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  1. Abstract

    Urban social–ecological–technological systems (SETS) are dynamic and respond to climate pressures. Change involves alterations to land and resource management, social organization, infrastructure, and design. Research often focuses on how climate change impacts urban SETS or on the characteristics of urban SETS that promote climate resilience. Yet passive approaches to urban climate change adaptation may disregard active SETS change by urban residents, planners, and policymakers that could be opportunities for adaptation. Here, we use evidence of urban social, ecological, and technological change to address how SETS change opens windows of opportunity to improve climate change adaptation.

  2. Abstract

    Infrastructure are at the center of three trends: accelerating human activities, increasing uncertainty in social, technological, and climatological factors, and increasing complexity of the systems themselves and environments in which they operate. Resilience theory can help infrastructure managers navigate increasing complexity. Engineering framings of resilience will need to evolve beyond robustness to consider adaptation and transformation, and the ability to handle surprise. Agility and flexibility in both physical assets and governance will need to be emphasized, and sensemaking capabilities will need to be reoriented. Transforming infrastructure is necessary to ensuring that core systems keep pace with a changing world.

  3. Abstract The City of Atlanta, Georgia, is a fast-growing urban area with substantial economic and racial inequalities, subject to the impacts of climate change and intensifying heat extremes. Here, we analyze the magnitude, distribution, and predictors of heat exposure across the City of Atlanta, within the boundaries of Fulton County. Additionally, we evaluate the extent to which identified heat exposure is addressed in Atlanta climate resilience governance. First, land surface temperature (LST) was mapped to identify the spatial patterns of heat exposure, and potential socioeconomic and biophysical predictors of heat exposure were assessed. Second, government and city planning documents andmore »policies were analyzed to assess whether the identified heat exposure and risks are addressed in Atlanta climate resilience planning. The average LST of Atlanta’s 305 block groups ranges from 23.7 °C (low heat exposure) in vegetated areas to 31.5 °C (high heat exposure) in developed areas across 13 summer days used to evaluate the spatial patterns of heat exposure (June–August, 2013–2019). In contrast to nationwide patterns, census block groups with larger historically marginalized populations (predominantly Black, less education, lower income) outside of Atlanta’s urban core display weaker relationships with LST (slopes ≈ 0) and are among the cooler regions of the city. Climate governance analysis revealed that although there are few strategies for heat resilience in Atlanta ( n = 12), the majority are focused on the city’s warmest region, the urban core, characterized by the city’s largest extent of impervious surface. These strategies prioritize protecting and expanding the city’s urban tree canopy, which has kept most of Atlanta’s marginalized communities under lower levels of outdoor heat exposure. Such a tree canopy can serve as an example of heat resilience for many cities across the United States and the globe.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 7, 2023
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  9. Extreme heat events induced by climate change present a growing risk to transit passenger comfort and health. To reduce exposure, agencies may consider changes to schedules that reduce headways on heavily trafficked bus routes serving vulnerable populations. This paper develops a schedule optimization model to minimize heat exposure and applies it to local bus services in Phoenix, Arizona, using agent-based simulation to inform travel demand and rider characteristics. Rerouting as little as 10% of a fleet is found to reduce network-wide exposure by as much as 35% when operating at maximum fleet capacity. Outcome improvements are notably characterized by diminishingmore »returns, owing to skewed ridership and the inverse relationship between fleet size and passenger wait time. Access to spare vehicles can also ensure significant reductions in exposure, especially under the most extreme temperatures. Rerouting, therefore, presents a low-cost, adaptable resilience strategy to protect riders from extreme heat exposure.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 22, 2023
  10. Leadership is a critical component in approaching infrastructure resilience. Leadership, the formal and informal governance within an organization, drives an infrastructure system's ability to respond to changing circumstances. Due to the instability of the Anthropocene, infrastructure managers (individuals who design, build, maintain, and decommission infrastructure) can no longer rely on assumptions of stationarity, but instead that shifts are occurring at a faster rate than institutions and infrastructure organizations are adapting. Leadership and organizational change literature provide considerable insights into the ability of organizations to navigate uncertainty and complexity, and infrastructure organizations may be able to learn from this knowledge tomore »avoid obsolescence. Therefore, this article asks: what leadership capabilities do infrastructure organizations need to readily respond to stability and instability? An integrative leadership framework is proposed, exploring capabilities of collaboration, perception and exploration toward learning, and flexible informal and formal governance leveraged by leadership. These capabilities are driven by underlying tensions (e.g., climate change, emerging technologies) and managed through enabling leadership, a set of processes for pivoting between stability and instability. The framework is then applied to infrastructure organizations. Lack of market competition may make infrastructure organizations more open to collaboration and, therefore, learning. However, the need to provide specific services may cause risk adversity and an avoidance of failure, restricting flexibility and innovation. It is critical for infrastructure organizations to identify their strengths and weaknesses so they may develop an approach to change at pace with their external environments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 17, 2023