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Ecological Economics Events Calendar

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vermont Climate Assessment Release

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: Silver Maple Ballroom, Davis Center, University of Vermont
Description: The Vermont Climate Assessment Release

Silver Maple Ballroom, Davis Center, University of Vermont

The Vermont Climate Assessment (VCA) is the first state-scale climate assessment in the country. It’s being released just 3 weeks after the National Climate Assessment and speaks directly to the results of climate change as they pertain to our rural towns, cities and communities including impacts on Vermont tourism and recreation, agriculture, water resources and energy. VCA paints a vivid picture of a changing climate in Vermont and calls for immediate strategic planning to sustain the social, economic and environmental fabric of our state.

More Information: Please join us in this exciting event as we release the final report and summarize key findings on how climate change has impacted and will impact Vermont. A panel of speakers will comment on the implications of the report, followed by a question & answer session with authors and panel members. The panel members include Deb Markowitz, Secretary of Natural Resources, David Blittersdorf, President and CEO All Earth Renewables, Win Smith, President and Owner of Sugarbush Resort, and Ray Allen, Owner of Allenholm Farm. A reception will follow at noon.

Ann Hoogenboom, Gund Graduate Fellow,
Gillian Galford, PhD, Research Assistant Professor,

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Seminar by Brendan Fisher: “Sustainable Human Welfare: from ecological functioning to human behavior and back again”

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Johnson House, Conference Room

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Seminar by Laura Sonter: “Demand for minerals drives extensive land use change and impacts biodiversity”

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Johnson House, Conference Room

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Seminar by Delphine Renard: “A historical perspective on ecosystem functioning and services”

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Johnson House, Conference Room

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Measuring Streetscape Design for Livability Using Spatial Data and Methods by Chester Harvey

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Farrell Hall 107
Description: Seminar And
Masters Defense

Measuring Streetscape Design for Livability
Using Spatial Data and Methods

Chester Harvey

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Seminar: 10:00am, Farrell Hall 107
Defense: 11:00am, Farrell Hall 107


Lisa Aultman-Hall, Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Austin Troy, Adjunct Professor, RSENR, Co-Advisor
Stephanie Hurley, Assistant Professor, Plant and Soil Science, Chair


City streets are the most widely distributed and heavily trafficked urban public spaces. As cities strive to improve built environment livability, is it important for planners and designers to have a succinct understanding of what contributes to quality streetscapes. While variables contributing to streetscape design are overwhelmingly myriad, the proportions and scale of buildings and trees provide an enduring streetscape skeleton onto which a skin of design details-e.g. pavement markings, architectural styling, surface materials, fixtures-can be draped. This thesis investigates how streetscape skeletons can be measured and tested for appeal among human users.
The first of two research papers identifies a concise set of skeleton variables that urban design theorists have described as influential to streetscape appeal, and which are practical to measure using widely available spatial data and an automated GIS-based method. Such an approach allows measurement of tens of thousands of street segments precisely and efficiently, a dramatically larger sample than can be feasibly collected using the auditing techniques of previous streetscape design researchers. Further, it examines clustering patterns among skeleton variables for street segments throughout Boston, New York, and Baltimore, identifying four streetscape skeleton types that describe a ranking of enclosure from surrounding buildings-upright, compact, porous, and open. The types are identifiable in all three cities, demonstrating regional consistency in streetscape design. Moreover, the types are poorly associated with roadway functional classifications-arterial, collector, and local-indicating that streetscapes are a distinct component of street design and must receive separate planning and design attention.
The second paper assesses relationships between skeleton variables and crowdsourced judgments of streetscape visual appeal throughout New York City. Regression modeling indicates that streetscapes with greater tree canopy coverage, lined by a greater number of buildings, and with more upright cross-sections, are more visually appealing. Building and tree canopy geometry accounts for more than 40% of variability in perceived safety, which is used as an indicator of appeal. While unmeasured design details undoubtedly influence overall streetscape appeal, basic skeletal geometry may contribute important baseline conditions for appealing streetscapes that are enduring and can be retrofitted to meet a broad variety of needs.

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