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Three executive team members author article about rethinking infrastructure

UREx News

February 5, 2018

Three of the UREx SRN’s executive team members –  Thaddeus MillerMikhail Chester, and Tischa Muñoz-Erickson – authored an article for Issues in Science and Technology.

The United States is currently at an infrastructural crossroads and the path taken at these crossroads will be determined by how cities, states, regions, and the federal government navigate key issues.  The article also details failures in history and how most failures often resulted from an overconfidence in the ability to tightly control complex systems.

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UREx researchers highlighted on PECS II blog

UREx News

November 14, 2017

Recently, several researchers from the UREx SRN attended the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society II (PECS) Conference in Oaxaca, Mexico where they detailed the importance of green infrastructure.  UREx researchers mentioned are Nancy Grimm, Elizabeth Cook, Timon McPhearson, Hallie Eakin, David Iwaniec, and Marta Berbés-Blázquez.  The PECS II blog highlights the social-ecological-technological systems (SETS) framework that the UREx uses and references Elizabeth Cook’s talk to illustrate the concept.

Have you ever considered that not all shade is created equally?  According to Cook of the UREx SRN, both trees and tall buildings provide shade; however, the shade from buildings continually casting trees into shadows may reduce the amount of photosynthesis and carbon intake.  This is one example of why UREx researchers have decided to follow a SETS framework.

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The Conversation features article by the Knowledge Systems Innovation Task Force

UREx News

November 13, 2017

Three UREx SRN researchers of the Knowledge Systems Innovation Group – Clark Miller, Thaddeus Miller, and Tischa Muñoz-Erickson – recently authored an article featured on The Conversation.

The article comes at a time when weather disasters have been inundating our news feeds. At the forefront of most articles is mention of growing financial losses and outdated infrastructure.

In the article, Clark Miller, Thaddeus Miller, and Tischa Muñoz-Erickson explain the implications of cities not updating their knowledge systems – “the creative new sets of tools and practices for collecting, analyzing and applying data to solving problems.”

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UREx partners with Georgia State University

UREx News

October 26, 2017

The UREx SRN has added Georgia State University’s Urban Studies Institute (USI) to its network, bringing the total number of partnering institutions to seventeen.

USI and UREx have similar missions and are looking forward to becoming partners in building resilient, sustainable, and equitable cities.  David Iwaniec, a senior sustainability scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and now assistant professor at the Urban Studies Institute, will be leading the initiative at GSU.

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Executive Team member featured in ProPublica article

UREx News

September 13, 2017

Thaddeus Miller, a UREx SRN Executive Team member and social scientist, is featured in a ProPublica article about climate, resilience, and the role of the government. The article includes underappreciated ideas from engineers, economists, and policy analysts.

There are many ideas on how to become more resilient, but everyone has a different definition of what that means; some follow the modern definition of the word – having the ability to bounce back – while others would prefer to broaden the definition to include greater adaptability and preparedness.

Miller appears to be one of the latter as he describes the importance of a cultural shift, collaboration among different cities, and safe-to-fail designs to remain safe and thriving in our ever-changing climate.

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Phoenix public radio takes interest in UREx research

UREx News

September 12, 2017

Charles Redman, co-director of the UREx SRN, was interviewed by Mark Brodie of KJZZ 91.5. They discussed why we need to take Harvey and Irma as opportunities to rebuild our cities differently after such disasters.

It is common for people to revert to old ways when rebuilding their lives, but that could result in a missed opportunity.  Weather events like the ones we have seen in 2017 are likely to reoccur, and we should start planning both short-term and long-term. One idea is to invest in green infrastructure that can mimic or enhance nature and be safe-to-fail. That way when another disaster strikes, instead of resulting in catastrophe, it will only end up as an inconvenience.

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Executive Team members present 6 rules for rebuilding after ‘unprecedented’ weather events

UREx News

September 7, 2017

The UREx SRN’s Thaddeus Miller, a social scientist, and Mikhail Chester, an engineer, lay out six rules for investing in infrastructure during a time of ‘unprecedented’ weather events.

Considering U.S. infrastructure was recently given a D+ by the American Society for Civil Engineering Infrastructure Report Card and early estimates of the damage from Hurricane Harvey are hovering around $190 million, we need to start looking at how we got to this point and how to proceed moving forward.

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Making cities more resilient after Harvey and Irma

UREx News

September 7, 2017

The UREx SRN’s Charles Redman talks with ASU Now about how to better prepare for events like Harvey and Irma and how the UREx network is developing tools to make cities more resilient.

One step towards making cities more resilient is to realize we cannot always predict what is to come. Therefore, we should move from fail-safe designs – which assume we know exactly what will happen – to safe-to-fail, which have multiple back-up plans.

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Hermosillo's Mayor highlights city’s work with UREx

UREx News

August 16, 2017

One of the UREx SRN’s network cities – Hermosillo, Mexico – was highlighted by Hermosillo Mayor Manuel Ignacio Maloro Acosta during the first 2017 meeting of the National System of Climate Change.  Maloro Acosta emphasized Hermosillo’s work with the UREx network and said that the city will be one of the most prepared in handling a changing climate.

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Charles Redman discusses this week’s heat dome on NPR

UREx News

June 22, 2017

Featured on On Point, the UREx SRN’s Charles Redman speaks with host Tom Ashbrook about making Phoenix heat-ready for the years to come, considering equity when designing cities, and doing what is necessary to adapt and survive.

The heat dome that settled over the southwestern U.S. this week illustrates the importance of UREx’s work on heat.  The southwest may not be a stranger to heat, but scientists agree that heatwaves are occurring more frequently and lasting longer. This week alone, 40+ flights have been grounded in Phoenix with the temperature reaching 119 degrees.

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Building Climate-Resilient Infrastructure In Phoenix, Across The Country

UREx News

September 1, 2016

Charles Redman, co-director of the UREx SRN, speaks to Mark Brodie, of KJZZ 91.5, about building resilient infrastructure for our changing climate.

Redman talks about how the answers for one city may differ from that of another.  In some cities, green roofs have been a wonderful solution, but they tend to work only in snow country since the buildings are constructed to handle heavier loads.  This clearly does not apply in Phoenix, and it illustrates why we need to approach each city from a different angle.

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ASU researchers working to cool Phoenix down

UREx News

August 15, 2016

Charles Redman, of the UREx SRN, speaks to KTAR news about the network and its plan to make cities, like Phoenix, more resilient towards heat.

Phoenix is known for its sweltering summer days and increasing daytime temperatures; however, its nighttime lows are increasing at an even more rapid pace.  Redman explains that at some point we will cross a threshold of what people, plants, and animals can cope with, and it will come down to how we utilize our resources to find a solution.

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Beating heat in future takes more than AC

UREx News

August 15, 2016

UREx’s Charles Redman, Nancy Grimm, and Paul Coseo contribute to an ASU Now article about solutions to prepare cities, like Phoenix, for an even warmer future and how UREx, a solution-oriented project, plans to make a difference.

Most people in the valley would agree that everyone relies primarily on air conditioning as their line of defense against heat; however, as temperatures increase we need to consider and come up with other methods of mitigating the effects of heat, such as green roofs or heat-resistant asphalt.

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Optimism in Cuba

UREx News

August 2, 2016

Team of researchers marks ASU's first visit to the island nation with scientific cooperation, relationship building and mutual respect.

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The municipality of Hermosillo

UREx News

June 7, 2016

The municipality of Hermosillo was elected to nine cities in the world that make up the Network for Urban Resilience and Sustainability Climate Change, according to its the mayor.

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