Category Archives: News

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.

JOURNAL BRIEF: Vacancy and Mobility Implications of Informal Footpaths in Shrinking Cities

This two-page journal brief shares findings from a study that documents and considers the implications of informal footpaths, also known as desire lines, in the Lower Eastside area of Detroit. Using mixed methods—including remote sensing (using Google Earth), physical audits, network and spatial analysis, and qualitative interviews—the study physically maps informal footpaths, documents their change over time between 2010 and 2016, quantifies their impact in increasing accessibility and mobility, and considers how they are perceived by residents.

This brief is adapted from the following peer-reviewed journal article: Foster, A. & J. P. Newell. (2019). Detroit’s lines of desire: Footpaths and vacant land in the Motor City. Landscape and Urban Planning, 189(2019), 260-273. Access the full article here.

Open Position: Data Scientist/Specialist for Sustainability

Application DEADLINE: February 15, 2019

Projected START DATE: April 1, 2019

School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

The Urban Sustainability Research Group led by Assoc. Prof. Joshua Newell seeks applications for a Data Scientist/ Specialist, beginning April 2019. The successful applicant will perform data analysis and computer programming in support of current and upcoming research projects. Examples of ongoing and planned projects include: 1) analysis of the environmental and social impacts of urban agriculture across multiple scales; 2) urban meat production-consumption patterns and dynamics; 3) a carbon footprint of the United States building stock; and 4) mapping the spatial and temporal dynamics of supply chains using trade data. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to join a growing, dynamic research lab that interfaces with the academy, industry, and society.

Read More about the qualifications and Instructions here.

Contact Dr. Dimitris Gounaridis (dgounar@umich.edu) should you have questions.

Open Positions: Tracking corporate actors across space and time

The Urban Sustainability Research Group is seeking two enthusiastic MS students to help us map the supply chains that connect urban dwellers to ports, factories, mines, forests, farms and other production sites around the globe. The project work involves performing online research to identify and vet potential data sources, and then exploring these data to uncover the corporate actors and locations along supply chains for select commodities. Through participating students will learn new skills, contribute to groundbreaking research on sustainable supply chains and participate in a dynamic research group dedicated to urban sustainability. We are specifically looking for students with:

• Interest in the environmental and social impacts of urban consumption
• Interest in corporate sustainability
• Data management skills
• Experience in computer programming and/or use of geographic information system (GIS) software (preferred but not essential)


We are looking for two students to begin immediately. These positions will be ~20 hours per week at $15-18 per hour.

If you are interested in applying for this position, then please send your CV and a brief cover letter stating why you are interested and well-qualified for this position to Benjamin Goldstein (benjgo@umich.edu).

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.

Josh Newell Featured on Michigan Radio: Re-imagining Infrastructure

Josh Newell Comments on Re-imagining Infrastructure on Michigan Radio.

Cities across the United States and internationally are designing creative new uses for underutilized infrastructure, creating attractive green spaces for citizens to enjoy. However, these transformations also create risks of environmental gentrification through increasing nearby property values and displacing current residents. City officials and communities should always be on guard against environmental gentrification, and Newell encourages planners to involve the communities that will be affected through the process of making urban infrastructural changes.View More

Sara Meerow To Join Arizona State University School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Sara Meerow, doctoral candidate in the Urban Sustainability Research Group, has accepted a Tenure Track Assistant Professor position for the Fall of 2017 in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. Congratulations and we think ASU is a great place for her to continue her work on Green Infrastructure, Urban Resilience, and Climate Adaptation.