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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop Appendix D Notable Examples of Urban Sustainability R&D Programs TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Smart Growth Program Research (http://www.epa.gov/dced/publications.htm#tools) AGENCY: US EPA PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Ongoing research is being conducted to estimate and quantify the benefits of compact, mixed-use development for reducing VMT and associated environmental/climate impacts. A number of research projects are underway: Location efficiency tool—This effort will create a location efficiency score at the census block group level that will reflect the location’s density, walkability, distance to jobs and transit, as well as access to transportation alternatives. It will be produced in the form of a tool that communities can use to evaluate how a location performs relative to its region, state, or the nation, and to evaluate the impact of potential policy changes. Mixed-use development evaluation method—This effort, developed in partnership with the Institute for Transportation Engineers, will lead to a spreadsheet tool that generates trip reduction estimates associated with a proposed project. Input factors include project characteristics (design, density, etc.,) as well as location (walkability, regional distance to job centers, etc.,). The results will likely be published in the ITE Trip Generation Handbook, enabling policy makers to more accurately reflect the trip generation reductions associated with mixed-use, compact developments. Carbon assessment tool—This effort will support local governments to estimate the GHG reductions associated with proposed developments. The spreadsheet tool will consider emissions associated with construction, operations and maintenance, and transportation connections. Evaluation of Infill Development as a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy—This effort will use case studies to estimate the cost effectiveness of GHG-reduction strategies achievable through TOD and infill projects. It will consider the total public investment in a range of projects, calculate the anticipated (or realized) GHG reductions resulting, and illustrate a range of costs for each strategy, and which dimensions of particular strategies are most effective in dollars of net public expenditure per ton of emissions avoided . Energy consumption white paper—This effort will quantify the energy consumption with residential buildings, considering both their construction (conventional or green certified, single-family or multi-family, attached or detached), as well as their location (low-density suburban locations or transit-rich urban locations).
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop A more recent, completed effort evaluated the residential construction trends in urban centers, noting that center cities were gaining share of total development activity faster than suburban areas, even despite the market slow-down (“Residential Construction Trends in America’s Metropolitan Regions” was published in January 2009). RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: Effort #3 above is in beta testing; the others are still in development. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Effort #2 above is an effort done in partnership with the Institute for Transportation Engineers; many of the others will likely involve local or regional government partners in their testing and roll-out (specific communities yet to be determined) PROJECT PERIOD: #1 – Phase 1 will be completed in December 2009 #2 – Will be completed by spring 2010 #3 – In beta testing now; will be completed by early 2010 #4 – Will be completed in early 2010 #5 – Will be completed by December 2009 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): #1 – Roughly $40,000 #2 – Roughly $100,000 #3 – Roughly $250,000 over two year period #4 – Roughly $150,000 #5 – Roughly $15,000
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: “Boston Metropolitan Area ULTRA: Exploring past, current and future socio-ecological dynamics in a founding city” (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0948857) AGENCY/INSTITUTION: National Science Foundation with USDA Forest Service PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Over the next 50 years, U.S. cities will double in population and land area, creating a pressing need for science to inform sustainable growth. While considerable advances have been made in the ecological study of cities, many research challenges remain. A particular need is for greater understanding of the complex responses of ecological systems to changing human policies and activities and responses of humans to these changes. As one of the nation’s mature founding cities, Boston has been evolving for almost 400 years, but the metropolitan region is projected to grow in population by 5.5 percent and lose 140,000 acres of open space to residential subdivisions by 2030. This two-year project launches an interdisciplinary long-term research program for the Boston Metropolitan Area (BMA ULTRA) that will provide a national model of sound science in service of the common ecological good of urban communities and their surrounding regions. Through an innovative partnership between the City of Boston, the non-profit Urban Ecology Institute, and 7 academic institutions, the research program will address three main areas: (a) the primary historical and social drivers of local and regional changes in land use; (b) the complex linkages between social conditions (e.g., wealth, social capital, land-use policies), biophysical processes (e.g., resources for animal populations, or hydrological flows), and social-and-ecological outcomes (e.g., people’s attachment to place, or an area’s biodiversity); and (c) future conditions for people and the environment in greater Boston under different scenarios. Land use changes of focus include urban greening at local scales and suburbanization and urban infill at broader scales. Urban greening, such as tree planting, community gardening, and riparian restoration, represents a significant, though understudied avenue for feedback between human actions, ecosystem changes, and new