Erik Porse, PhD

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Groundwater Use in Urban Development

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Groundwater is an important water source in urbanized areas.  Cities across many geographies and climates, including Beijing, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Bangkok, Houston, Tokyo, Perth, and Lima, have all utilized groundwater to supply much of their potable water needs at some stage of development (Howard and Gelo 2002).  Groundwater provides a significant portion […]

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Managing Arroyos in Los Cabos

This entry is also posted on the Sustainable Cities International blog, which gives updates of work from SCI’s Affiliated Researchers and interns working with member cities throughout the world.  A quiet evolution is taking place in how we use and move water within cities throughout the world.  In Los Cabos, Mexico, where I am working […]

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Hybridization in Stormwater Infrastructure and Governance

Water infrastructure is typically about pipes and bills.  Most cities have dedicated departments that manage water distribution, sewage, and stormwater systems.  Today, however, new designs for more sustainable urban development are re-considering how we deliver these services for residents.  Rather than provide and manage water through centralized services, what are the opportunities and challenges associated […]

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Stormwater Management and Governance in San Francisco

An excerpt from a recently published journal article on governance of urban stormwater systems in future cities…. San Francisco provides a relevant example to understand governance changes related to future stormwater systems. The San Francisco Bay Area has a total population of over 7 million people in nine counties and is dominated by San Francisco Estuary, […]

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Urban Water and Governance

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Water infrastructure is typically about pipes and bills.  Most cities have dedicated departments that manage water distribution, sewage, and stormwater systems.  Today, however, new designs for more sustainable urban development are re-considering how we deliver these services for residents.  Rather than provide and manage water through centralized services, what are the opportunities and challenges associated […]

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The Scoop on Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion has been used in wastewater treatment processes for decades.  Recent innovations, however, are making the technology more viable for commercial applications. Anaerobic digestion occurs when microbes degrade organic matter in the absence of oxygen gas. It can be used to treat sewage effluent, agricultural byproducts, and solid municipal wastes.  The microbes utilize oxygen […]

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Resilient Futures

The sheer power of Hurricane Sandy and the damage it inflicted upon New York City is both improbable and ominous.  Improbable because extreme climatic events are dictated by statistical probabilities of occurrence that seem impossible until they occur.  Ominous because it is likely that the familiar statistical record is changing.  In the last few days […]

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Infrastructure + Resident + City

I have been shamelessly behind in reading Dan Hill’s fantastic City of Sound blog over the past year for no good reasons. For anyone interested in larger questions of urbanism, design, culture, it is a must read. An older post I ran across captured a critique of an Australian National Urban Policy discussion paper from […]

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The Long Life of Infrastructure

A bit of a dichotomy exists between the pace of innovation and urban infrastructure design as we know it. Municipal, state, and federal governments fund projects through taxes or bond measures based on long-term cost projections. Planning for decades in advance is necessarily inherent in the system. The infrastructure we possess lasts a long time, […]

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Life in the Tails: Behavioral Economics

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 […]

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