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School of Sustainability Graduate Culminating Experiences


This report describes the process by which I created a concise but comprehensive online source of information about best practices in sustainability for urban planners. The goal of the project was to provide accessible information that would help planners in ways that help them comprehend and implement sustainable solutions to common planning problems that are found throughout the United States. To create the website, I researched methods for communicating clearly to planners, took a graduate course in communicating about sustainability, and drew on information that I had compiled on sustainable solutions for transportation, economy, water, green space, and governance.

Contributors
Nassar, Cara, Pijawka, David, Kyle, Kathryn
Created Date
2017-12-01

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a non-profit organization that prides itself in “responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises”. Through its New Roots program, IRC is using an aquaponics urban garden incubator site “to train refugee farmers in aquaponics agriculture and good business practices in the United States.” The site is an example of the conversion of brownfield into “healthfields” and sustainability and resilience initiatives including the Year of Healthy Communities Program-2017, the Maricopa County Food Systems Coalition, and other community health initiatives that involve major partners including the City of Phoenix. Entering into the next development phase, IRC ...

Contributors
Jordan, Amanda (Toohey), Dunton, Tristan
Created Date
2017-04-28

Strategies and interventions have promoted the sustainability of urban communities, but effective communication of these solutions is lacking. Documentation of current solutions tends to be dense and difficult for non-academics to understand. Sustainability scientists and practitioners need ways to meaningfully and intelligibly communicate their experiences to the lay public. This project sought to visually present sustainable community development solutions to address this communication barrier. Members of urban/community gardens in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, and Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, were photographed, interviewed. Their feedback was then examined to assess the degree to which photographs can tell a holistic sustainability story. The ...

Contributors
Rosenstein, Rachael, Cloutier, Scott, Prosser, Paul
Created Date
2017-11-15

Sustainable purchasing has become and increasingly salient way by which local governments can decrease their resource consumptions, while also addressing broader climate action goals. Successfully implemented sustainable purchasing policies have the potential to reduce consumption and waste, expand green purchasing markets, and catalyze spillover benefits such as financial savings. Furthermore, city-level actions have become increasingly significant as the federal government ceases critical climate research and pulls out of collaborative climate deals (i.e. The Paris Climate Accord). Using data from the Sustainable Purchasing Researching Initiative at Arizona State University’s Center for Organization Research and Design, as well as qualitative policy analyses, ...

Contributors
Burwell, Caitlin, Darnall, Nicole, Schoon, Michael
Created Date
2017-12-01

This project explored the potential effectiveness of sustainable initiative programs in a typical office setting. The project area was focused on the Arizona offices of Expeditors International, a global, Fortune 500, third-party logistics company. The goal of the project was to set up recycling and composting services as well as create a culture of sustainability through educational materials distributed through various means to the employees. Throughout the project, it was discovered that there can be many barriers to effective implementation of sustainable initiatives, such as resistance to change. However, this project also highlighted that with a reasonable amount of effort ...

Contributors
Sponsler, James, Prosser, Paul
Created Date
2017-11-20

Local food systems are now facing a new set of intersecting economic, social and environmental challenges. Recurrent socio-economic and biophysical changes put the sustainability of food systems at risk. There is an urgent need to develop knowledge-based tools or metrics to assess and monitor food sustainability and to identify pathways for food security and resource conservation. Stern Produce is a small scale, family owned business that has been serving our local Arizona community for a 100 years now since 1917. Essentially, it is a food distribution company that conducts wholesale supply of agricultural farm produce, dairy products and meat. Their ...

Contributors
Pradhan, Salomi, Osgood, Kristen
Created Date
2017-11-25

As an AASHE Gold university, ASU engages its students, with varying success in adopting sustainable behaviors. The Susty Games pilot project was developed to make the adoption process both interesting and engaging for students. The project goal was to increase sustainable behaviors in ASU students’ daily lifestyles by demystifying and familiarizing them with such behaviors. Familiarization occurred by getting students out and into their communities practicing eight specific behaviors that reflect ASU’s Sustainability Operations focus areas: climate neutrality, zero waste, active engagement, and principled practice. The project subject was ASU students because human, incentive, and support resources are readily available ...

Contributors
Love, Whitney, Jung, Kendon, Withycombe-Keeler, Lauren
Created Date
2017-12-01