AI can alert urban planners and policymakers to cities’ decay

As urbanization advances around the globe, the quality of the urban physical environment will become increasingly critical to human well-being and to sustainable development initiatives. However, measuring and tracking the quality of an urban environment, its evolution and its spatial disparities is difficult due to the amount of on-the-ground data needed to capture these patterns. To address this issue, Yong Suk Lee, assistant professor of technology, economy and global affairs in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, and Andrea Vallebueno from Stanford University used machine learning to develop a scalable method to measure urban decay.

‘Coastal Squeeze:’ Massive Loss of U.S. Coastline Tidal Flats Over 31 Years

The entire contiguous U.S. has experienced massive urban expansions and the Atlantic Coast shows outstandingly high rates. Urban expansion has substantially squeezed the space of tidal flats and affected surrounding environments. In new urban areas, tidal flats have undergone considerable degeneration with more significant patterns as they get closer to new urban locations. Tidal flats protect against the ocean’s destructive powers such as hurricanes. Without some inland spaces to move around, they will likely disappear, which will have dire consequences for beachfront communities.

FAU Experts for the 2023 Hurricane Season

With the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season officially starting on June 1 and ending Nov. 30, several Florida Atlantic University faculty experts are available to discuss various issues surrounding hurricane preparedness, evacuation and aftermath.

Over 4% of summer mortality in European cities is attributable to urban heat islands

Over four percent of deaths in cities during the summer months are due to urban heat islands, and one third of these deaths could be prevented by reaching a tree cover of 30%, according to a modelling study published in The Lancet and led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), an institution supported by “la Caixa” Foundation.

Connecting the Dots Between Car Crashes and Systemic Transportation Challenges

To most of us, the twisted metal and broken glass of a car crash is evidence of driver error, bad luck or both. To Kelcie Ralph, an associate professor of urban planning and policy development at Rutgers, every car crash is a datapoint in the larger story of America’s poorly designed roads.

First global survey of mayors shows urgent climate, infrastructure, equity challenges

A new global survey of city leaders underscores pressing challenges facing municipalities, including rising inequality, extreme heat and flood risks exacerbated by climate change, and a need to rebalance transportation systems that overly favor private automobiles.

‘Urban Canyons’ Prolong Sonic Booms in Cities

Recent efforts have sought to make low-boom supersonic aircraft, but noise issues due to sonic booms may become more pronounced in cities, where buildings form canyons that distort the booms. In The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, researchers conducted simulations comparing how sonic booms reflect differently over a single building, two neighboring buildings, and multiple buildings spaced at regular intervals. The researchers found the wider the streets compared to the height of buildings, the less booms are affected. Narrower streets introduced more complex boom propagation.

How Can Changes to Urban Neighborhoods and Buildings Affect Microclimates and Energy Use?

Heating and cooling for buildings accounted for the United States’ biggest share (41 percent) of energy consumption in 2010, and energy use by buildings amounts to 40 percent of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. A new method allows researchers to test the design of neighborhoods and buildings to understand how they affect local and regional weather and energy use.

Howard County, Johns Hopkins APL Join Forces to Leverage Smart City Innovation in Gateway District

APL is bringing its expertise in public health, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and climate change into a collaboration with the Howard County Economic Development Authority to incorporate smart and connected community concepts within the county’s Gateway District.

How cities can transform urban green spaces into carbon sinks – Expert available to comment on lessons learned from Helsinki pilot

Senior lecturer Mikko Jalas is available to comment on how cities can use biochar in urban green spaces to help reach carbon neutrality. Jalas has co-led efforts on Carbon Lane, a project to build and monitor an urban carbon sink…

Poor and Minority Communities Suffer More from Extreme Heat in U.S. Cities

Low-income neighborhoods and communities with higher Black, Hispanic and Asian populations experience significantly more urban heat than wealthier and predominantly white neighborhoods within a vast majority of populous U.S. counties, according new research from the University of California San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy.

What’s next: The ongoing urban exodus

Many employees have come to prefer working from home after being forced to do so more than a year ago when the pandemic started. By some estimates, at least one-quarter of employees will still be working remotely multiple days a week at the end of 2021. For those whose jobs allow it, being untethered from the office might mean moving farther away from it – by a few miles or a few hundred.

Trees, plants and soil could help cities cut their carbon footprints — when used smartly

Carbon footprint declarations are used in construction to ease product selection for low carbon building, but these standards don’t yet exist for green elements like soil, bushes and plants. A new study led by Aalto University is the first to map out how green infrastructure can be a resource for cities on the path to carbon neutrality.

The rise of ‘Zoom Towns’ in the rural west

COVID-19 has expedited a trend of migration into western gateway communities—remote workers are fleeing cities to ride out the pandemic. A new study using data from 2018 found that growing populations caused urgent planning pressures, and officials felt unprepared to respond to and prepare for problems associated with rapid growth.

Sea Level Rise Report: Impacts to Property and Regional Planning Solutions

A new study reveals that urgent action is needed to protect billions of dollars in real estate investment across South Florida due to impacts of sea level rise over the next several decades. The report casts light on the issues and clarifies the alternatives available to South Florida, which embraces the four counties of Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Together, these counties generate more than $337 billion in personal income annually with a combined real property value assessed at more than $833 billion.