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Future cities episode 26: Infrastructure and climate change

January 1, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoClimate change is a large source of uncertainty for infrastructure managers. It is easy to feel immobilized by future uncertainty, however, that does not have to be the case. In this podcast, the hosts interview a city practitioner, social scientist, and climate modeller to understand how infrastructure managers integrate climate modelling data into the decision process.

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If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

Future cities episode 25: Digging our own climate graves - Understanding the barriers to green infrastructure

December 2, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoIn this episode, Dr. Marissa Matsler (@oh_the_urbanity) talks with Dr. David Manuel-Navarrete about the evolutionary forces working against wider adoption of green infrastructure in cities today. They discuss his recent publication in Anthropocene titled "Intentional disruption of path-dependencies in the Anthropocene: Gray versus green water infrastructure regimes in Mexico City, Mexico", in which he uses human niche theory to analyze the feedback loops which encourage cities to continue investment in grey infrastructure at the expense of green infrastructure solutions that could help with the social and environmental challenges of climate change. Dr. Manuel-Navarrete shares more about his case study research in Mexico City and his transdisciplinary approach to science. This interview is wide-reaching touching on historic infrastructure transitions, the ways in which humans differ from termites, the need to bring the subjective and the objective together in scientific inquiry, and a hopeful message describing how we can work collaboratively to change our current destructive path dependencies. You can listen to Dr. Manuel-Navarrete discuss some of these topics in Spanish in our previous episode, Paradigmas Insostinebles en Nuestras Ciudades.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode episode 24: Solid waste buildup and the threats to flood resilience

November 1, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoWe're not the Mob but we here at Future Cities still care a lot about waste management! Co-host Jason Sauer talks with Dr. Erin Rivers (@soilandthecity) about how solid waste, AKA trash, is potentially exacerbating flood risk in cities by clogging up green and gray drainage infrastructure. We discuss trash reduction and removal efforts in Baltimore (Mr. Trash Wheel!) and beyond, and how a reframing of who is responsible for trash has benefits far beyond our work on green infrastructure and urban resilience. Apologies for in advance for the cuts at the beginning: I (Jason Sauer) was sick when I recorded this and had to cut out a lot of noise my sinuses were creating. TMI!

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 23: Air quality and microbes - Philadelphia

October 1, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoThis month's guest, Justin Stewart (@thecrobe), studies air quality and atmospheric microbial communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He tells us about how he got interested in microbes and about some of the challenges of studying these organisms in the air. He explains how several components of air quality (including ozone, PM2.5, and microbes) vary across the city, how they can affect human health and ecosystem function, and how those air quality might change in the face of extreme weather events and climate change. We discuss what the city has done to combat poor air quality (spoiler: not much) and whether microbes could actually play a role in helping to make the air safer for everyone to breathe.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 22: Hurricanes, wetlands, and nutrients - Oh my!

View Source | September 7, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoIn this month's episode we sit down with Matt Smith, a PhD candidate at Florida International University, to talk about Hurricane Dorian and some of his research comparing urban wetlands in Portland, Oregon and Valdivia, Chile. He tells us about storm surges, sea level rise, and the comprehensive Miami-Dade County Hurricane Readiness Guide. Wetlands, as it turn out, are valuable infrastructure surrounding Miami for dealing with sea level rise and mitigating the effects of hurricanes. He also found through his research that urban wetlands in Valdivia and Portland had fairly similar nutrient dynamics. Matt contends that more cities ought to explicitly consider wetlands in their resiliency plans as key infrastructure solutions capable of improving water quality, mitigating floods, and more.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 21: Resilience to heat and floods in hermosillo, mexico

View Source | August 6, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoThis month, we sit down with two PhD candidates from Arizona State University, Jason Sauer and Yuliya Dzyuban, to talk about their recent trip to Hermosillo, Mexico. We learn the difference between "enchilada" and "enchilado", how temperatures differ in new and old buses, and the unique ways in which people from Hermosillo react to flooding in their city. Despite lacking some of the resources that residents of other cities might have, locals in Hermosillo illustrate a strong capacity to react to and cope with extreme events. Yuliya and Jason wrap up the episode with haikus about their research!

