Cities of the Future: Productive, clean, and green?

Accessibility to employment is important to both the local and global

Eleanor
Stokes
Kroon 321
9:00am
Accessibility to employment is important to both the local and global environment and the well-being of urban residents. This study assesses accessibility to jobs by automobile, bus, and subway for both the general public and the working poor. For 900 cities in the US, employment census and population data was used alongside road, bus, and subway infrastructure spatial data to assess accessibility at the neighborhood, zipcode, and urban level. Between 2002 and 2014, accessibility to jobs for the average resident in US metro areas increased, whereas employment accessibility for the average low-income resident decreased. Changes in accessibility were primarily driven by suburbanization of poor residents.

What matters in the environmental performance of campus buildings?

Peter
Berrill
Kroon 321
9:00am
What matters in the environmental performance of campus buildings? Net energy use and life cycle impacts of a district heating, cooling, and power system. The integration of heating, cooling, and electricity systems has emerged as an extension of the broad combined heat and power (CHP) technology family, whereby the production of electricity, and energy carriers for heating and cooling are co-produced in one, or a small number of generation plants, for a local energy grid. Such an integrated district heating, cooling, and power (DHCP) system has potential to avoid some losses associated with traditional energy production systems where the different forms of energy are produced independently, such as waste heat from a power plant, and transmission and distribution losses. But do DHCP systems more efficiently meet energy demands compared with the more traditional combination of centralized production and distribution of electricity with demand side energy conversion for thermal comfort (i.e. space heating provided by on-site gas/oil combustion, on-site electric-powered A/C, etc.)? System Energy Analysis and Life Cycle Analysis are used to investigate these questions, using the Yale central campus as a case study. Preliminary results are presented which analyze the energy requirements of the parts of the Yale campus served by the central power plant and the central campus chiller plant. The energy provided is in three forms, steam for heating, chilled water for cooling, and electric power. The energy inputs to the system are natural gas and some electricity from a utility provider. Behavior and system optimization based opportunities for energy demand and life cycle environmental impact reduction are identified, and the DHCP system is compared with an alternative where all energy demands are provided for by utility electricity and on-site conversion of utility natural gas and electricity for heating and cooling, respectively.

Recent life cycle assessments confirmed the greenhouse gas emission

Paul
Wolfram
Kroon 321
9:00am
Recent life cycle assessments confirmed the greenhouse gas emission reduction potential of renewable electricity and electric vehicle technologies. However, each of the two technologies is usually assessed separately but not analyzed in a consistent macro-economic framework that captures all feedback effects between the two technologies and between each technology and the rest of the economy. Here we propose an input-output based hybrid approach with integrated scenarios to facilitate the carbon footprint assessment of all direct and indirect effects of a transition to low-emission transportation and electricity generation technologies. In addition, this work takes into account on-road consumption values that are more realistic than official drive-cycle consumption figures used in previous work. Accounting for these factors as well as for Australia's current electricity grid mix, electric vehicles are found to have a higher carbon footprint than conventional vehicles, whereas hybrids have the lowest. This means that ' from a carbon footprint perspective ' powertrain electrification is beneficial only to a certain degree at the current stage. This situation can be changed by increasing shares of renewable electricity in the grid. In our best-case scenario, electric vehicle carbon footprints can be cut by 66% by 2050 relative to 2009.

In recent years, many organizations have sought to align their financial go

Tamar
Makov
Kroon 321
9:00am
In recent years, many organizations have sought to align their financial goals with environmental ones by identifying strategies that maximize profits while minimizing environmental impacts. Examples of this 'win-win' approach can be found across a wide range of industries, from encouraging the reuse of hotel towels, to the construction of energy efficient buildings. Although win-win strategies are generally thought to reflect positively on the organizations that employ them, here we find that people tend to respond negatively to the notion of profiting from environmental initiatives. In fact, observers may evaluate environmental win-wins less favorably than profit-seeking strategies that have no environmental benefits. The present studies suggest that how those initiatives are communicated to the general public may be of central importance. Therefore, organizations would benefit from carefully crafting the discourse around their win-win initiatives to ensure that they avoid this type of backlash. We suggest that the negative response to environmental win-wins results from a fundamental psychological divide between social relationships that are perceived as communally-oriented versus those that are perceived as market-oriented. Specifically, when a communal relationship is established, profits can 'taint' the positive value associated with pro-social behavior because they violate the norm that one should give without receiving something in return. In market contexts, however, this norm is not present and thus it may be perfectly acceptable, and perhaps even expected, to profit from one's actions. Here we examine the distinction between communal and market norms in the context of environmental win-wins. In a series of four experiments, we document a negative reaction to initiatives that result in both environmental and financial gains. We further identify important boundary conditions of this phenomenon and suggest ways in which organizations undertaking sustainability initiatives can avoid potential backlash.

This paper is designed to be a primer for American voters

Logan
Ashcraft
Kroon 321
9:00am
This paper is designed to be a primer for American voters that are new to or skeptical of climate change, underestimate the power of public policy, and / or lack an understanding of the geological formation of fossil fuels. After discussing how to recognize scientific misinformation, the paper traces through the origins of petroleum and coal and explain how the geological ""ingredients"" in these fuels lead to climate change. After dissecting global greenhouse gas emissions (including definitions, measurement systems, and carbon isotopes), the paper provides an overview of climate change communication recommendations and priority climate change impacts that are worthy of discussion with tough audiences.