Research Papers


Willful Waters

By Vittoria de Palma, Alexander Robinson

Places Journal

2018


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.


Impact of upstream oil extraction and environmental public health: A review of the evidence

By Jill E. Johnston, Esther Lim, Hannah Roh

Science of the Total Environment

2018

Upstream oil extraction, which includes exploration and operation to bring crude oil to the surface, frequently occurs near human populations. There are approximately 40,000 oil fields globally and 6 million people that live or work nearby. Oil extraction can impact local soil, water, and air, which in turn can influence community health. As oil resources are increasingly being extracted near human populations, we highlight the current scope of scientific knowledge regarding potential community health impacts with the aim to help identify scientific gaps and inform policy discussions surrounding oil drilling operations. In this review, we assess the wide range of both direct and indirect impacts that oil drilling operations can have on human health, with specific emphasis on understanding the body of scientific literature to assess potential environmental and health risks to residents living near active onshore oil extraction sites. From an initial literature search capturing 2236 studies, we identified 22 human studies, including 5 occupational studies, 5 animal studies, 6 experimental studies and 31 oil drilling-related exposure studies relevant to the scope of this review. The current evidence suggests potential health impacts due to exposure to upstream oil extraction, such as cancer, liver damage, immunodeficiency, and neurological symptoms. Adverse impacts to soil, air, and water quality in oil drilling regions were also identified. Improved characterization of exposures by community health studies and further study of the chemical mixtures associated with oil extraction will be critical to determining the full range of health risks to communities living near oil extraction.


The spoils of dust: reinventing the lake that made Los Angeles

By Alexander Robinson

Novato California : Applied Research and Design Publishing, an imprint of ORO Editions

2018

Once the third largest lake in California, and among the world’s greatest air pollution offenders, the deadened Owens Lake was for decades merely a catastrophic footnote to the most notorious water grab in modern history. Now, the lake has been re-assembled to exceed the value of what was lost – without refilling its shores and depriving Los Angeles of its water supply. In ‘The spoils of dust’ the lake’s peculiar redemption is the backdrop for investigating contemporary relationships between landscape design, control, and perception. The lake-like terrain is our most intimate display of modern technocratic vision and exposes the limits of our invention and control of infrastructural ecologies. Whether by observations of dust or scenery, it is as much the product of how we perceive and value landscape today. Answering its analysis, the book concludes with a visual atlas and proposal to induce more imaginative outcomes and perceptions.


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.


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.


Analysis of energy impacts of facade-inclusive retrofit strategies, compared to system-only retrofits using regression models

By Andrea Martinez, Joon-Ho Choi

Energy and Buildings

2018

Reducing the energy consumption in existing buildings became one of the critical challenges at the beginning of the 21st century. Several types and levels of retrofits are now being implemented in the building stock. To obtain a better understanding of the actual impact of these actions, evidence-based research has been playing an increasingly important role. This paper describes the collection of data on measured pre- and post-retrofit energy consumption of a group of buildings in the U.S., in order to distinguish the impacts of different levels of retrofits. In particular, the goal has been to distinguish how retrofits including facade improvements compare to those centered exclusively on internal systems. Additionally, energy data was collected for a subset of non-retrofitted buildings and used as the control group. The regression model revealed greater energy savings from retrofits including the facade as compared to those that excluded it. However, those savings are modest considering the energy reductions that are anticipated from deep-energy retrofits. Other relevant factors, such as occupants and their behavior, are vital for determining the value of retrofits and need to be incorporated in the next phases of this study.


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