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 20: Infrastructure of SETS

View Source | May 4, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoBoth infrastructure disasters and infrastructure funding bills are back in the news, so Jason Sauer sat down with Dr. Sam Markolf to talk about a paper Sam published last year about disasters and better infrastructure design. We talk about how old infrastructure “locks us in” to living with its consequences and how it creates path dependencies in creating future forms and functions of cities. We end up talking a lot about Miami, but the lessons here also apply to cities across the US and around the world! If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 19: Hospitals and resilience

View Source | April 1, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoHospitals are critical to the health of any city, providing essential care to the communities that they serve. Unlike many other buildings, hospitals can't simply close and send everyone away during an extreme event since it would be dangerous to the patients in need to critical care. In this month's episode, Stephen Elser interviews two leaders from the CannonDesign firm, whose work includes designing hospitals to be resilient to a wide variety of disturbances. We discuss what it means for a hospital to be resilient, the use of landscaping to create "healing environments", and the importance of tailoring a design strategy to meet specific needs. We also hear about their past work in Nantucket Island, Miami, Houston, and Manhattan and the types of design used in those cases. Mike Cavanaugh and Brett Farbstein are, respectively, the Directory of Sustainability and the Directory of Resiliency at CannonDesign. To learn more about the firm and the work that they do, visit www.cannondesign.com. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 18: Phoenix adapts to extreme heat

March 1, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoExtreme heat and how to cope with it are two major areas of interest in cities like Phoenix, Arizona. Recently, Maricopa County (where Phoenix is) partnered with a group of researchers at ASU to develop new technologies and solutions that are deployable in local communities to help reduce urban heat and improve air quality. This partnership illustrates that extreme heat and its adverse impacts on human health are highly important not only to researchers, but also to those responsible for implementing adaptation strategies. This month, Dr. Yeowon Kim interviews Mark Hartman, the Chief Sustainability Officer at City of Phoenix, Melissa Guardaro, a graduate fellow of UREx SRN, and Charles (Chuck) Redman, the founding director of School of Sustainability at Arizona State University and project director of UREx SRN, about their collaborative efforts on mitigating and adapting to adverse impacts of extreme heat in the metro urban area of Phoenix, Arizona.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 17: Perceptions of Heat and thermal comfort

February 1, 2019

UREx Podcast LogoThis month, Stephen Elser interviews UREx SRN fellow and ASU School of Sustainability PhD student, Yuliya Dzyuban, about her research involving extreme heat and the ways that people perceive and cope with that heat. They discuss the different aspects that affect one's thermal comfort, Ukrainian bus stops, and how there's a lot we can do to improve  urban design in Phoenix. Yuliya shares her research illustrating that integrating artistic elements into bus stops can actually make people feel cooler than they would in a bus stop with no such elements. Finally, Yuliya becomes a poet and shares with us a beautiful haiku describing her research.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future cities episode 16: Safe-to-fail adaptation

December 1, 2018

UREx Podcast LogoIn this episode, Dr. Yeowon Kim explains the difference between “fail-safe” and “safe-to-fail” infrastructure and how shifting towards this new “safe-to-fail" design paradigm could help cities prepare for extreme events like floods. Risks and uncertainty associated with climate change in the future make predicting infrastructure failures very difficult, so designing and implementing infrastructure to be more flexible in the face of uncertainty is highly important to deal with a wide variety of circumstances. Dr. Kim also talks about the “infrastructure trolley problem” and gives us a brief lesson on Korean poetry! If you have questions about Dr. Kim’s research, you can e-mail her at Yeowon.Kim@asu.edu.

The paper we discuss, entitled "Fail-safe and safe-to-fail adaptation: decision-making for urban flooding under climate change" was published in 2017 in the journal of Climatic Change.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod. Learn more about the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) at www.sustainability.asu.edu/urbanresilience.

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Future Cities podcast episode 15: Resilience for Citizens Who Are Undocumented

View Source | November 3, 2018

UREx Podcast LogoThe proposed addition to the US census of a question regarding the legal status of census respondents poses a major problem for both vulnerability researchers and the vulnerable undocumented immigrant community. Vulnerability scholar and PhD student, Jason Sauer, discusses how the change to the census may interfere with efforts to identify vulnerable communities, and may stymie efforts to make these undocumented communities more resilient to extreme weather events and climate change. He also interviews Masavi Parea of Chispa, an organization advocating for resilience and environmental justice in Phoenix, about his own history as a formerly undocumented immigrant, the ways the undocumented community and Latinos are systematically made vulnerable, and what organizations like Chispa are doing to increase community resilience.

Future Cities podcast episode 14: Resilience in Infrastructure

View Source | October 1, 2018

UREx Podcast LogoIn this episode, UREx postdoctoral researcher, Sam Markolf, interviews Dr. Dan Eisenberg about resilience from an engineering perspective. When is being more robust the solution? When is flexibility preferred? Dan shares stories to illustrate when it may be advantageous to abandon standards of practice, how to deal with different types of surprises, and the differences between robust design and extensible design. They discuss the importance of designing infrastructure with human-technological interactions in mind.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod.

