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Open access publications by faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the Biden School of Public Policy & Administration.

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    Assessing the Connectivity of Urban Green Spaces for Enhanced Environmental Justice and Ecosystem Service Flow: A Study of Tehran Using Graph Theory and Least-Cost Analysis
    (Urban Science, 2024-02-05) Alavi, Seyed Ali; Esfandi, Saeed; Khavarian-Garmsir, Amir R.; Tayebi, Safiyeh; Shamsipour, Aliakbar; Sharifi, Ayyoob
    This research aims to analyze the relationship between environmental justice and urban green space connectivity in Tehran, Iran. The evaluation of green space connectivity in this study is conducted through two distinct cost layers: one aimed at enhancing existing connections and another focused on establishing new green spaces. Key factors influencing connectivity, extracted from the relevant literature, were identified to facilitate this analysis. Employing graph theory and least-cost analysis, the results determined critical resistance factors, current connectivity and cost status, the varying degrees to which different districts benefit from green space ecosystem services, and the most effective routes for establishing green corridors. Research findings highlight significant disparities in access to these services, particularly in the underserved central districts of Tehran. Moreover, spatial analysis reveals a higher potential for enhancing east–west ecosystem service corridors due to the higher density of green hubs and lower costs in this orientation, while north–south connectivity faces more challenges. By exploring land use/land cover, and physical and socio-economic factors affecting urban green space connectivity, this study provides urban and environmental planners with a novel methodology and comprehensive insights for effective decision making, resource allocation, and land use planning.
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    Smart Cities and Urban Energy Planning: An Advanced Review of Promises and Challenges
    (Smart Cities, 2024-01-31) Esfandi, Saeed; Tayebi, Safiyeh; Byrne, John; Taminiau, Job; Giyahchi, Golkou; Alavi, Seyed Ali
    This review explores the relationship between urban energy planning and smart city evolution, addressing three primary questions: How has research on smart cities and urban energy planning evolved in the past thirty years? What promises and hurdles do smart city initiatives introduce to urban energy planning? And why do some smart city projects surpass energy efficiency and emission reduction targets while others fall short? Based on a bibliometric analysis of 9320 papers published between January 1992 and May 2023, five dimensions were identified by researchers trying to address these three questions: (1) energy use at the building scale, (2) urban design and planning integration, (3) transportation and mobility, (4) grid modernization and smart grids, and (5) policy and regulatory frameworks. A comprehensive review of 193 papers discovered that previous research prioritized technological advancements in the first four dimensions. However, there was a notable gap in adequately addressing the inherent policy and regulatory challenges. This gap often led to smart city endeavors underperforming relative to their intended objectives. Overcoming the gap requires a better understanding of broader issues such as environmental impacts, social justice, resilience, safety and security, and the affordability of such initiatives.
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    Factors Associated with Antihypertensive Therapy Prescription in Youth Delaware Medicaid Recipients with Primary Hypertension Diagnosis
    (American Journal of Hypertension, 2023-10-21) Baker-Smith, Carissa M.; McDuffie, Mary J.; Nescott, Erin P.; Akins, Robert E.
