Challenges Associated with Sustainable Urban Development
Undeniably sustainable development paths require incorporating solutions focused on both greenhouse gas emissions and the direct effects associated with landscape change (e.g., the conversion of natural or agricultural lands to the built environment). Modification of natural landscapes to cities is a global phenomenon that is responsible for what is commonly known as the urban heat island (UHI) effect. We will discuss physical mechanisms driving the UHI effect today and also frame the discussion in a forward-looking context to examine potential hydroclimatic impacts associated with future urbanization both within our state of Arizona and nationally, across the United States. Lastly, implications of large-scale urbanization for energy and health, both locally and domestically, will be considered.