human energy in response. The project treats citizen-driven greening projects as opportunistic experiments, with testable predictions regarding consequences for people and the environment. From this perspective, urban greening can be placed in the context of broader scale processes, such as suburbanization and urban infill. Partnership with two extensive non-profit networks will facilitate active involvement of citizens and decision makers in field studies as well as synthesis of data from ongoing research. Their involvement in turn facilitates study of feedbacks from information to knowledge to action and ecosystem response. A series of scenario building workshops will examine alternative spatial patterns for locating development, forest cover and plantings under the Mayor’s 100,000 trees initiative. Scenarios will also address the potential impacts of climate change. Stakeholders and scientists will collaborate on defining the goals, policies and assumptions for the scenarios. Maps and images of scenarios will be used in transmitting and translating project findings. In addition to directly supporting undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education, BMA ULTRA leverages programs serving over 2000 middle and high school students annually, approximately 90 percent from underserved communities.
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop A central recent advance in urban ecology has been the recognition that human actions strongly influence ecological patterns and that these human actions are themselves conditioned by values, lifestyle, experiences, social group, and institutional forces. Research supported by BMA ULTRA will deepen and extend these theoretical insights by focusing explicitly on a diverse set of socioeconomic drivers that are changing the forest cover and composition of the Boston Metropolitan Area. The program’s focus on urban greening as a form of urban land use-land cover change creates opportunities for new insight into feedback loops between humans and the environment. Hitherto, greening has been viewed as a set of practices rather than as an integral component of an urban system. Through the use of scenarios, the program begins to make a more thorough integration of urban ecological theory and the science of climate change. Strong academic-civic partnerships together with the diverse composition of the metropolitan area, its historic nature, and the progressive state of regional development make greater Boston an ideal setting for testing urban ecological theories and developing new insights for application nationwide. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: No results yet; funding begins January 2010 PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Partners include the non-profit Urban Ecology Institute based in Boston, MA as well as the City of Boston, Massachusetts Dept of Conservation and Recreation, and the USDA Forest Service. PROJECT PERIOD: January 2010-July 2012 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Current NSF funding = $300,000; current UMass additional funds = $141,848
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Central Arizona Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research Program (CAP LTER—http://caplter.asu.edu) AGENCY: NSF PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Multi-decadal, multidisciplinary investigation of the impact of Metro Phoenix on the underlying desert ecosystem and the constraints provided by that ecosystem on the growth and development of the city. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: Part of the significance of CAP LTER (and its sister program, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study) to the NRC workshop is that it provides a focal point for an expanding and expansive view of how urban systems work. At ASU, CAP LTER became the basis for a broad research and teaching agenda related to cities, which in turn led to the creation of our Global Institute of Sustainability and degree-granting School of Sustainability. It spawned two $3M IGERT (Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) grants from NSF to develop graduate training programs in urban ecology. It also became the foundation for us to partner with a number of federal and state agencies, including NASA (“100 Cities” remote sensing program), EPA (“National Center of Excellence” dealing with the urban heat island), CDC (funding to examine the health effects of urban heat), and others. The heat island work also received financial support from more than a dozen companies involved with urban systems, like cement manufacturer CEMEX, and remote sensing tool manufacturer Raytheon. One recommendation is that NSF’s LTER program (which also funds 26 non-urban centers) be expanded to include more cities. One way to do that is by supporting additional urban LTERs. A faster and cheaper way would be to provide supplemental funding to existing non-urban LTERs (most of which are run by universities located in major cities like Minneapolis, Boston, and Albuquerque) so they could add staff (perhaps one per LTER site) to coordinate interdisciplinary studies of the urban systems where the universities are located. These could then be networked together to form a national network of urban environmental research programs. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Current and past: NASA, EPA, Center for Disease Control, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona Department of Water Resources, Maricopa Association of Governments, Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Proposed: USDA through ULTRA; Department of Justice to look at urban crime data; NASA proposal on aircraft-based urban remote sensing currently being prepared by Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center and ASU (with other partners) at $10M/year for 3 years. PROJECT PERIOD: 1997-indefinite future (CAP LTER)
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): NSF: approximately $1M/year, indefinitely for CAP LTER. NASA 100 Cities (now completed) received $350K; EPA National Center of Excellence ($100K); consortium of corporations supporting National Center of Excellence ($400K). State agencies (approximately $50-150K for each, total around $250K).
