Heat Exposure and Transit Use: Travel Behavior and Infrastructure

Course Website

Public transit necessitates environmental exposure and there is increasing recognition that in a future with hotter temperatures new strategies are needed to protect passengers. Arizona State University’s Spring 2017 Urban Infrastructure Anatomy course assessed travel behavior, public transit stop design, and heat exposure to develop recommendations for mitigating heat exposure. Travel surveys, analysis of infrastructure characteristics, and thermal imaging were used to assess exposure. A suite of mitigation strategies was developed from a literature review, conversations with experts, and review of other transit systems. Focusing on neighborhoods in Tempe, Arizona, strategies are developed for protecting future riders from negative health outcomes

Report and Presentation: The report and presentation are available through the ASU Repository
Course: Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development, Spring 2017
National Science Foundation Project, award TUES 1245205

Safe-to-Fail Adaptation Strategies for Phoenix-area Roadways Under Increasing Precipitation

Course Website

Extreme events such as intense rainfalls may occur more frequently with climate change creating new risks to transportation infrastructure. In the fall of 2014 back-to-back storms resulted in flooding of freeways in Phoenix, Arizona, and in fall 2015 a high-intensity flow collapsed an Interstate 10 bridge between Phoenix and Los Angeles. Our roadway infrastructure has not necessarily been designed to withstand more frequent weather events. We quantify the risk to roadway infrastructure in Arizona and study both fail-safe and safe-to-fail adaptation strategies for roadway infrastructure.

Report and Presentation: The report and presentation are available through the ASU Repository
Course: Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development, Spring 2016
National Science Foundation Project, award TUES 1245205

Transit-oriented Development Design for Heat Vulnerability Mitigation

Course Website

Many cities across the globe are forecast to experience more frequent and extreme heat events creating the potential for a major public health challenge. This is especially true in the US Southwest where concurrently many cities are seeking to encourage more biking, walking, and transit use. We study infrastructure design strategies and protective measures for people in transit-oriented developments to mitigate heat vulnerability.

Course: Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development, Spring 2015
National Science Foundation Project, award TUES 1245205

Los Angeles Spatial-Temporal Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Project Website

The Los Angeles spatial-temporal greenhouse gas model is a project in partnership with Google. Transportation, building energy use, and embedded emissions are modeled to create a life-cycle inventory for each year from 2000 to 2008. Specific activities are Light and Heavy Duty Vehicle Travel, Building Electricity Use, Embedded Roadway Infrastructure, and Embedded Building Infrastructure. Emissions are reported as area densities (per square meter) and percent change since 2000 for 2,341 Census Tract regions.

Supported by the Google Research and Education Foundation

Advancing Infrastructure and Institutional Resilience to Climate Change for Coupled Water-Energy Systems

Project Website

The coupled water and electricity system is vulnerable to changing climate due to a variety of physical and institutional variables. As climate-related environmental events become more common, water and electricity managers will be either directly or indirectly exposed to vulnerabilities in the interdependent water-electricity systems. These vulnerabilities may arise because the infrastructures were designed for a climate and demand profile that may be significantly different than what will be experienced in the coming decades, and because the institutions that manage the systems do not yet have anticipatory governance structures that would enable them to proactively address the future. This project will develop a framework for assessing coupled water and electricity infrastructure-institution vulnerability at cross-scales to future climate events.

National Science Foundation Project, award WSC 1360509

Infrastructure Design and Heat Vulnerability in the Southwest

Project Website

The vulnerability to heat of urban Southwest populations is a combination of social and built environment (infrastructure) factors. To date, heat vulnerability research has largely been focused on social factors (including age, chronic disease, poverty level, and English proficiency, among others) and few studies have considered how infrastructure enables or restricts access to cooling. New methods are needed for i) categorizing and quantifying the significance of infrastructure systems in providing protection from heat, and ii) joining social and infrastructure vulnerability to heat indices into a single framework that will allow city agencies to prioritize investments.

National Science Foundation Project, awards IMEE 1335556 and IMEE 1335640

Water, Energy, & Infrastructure Co-benefits of Smart Growth Planning

The Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development course evaluated the water, energy, and infrastructure changes that result from smart growth in Phoenix, Arizona. The Maricopa Association of Government's Sustainable Transportation and Land Use Integration Study identified a market for 485,000 residential dwelling units in the urban core. Household water and energy use changes, changes in infrastructure needs, and financial and economic savings are assessed.

Report and Presentation: The report and presentation are available through the ASU Repository
Course: Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development, Spring 2014
National Science Foundation Project, award TUES 1245205

Life-cycle Energy and Air Quality Benefits of Transit-oriented Development

The Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development course evaluated the transportation and land use energy and environmental impacts of urban infill at three future expansion sites for Phoenix light rail.

Publication: M. Chester, M. Nahlik, A. Fraser, M. Kimball, and V. Garikapati, Integrating Life-cycle Environmental and Economic Assessment With Transportation and Land Use Planning, 2013, Environmental Science & Technology 47(21), pp 12020-12028, doi: 10.1021/es402985g
Report and Presentation: Smart Growth Along the Proposed Phoenix Light Rail Expansion Lines Can Reduce Future Urban Energy Consumption and Environmental Impacts
Course: Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development, Fall 2012

Arizona Water-Energy Nexus

The Industrial Ecology and Design for Sustainability course evaluated the water-energy nexus in Phoenix.

The results include assessment of change water consumption in Maricopa by city, the life cycle energy footprint of buildings and infrastructure, and the social impacts of this consumption.

Publication: M. Bartos and M. Chester, The Conservation Nexus: Valuing Interdependent Water and Energy Savings in Arizona, 2014, Environmental Science & Technology 48(4), pp 2139-2149, doi: 10.1021/es4033343
Report: Urban Metabolism and the Energy-Water Nexus in Phoenix, Arizona
Course: Industrial Ecology and Design for Sustainability, Spring 2012