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Future Cities podcast episode 13: Flash Floods in Baltimore

View Source | September 4, 2018

UREx Podcast LogoUREx post-docs Bernice Rosenzweig and Marissa Matsler report from on-the-ground in Baltimore. Looking to learn more about how the Memorial Day Weekend extreme rain event affected he city, they interviewed Pastor Michael S. Martin of the Stillmeadow Evangelical Free Church, an emergency response hub in a community that was severely flooded. Hear about the emergency response and continuing concerns of those living the aftermath and remediation of the Memorial Day Weekend flood, along with discussion of overlaps with UREx research. See footage of the flood here: Baltimore City Frederick Ave Flash Flooding and learn more about Team Rubicon, a veterans group that plays a critical role in the response to extreme events. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or find us on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod.

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Future Cities podcast episode 12: Green Stormwater Management Across Three U.S. Cities

View Source | July 1, 2018

UREx Podcast LogoIn this episode, Stephen Elser sits down with Drs. Lauren McPhillips and Marissa Matsler to talk about their recent paper published in Frontiers in Built Environment entitled "Temporal Evolution of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategies in Three US Cities." We discuss the history of stormwater management in the U.S. and the rise of "green stormwater infrastructure" as a popular solution in cities across the country. The three cities compared here (Baltimore, Phoenix, and Portland) are vastly different from each other in terms of their history, culture, climate, and many other factors, which has led to unique patterns in their implementation of green stormwater infrastructure. Understanding these patterns of implementation allows us to better understand the suite of benefits that these features provide. We also hear haiku summaries of the paper!

If you have any questions about what you heard or have suggestions for future episodes, please e-mail us or find us on Twitter.

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Future Cities podcast episode 11: Paradigmas Insostenibles en Nuestras Ciudades

View Source | June 20, 2018

UREx Podcast Logo¿Te has preguntado si la ciudad en la que vives es realmente sustentable?, ¿Que tipo de paradigmas amenazan la resiliencia de nuestras ciudades a condiciones futuras?, ¿Podremos seguir aplicando las mismas filosofías de crecimiento y desarrollo en nuestras ciudades? En este programa el Profesor David Manuel Navarrete nos comenta sobre algunos puntos de reflexión acerca de la conceptualización de nuestras ciudades y viejos paradigmas ponen en riesgo elementos esenciales de una buena calidad de vida en ciudades y prevalencia de su equilibrio ante eventos extremos de clima. Nuevas maneras de pensar son necesarias para afrontar retos en nuestras ciudades.

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Future Cities podcast episode 10 - Eventos extremos

View Source | June 1, 2018

UREx Podcast Logo¿Que son los eventos climáticos extremos?, el Dr. Agustín Robles, líder académico de la ciudad de Hermosillo en la Red de Resiliencia Urbana a Eventos Extremos (UREx) nos explica que son estos y por que es importante estudiarlos.

También en este episodio la Dra. Olga Barbosa nos explica que tipo de acciones y proyectos se llevan acabo en la red y como es que esta contribuye a mejorar nuestras ciudades. Pon mucha atención tal vez tu recuerdes tu experiencia durante un evento extremo como lo hace una profesionista, Fernanda Rodgriguez de Ciudad Obregón Sonora.

Si tiene preguntas o sugerencias para episodios futuros, envíenos un correo electrónico a futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com o encuéntrenos en Twitter @FutureCitiesPod.

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Future Cities podcast episode 8: Poems for resilient and equitable cities

View Source | April 6, 2018

UREx Podcast LogoIn this special episode of the Future Cities podcast, a new type of knowledge is provided related to resilience. At the annual UREx SRN All Hands Meeting meeting held in late March, local Phoenix poets including Kimberly Koerth, Jacob Friedman, Rashaad Thomas, and Anna Flores read original poetry about Resilience, Equity, and Diversity (RED) in cities as part of the UREx La RED Poetry Event. The first half of the episode features the poems, the poets' inspirations, and what the poets hoped the audience would take away by listening to it. The second half of the episode features a discussion with several of the poets on the power of poetry as a tool for making our cities more resilient and equitable places to live.

If you have any questions about what you heard or have suggestions for future episodes, please e-mail us or find us on Twitter.

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Future Cities podcast episode 7: Wetlands as green infrastructure

View Source | March 1, 2018

UREx Podcast LogoWhat is ‘green’ infrastructure? What can it do for my city? Why am I definitely way more excited to learn about it than I am more traditional forms of infrastructure? Stephen Elser and Jason Sauer answer all of these questions in this episode, and focus on green infrastructure in the form of wetlands in the city of Valdivia, Chile.

They talk to local sustainability consortium leader Cristóbal Lamarca of Activa Valdivia and local wetlands researcher Ignacio Rodríguez of the Centro de Humedales Río Cruces (translated: the Río Cruces Center of Wetlands) about how the wetlands imbue Valdivia with a unique urban character, increase the city’s biodiversity, provide recreational space, and are a form of infrastructure that people rally around.

If you're on Twitter, follow Activa Valdivia and Centro de Humedales Río Cruces.

If you have questions or suggestions for future episodes,  e-mail us or find us on Twitter.

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