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Weatherization Assistance Program (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/wap.html) AGENCY: Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The overall goal of the Weatherization Assistance Program is to reduce the burden of energy prices on the disadvantaged. The Weatherization Assistance Program’s weatherization services are cost-effective energy efficiency measures for existing residential and multifamily housing with low-income residents. Under this definition, it includes a wide variety of energy efficiency measures that encompass the building envelope, its heating and cooling systems, its electrical system, and electricity consuming appliances. In other words, the full range of energy efficiency measures in buildings that apply to all homes and apartment buildings is included in weatherization technologies. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: During the past 32 years, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program has provided weatherization services to more than 6.2 million low-income families. For every $1 invested, weatherization returns $2.73 in benefits. These include $1.65 in energy-related benefits and $1.07 in other benefits such as reducing pollution, unemployment, and adverse health concerns. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): DOE provides funding and technical guidance to the states, but the states run their own programs and set rules for issues such as eligibility. They also select service providers, which are usually nonprofit agencies that serve families in their communities, and review their performance for quality. Together, this group of more than 900 agencies makes up a nationwide weatherization network. PROJECT PERIOD: This is an ongoing program since 1976. FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): In Fiscal Year 2009, $250 million dollars were appropriated by Congress, which was in addition to Recovery Act funding of $5 billion. The average expenditure limit is $6,500 per home.
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Building Technologies Program (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/) AGENCY: Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Building Technologies Program The Building Technologies Program (BTP) funds research and technology development to reduce commercial and residential building energy use. The program is working to achieve the goal of net-zero energy buildings, which produce as much energy as they consume. To achieve the goal of net-zero energy buildings, the Building Technologies Program supports research and development of innovative new technologies and better building practices. The program is divided into three interrelated strategic areas designed to overcome technical and market barriers: Research and Development, Equipment Standards and Analysis, and Technology Validation and Market Introduction. The BTP’s funding is organized in five key program areas. Each of these areas contains projects and programs addressing one or more of the strategic elements: Research and Development Residential Integration—reduce energy loads by 70-80 percent and integrate renewable technologies in new construction to create marketable net-zero energy homes in the five major U.S. climate zones at net-zero financed cost to home buyers; to increase homeowner energy savings by supporting energy efficient retrofits and new homes while raising consumer awareness of the benefits of increased health, safety, and durability of energy efficiency. Commercial Integration— to partner with major companies that design, build or operate large fleets of buildings and that commit to exemplary energy performance in selected new and existing commercial buildings; invest in commercial building technology solutions, design approaches and tools to enable net-zero energy performance. Emerging Technologies—to accelerate building technology RD&D through R&D projects to advance lighting, HVAC, water heating, solar heating and cooling, thermal envelope, and window technologies, via national laboratory as well as with the private sector to develop more efficient technologies contributing to 70 percent energy savings in new construction and deep retrofit in existing homes and commercial buildings. Technology Validation and Market Introduction DOE-EPA Energy Star - a joint undertaking with DOE, EPA, and the private sector to promote energy efficient products designated by the Energy Star label, used to alert the consumer to the energy savings offered by such products.
