Erik Porse, PhD

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U.S. Urban Infrastructure: Eras and Development

D.C. Good Plan- zoomed

Infrastructure makes up critical physical and technological systems in the built environment, or the “sinews” of the city (Tarr 1984). With industrialization in Europe and North America, cities developed infrastructure that utilized new energy sources to facilitate commerce and exploit natural resources. Over several centuries, municipalities increasingly undertook central roles in financing, planning, constructing, and […]

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Treating Water in the Home

Treating water in a home or a building may be relevant in a few situations.  First, in communities without sufficient capital to build water treatment facilities, residents are forced to drink bottled water.  This happens thorughout the world, from the farmlands of East Africa to the rural communities of California.  Second, many in the sustainability […]

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Enlightening Facts for UV & Water Treatment

Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection uses electromagnetic radiation to kill microorganisms such as protozoans, bacteria, and viruses damaging their genetic material (DNA and RNA).  While UV radiation applications for treatment are a century old, date to, improved cost-effectiveness and concerns over conventional disinfection methods have increased the popularity of UV disinfection in recent decades.  In the U.S., […]

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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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Direct Potable Water Reuse in Cities

Direct potable reuse (DPR) involves processes where “purified municipal wastewater is introduced into a water treatment plant intake or directly into the water distribution system.”1 As populations increase and treatment technologies improve, direct potable reuse may become an economically viable or even preferred option to meet growing global water demand. Water reuse takes many forms. […]

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Future Water Use: Solutions in Technology?

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 […]

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Urban Ecology Essays: Part 4


The U.S. Census bureau designates two classifications for urban settlements: urbanized areas with 50,000 or more people; and urban clusters (outside of urbanized areas) with 2,500 to 50,000 people. Outside of these areas, land is classified as rural. While needed for Census purposes, this definition does not provide clarity regarding what “urban” actually means. A […]

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