136 research outputs found

    Brownfields Redevelopment in Wisconsin: A Survey of the Field

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    As the third paper in our three-part series on Wisconsin brownfields, this paper reports the results of a survey on the objectives of brownfields redevelopment, constraints to the redevelopment, the role of the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and institutional controls. The 260 survey respondents include elected officials, staff from economic development and planning agencies, attorneys, private sector representatives, and professionals at nonprofit organizations. We find that: 1) respondents value both economic and environmental gains associated with brownfields redevelopment; 2) the high costs of cleanup are the principal barrier to brownfields redevelopment; 3) no single factor stands out as constraining DNR’s ability to oversee cleanups; 4) owners are more likely to be aware of institutional controls implemented through deed restrictions than through an electronic registry; and 5) attitudes regarding changes in DNR behavior along dimensions of flexibility, fairness, knowledge, and willingness to negotiate are more rather than less positive.Brownfields, contamination, hazardous waste, regulatory reform

    Land Cover in a Managed Forest Ecosystem: Mexican Shade Coffee

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    Managed forest ecosystems—agroforestry systems in which crops such as coffee and bananas are planted side-by-side with woody perennials—are being touted as a means of safeguarding forests along with the ecological services they provide. Yet we know little about the determinants of land cover in such systems, information needed to design effective forest conservation policies. This paper presents a spatial regression analysis of land cover in a managed forest ecosystem—a shade coffee region of coastal Mexico. Using high-resolution land cover data derived from aerial photographs along with data on the geophysical and institutional characteristics of the study area, we find that plots in close proximity to urban centers are less likely to be cleared, all other things equal. This result contrasts sharply with the literature on natural forests. In addition, we find that membership in coffee-marketing cooperatives, farm size, and certain soil types are associated with forest cover, while proximity to small town centers is associated with forest clearing.deforestation, managed forest ecosystem, agroforestry, shade-grown coffee, Mexico, spatial econometrics, land cover

    Designing a Quick Index of New Urbanism

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    The concept of new urbanism has become the subject of active discussion and debate among planning scholars and practitioners in the last decade. Proponents and critics are often working with different ideas of precisely what new urban developments look like, a problem which only confuses discussions on the merits of the concept. Efforts to formally define new urbanism, such as the Charter of the New Urbanism, still do not offer quantifiable characteristics nor a method for comparing across developments. To address these issues, this thesis will consider new urbanism as an index of continuous values, based on how much or how well a development meets criteria, rather than as a binary state. Simply classifying a development as new urban or conventional does not capture the full range of variation in types of development, nor does it allow for meaningful comparisons between developments. The immediate application of the index will be to a hazard mitigation research project at the University of North Carolina by Professors Philip Berke, Yan Song, and David Salvesen, funded by the National Science Foundation. In order to be useful for research projects attempting to analyze many developments, the index of new urbanism was designed to be relatively quick to implement using readily available or calculable data. This analysis presents a complete discussion of methods to allow replication for other datasets and a critical evaluation of how well the index performs in capturing differences between neighborhoods and the new urban principles. The methods presented here improve upon existing methods for evaluating neighborhoods in offering a more comprehensive approach designed to maximize the options for evaluating variability between neighborhoods. The process of measuring new urban neighborhoods is valuable, and quantifying what we can already evaluate qualitatively can be a useful tool in the research and application of neighborhood design.Master of City and Regional Plannin

    Literacy Assessment New Zealand Style

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    It\u27s mostly performance based. It assesses students in teams as well as individually. What\u27s more, students like it

    Evaluating Tidal Marsh Sustainability in the Face of Sea-Level Rise: A Hybrid Modeling Approach Applied to San Francisco Bay

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    Tidal marshes will be threatened by increasing rates of sea-level rise (SLR) over the next century. Managers seek guidance on whether existing and restored marshes will be resilient under a range of potential future conditions, and on prioritizing marsh restoration and conservation activities.Building upon established models, we developed a hybrid approach that involves a mechanistic treatment of marsh accretion dynamics and incorporates spatial variation at a scale relevant for conservation and restoration decision-making. We applied this model to San Francisco Bay, using best-available elevation data and estimates of sediment supply and organic matter accumulation developed for 15 Bay subregions. Accretion models were run over 100 years for 70 combinations of starting elevation, mineral sediment, organic matter, and SLR assumptions. Results were applied spatially to evaluate eight Bay-wide climate change scenarios.Model results indicated that under a high rate of SLR (1.65 m/century), short-term restoration of diked subtidal baylands to mid marsh elevations (-0.2 m MHHW) could be achieved over the next century with sediment concentrations greater than 200 mg/L. However, suspended sediment concentrations greater than 300 mg/L would be required for 100-year mid marsh sustainability (i.e., no elevation loss). Organic matter accumulation had minimal impacts on this threshold. Bay-wide projections of marsh habitat area varied substantially, depending primarily on SLR and sediment assumptions. Across all scenarios, however, the model projected a shift in the mix of intertidal habitats, with a loss of high marsh and gains in low marsh and mudflats.Results suggest a bleak prognosis for long-term natural tidal marsh sustainability under a high-SLR scenario. To minimize marsh loss, we recommend conserving adjacent uplands for marsh migration, redistributing dredged sediment to raise elevations, and concentrating restoration efforts in sediment-rich areas. To assist land managers, we developed a web-based decision support tool (www.prbo.org/sfbayslr)

    Inequity of antenatal influenza and pertussis vaccine coverage in Australia: the Links2HealthierBubs record linkage cohort study, 2012–2017

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    Background: Pregnancy and early infancy are increased risk periods for severe adverse effects of respiratory infections. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (respectfully referred to as First Nations) women and children in Australia bear a disproportionately higher burden of respiratory diseases compared to non-Indigenous women and infants. Influenza vaccines and whooping cough (pertussis) vaccines are recommended and free in every Australian pregnancy to combat these infections. We aimed to assess the equity of influenza and/or pertussis vaccination in pregnancy for three priority groups in Australia: First Nations women; women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds; and women living in remote areas or socio-economic disadvantage. Methods: We conducted individual record linkage of Perinatal Data Collections with immunisation registers/databases between 2012 and 2017. Analysis included generalised linear mixed model, log-binomial regression with a random intercept for the unique maternal identifier to account for clustering, presented as prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% compatibility intervals (95%CI). Results: There were 445,590 individual women in the final cohort. Compared with other Australian women (n = 322,848), First Nations women (n = 29,181) were less likely to have received both recommended antenatal vaccines (PR 0.69, 95% CI 0.67–0.71) whereas women from CALD backgrounds (n = 93,561) were more likely to have (PR 1.16, 95% CI 1.10–1.13). Women living in remote areas were less likely to have received both vaccines (PR 0.75, 95% CI 0.72–0.78), and women living in the highest areas of advantage were more likely to have received both vaccines (PR 1.44, 95% CI 1.40–1.48). Conclusions: Compared to other groups, First Nations Australian families, those living in remote areas and/or families from lower socio-economic backgrounds did not receive recommended vaccinations during pregnancy that are the benchmark of equitable healthcare. Addressing these barriers must remain a core priority for Australian health care systems and vaccine providers. An extension of this cohort is necessary to reassess these study findings
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