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop Building Codes—working with other government agencies, state and local jurisdictions, national code organizations, and industry to promote stronger building energy codes and help states adopt, implement, and enforce those codes. Equipment Standards and Analysis Residential Appliances —develops test procedures and sets efficiency standards for residential lighting, equipment and appliances. Commercial Equipment Standards —develops test procedures and sets efficiency standards for commercial lighting and equipment. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: BTP’s Recent Accomplishments: Residential: Completed research and best practices for 30 percent energy savings in all climates, and 40 percent savings in Marine and Hot/Mixed-Dry, research ongoing. In response to the DOE Builders Challenge 345 builder partners have labeled more than 1000 homes with 30 percent greater energy performance while meeting stringent quality criteria Commercial: Launched the Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative Launched Retailer Energy Alliance, Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance, and Hospital Energy Alliance Emerging Technologies: SSL prototype cool white LED that delivers world record 107 lm/W. Commercialization of dynamic insulation, cellulose with doped phase change material General Electric Hybrid Water Heater announced that will meet new Energy Star Advanced Water Heater Specification; development assisted under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Building Codes: 2009 International Energy Conservation Code will improve new home energy efficiency by 15 percent over 2006 edition. ENERGY STAR: Market penetration for the main DOE products-windows, refrigerators, dishwashers, and CFLs. CFLs market profile shows that there are 4.3 Billion residential sockets, of which 0.5 Billion are filled with CFLs. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS: Working with other federal and state agencies, and industry representatives from a variety of business sectors to achieve the goal of marketable net-zero energy buildings. PROJECT PERIOD: The strategic goal is to create technologies and design approaches that lead to marketable zero energy homes by 2020 and zero energy commercial
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop buildings by 2025. Goals for retrofit of existing homes and commercial buildings are being formulated. FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): Fiscal Year (FY) 2009- $140 million + $346 million of Recovery Act Funds. FY2010- Proposed $237 million. The chart below shows the break-out of funds for the five key programs.
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: CDC’s Climate Change and Health Program (http://www.cdc.gov/climatechange/) AGENCY: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: As the nation's public health agency, CDC is uniquely poised to lead efforts to anticipate, prevent and respond to the broad range of effects on the health of Americans and the nation's public health infrastructure. CDC's expertise and programs in environmental health, infectious disease, and other fields form the foundation of public health efforts in preparedness for climate change. In FY2009, Congress appropriated $7.5 million for CDC to formally establish its Climate Change and Health Program. The Program is addressing five broad areas: Expanding the climate change research foundation: Seventeen intramural research awards have been awarded competitively, amounting to nearly $3 million. Additionally, approximately seven extramural research grants will be awarded. Developing partnerships: The focus is to develop innovative partnerships to better understand predicted health outcomes and to ensure cooperation between diverse stakeholders. Enhancing climate change capacity at state and local health departments: CDC is supporting state and local health departments through pilot programs run by ASTHO and NACCHO. Five states have received $90,000 each, and six local jurisdictions will receive $50,000 each to conduct needs assessments and develop strategic plans to address weaknesses and bolster climate change capacity. Promoting workforce development: Projects include funding post doctoral work and dissertation awards in climate change and health, developing web-based training, and a global workshop on climate change. Communicating health-related aspects of climate change: This aspect supports evidence-based communication strategies. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: Expanding the climate change research foundation: When funding intramural research projects, CDC implemented a two-pronged approach by supplementing existing projects and funding new projects. The Climate Change Program provided resources to add a climate change component to existing CDC projects. This approach builds climate change capacity by leveraging infrastructure established at CDC and improving sustainability of projects. New projects were conceptualized as multi-year projects. Initially funding one-year of the project allows CDC to evaluate the projects for long-term feasibility, sustainability, cost effectiveness, and broader application at the conclusion of the first year. This evaluation will inform decisions regarding funding for years two and three of each projects.