    BACKGROUND Higher neighborhood deprivation is associated with hypertension diagnosis in youth. In this study, we assess if there is an association between neighborhood deprivation and antihypertensive therapy prescription among insured youth with a primary hypertension diagnosis. METHODS Using a retrospective cross-sectional design, we assessed the proportion of youth with a diagnosis of primary hypertension prescribed antihypertensive therapy. We evaluated the proportion of youth prescribed antihypertensive therapy and compared prescribing patterns by area deprivation index (ADI), age, sex, obesity diagnosis, race, ethnicity, and duration of Medicaid coverage. RESULTS Of the 65,452 non-pregnant Delaware Medicaid recipients, 8–18 years of age, 1,145 (1.7%) had an International classification of diseases (ICD)-9/ICD-10 diagnosis of primary hypertension; 165 of the 1,145 (14%) were prescribed antihypertensive therapy. Factors associated with a greater odds of prescription by multivariable logistic regression were age, obesity diagnosis, and duration of Medicaid full benefit coverage. Odds of antihypertensive therapy prescription did not vary by race, ethnicity, or ADI. CONCLUSIONS Antihypertensive therapy prescription rates are poor despite national guideline recommendations. Among youth receiving Delaware Medicaid between 2014 and 2019, prescription proportions were highest among youth of older age, with an obesity diagnosis, and among youth with longer duration of Medicaid benefit coverage. Although high area deprivation has been shown to be associated with the diagnosis of hypertension, high vs. low area deprivation was not associated with greater antihypertensive therapy prescription among youth with primary hypertension. Our finding of a mismatch between hypertension diagnosis and antihypertensive therapy prescription highlights a potential disparity in antihypertensive therapy prescription in youth. Graphical abstract available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpad098
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    Integrating bioplastics into the US plastics supply chain: towards a policy research agenda for the bioplastic transition
    (Frontiers in Environmental Science, 2023-10-16) Shah, Kalim U.; Gangadeen, Isaiah
    Bioplastics have the potential to fill the role of conventional plastics but with lowered environmental and ecological impacts. But bioplastic production suffers from high production costs and as an immature technology, it proves less competitive than its petrol-based counterpart. Debates about the social versus private benefits of bioplastics are also cited. The literature argues that various bio-feedstock sources can produce high-quality drop-in plastics and that scaling up bioplastic production will provide the cost competitiveness needed to transition away from petroplastics. However, the market remains uncoordinated and lacks a strategic and comprehensive plan for the plastic transition. Moreover, the science-to-policy literature on bioplastics is very limited, providing scarce evidence or analysis to policymakers attempting to argue for bioplastics industrialization and integration. In this study we highlight this missing link particularly in the North American context in order to encourage further inquiry on these matters. Using Stern’s policy framework gap analysis approach, our evaluation identifies gaps in existing policy frameworks pertinent to bioplastics supply chains. On this basis we identify and prioritize five pointed areas for policy focus to advance bioplastics sector growth and integration. These are developing a strategy to sustainably coordinate and promote biomass production; incentivizing bioplastic investments and production; incentivizing bioplastic substitution; and enhancing the end-use management. Additionally, research is needed to support the technical performance of bioplastics, industrialization methods, supply chain integration, and the impact of exogenous factors.
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    Introduction: Managed retreat and environmental justice in a changing climate
    (Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 2021-05-15) Siders, A. R.; Ajibade, Idowu
    In response to global climate change, managed retreat has emerged as a controversial adaptation strategy. The purposeful movement of people and communities away from hazardous places raises numerous social and environmental justice concerns that will become even more pressing as retreat occurs more frequently and at larger scales. This special issue contributes to an emerging body of literature on managed retreat by providing a range of perspectives and approaches to considering justice in managed retreat. The assembled papers represent diverse voices (including perspectives from individuals whose communities are currently relocating or considering relocation), disciplines (including oral histories, legal analyses, and cultural heritage considerations), and lenses through which to consider the justice implications of managed retreat. They describe completed, in-progress, and foiled relocations. They suggest opportunities for improvement through improved evaluations and broader collaborations. While each presents a unique lens, key themes emerge around the need for transparent and equitable policies, self-determination of communities, holistic metrics for assessing individual and community well-being, the importance of culture both as something to be protected and an asset to be leveraged, and the need to address historical and systemic injustices that contribute to vulnerability and exposure to risk.
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    The Moderating Effect of Vaccine Hesitancy on the Relationship between the COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage Index and Vaccine Coverage
    (Vaccines, 2023-07-04) Tolley, Annalise Julia; Scott, Victoria C.; Mitsdarffer, Mary Louise; Scaccia, Jonathan P.
    To examine COVID-19 vaccination barriers in the US, this study drew on publicly available county-level data (n = 3130) to investigate the impact of vaccine hesitancy on the relationship between county-level social/structural barriers and vaccine coverage. A hierarchical regression was performed to establish the relationship between the COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage Index (CVAC) and vaccine coverage, assess the moderating effect of vaccine hesitancy on this relationship, and explore the influence of ethno-racial composition on vaccine coverage. A significant, negative relationship (r2 = 0.11, f2 = 0.12) between CVAC and vaccine coverage by county was established (step 1). When vaccine hesitancy was introduced as a moderator (step 2), the model significantly explained additional variance in vaccine coverage (r2 = 0.21, f2 = 0.27). Simple slopes analysis indicated a significant interaction effect, whereby the CVAC–vaccine coverage relationship was stronger in low hesitancy counties as compared with high hesitancy counties. Counties with low social/structural barriers (CVAC) but high hesitancy were projected to have 14% lower vaccine coverage. When county-level ethno-racial composition was introduced (step 3), higher proportions of white residents in a county predicted decreased vaccination rates (p < 0.05). Findings indicate that CVAC should be paired with vaccine hesitancy measures to better predict vaccine uptake. Moreover, counties with higher proportions of white residents led to decreases in vaccine uptake, suggesting that future intervention strategies should also target whites to reach herd immunity. We conclude that public health leaders and practitioners should address both social/structural and psychological barriers to vaccination to maximize vaccine coverage, with a particular focus on vaccine hesitancy in communities with minimal social/structural barriers.
