Author Archives: Sanaz

Homes of wealthy Americans have carbon footprints 25% higher than lower-income residences

The homes of wealthy Americans generate about 25% more greenhouse gases than residences in lower-income neighborhoods, mainly due to their larger size. In the nation’s most affluent suburbs, those emissions can be as much as 15 times higher than in nearby lower-income neighborhoods.


Those estimates come from a new study of 93 million American homes by Urban Sustainability Research Group. It is the most comprehensive study of U.S. residential greenhouse gas emissions, according to the authors, and the first to provide nationwide rankings by state and zip code. It is also the first nationwide study to find correlations between affluence, residential floor space and greenhouse gas emissions.


Read the story in CNN, EcoWatch and  Michigan News.

Read the full paper in PNAS.

Hotspot Analysis and Strategic Siting of Green Infrastructure to Maximize Ecosystem Service Provision

Ecosystem services are the social and ecological benefits that are provided to humans by the natural environment. Where should cities strategically locate green infrastructure (GI) to address the needs of areas with specific ecosystem service provision deficits? Where should GI be located so that it addresses multiple ecosystem service provision deficits at once?
City-wide spatial modeling of ecosystem service needs using the GIS-based ‘Green Infrastructure Spatial Planning’ (GISP) tool can help identify hotspot areas ripe for investment based on different service provision goals, including the goal of providing multiple ecosystem services at once.

Download the journal brief using the link below.

This brief is adapted from the following peer-reviewed journal article: Meerow, S. & J.P. Newell. (2017). “Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit.” Landscape and Urban Planning, 159 (2017) 62–75. Access the full article here.

Check out Sara Meerow’s new paper on the status of climate change adaptation

A new paper by Sara Meerow, John Nordgren, and Missy Stults in Environmental Science and Policy assesses existing resources and efforts for climate change adaptation and the needs of local communities. The paper suggests that more work is needed for local communities and their practitioners to respond to climate change. Additionally, the paper suggests that climate adaptation resources and services need to be streamlined and organized to ensure efficacy and efficiency. Read the article here.

White Paper from FEWS Urban Agriculture Workshop

“Scaling Up Agriculture in City-Regions to Mitigate FEW System Impacts” produced from the October 2015 NSF-Funded Workshop “FEW Workshop: ‘Scaling Up’ Urban Agriculture to Mitigate Food-Energy-Water Impacts” held at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor assesses urban agriculture and its relationships with energy, water, food access, and other issues. This white paper summarizes current knowledge with respect to urban agriculture, evaluates integrative frameworks and modeling approaches to assess urban FEW system interactions, and identifies crucial research needs to transition urban FEW systems towards integration, sustainability, resiliency, and equity. Read the white paper here.