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  • SUSTAINABILITY
Date Range
2012 2017

The ways in which we travel—by what mode, for how long, and for what purpose—can affect our sense of happiness and well-being. This paper assesses the relationships between measures of the sustainability of transportation systems in U.S. metropolitan areas and subjective well-being. Associations between self-reported happiness levels from the Gallup Healthways Well-being Index and commute data were examined for 187 core-based statistical areas (CBSA). We also supplement this quantitative analysis through brief case studies of high- and low-performing happiness cities. Our quantitative results indicate that regions with higher commute mode shares by non-automobile modes generally had higher well-being scores, even ...

Contributors
Cloutier, Scott, Karner, Alex, Breetz, Hanna, et al.
Created Date
2017-07-13

Increasing penetration of energy efficiency programs and distributed renewable energy generation has imposed significant challenges for utilities to recoup their large upfront costs. There is a heated debate on what surcharges should be implemented to help the utilities recover their fixed costs; however, very few studies focus on consumers’ attitudes regarding this topic. This study surveys about 190 residential consumers throughout the United States in November 2015, investigating their preferences and attitudes towards extra demand charges and volumetric energy price increases. We apply probit models and regress consumers’ attitudes on selected socio-demographic and behavioral variables. The results indicate the homeowners ...

Contributors
Liang, Jing, Qiu, Yueming, Padmanabhan, Poornima, et al.
Created Date
2017-08-19

Throughout history, various civilizations developed methodologies for the collection and disposal of human waste. The methodologies throughout the centuries have been characterized by technological peaks on the one hand, and by the disappearance of the technologies and their reappearance on the other. The purpose of this article is to trace the development of sewage collection and transport with an emphasis on toilets in ancient civilizations. Evolution of the major achievements in the scientific fields of sanitation with emphasis on the lavatory (or toilets) technologies through the centuries up to the present are presented. Valuable insights into ancient wastewater technologies and ...

Contributors
Antoniou, Georgios P., De Feo, Giovanni, Fardin, Franz, et al.
Created Date
2016-08-13

Cities are hotspots of commodity consumption, with implications for both local and systemic water resources. Water flows “virtually” into and out of cities through the extensive cross-boundary exchange of goods and services. Both virtual and real water flows are affected by water supply investments and urban planning decisions, which influence residential, commercial, and industrial development. This form of water “teleconnection” is being increasingly recognized as an important aspect of water decision-making. The role of trade and virtual water flows as an alternative to expanding a city’s “real” water supply is rarely acknowledged, with an emphasis placed instead on monotonic expansion ...

Contributors
Paterson, Willa, Rushforth, Richard, Ruddell, Benjamin, et al.
Created Date
2015-06-30

A public health crisis in the process of brownfield land redevelopment (BLR) has frequently appeared in the context of promoting industrial upgrading and de-industrialization in China. Recent discussions on the reasons for this problem centered on the lack of laws, standards, and policies needed to secure the process of BLR. However, we argue that an urban governance approach to BLR can identify the sources of the problem. This paper discusses a case study of a toxic soil event in Changzhou, China, based on the theoretical framework—the Institutional Industry Complex (IIC). Under the pressure of fiscal distress as well as the ...

Contributors
Liu, Chunhui, Song, Weixuan, Zhou, Chen, et al.
Created Date
2017-05-15

Many population centers in the American West rely on water from the Colorado River Basin, which has faced shortages in recent years that are anticipated to be exacerbated by climate change. Shortages to urban water supplies related to climate change will not be limited to cities dependent on the Colorado River. Considering this, addressing sustainable water governance is timely and critical for cities, states, and regions facing supply shortages and pollution problems. Engaging in sustainability transitions of these hydro-social systems will increase the ability of such systems to meet the water needs of urban communities. In this paper, we identify ...

Contributors
Sullivan, Abigail, White, Dave, Larson, Kelli, et al.
Created Date
2017-05-06

Tracking the environmental impacts of production, use, and disposal of products (e.g., goods, and services) have been an important issue in the global economy. Although Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely applied method to track these environmental impacts and support policies, it has certain limitations and an isolated way of evaluating the environmental impacts with no consideration of social and economic impacts and mechanisms. To overcome the limits of current LCA, three mechanisms have been proposed in the literature: (1) broadening the indicators by including social and economic indicators in addition to the environmental impacts; (2) broadening the scope ...

Contributors
Onat, Nuri, Kucukvar, Murat, Halog, Anthony, et al.
Created Date
2017-04-29

Using the City of Roanoke, Virginia as a study site, this paper quantifies the forest structure, ecosystem services and values of vacant and residential land. Single family residential land had more trees (1,683,000) than vacant land (210,000) due largely to the differences in land area (32.44 km[superscript 2] of vacant land vs. 57.94 km[superscript 2] residential). While the percentage of tree coverage was almost identical across land uses (30.6% in vacant to 32.3% in residential), the number of trees per ha is greater on residential land (290.3) than on vacant land (63.4). The average healthy leaf surface area on individual ...

Contributors
Kim, Gunwoo, Miller, Patrick, Nowak, David, et al.
Created Date
2016-03-23

Heat vulnerability of urban populations is becoming a major issue of concern with climate change, particularly in the cities of the Southwest United States. In this article we discuss the importance of understanding coupled social and technical systems, how they constitute one another, and how they form the conditions and circumstances in which people experience heat. We discuss the particular situation of Los Angeles and Maricopa Counties, their urban form and the electric grid. We show how vulnerable populations are created by virtue of the age and construction of buildings, the morphology of roads and distribution of buildings on the ...

Contributors
Pincetl, Stephanie, Chester, Mikhail, Eisenman, David, et al.
Created Date
2016-08-25

Empirical evidence is provided to show that peer effects have statistically significant and positive impacts on the diffusion of green building certificates. Application and approval records of green certificates by commercial buildings in NY and AZ are used. The challenge of self-selection is addressed by the usage of fixed effects and the challenge of reflection is addressed by the time lag delay between a building’s application and its approval. Empirical results show that an additional approved LEED certificate within a zip code will increase the probability of a commercial building in the same zip code to apply for a LEED ...

Contributors
Qiu, Yueming, Yin, Shuai, Wang, Yi David
Created Date
2016-07-05