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Multiple Hazards Demonstration Project: The Shakeout Scenario for Southern California - Economic Consequences (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2008/1150/) AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: The question is not if but when southern California will be hit by a major earthquake -one so damaging that it will permanently change lives and livelihoods in the region. How severe the changes will be depends on the actions that individuals, schools, businesses, organizations, communities, and governments take to get ready. To help prepare for this event, scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have changed the way that earthquake scenarios are done, uniting a multidisciplinary team that spans an unprecedented number of specialties. The 'what if?' earthquake modeled in the ShakeOut Scenario is a magnitude 7.8 on the southern San Andreas Fault. The hypothetical earthquake was developed by considering the amount of stored strain on that part of the fault with the greatest likelihood of imminent rupture for a large earthquake. From this, seismologists and computer scientists modeled the ground shaking that would occur in this earthquake. Engineers and others used the shaking to estimate earthquake damage to buildings, roads, pipelines, and other infrastructure. From these damages, social scientists projected casualties, emergency response, and the impact of the scenario earthquake on southern California's economy and society. The next phase of the Multi Hazards Demonstration Project will focus on a flooding and landslide scenario throughout California. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: By examining the consequences of one hypothetical earthquake and the dynamic interactions among elements of our physical infrastructure and economic and social systems, the ShakeOut Scenario is helping to identify potential points of failure and places where relatively small efforts or investments before the next earthquake could yield tremendous benefit after the earthquake (Perry and others, 2008). In addition, the ShakeOut Scenario found that previous efforts to reduce losses through mitigation before the event have been successful. There are more actions and policies that could be undertaken at the individual and community levels to further reduce losses. For instance, actions to improve the resiliency of water delivery systems would reduce the loss from business interruption, as well as reduce the risk of catastrophic conflagrations. At an individual and business level, actions to secure non-structural items in buildings and retrofitting existing structures will greatly reduce individual risk. Planning and preparedness can improve personal and business resiliency (Jones and others, 2008). Addressing the five major areas of loss identified could provide benefits in possible future disasters. The five major areas of loss include:
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop Older buildings built to earlier standards. Non-structural elements and building contents that are generally unregulated. Infrastructure crossing the San Andreas Fault. Business interruption from damaged infrastructure, especially water systems. Fire following the earthquake. Publications: The ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario—A Story That Southern Californians Are Writing, 2008. U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1324, California Geological Survey Special Report 207, version 1.0 By Suzanne Perry, Dale Cox, Lucile Jones, Richard Bernknopf, James Goltz, Kenneth Hudnut, Dennis Mileti, Daniel Ponti, Keith Porter, Michael Reichle, Hope Seligson, Kimberley Shoaf, Jerry Treiman, and Anne Wein The ShakeOut Scenario, 2008. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2008-1150 California Geological Survey Preliminary Report 25, version 1.0. By Lucile M. Jones, Richard Bernknopf, Dale Cox, James Goltz, Kenneth Hudnut, Dennis Mileti, Suzanne Perry, Daniel Ponti, Keith Porter, Michael Reichle, Hope Seligson, Kimberley Shoaf, Jerry Treiman, and Anne Wein PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Partners include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Caltrans, Southern California Association of Governments, City of Torrance, City of Palm Springs, San Pedro Ports, SoCalfirst (banking consortium), CA Trucking Association, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Southern California Gas Company, and the Water districts including MWD, LADPW, PROJECT PERIOD: May 2007 to May 2010 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT): $360,000
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: The Water Environment of Cities (workshop) (http://www.springer.com/environment/environmental+management/book/978-0-387-84890-7) AGENCY/INSTITUTION: NSF PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION (Project summary of proposal): The proposed workshop The Water Environment of Cities: Adapting to Change was an important step in the evolution of a holistic, interdisciplinary approach for managing the urban water environment that recognizes water as a core organizing concept for urban design. The proposed workshop will be the culmination of a book project, The Water Environment of Cities and a prolegomenon for future efforts to better understand and manage the urban water environment. Workshop participants (chapter authors, plus a small number of others) have expertise in surface and groundwater hydrology, civil and environmental engineering, environmental policy, urban planning, law, geomorphology, and recreation management. The main target audience for the book is graduate students across the many disciplines involved in water resources. Key themes for the proposed workshop and the book are: (1) water scarcity, (2) multiple uses of water, (3) water management institutions, (4) formation on new knowledge, (5) sustainability, and (6) resilience. Outcomes from the workshop will include a workshop report, a