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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Subject
Date Range
2011 2016


Economic development over the last century has driven a tripling of the world's population, a twenty-fold increase in fossil fuel consumption, and a tripling of traditional biomass consumption. The associated broad income and wealth inequities are retaining over 2 billion people in poverty. Adding to this, fossil fuel combustion is impacting the environment across spatial and temporal scales and the cost of energy is outpacing all other variable costs for most industries. With 60% of world energy delivered in 2008 consumed by the commercial and industrial sector, the fragmented and disparate energy-related decision making within organizations are largely responsible for …

Contributors
Buch, Rajesh, Wiek, Arnim, Basile, George, et al.
Created Date
2011

Over the last two decades programs and mandates to encourage and foster sustainable urban development have arisen throughout the world, as cities have emerged as key opportunity sites for sustainable development due to the compactness and localization of services and resources. In order to recognize this potential, scholars and practitioners have turned to the practice of visioning as a way to motivate actions and decision making toward a sustainable future. A "vision" is defined as desirable state in the future and scholars believe that the creation of a shared, motivational vision is the best starting point to catalyze positive and …

Contributors
Minowitz, Amy, Wiek, Arnim, Golub, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2013

Contemporary urban food security in the US is influenced by complex, multidimensional, and multi-scale factors. However, most assessment methods and intervention efforts in food security research are: 1) narrowly focused on environmental factors (i.e. the presence or absence of quality food outlets), 2) divorced from the human dimension and, 3) ultimately disempower communities to affect change at the local level. New approaches are needed to capture the lived experiences and unique perspectives of people potentially most vulnerable to food insecurity, while also empowering people to become change agents in their lives and in the wider community. This thesis argues that …

Contributors
Talbot, Kathleen Lynn, Eakin, Hallie, Wiek, Arnim, et al.
Created Date
2012

Over the past few decades, businesses globally have advanced in incorporating the principles of sustainability as they strive to align economic outcomes with growing and complex social and environmental demands and opportunities. This transition is conditioned by the maturity, scale, and geographical location of a business (among other factors), with particular challenges placed on small enterprises in middle- to low-income communities. Within this context, the overarching research question of this dissertation is why and how business incubation processes may foster sustainable enterprises at the middle and base of the socioeconomic pyramid (MoP/BoP). To explore this question, in this project I …

Contributors
Wood, Mark Williams, Redman, Charles L, Wiek, Arnim, et al.
Created Date
2014

Public participation is considered an essential process for achieving sustainable urban development. Often, however, insufficient attention is paid to the design of public participation, and processes are formulaic. Then, participation may not match the local context of the communities within which a project is conducted. As a result, participation may become co-optative or coercive, stakeholders may lose trust, and outcomes may favor special interests or be unsustainable, among other shortcomings. In this research, urban public participation is a collaborative decision-making process between residents, businesses, experts, public officials, and other stakeholders. When processes are not attuned with the local context (participant …

Contributors
Cohen, Matthew, Wiek, Arnim, Manuel-Navarrete, David, et al.
Created Date
2015

The greatest challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century is our ability to reconcile the capacity of natural systems to support continued improvement in human welfare around the globe. Over the last decade, the scientific community has attempted to formulate research agendas in response to what they view as the problems of sustainability. Perhaps the most prominent and wide-ranging of these efforts has been sustainability science, an interdisciplinary, problem-driven field that seeks to address fundamental questions on human-environment interactions. This project examines how sustainability scientists grapple with and bound the deeply social, political and normative dimensions of both characterizing and …

Contributors
Miller, Thaddeus Ryan, Minteer, Ben A, Redman, Charles L, et al.
Created Date
2011

Sustainability visioning (i.e. the construction of sustainable future states) is considered an important component of sustainability research, for instance, in transformational sustainability science or in planning for urban sustainability. Visioning frees sustainability research from the dominant focus on analyzing problem constellations and opens it towards positive contributions to social innovation and transformation. Calls are repeatedly made for visions that can guide us towards sustainable futures. Scattered across a broad range of fields (i.e. business, non-government organization, land-use management, natural resource management, sustainability science, urban and regional planning) are an abundance of visioning studies. However, among the few evaluative studies in …

Contributors
Iwaniec, David Mac, Wiek, Arnim, Childers, Daniel L, et al.
Created Date
2013

Beneficiary participation has become popular in international development generally, and it is an essential feature of sustainable development. But there are diverse definitions of and motivations for using beneficiary participation, and empirical literature on its effects is underdeveloped. This dissertation aims to clarify what beneficiary participation is and whether there is empirical support for claims about its benefits. I review historical trends in international development that led to the popularity of both sustainable development and beneficiary participation. This review identifies central themes in defining beneficiary participation and motivations for using it. I also developed a new typology of beneficiary participation …

Contributors
Kutter, Robert W, Aggarwal, Rimjhim, Golub, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2014

Sustainability challenges with severe local to global impacts require fundamental shifts in what industrial societies aspire to, generate, consume, and represent, as well as how they function. Transition governance is a promising framework to support these transformational efforts. A key component of transition governance is the construction of transition strategies, i.e., action schemes for how to transition from the current state to a sustainable one. Despite accomplishments in building theory and methodology for transition governance, the concepts of what transition strategies entail and how they relate to specific interventions are still underdeveloped. This dissertation further develops the concept of transition …

Contributors
Kay, Braden Ryan, Wiek, Arnim, Loorbach, Derk, et al.
Created Date
2012

Driven by concern over environmental, economic and social problems, small, place based communities are engaging in processes of transition to become more sustainable. These communities may be viewed as innovative front runners of a transition to a more sustainable society in general, each one, an experiment in social transformation. These experiments present learning opportunities to build robust theories of community transition and to create specific, actionable knowledge to improve, replicate, and accelerate transitions in real communities. Yet to date, there is very little empirical research into the community transition phenomenon. This thesis empirically develops an analytical framework and method for …

Contributors
Forrest, Nigel, Wiek, Arnim, Golub, Aaron, et al.
Created Date
2011