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    Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) funding allocations and relevance for US disaster policy
    (Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy, 2023-05-12) Gerber-Chavez, Logan; Montano, Samantha; Savitt, Amanda; Corbin, Tanya B.; Downey, Davia C.
    The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program has long been a cornerstone of state and local emergency management preparedness efforts. Through the EMPG program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers grants to state and local emergency management agencies to accomplish a wide range of tasks such as the development of response and recovery plans, the creation of emergency operation centers, and the hiring of staff, among other activities required to be effective. EMPG provides the predominant federal funding for this mission, and many agencies depend on these funds for their operations. Despite the importance of EMPG, there is a dearth of empirical research about the program. This study explores this gap by evaluating how EMPG funds were distributed across United States counties from 2014 to 2020. Using FEMA and US Census data, we conducted a county-level analysis using robust regression statistical analysis to determine factors affecting funding awards. Findings indicate that high population, high diversity, a strong economy, and high risk (measured using both the National Risk Index score and the number of federal disaster declarations per county) increased the likelihood that a county would receive EMPG funds, with high-risk urban counties rather than rural counties receiving more funding.
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    Understanding the social impacts of power outages in North America: a systematic review
    (Environmental Research Letters, 2023-05-09) Andresen, Adam X.; Kurtz, Liza C.; Hondula, David M.; Meerow, Sara; Gall, Melanie
    As demand for electricity increases on an already strained electrical supply due to urbanization, population growth, and climate change, the likelihood of power outages will also increase. While researchers understand that the number of electrical grid disturbances is increasing, we do not adequately understand how increased power outages will affect a society that has become increasingly dependent on a reliable electric supply. This systematic review aims to understand how power outages have affected society, primarily through health impacts, and identify populations most vulnerable to power outages based on the conclusions from prior studies. Based on search parameters, 762 articles were initially identified, of which only 50 discussed the social impacts of power outages in North America. According to this literature, racial and ethnic minorities, especially Blacks or African Americans, those of lower socioeconomic status, children, older adults, and those living in rural areas experienced more significant impacts from previous power outages. Additionally, criminal activity increased during prolonged power outages with both pro-social and anti-social behaviors observed. Providing financial assistance or resources to replace spoiled goods can reduce crime. Future research on this topic must consider the financial effects of power outages, how power outage impacts seasonally vary, and the different durations of power outage impacts.
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    Association of Area Deprivation With Primary Hypertension Diagnosis Among Youth Medicaid Recipients in Delaware
    (Jama Network Open, 2023-03-15) Baker-Smith, Carissa M.; Yang, Wei; McDuffie, Mary J.; Nescott, Erin P.; Wolf, Bethany J.; Wu, Cathy H.; Zhang, Zugui; Akins, Robert E.
