Research Papers: Sustainable Cities and Their Built Environments


Assessing changes in HIV-related legal and policy environments: Lessons learned from a multi-country evaluation

By Laura Ferguson, Alexandra Nicholson, Ian Henry, Amitrajit Saha, Tilly Sellers, Sofia Gruskin

Public Library of Science One

2018

There is growing recognition in the health community that the legal environment-including laws, policies, and related procedures-impacts vulnerability to HIV and access to HIV-related services both positively and negatively. Assessing changes in the legal environment and how these affect HIV-related outcomes, however, is challenging, and understanding of appropriate methodologies nascent


Systematic Comparison of the Influence of Cool Wall versus Cool Roof Adoption on Urban Climate in the Los Angeles Basin

By Jiachen Zhang, Arash Mohegh, Yun Li, Ronnen Levinson, George Ban-Weiss

Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 52, no. 19

2018

This study for the first time assesses the influence of employing solar reflective “cool” walls on the urban energy budget and summertime climate of the Los Angeles basin. We systematically compare the effects of cool walls to cool roofs, a heat mitigation strategy that has been widely studied and employed, using a consistent modeling framework (the Weather Research and Forecasting model). Adoption of cool walls leads to increases in urban grid cell albedo that peak in the early morning and late afternoon, when the ratio of solar radiation onto vertical walls versus horizontal surfaces is at a maximum. In Los Angeles County, daily average increase in grid cell reflected solar radiation from increasing wall albedo by 0.80 is 9.1 W m-2, 43% of that for increasing roof albedo. Cool walls reduce canyon air temperatures in Los Angeles by 0.43 K (daily average), with the peak reduction (0.64 K) occurring at 09:00 LST and a secondary peak (0.53 K) at 18:00 LST. Per 0.10 wall (roof) albedo increase, cool walls (roofs) can reduce summertime daily average canyon air temperature by 0.05 K (0.06 K). Results reported here can be used to inform policies on urban heat island mitigation or climate change adaptation.



A Meta-Narrative Literature Synthesis and Framework to Guide Future Evaluation of Legal Empowerment Interventions

By Katherine Footer, Michael Windle, Laura Ferguson, Jordan Hatcher, Carrie Lyons, Emma Gorin, Anne L. Stangl, Steven Golub, Sofia Gruskin, Stefan Baral

Health and Human Rights, 20

2018

Legal empowerment is increasingly recognized as a key approach for addressing socio-structural determinants of health and promoting the well-being and human rights of vulnerable populations. Legal empowerment seeks to increase people’s capacity to understand and use the law. However, limited consensus remains on the effectiveness of legal empowerment interventions in optimizing health outcomes. Leveraging a meta-narrative approach, we synthesized literature describing how legal empowerment interventions have been operationalized and empirically studied with respect to health determinants. The studies included here document diverse legal empowerment approaches and highlight how interventions changed the context surrounding the health of vulnerable populations. The absence of robust conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement of the risk contexts in which legal empowerment approaches operate limits the clarity with which interventions’ impact on health can be ascertained. Despite this, legal empowerment is a promising approach to address the health of marginalized populations. To foster support between the fields of legal empowerment and health, we explore the limitations in study design and measurement of the existing evidence base; such scrutiny could strengthen the rigor of future research. This paper provides a guide to the socio-structural levels across which legal empowerment interventions impact health outcomes in order to inform future interventions.


Collaboration as an Organization Design for Shared Purpose

By Paul S. Adler, Charles Heckscher

Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations? Research in the Sociology of Organizations

2018

“Shared purpose,” understood as a widely shared commitment to the organization’s fundamental raison d’eˆtre, can be a powerful driver of organizational performance by providing both motivation and direction for members’ joint problem-solving efforts. So far, however, we understand little about the organization design that can support shared purpose in the context of large, complex business enterprises. Building on the work of Selznick and Weber, we argue that such contexts require a new organizational form, one that we call collaborative. The collaborative organizational form is grounded in Weber’s value-rational type of social action, but overcomes the scale limitations of the collegial form of organization that is conventionally associated with value-rational action. We identify four organizational principles that characterize this collaborative form and a range of managerial policies that can implement those principles.


GIS&T and Geodesign

By Darren Ruddell, Kelleann Foster

The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge (3rd Quarter 2018 Edition)

2018

Geodesign leverages GIS&T to allow collaborations that result in geographically specific, adaptive and resilient solutions to complex problems across scales of the built and natural environment. Geodesign is rooted in decades of research and practice. Building on that history, is a contemporary approach that embraces the latest in GIS&T, visualization, and social science, all of which is organized around a unique framework process involving six models. More than just technology or GIS, Geodesign is a way of thinking when faced with complicated spatial issues that need systematic, creative, and integrative solutions. Geodesign holds great promise for addressing the complexity of interrelated issues associated with growth and landscape change. Geodesign empowers through design combined with data and analytics to shape our environments and create desired futures.



Research Areas


Author


Research Topics