Urban Transportation, Land Use, Air Quality, and Health

Chenghe Guan. 2018. “Urban form and digitalization of urban design.” Urban Planning International, 33, 1, Pp. 22-27. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In the mid-18 Century, John Snow utilized spatial data analysis to trace the source of a cholera outbreak in London. His methods established the fundamental theory of using urban morphological study to solve practical urban issues. Accompanied by rapid innovation, technological improvement, and increasing computational power, urban morphology has been widely applied to digitalization of urban design. Through the urban form elements proposed by Kevin Lynch, this paper introduces the development of urban morphology in relation to digitalization of urban design in education, design practice and academic research. This paper adopts a variety of international case studies and discusses the importance of urban form and digitalization of urban design at a global scale.
2018 Feb 12

Q&A Session: China's Environmental Challenges 2018: Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantships in China

5:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 

Pierce Hall 100F, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge

Interested in researching in China this summer? Join Harvard-China Project staff and a participating Tsinghua University professor to learn more about our research assistantships opportunity.

The Harvard-China Project on Energy, Economy and Environment will provide generous financial support for six Harvard undergraduates to spend the summer in China conducting research on China’s energy and environmental future under the guidance of an English-speaking professor at a leading university, from June 15 to August 16, 2018.

... Read more about Q&A Session: China's Environmental Challenges 2018: Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantships in China
Chenghe Guan, Michael Keith, and Andy Hong. 2019. “Designing walkable cities and neighborhoods in the era of urban big data.” Urban Planning International, 34, 5, Pp. 9-15. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In this paper, we discuss walkable cities from the perspective of urban planning and design in the era of digitalization and urban big data. We start with a brief review on historical walkable cities schemes; followed by a deliberation on what a walkable city is and what the spatial elements of a walkable city are; and a discussion on the emerging themes and empirical methods to measure the spatial and urban design features of a walkable city. The first part of this paper looks at key urban design propositions and how they were proposed to promote walkability. The second part of this paper discusses the concept of walkability, which is fundamental to designing a walkable city. We emphasize both the physical (walkways, adjacent uses, space) and the perceived aspects (safety, comfort, enjoyment), and then we look at the variety of spatial elements constituting a walkable city. The third part of this paper looks at the emerging themes for designing walkable cities and neighborhoods. We discuss the application of urban big data enabled by growing computational powers and related empirical methods and interdisciplinary approaches including spatial planning, urban design, urban ecology, and public health. This paper aims to provide a holistic approach toward understanding of urban design and walkability, re-evaluate the spatial elements to build walkable cities, and discuss future policy interventions.
2017 Nov 28

Film Screening of "Plastic China" and Q&A with Director WANG Jiuliang

6:30pm to 8:45pm

Location: 

CGIS South, Tsai Auditorium, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

plastic china partial poster

After the screening, Director WANG Jiuliang will attend via Skype for a Q&A with the audience moderated by Professor ZHANG Ling of Boston College and the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. The discussion will be interpreted by Canaan Morse, a Ph.D. candidate in Chinese Literature at Harvard. ... Read more about Film Screening of "Plastic China" and Q&A with Director WANG Jiuliang

MEP meeting

High-Level Meetings with Ministers Xie and Li

August 30, 2017

On August 4, China’s lead official on climate change, Minister XIE Zhenhua, hosted a research and policy consultation with Profs. Mike McELROY, Steve WOFSY, executive director Chris NIELSEN, and Project alumni Dr. ZHANG Hongjun (Holland & Knight, LLP) and Prof. LU Xi (Tsinghua University) at his offices in Beijing. Discussion topics included the state of U.S.-China engagement on climate and the growing role of subnational governments, disparate regional capacities for carbon control within China... Read more about High-Level Meetings with Ministers Xie and Li

Haikun Wang, Yanxu Zhang, Xi Lu, Weimo Zhu, Chris P. Nielsen, Jun Bi, and Michael B. McElroy. 2017. “Trade‐driven relocation of air pollution and health impacts in China.” Nature Communications, 8, 738. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Recent studies show that international trade affects global distributions of air pollution andpublic health. Domestic interprovincial trade has similar effects within countries, but has notbeen comprehensively investigated previously. Here we link four models to evaluate theeffects of both international exports and interprovincial trade on PM2.5pollution and publichealth across China. We show that 50–60% of China’s air pollutant emissions in 2007 wereassociated with goods and services consumed outside of the provinces where they wereproduced. Of an estimated 1.10 million premature deaths caused by PM2.5pollutionthroughout China, nearly 19% (208,500 deaths) are attributable to international exports. Incontrast, interprovincial trade leads to improved air quality in developed coastal provinceswith a net effect of 78,500 avoided deaths nationwide. However, both international exportand interprovincial trade exacerbate the health burdens of air pollution in China’s lessdeveloped interior provinces. Our results reveal trade to be a critical but largely overlookedconsideration in effective regional air quality planning for China.
Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2005. “Linking land use and transportation in a rapidly urbanizing context: A study in Delhi, India.” Transportation, 32, 1, Pp. 87-104. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Cities in developing countries like India are facing some of the same concerns that North American cities are: congestion and urban growth. However, there is a sense of urgency in cities like Delhi, India in that this growth is far more rapid as both urbanization and motorization are ongoing processes that have not yet peaked. In this paper, we examine land use change and its relationship with transportation infrastructure and other planning related variables in a spatial context. We estimate land use change models at two different scales from separate data. Cellular automation and Markov models were used to understand change at the regional scale and discrete choice models to predict change at the local level. The results suggest that land use in the Delhi metropolitan area is rapidly intensifying while losing variety. These changes are affected by industrial, commercial and infrastructure location and planners and policy-makers need to better understand the implications of location decisions. We also examine these results in the context of a policy framework for data-based planning that links land use and transportation models for Delhi.
Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2008. “A visual exploration of the accessibility of low income women: Chengdu, China and Chennai, India.” In Gendered Mobilities, edited by Tanu Priya Uteng and Tim Cresswell. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Being socially and geographically mobile is generally seen as one of the central aspects of women's wellbeing. Alongside health, education and political participation, mobility is indispensable in order for women to reach goals such as agency and freedom. Building on new philosophical underpinnings of 'mobility', whereby society is seen to be framed by the convergence of various mobilities, this volume focuses on the intersection of mobility, social justice and gender. The authors reflect on five highly interdependent mobilities that form and reform social life.
Tao Song, Jianming Cai, Teresa Chahine, and Yu Deng. 2013. “Urban metabolism model based on the emergy theory: A case study of 31 Chinese cities.” Food, Agriculture and Environment, 11, 3&4, Pp. 2353-2361. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Urban systems, with the overall fluxes of energy, water, material, and wastes, can be modeled with a range of metabolic processes. To quantify the urban metabolism, we use the “emergy” assessment method (all materials and energy are transformed to solar energy equivalents) and then present a group of urban metabolic indicators, which quantify urban metabolic balance, capacity, and outputs to assess a city’s metabolic efficiencies. In this paper, we use 31 Chinese cities as a sample to illustrate how the model can be operated to evaluate the urban metabolism by emergy analysis. Our results indicate that metropolises and coastal cities were more metabolically efficient with higher metabolic balance, capacities, and outputs; but with more external dependency on imported resources. Central and western cities had lower metabolic efficiencies, with a high ratio of non-renewable emergy reliance. Policy implications highlight the need for renewable energy sources and improved management of imported services, goods, and fuels to achieve higher urban resilience and sustainability.

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