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Future Cities episode 30: Resilience in the face of COVID-19

View Source | May 6, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoCities are at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic, but what happens in cities once a pandemic takes hold? What systems are failing? Are cities prepared to simultaneously deal with this pandemic and extreme weather events like hurricanes and heat waves? Can we ever return to any semblance of "normal" and if not, how can we transform to create more positive futures? Today, we hear from a group of experts as they reflect on what the COVID-19 pandemics means for our public health systems, critical infrastructure, the research being done in cities, and ultimately – urban resilience. Our guests were Dr. David Eisenman (@deisenman), Dr. Timon McPhearson (@timonmcphearson), Dr. Mike Chester (@mikhailchester), and Dr. Nancy Grimm (@DrNitrogen). Alysha Helmrich and Dr. Bernice Rosensweig (@brr_nyc) conducted two of our interviews for this episode. Our host, Stephen Elser (@stephen_elser) wrote a haiku based on the conversations in this episode:

COVID changed the game.
We must transform our cities
And build back better

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Buzzsprout.

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 29: Trees to help our cities breathe

View Source | May 4, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoWe all know that trees provide all sorts of benefits to people, right? But different trees provide different benefits and trees will only provide those benefits if we can make sure they stay healthy.

In this episode, Stephen Elser (@stephen_elser) interviews Jenna Rindy (@msjerindy), a PhD student at Boston University, about her research urban tree research. She tells us about how two species of oak tree vary in how much soot they remove from the air, and why that's so important for human health. We then discuss how human-caused fragmentation of forests affects tree health, and how that in turn affects us. We wrap up with a brief conversation about some challenges that climate change brings to urban forests.

Jenna wrote a haiku about her research:

Trees help cities to breath
But cities can hurt trees too.
What is the real cost?

To read the paper that we discuss in the episode, follow this link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/...

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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 28: Improve our cities through urban ecology

March 19, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoIn this episode, we explore the field of urban ecology and the challenges of doing social-ecological research. Stephen Elser (@stephen_elser) interviews Dr. Dan Childers, a professor at Arizona State University and director of the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) program. Dan emphasizes how important it is to be willing to learn the language and approaches of other disciplines on order to do better urban ecological research. But urban ecology didn’t always have an interdisciplinary approach, and the social aspects of cities were frequently ignored. Dan describes what he calls the “prepositional journey” from an ecology *in* cities to an ecology *of* cities to an ecology *for* cities. He discusses what some of the major challenges are in pursuing urban sustainability and what CAP LTER (@caplter) is doing to address those challenges in order to create more positive futures for the city of Phoenix.

Stephen wrote a haiku inspired by this conversation with Dr. Childers.

No more Birkenstocks.
Go beyond your field – listen.
Improve our cities.

Learn more about CAP LTER at their website: https://sustainability.asu.edu/caplter/

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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.

Current Events mini-episode 3: Urban ecology

View Source | March 19, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoAs their first topic, Tessa Martinez and PhD candidate, Stephen Elser (@stephen_elser), discuss the Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, and how it relates to city life. They then talk about green spaces and how they have a role in decreasing depression and improving human livelihood!

Here are the links to the two topics discussed! https://theconversation.com/outbreaks... https://www.npr.org/sections/health-s... Listen to the most recent full episode, Urban Ecology to Improve Our Cities on Buzzsprout

Current Events mini-episode 2: Urban agriculture

View Source | March 19, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoAs their first topic, Tessa Martinez and Jason Sauer discuss Arizona’s goal of getting rid of their 43 food deserts. They then talk about the local Phoenix business, Agriscaping, and how they are making a difference in Arizona’s urban agriculture!

Check out these links to the learn more about the two topics discussed! https://modernfarmer.com/2019/10/phoe... https://agriscaping.com/ Listen to the full "Greening Phoenix through Urban Agriculture" episode on Buzzsprout.

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.

Current Events mini-episode 1: Infrastructure and climate change

View Source | March 19, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoIn our first current events minisode, Tessa Martinez and Alysha Helmrich discuss the Australian wildfires and their implications on Sydney’s infrastructure. They then explore Portland’s new way of filtering their water supply before it reaches the sewers- rain gardens! Listen to the full Infrastructure and Climate Change episode on Buzzsprout.

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 27: Urban agriculture and greening phoenix

February 6, 2020

UREx Podcast LogoWe talk with two researchers, Dr. Nazli Uludere Aragon and PhD student Michelle Stuhlmacher (@MFStuhlmacher on Twitter) about their recent publication, “Urban agriculture’s bounty: contributions to Phoenix’s sustainability goals.” The researchers explain what Phoenix’s sustainability goals currently are, how and where to develop agriculture in a desert city. We talk about how urban agriculture in Phoenix can get so-called food desert communities access to fruits and vegetables that they do not currently have, and how to balance demands for low water usage with a desire for a greener city. Our guests wrote a haiku to summarize their paper: Urban farms provide the bounty of the garden, open space, clean air.

Urban farms provide
the bounty of the garden,
open space, clean air.

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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 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.

Associated Links/Websites:

Referenced:

Participants:

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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.

Listen on iTunesStitcher or Buzzsprout.

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.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Buzzsprout.

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.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Buzzsprout.

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.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Buzzsprout.

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.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Buzzsprout.

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.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Buzzsprout.

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.

Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Buzzsprout.