    Key Points: Question: Is there an association between neighborhood measures of deprivation and hypertension diagnosis in youth? Findings: In this cross-sectional study of 65 452 Delaware Medicaid-insured youths aged 8 to 18 years between 2014 and 2019, residence in neighborhoods with a higher area deprivation index was associated with primary hypertension diagnosis. Meaning: These findings suggest that there is an association between greater neighborhood deprivation and a diagnosis of primary hypertension in youths, which may be an important factor to consider in assessing the presence and prevalence of hypertension in youths. Abstract: Importance: The association between degree of neighborhood deprivation and primary hypertension diagnosis in youth remains understudied. Objective: To assess the association between neighborhood measures of deprivation and primary hypertension diagnosis in youth. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study included 65 452 Delaware Medicaid-insured youths aged 8 to 18 years between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2019. Residence was geocoded by national area deprivation index (ADI). Exposures: Higher area deprivation. Main Outcomes and Measures; The main outcome was primary hypertension diagnosis based on International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision and Tenth Revision codes. Data were analyzed between September 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022. Results: A total of 65 452 youths were included in the analysis, including 64 307 (98.3%) without a hypertension diagnosis (30 491 [47%] female and 33 813 [53%] male; mean [SD] age, 12.5 (3.1) years; 12 500 [19%] Hispanic, 25 473 [40%] non-Hispanic Black, 24 565 [38%] non-Hispanic White, and 1769 [3%] other race or ethnicity; 13 029 [20%] with obesity; and 31 548 [49%] with an ADI ≥50) and 1145 (1.7%) with a diagnosis of primary hypertension (mean [SD] age, 13.3 [2.8] years; 464 [41%] female and 681 [59%] male; 271 [24%] Hispanic, 460 [40%] non-Hispanic Black, 396 [35%] non-Hispanic White, and 18 [2%] of other race or ethnicity; 705 [62%] with obesity; and 614 [54%] with an ADI ≥50). The mean (SD) duration of full Medicaid benefit coverage was 61 (16) months for those with a diagnosis of primary hypertension and 46.0 (24.3) months for those without. By multivariable logistic regression, residence within communities with ADI greater than or equal to 50 was associated with 60% greater odds of a hypertension diagnosis (odds ratio [OR], 1.61; 95% CI 1.04-2.51). Older age (OR per year, 1.16; 95%, CI, 1.14-1.18), an obesity diagnosis (OR, 5.16; 95% CI, 4.54-5.85), and longer duration of full Medicaid benefit coverage (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.03-1.04) were associated with greater odds of primary hypertension diagnosis, whereas female sex was associated with lower odds (OR, 0.68; 95%, 0.61-0.77). Model fit including a Medicaid-by-ADI interaction term was significant for the interaction and revealed slightly greater odds of hypertension diagnosis for youths with ADI less than 50 (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.03-1.04) vs ADI ≥50 (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.02-1.03). Race and ethnicity were not associated with primary hypertension diagnosis. Conclusions and Relevance; In this cross-sectional study, higher childhood neighborhood ADI, obesity, age, sex, and duration of Medicaid benefit coverage were associated with a primary hypertension diagnosis in youth. Screening algorithms and national guidelines may consider the importance of ADI when assessing for the presence and prevalence of primary hypertension in youth.
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    Civil society and democratization: The role of service-providing organizations amid closing civic spaces
    (Public Administration and Development, 2023-02-04) Moldavanova, Alisa; Onishi, Tamaki; Toepler, Stefan
    This article argues that current democracy promotion strategies relying on rights-claiming advocacy NGOs are falling short of their democratization goals, as authoritarian regimes are closing the space through restrictions on the NGOs that attempt to carry them out. In response, we suggest a reexamination of earlier approaches to involving civil society in democratization efforts by shifting the focus back on service-providing civil society organizations that have largely become side-lined in democracy-building agendas. Specifically, service providers tend to be more capable of functioning “under the radar” thus contributing to democracy in both direct and indirect ways, and thus escaping closing space restrictions. The key concerns about their independence from the state, as well as under what conditions the state may be less successful in coopting the independent service-providers, however, remain unresolved and warrant future research.
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    Adaptation to compound climate risks: A systematic global stocktake
    (iScience, 2023-02-17) Simpson, Nicholas P.; Williams, Portia Adade; Mach, Katharine J.; Berrang-Ford, Lea; Biesbroek, Robbert; Haasnoot, Marjolijn; Segnon, Alcade C.; Campbell, Donovan; Musah-Surugu, Justice Issah; Joe, Elphin Tom; Nunbogu, Abraham Marshall; Sabour, Salma; Meyer, Andreas L.S.; Andrews, Talbot M.; Singh, Chandni; Siders, A.R.; Lawrence, Judy; van Aalst, Maarten; Trisos, Christopher H.; The Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative Team
    Highlights: • Compound climate impacts are particularly hard to adapt to • Compound vulnerabilities and exposures constrain adaptation capabilities • Inappropriate responses to climate change can lead to maladaptation • Compound impacts can have cascading effects on response options Summary: This article provides a stocktake of the adaptation literature between 2013 and 2019 to better understand how adaptation responses affect risk under the particularly challenging conditions of compound climate events. Across 39 countries, 45 response types to compound hazards display anticipatory (9%), reactive (33%), and maladaptive (41%) characteristics, as well as hard (18%) and soft (68%) limits to adaptation. Low income, food insecurity, and access to institutional resources and finance are the most prominent of 23 vulnerabilities observed to negatively affect responses. Risk for food security, health, livelihoods, and economic outputs are commonly associated risks driving responses. Narrow geographical and sectoral foci of the literature highlight important conceptual, sectoral, and geographic areas for future research to better understand the way responses shape risk. When responses are integrated within climate risk assessment and management, there is greater potential to advance the urgency of response and safeguards for the most vulnerable. Graphical abstract at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.105926