synthesis chapter for the book and at least one journal article. The workshop report will focus on the process used in the workshop and key results. The synthesis chapter will be written in a didactic fashion to tie topical chapters of the book together. The journal article will be more heavily referenced, more theoretical in nature, more speculative, and will conclude with an “agenda for the future.” Managing the water environment of the world’s burgeoning urban population is one of the critical needs for humanity. The broad impact of this workshop will be to create a more holistic, integrated concept of urban water management. One of the key ways this broader impact will be achieved is by integrating these concepts directly into graduate water resources education, using the resulting book, The Water Environment of Cities, as a teaching text for the next generation of water resources practitioners and scholars. Diffusion of these ideas will occur quickly because most of the participants in the workshop/book project teach courses in water resources. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: Baker, L (editor). 2009. The Water Environment of Cities. Springer Scientific, Lowell, MA. The Water Environment of Cities: Adapting to Change. 2009. Workshop held at the Riverwood Inn, Otswego, Minnesota, January 16-18, 2008. NSF Project CBET 0739952 PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): None
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop PROJECT PERIOD: Completed in 2008 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): $45,000
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM: Opposition to Green Economy Investments: Where and Why is it Emerging? AGENCY/INSTITUTION: Cornell University, Department of City and Regional Planning PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Everyone can agree on the need to build a “green” economy when it is your community that is targeted for a wind farm, a bio-fuel processing plant, new transmission lines, or new regulations to promote energy efficiency, however, problems occur and opposition begins to arise. This research/action project responds to a clear need to understand: (1) how different types of communities respond to alternative energy investments and ( 2) what happens “on the ground” when projects are proposed and realized. This project has two goals. The first is to provide local policy makers with the information they need regarding the potential impact of alternative energy investments, both positive and negative. The second is to develop knowledge about “real” alternative energy investments and their impact on communities. One premise of this project is that not all investments labeled “green” are good for the environment or the community. Another is that local policy makers face substantial uncertainties in making decisions about what is best for their community. This project will develop information that aids their decision-making about green investments in the city or community, presenting what is known about both the upside and downside of these investments. It will also provide state and national policy makers with knowledge about the sources of community opposition to alternative energy investments. The project results will be presented in a series of policy briefs aimed at local officials and via a Web site: www.GREEENCHOICES.cornell.edu. The initial project research will focus on controversies affecting New York State cities and communities but resources and good practice examples will be drawn from national sources. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE: Initial research has led to the development of a Web site www.GREENCHOICES.cornell.edu and a policy report assessing the methods used in evaluating the local economic impact of ethanol plants. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): The research is supported by a small grant through The U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides seed money research support to faculty in land grant Universities. PROJECT PERIOD: The initial one-year grant ends October 1, 2009. A second small grant will support some continued website development. FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED): ($20,000 - $28,000)
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM Eliminating Barriers to Transit-Oriented Development (http://policy.rutgers.edu/vtc/tod/documents/FHWA-NJ-2010-002%20Eliminating%20Barriers%20to%20Transit-Oriented%20Development.pdf) AGENCY/INSTITUTION New Jersey Dept. of Transportation Daniel Chatman, PI PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The research in this project centers on answering the question, “What are the barriers to housing projects approval near transit (TOD— which is considered a necessary element in sustainability planning) in New Jersey?” RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE Project is on-going. Researchers have finished gathering data from households near transit, barriers to TOD, and observing parking practices. Professor Chatman is now synthesizing the information in a report. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL) N/A PROJECT PERIOD This research project started in 2007 and will be finished in December 2009. FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED) $164, 000 (current)
