Life in the Tails: Behavioral Economics

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Cities, Culture, Energy Policy, Engineering, Environment, Public Policy, Science and Technology, Systems Engineering

The question of merging individual (or organizational) decision-making with infrastructure design and management is supremely interesting, though not often engaged by the engineering community. For urban infrastructure, social systems are a key component of function. Individual decisions are influenced by personal views, interactions with peers, and larger social trends. This may not have a lot […]

Future Water Use: Solutions in Technology?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Environment, Science and Technology, Systems Engineering, Uncategorized, Water Resources Engineering

As a society, we often seek solutions to social problems in technology and innovation. If we need more food or water, we will develop more productive processes that exploit available resources. Technology and innovation are at the heart of fundamental conceptions prosperity, as crystallized by Endogenous Growth Theory that dominates economic thought. This innovation almost […]

Big Dreams and Bountiful Capital: Western U.S. Expansion

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in California, Engineering, Environment, History, Systems Engineering, Water Resources Engineering

The settlement of the American West in the mid-nineteenth century saw streams of Americans, Europeans, Asians, and Central and South Americans converge on the region and its resources. The new peoples brought their views of agriculture, exploitation, and wealth to the strange ecosystems of the West. For East Coast Americans and Europeans, who were accustomed […]

Balancing System Health Across Environmental, Social, and Ecological Metrics

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Cities, Culture, Development, Environment

The American ethos has evolved to encompass a new kind of environmental consciousness. Current popular notions of environmentalism in the U.S. focus less on government responses to mitigate readily-observable pollution, and more on personal and collective actions that reconcile goals of economic growth and resource conservation. This is encompassed by the term sustainability, which has […]

Urban Infrastructure, Ecosystems, and Eco-technological Systems

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Cities, Environment, Public Policy, Science and Technology, Systems Engineering, Urban Ecology, Urban Informatics, Water Resources Engineering

Though exploding urban populations are indicative of the massive planetary changes humans are enacting, the process of urbanization has been a fundamental trend for centuries. Rapid urbanization in North American, European, and some Asian countries during periods of industrialization since 1860 necessitated a series of innovations in organization and infrastructure in order to facilitate transportation, […]

In Your Backyard…

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Environment, Mashups

Want to know about your local water or air quality? The EPA has a great mashup, MyEnvironment, which pulls from their many databases to give you a snapshot of the environment around you. The information includes air and water quality, local pollution sources, pollutant levels and cancer risks, Superfund sites, the UV Index, Radon, and […]

Components of an Ecological City

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Cities, Environment, Urban Ecology

I am collecting some information for an upcoming proposal and came across three articles of usefulness.One is on planning for ecological-friendly cities, the other involves identifying the ones already doing a good job. An article from Mary Newsom at the Charlotte Observer. A self-titled writer on topics of “growth, development, urban design and urban life,” […]