Sustainability

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Dissertations and Theses

Claire Soares

This thesis explores the potential for creating a television (TV) talk show series that effectively discusses the interaction between technology (particularly the largest major global industries) and the global environment (including the damage that industry can do to the natural world). It also discusses the timeliness of such a series in today's TV market, both with respect to relevance of the content to TV consumers and potential profitability of the series. Doing so requires examination of the ways society and culture regard technology, the environment, and the links between the two. It also requires a look at the television industry and its history of presenting three topics (industry, environment and nature) as interrelated subjects within the content of a given TV program or program series. The paucity of environmental programming in the television world, particularly prior to 1990 will need to be examined, as will the depth and multidimensionality that is lacking (in terms of comprehensive perspective given to TV viewers) in current dayenvironmental programming and the reasons for this.

 

 

Corrie A. Harris

This research will endeavor to answer the question; how can sustainable development’s triple bottom line (TBL) theoretical model be used for transformational impact to alleviate poverty? The combination of the well planned and thought out sustainable development (SD) model with the adaptability to change when conflict arises is that rare balance that can be found when experts consult the community and the bottom-up spontaneity is incorporated into an ever-evolving model. This research suggests the standard TBL model should expand to a more enhanced model to incorporate resilience. Recognizing the macro pressures on micro models illustrated by the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC), specific SD projects have a life-cycle that has trade-offs. One of the challenges is prioritizing those trade-offs when evaluating poverty alleviation models. Strictly top-down development models can assume the recipients want to be westernized or take on a patriarchal mentality of knowing better for the recipient than the recipient knows for themselves. On the other hand, strictly bottom–up cannot access the collective knowledge or vantage point the top possesses. Therefore, this research concludes that a hybrid between top-down and bottom-up governance that is collaboration and participatory when addressing poverty alleviation seems to be the most effective in planning and implementation. This research also suggests that SD models that apply an enhanced TBL with resilience that is agile and adaptive results in transformational impact.

 

SPATIAL ANALYSIS FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT: DALLAS-FORT-WORTH-ARLINGTON FRINGE

Sanaul Huq

A majority of the world’s population lives in cities today. With increasing urbanization, uneven economic development, and depleting resources, cities and multi-city regions in the 21st century need renewed considerations in order to prevail. The awareness of minimizing our impact of the natural resources is now a generally accepted goal.  Exploiting resources, is accepted as a necessity for economic development.  While there is consensus on the broad objectives of urban sustainability, to accomplish them an interdisciplinary effort with different wants and needs of the marketplace needs to be addressed.  Good analysis is vital for achieving sustainable urban development by identifying critical inter actions and conflicts between stakeholders.  This research explores issues relating to urban development, real estate development and sustainability  . It strives to nurture positive and enduring relationships amongst the natural and social world s, and the built environment. The thesis demonstrates how we by the use of a systematic approach increase our understanding of the main challenges of sustainable development.  Looking at the available technologies and the open source information available online, we determined that ArcGIS was a convenient medium.  Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metroplex is examined as a case analysis of a real world example in order to identify how the theory can be applied to a real city.  A series of applications and overlays helped us create tangible maps and the feature of GIS to provided statistics on locations.

 

Brandon Ha

Clean water is essential, but electricity is also very important. It fosters technological innovations, scientific discoveries and better living conditions. Access to electricity is a prerequisite for poverty eradication and economic development for developing countries. However, there are regions in the world where people do not have access to the power utility. In addition, as the price of oil continues to rise and many energy experts predicting this type of energy source will not sustain our energy consumption in the future, fossil energy in general becomes an economically unstable source of electricity. On the other hand, global demand for electricity keeps increasing and so alternative sources of electricity must be considered to meet our energy demand. The move toward sustainable and renewable energy is evident with the available commercial renewable energy technologies. The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a roadmap that envisions widespread deployment of renewable energy sources by 2020 in order to strengthen our energy security in the future. However, there are a set of challenges associated with renewable energy sources due to their intermittent and non-dispatchable characteristics. Studies have shown that incorporating the use of energy storage with renewable energy improves the cost effectiveness, reliability, power quality, and efficiency of the power system. But determining the optimal mix of power generation sources for this hybrid power system and how to optimally allocate the power/energy flow become an interesting Operations Research (OR) problem. We call this problem a Hybrid Power System Design Problem (HPSDP).

 

Christina Chermak

Wind energy resources are typically located in remote areas that lack the presence of high voltage transmission lines. Additionally, the current US electricity infrastructure is not robust enough to support a large amount of new wind capacity. In order to successfully integrate wind power into the national energy grid, both generation systems (wind farms) and transmission systems must be constructed. In this thesis it is argued that the environmental impacts associated with the transmission systems needed to support wind integration are large enough that they must be considered when comparisons are drawn between new wind energy and the use of existing conventional energy sources.  A life cycle assessment model was used to estimate and analyze the environmental impacts associated with the integration of wind energy into the existing US infrastructure. The scope of this study focused on wind power integration in West Texas, and most data utilized were adapted to this geographical region. Data were modeled with the SimaPro life cycle assessment software by Pre Consultants.