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    Differences in Household Preparedness and Adaptation for COVID-19
    (Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 2022-12-07) Clay, Lauren A.; Kendra, James
    Objective: To quantify differences in preparedness for and adaptations to COVID-19 in a cohort sample of New York City residents. Methods: A proportional quota sample (n = 1020) of individuals residing in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic participated in a Qualtrics web survey. Quotas were set for age, sex, race, and income to mirror the population of New York City based on the 2018 American Community Survey. Results: Low self-efficacy, low social support, and low sense of community increased the odds of securing provisions to prepare for COVID-19. Being an essential worker, poor mental health, and having children in the household reduced the likelihood of engaging in preparedness practices. Essential workers and individuals with probable serious mental illness were less likely to report preparedness planning for the pandemic. Conclusions: The findings contribute to evolving theories of preparedness. There are differences across the sample in preparedness types, and different kinds of preparedness are associated with different household characteristics. Findings suggest that public officials and others concerned with population wellbeing might productively turn attention to education and outreach activities indexed to these characteristics.
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    Prevalence of Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Among Medicaid Enrollees Treated With Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in 11 States, 2016–2019
    (Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2023-01-23) Ahrens, Katherine; Sharbaugh, Michael; Jarlenski, Marian P.; Tang, Lu; Allen, Lindsay; Austin, Anna E.; Barnes, Andrew J.; Burns, Marguerite E.; Clark, Sarah; Zivin, Kara; Mack, Aimee; Liu, Gilbert; Mohamoud, Shamis; McDuffie, Mary Joan; Hammerslag, Lindsey; Gordon, Adam J.; Donohue, Julie M.; The Writing Committee for Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network
    Background: Limited information exists about testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Medicaid enrollees after starting medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), despite guidelines recommending such testing. Our objectives were to estimate testing prevalence and trends for HIV, HBV, and HCV among Medicaid enrollees initiating MOUD and examine enrollee characteristics associated with testing. Methods: We conducted a serial cross-sectional study of 505 440 initiations of MOUD from 2016 to 2019 among 361 537 Medicaid enrollees in 11 states. Measures of MOUD initiation; HIV, HBV, and HCV testing; comorbidities; and demographics were based on enrollment and claims data. Each state used Poisson regression to estimate associations between enrollee characteristics and testing prevalence within 90 days of MOUD initiation. We pooled state-level estimates to generate global estimates using random effects meta-analyses. Results: From 2016 to 2019, testing increased from 20% to 25% for HIV, from 22% to 25% for HBV, from 24% to 27% for HCV, and from 15% to 19% for all 3 conditions. Adjusted rates of testing for all 3 conditions were lower among enrollees who were male (vs nonpregnant females), living in a rural area (vs urban area), and initiating methadone or naltrexone (vs buprenorphine). Associations between enrollee characteristics and testing varied across states. Conclusions: Among Medicaid enrollees in 11 US states who initiated medications for opioid use disorder, testing for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and all 3 conditions increased between 2016 and 2019 but the majority were not tested.
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    Evaluation of Land Use Efficiency in Tehran’s Expansion between 1986 and 2021: Developing an Assessment Framework Using DEMATEL and Interpretive Structural Modeling Methods
    (Sustainability, 2023-02-20) Tayebi, Safiyeh; Alavi, Seyed Ali; Esfandi, Saeed; Meshkani, Leyla; Shamsipour, Aliakbar
    This paper aims to reveal the shortcomings of the land use efficiency assessment formula presented in SDG 11.3.1 Indicator and develop a framework that can provide urban planners with a more accurate understanding of the variables influencing and/or influenced by urban expansion. Based on the mentioned formula, Tehran never experienced urban shrinkage between 1986 and 2021, as shown by the relationship between land consumption and population growth. However, the research findings indicate that land allocation patterns have not only decreased most urban services per capita, but have also undermined ecosystem services during this period. In this paper, we propose a new assessment framework by which a dual aspect of urban planning is addressed, namely providing sustainable urban services while protecting natural resources, and using ecosystem services sustainably to support cost–beneficial urbanization. For this purpose, a total of ten mainly repeated contributing variables were collected in the categories of environmental, physical-spatial, and economic–social effects of urban expansion. A questionnaire based on these variables was prepared, and 14 urban planning experts collaborated to classify the variables and identify causal relationships between them. In the following, data obtained from the questionnaires were analyzed using DEMATEL and Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) methods to determine which variables influence and/or are influenced by urban expansion (and to what extent). Third-level variables that directly influence urban expansion include transportation (A6), infill development (A7), and entrepreneurship (A10). Spatial justice (A8) and housing and population attraction (A9) were identified as middle-level variables that both affect and are affected by urban expansion. Finally, land surface temperature (A1), air pollution (A2), sewage and waste (A3), water resources (A4), and vegetation (A5) were identified as first-level variables that are mainly affected by urban expansion.
