2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:20 AM

Construction Practice in Complex Urban Systems

LI, Ke and CRITTENDEN, John, Civil and Envinronmental Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5306, Ke.Li.2@asu.edu

The last century has witnessed an enormous growth of population with a trend of rapid urbanization. In the next 35 years, the urban infrastructure is expected to be doubled from the current point, which took 5,000 years to get to. The construction of this infrastructure will drastically alter the earth surface with far-reaching implications on economics, resources consumption, and environmental qualities. Due to the complexity of urban system and the large degree of resources externalization, understanding the full spectrum of the urban construction practices requires the integration of a holistic system framework and a life cycle approach.

The framework for urban construction is based on a bottom up urban growth model that considers the interaction of households, employers, developers, and policy makers as major agents. Under different growth scenarios, the evolving and emergent infrastructure pattern of the urban area was projected. Urban construction practice was investigated in three different spatial scales: 1) macro-level metropolitan growth projection, 2) community design, and, 3) production home design, construction, and operating. Life cycle assessment approach was applied to estimate the global, regional, and local impacts of different design and construction options at each of the three scales. Environmental and economic analysis for built environment properties was analyzed as feedback mechanisms. A hedonic model was developed to estimate the implied willingness to pay for a range of environmental attributes that depend on the design and materials used in the built environment. The ultimate goal of the research is to characterizing urban systems and recognizing underlying structural variables and fundamental rules to be the urban analogues of DNA for the development of cybernetics for sustainable urban system.

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