Open Access Publications

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Open access publications by faculty, postdocs, and graduate students from the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy.


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Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
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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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    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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    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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    Spatial Energy Efficiency Patterns in New York and Implications for Energy Demand and the Rebound Effect
    (Energy Sources Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy, 2021-03-08) Nyangon, Joseph; Byrne, John
    This study uses a spatial Durbin error model (SDEM) approach to analyze adoption trends for residential energy-efficiency measures (EEMs) in New York state. Model results are based on socioeconomic, building, and household demographic characteristics during the 2012–2016 period. Our study’s results confirm that a positive correlation exists between EEM uptake and multifamily buildings, gas-heated homes, education effects, and spatial spillover effects among neighboring ZIP codes. The results show that building attributes hold a relatively high explanatory power over EEM adoption compared with socioeconomic characteristics. Our results show that energy-efficiency policies can create positive and significant neighborly effects in promoting EEM adoption. The developed SDEM methodological framework provides useful insights in identifying energy-efficiency opportunities that exist in rural, suburban, and urban communities, highlighting the need to review policy incentives periodically to address underlying changes in the built environment and spatial disparities in energy-efficiency investments.
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