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    Promoting Spatial Coordination in Flood Buyouts in the United States: Four Strategies and Four Challenges from the Economics of Land Preservation Literature
    (Natural Hazards Review, 2023-02-01) Dineva, Polina K.; McGranaghan, Christina; Messer, Kent D.; Palm-Forster, Leah H.; Paul, Laura A.; Siders, A. R.
    Managed retreat in the form of voluntary flood-buyout programs provides homeowners with an alternative to repairing and rebuilding residences that have sustained severe flood damage. Buyout programs are most economically efficient when groups of neighboring properties are acquired because they can then create unfragmented flood control areas and reduce the cost of providing local services. However, buyout programs in the United States often fail to acquire such efficient, unfragmented spaces, for various reasons, including long administrative timelines, the way in which buyout offers are made, desires for community cohesion, and attachments to place. Buyout programs have relied primarily on posted price mechanisms involving offers that are accepted or rejected by homeowners with little or no negotiation. In this paper, we describe four alternative strategies that have been used successfully in land-preservation agricultural–environmental contexts to increase acceptance rates and decrease fragmentation: agglomeration bonuses, reverse auctions, target constraints, and hybrid approaches. We discuss challenges that may arise during their implementation in the buyout context—transaction costs, equity and distributional impacts, unintended consequences, and social pressure—and recommend further research into the efficiency and equity of applying these strategies to residential buyout programs with the explicit goal of promoting spatial coordination.
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    Investigating the Role of Neighborhood Development Offices (NDOs) in the Resilience of Deteriorated Urban Neighborhoods against the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Empirical Study of Tehran, Using a Hybrid Balanced-Based Assessment Framework
    (Urban Science, 2022-11-02) Tayebi, Safiyeh; Esfandi, Saeed; Bahraini Moqadam, Sajedeh; Sharifi, Ayyoob
    This study aimed to develop a balanced-based assessment framework to evaluate the effectiveness of Neighborhood Development Offices’ (NDOs) actions in improving the resilience of Tehran’s deteriorated neighborhoods against the COVID-19 pandemic. For this purpose, considering the main missions of NDOs, 20 indicators were extracted from the literature and delivered to the offices and residents of target neighborhoods to prioritize them. Next, using a combination of the K-means clustering method and the balance-based conceptual model, the degree of balance between the measures taken by NDOs and residents’ needs in each neighborhood was determined. Finally, short-term actions (such as teaching health protocols, providing neighborhood services, and providing walking and cycling infrastructures) and long-term actions (developing public spaces, facilitating access to healthcare, and reducing social inequality) are suggested, which simultaneously promote balanced resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic and possible future pandemics in all aspects of NDOs’ missions. The framework presented in this research can also be used to evaluate and boost the resilience of other deteriorated neighborhoods with similar conditions.
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    A Neighborhood-Based Urban Water Carrying Capacity Assessment: Analysis of the Relationship between Spatial-Demographic Factors and Water Consumption Patterns in Tehran, Iran
    (Land, 2022-12-05) Tayebi, Safiyeh; Feizizadeh, Bakhtiar; Esfandi, Saeed; Aliabbasi, Banafsheh; Ali Alavi, Seyed; Shamsipour, Aliakbar
    The upward trajectory of urbanization, coupled with the ever-growing demand for more water resources, has led to increased pressure on limited water resources, particularly in cities with dry climates such as Tehran. Since the balance of Tehran’s water ecosystems has been disturbed, and the quality and quantity of water resources have been affected in recent years, conducting an assessment of water environment carrying capacity (WECC) seemed vital for this city. WECC was used as the basis of water supply sustainability evaluation concerning Tehran’s land use and demographic characteristics on a neighborhood scale. Therefore, the effect size and correlation of 12 types of land use and six variables derived from the literature with water consumption patterns were examined in warm and cold seasons. The results show that land use, population density, percentage of deteriorated area, percentage of buildings over 30 years old, residential–commercial land use, and green spaces correlate significantly with water consumption. The percentage of deteriorated areas and buildings over 30 years old has a negative, and the rest has a positive impact on water consumption. It is also recommended to use the research findings to improve Tehran’s water environment carrying capacity and apply the proposed evaluation procedure to other cities. The results of this research can be used in planning large and densely populated cities with a neighborhood-oriented approach, in which local institutions play an essential role in attracting people’s participation and inclusive urban planning.
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    Answering the call: Offering and analyzing civil discourse opportunities in undergraduate public affairs education
    (Journal of Public Affairs Education, 2022-12-06) Barnes, Philip; Morris, Michael P.; Pierce, Andrea L.; Shaffer, Timothy J.
    The widening cracks in the foundations of American democracy are leading to appeals for higher educational institutions generally, and public affairs programs specifically, to offer more courses on civil discourse. In this paper, we conduct a curriculum scan to evaluate the extent to which public affairs programs have answered these calls at the undergraduate level. The findings indicate that civil discourse-themed courses are essentially absent in the largest undergraduate public affairs programs, leaving the calls woefully unanswered. Then, analyzing students’ pre-post survey responses from a new course that offered content on the intersection of civil discourse and public policy making, we find that a civil discourse-themed course can simultaneously answer the calls and ensure that students meet the objectives of baccalaureate public affairs education recommended by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The results are encouraging for public affairs education and democratic governance alike.
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    Critical facility accessibility and road criticality assessment considering flood-induced partial failure
    (Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, 2022-11-25) Gangwal, Utkarsh; Siders, A. R.; Horney, Jennifer; Michael, Holly A.; Dong, Shangjia
    This paper examines communities’ accessibility to critical facilities such as hospitals, emergency medical services, and emergency shelters when facing flooding. We use travel speed reduction to account for flood-induced partial road failure. A modified betweenness centrality metric is also introduced to calculate the criticality of roads for connecting communities to critical facilities. The proposed model and metric are applied to the Delaware road network under 100-year floods. This model highlights the severe critical facility access loss risk due to flood isolation of facilities. The mapped post-flooding accessibility suggests a significant travel time increase to critical facilities and reveals disparities among communities, especially for vulnerable groups such as long-term care facility residents. We also identified critical roads that are vital for post-flooding access to critical facilities. The results of this research can help inform targeted infrastructure investment decisions and hazard mitigation strategies that contribute to equitable community resilience enhancement.
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    Are LARC Users Less Likely to Use Condoms? An Analysis of U.S. Women Initiating LARC in 2008–2018
    (Women's Health Issues, 2022-06-21) Eeckhaut, Mieke C. W.; Fitzpatrick, Katie
    Introduction: Public health professionals have raised concern that increased use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) could raise women's risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), because LARC's superior pregnancy protection may decrease women's motivation to use a barrier method for supplemental pregnancy prevention. This study uses population-based data to examine whether condom use is lower, particularly among young women who are at increased STI risk, after initiating LARC versus moderately effective methods. Methods: With the 2011–2019 data files of the National Survey of Family Growth, we examine the percent of sexually active months with condom use in the year after LARC or moderately effective method initiation for a nationally representative sample of 2,018 women aged 15–44 years. Multinomial logistic models regressed condom use on method type and age group, as well as their interaction, while adjusting for key confounders. Results: The unadjusted likelihood of any condom use is substantially lower among women who initiated LARC versus moderately effective methods (12% vs. 37%), and this difference is greater among younger versus older women. After accounting for differences in women's reproductive and sociodemographic profiles, however, a statistically significant difference in condom use by method initiated remains only for those aged 20–34 years. Conclusions: Crude estimates suggest that condom use is lower after initiating LARC versus moderately effective methods, especially among young women. After accounting for the confounding effects of LARC users’ distinct profiles—particularly in terms of parity and teenage childbearing—the difference is decreased overall and no longer significant for adolescent women. Overall results indicate a need for new STI prevention strategies and policies that emphasize the importance of dual prevention for LARC users at risk of STIs.
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