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM EFRI-RESIN: Assessing and Managing Cascading Failure Vulnerabilities of Complex, Interdependent, Interactive, Adaptive Human-based Infrastructure Systems (http://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0835989&WT.z_pims_id=5 03431) AGENCY/INSTITUTION National Science Foundation (NSF) under EFGRI Grant No. 0836047. Principal Investigator: Robert Bea (Engineering) Co-Principal Investigator: Karlene Roberts (Haas Business School) Co-Principal Investigator: John Radke (LAEP-DCRP, College Environmental Design) PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Assessing and Managing Failure Vulnerabilities of Infrastructure Systems: Resilience and Sustainability of the California Sacramento Delta Region Interconnected Critical Infrastructure Systems Our regional focus studies the California Sacramento—San Joaquin Delta flood protection, water distribution, and power supply systems. These systems are embedded in a complex and sensitive ecosystem that co-exists with other important ICISs such as communications, transportation, and emergency services. The ultimate goal of this research is to learn how to improve the resiliency and sustainability of ICISs while maintaining other vital performance characteristics such as serviceability, safety, durability, and compatibility. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE This research includes a collaborative interdisciplinary research team to create, validate, and apply new Risk Assessment and Management (RAM) methods to assess and improve the design, operation, and maintenance of interdependent complex infrastructure systems (ICISs). PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL): Howard Foster, Ian Mitroff PROJECT PERIOD N/A FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED) Award amount to date: $1,999,964
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM Impact of Global Warming on California’s Urban Forests AGENCY/INSTITUTION Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management UC Berkeley Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning UC Berkeley Joseph McBride, PI PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Global climate change presents a critical challenge to sustainability of trees in cities throughout the United States and in other parts of the world. Many commonly planted urban tree species will no longer be able to survive as the climate becomes warmer and drier. The research proposed in this study will investigate changes in the composition of California’s urban forests in response to global warming. Surveys of urban forest managers across climate zones, surveys of arborists at regional conferences, and measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence will be used to project the fitness of common urban trees for changing climates. The three sources of information will be combined to produce lists of trees suitable for cities in different parts of California as the climate becomes warmer. Lists will also be generated of trees not expected to survive the warming of cities in the state. These lists will be used to advise arborists, landscape architects, and urban forest managers on probable future response of urban tree species to climate change. California presents an unusual opportunity for this study because of its extensive range in temperature zones, recently developed models predicting climate change on a regional level, and an active community of arborists and urban foresters. Results from the study will have direct application to states neighboring California and the methods developed will be useful in conducting similar studies in other regions. The objectives of this project are to determine how tree species in California's urban forests will be affected by global warming and the implications of global warming for urban forest planning and management. The study will contribute to the knowledge of the urban forest's response to global warming and will inform arborists, landscape architects, and urban forest managers about appropriate species for future urban forests in California. The study will also add to our basic knowledge of how tree species from different parts of the world respond to increasing leaf temperatures. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE The expected outcomes will be lists of trees appropriate to the future climates of various cities in California and species that are not expected to survive increasing urban temperatures. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL) N/A PROJECT PERIOD 2009-2012
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED) “Urban forest composition, structure, and function in the world’s biomes” Farrand Fund for Research in Urban Forestry - $20,000 (2008 to 2010) “Plant succession in the grasslands of Mt. Tamalpais State Park” California Department of Parks and Recreation - $97,000 (2007 to 2010)
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Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems - Summary of a Workshop TITLE OF PROJECT OR PROGRAM Shrinking Urban Transportation’s Environmental Footprint Evidence on Built Environments and Travel from 370 U.S. Urbanized Areas (http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=a4236) AGENCY/INSTITUTION National Science Foundation Robert Cervero, PI PROJECT/PROGRAM DESCRIPTION Concerns over rising fuel prices and greenhouse gas emissions have prompted research into the influences of built environments on travel, notably vehicle miles of travel (VMT). Based on data from 370 U.S. urbanized areas and using structural equation modeling, population densities are shown to be strongly and positively associated with VMT per capita, however this effect is moderated by the traffic-inducing effects of denser urban settings having denser road networks and better local-retail accessibility. Accessibility to basic employment has comparatively modest effects as do size of urbanized area and rail transit supplies and usage. Still, urban planning and city design should be part of any strategic effort to reduce the urban transportation sector’s environmental footprint. RESULTS, OUTCOMES OR IMPACTS TO DATE The results demonstrate that higher densities are not sufficient, by themselves, to substantially lower transportation-related VMT and GHG emissions, and need to be supplemented by attention to road and community design and regional planning – such as jobs-housing balance and mixed-use integration—to leverage significant impacts. PERFORMERS/OTHER PARTNERS (FEDERAL, STATES, OR LOCAL) Robert Cervero, PI PROJECT PERIOD July 2007 to June 2009 FUNDING LEVELS (CURRENT OR PROPOSED) $150,000
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