEES grant, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at ASU, Georgia Tech, and University of Michigan are striving to uncover the specific social and environmental mechanisms that determine urban vulnerability when independent or coupled heat and power failure events occur. This poster shares preliminary findings from summer 2016 data collection in Phoenix, which involved household surveys, semi-structured vignette interviews, and indoor, outdoor, and personal temperature sensors. In particular, to address the gap in quantitatively backed literature examining the indoor thermal environment, indoor temperatures are investigated utilizing a two-stage clustering approach incorporating hourly mean, variance, and diurnal range.  Clustering reveals specific quantitative cooling profiles which are then matched with survey responses indicating degree of constraint on resources (such as air conditioning), risk perception, and demographic variable

George Denise of Oracle to give Sustainability Series Lecture – April 14

Sustainability Leadership: Managing for the 21st Century

George Denise

Director of Operations, Director of Sustainability, Oracle

 

George Denise, an advocate for sustainability and high-performance building operations, has been instrumental in 26 LEED certifications, 17 at the platinum level. He and/or the buildings under his management have also been the recipients of many awards, including the Building Owners and Managers Association’s International Earth Award, CoreNet Global’s Sustainable Leadership Award for Design and Development, and the State of California’s GEELA or Governor’s Energy and Economic Leadership Award.

Operating buildings efficiently conserves resources, reduces operating costs, and creates healthier work environments. In this talk, Denise will describe how different certifications and programs create more efficient buildings.

RSVP required
Lunch will be served.

Friday, April 14, 2017
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Tony Brazel Awarded Jeffrey Cook Prize!

Tony Brazel has been awarded the 2017 Jeffrey Cook Prize for Desert Architecture. This prize, sponsored by the Jeffrey Cook Foundation, was awarded at Ben-Gurion University during the workshop on “The challenges of climate responsive architecture in hotter and drier cities”, March 8-9, 2017.

The Cook Prize for Desert Architecture is named after the late Prof. Jeffrey Cook, who was a central figure in the field of passive and low-energy architecture and who, throughout his years in Arizona, had a special commitment to appropriate architectural design in the desert. The award is for lifetime contribution to a sustainable green environment.

Featured Research – Chester

A Simulation Platform to Enhance Infrastructure and Community Resilience to Extreme Heat Events: 

This summer Mikhail Chester and ASU colleagues Ariane Middel, David Hondula, along with David Eisenman of UCLA were awarded a new research grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a simulation platform to enhance infrastructure and community resilience to extreme heat events. We will highlight results as they become available. The NSF proposal abstract follows:

ABSTRACT:

Exposure to heat is a growing public health concern in many cities across the globe. In the US, Southwest cities have experienced increasing numbers of heat waves in the past few decades, and global climate models project significant increases in both the duration and intensity of these extreme events. Facing these challenges, very little is known about how people are exposed to heat during their day-to-day activities as they interact with urban infrastructure. To understand exposure, factors including the types of homes people live in (and whether they have and use air conditioning), their mobility choices, the quality of the infrastructure (e.g., shading, landscaping, and material choice), their work situation (e.g., air conditioned office versus outdoor worker), and their activity profiles must be considered. A systematic framework that any city can use to understand how people are exposed to heat and proactively mitigate risk is needed.

To create insight into how people are exposed to heat, this work will develop an Urban Activity Heat Simulation (UAHS) platform that will join (1) a model of residential and workplace exposure, (2) travel simulations for automobile use, public transit, and biking/walking, (3) urban infrastructure characteristics, (4) high-resolution urban climate data, and (5) a model of exposure thresholds. UAHS will be developed using Phoenix, Arizona and Los Angeles, California as case studies. Heat performance models for buildings will be combined with surveys of home and work activities to assess how people experience heat indoors. Using national and regional travel surveys combined with detailed travel models, simulations of how people move throughout cities will be developed. Downscaled climate models will be used to estimate present and future outdoor conditions in both cities. Information on infrastructure including materials, landscaping, and shading will also be used to develop estimates of outdoor exposure. Combining simulated exposures with health records will provide new insight into dangerous heat exposure profiles. The platform will be validated with in situ monitoring. UAHS will be developed with the goal of enabling any city to build upon the platform for their unique population and infrastructure.

 

Harvey Miller to give Comeaux Lecture, March 14

16th Annual Malcolm Comeaux Lecture: Harvey Miller

Tuesday, March 14 at 5pm

Big Data for Healthy Places: Building Healthier Environments through Opportunistic GIScience

Harvey Miller, DIrector of the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at The Ohio State University will give the 16th Annual Malcolm Comeaux Lecture, sponsored by the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at ASU.

This lecture is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For further details and to RSVP, visit:

https://geoplan.asu.edu/comeaux2017

Featured Research – Georgescu

Figure 1In 2014, ASU’s Matei Georgescu along with colleagues at the US EPA published “Urban adaptation can roll back warming of emerging megapolitan regions” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This paper was recently heralded as a “highly cited paper” by Web of Science, meaning it is in the top 1% of publications in the field of Geosciences based on number of citations. One key result of this study suggests that projected urban growth in the US will result in urban warming that is comparable in magnitude to that expected to result from greenhouse gas-induced warming. The article can be downloaded from Matei’s  Research Gate profile at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Matei_Georgescu2

Follow UCRC Researchers at 13th Symposium of the Urban Environment at AMS

ams-sealThe 13th Symposium of the Urban Environment is being held at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) from January 22-26 in Seattle Washington. Many UCRC faculty affiliates and their students will be authoring/presenting papers and posters, including:
Paul Chakalian, Peter Crank, Kamil Kaloush, Scott Krayenhoff, Alex Mahalov, Mohamed Moustaoui, Ariane Middel, David Sailor, Zhihua Wang, and others.

Faculty Affiliate Ariane Middel Elected to Board of the IAUC

lady-taking-pictureThe International Association of Urban Climate (IAUC) recently announced that Ariane Middel, a faculty affiliate of the UCRC and Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability was elected to a 4-year term (2016-2020) as a member of the Board. The IAUC is the premier international organization for researchers engaged in all aspects of urban climate scholarship.

Urban Climate Research Center Launches!

picture1In November, 2016 the new Urban Climate Research Center was officially approved by ASU Provost Mark Searle. We will be rolling out the official launch of the center over the coming weeks, including updates to the UCRC web site and associated social media infrastructure. For further information contact us at urbanclimate@asu.edu and follow us on Twitter @ASUrbanClimate