[imagefield_assist|fid=1027|preset=fullsize|title=|desc=|link=none|origsize=|align=left|width=146|height=225]With increasing populations, remote resource and waste networks, and complex hard and soft infrastructure systems, sustainability policies often target cities as catalyzing agents for regional environmental change. The predominant approach for analyzing the sustainability of cities, Urban Metabolism, has provided value in understanding how resources are used, transformed, accumulated, and discharged, but does not provide a rigorous framework for understanding human health, environmental impacts, or social equity outcomes. This talk will present several new approaches for advancing urban sustainability assessment. These approaches use life-cycle assessment to assess infrastructure systems as enablers of emergent behaviors that are sustainable or unsustainable. Research projects from Los Angeles and Phoenix will be presented and the approaches will show the importance of understanding infrastructure interdependencies and high-resolution analyses that allows for meaningful socio-demographic assessment. The projects will highlight how bottom-up systems-oriented energy and environmental assessments can be positioned to assist urban sustainability policy and decision makers.
Mikhail Chester is an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and an Affiliate Faculty in the School of Sustainability. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in August 2008 in Civil & Environmental Engineering. His area of expertise is energy and environmental life-cycle assessment of large infrastructure. His research has focused on transportation systems including automobiles, buses, trains, and aircraft. He has also evaluated energy pathways from municipal solid waste in the production of ethanol. Prior to receiving his doctorate from UC Berkeley, Chester earned two M.S. degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering (one from UC Berkeley in 2005 in the Systems program and the other from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003 in the Civil Infrastructure Systems program). He received his B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002 with a double major in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy.