Built Environment & Communities

left image of trees and grass, right is a thermal image of the same scene.

How vegetation effects microclimates in urbanized Salt Lake Valley

A new study by Carolina Gómez-Navarro and GCSC affiliate faculty Diane Pataki, Eric Pardyjak, and Dave Bowling, looks at how trees and grass can help mitigate excessive heat in urban areas. Hard surfaces like roofs, buildings, and pavement absorb the sun’s heat and radiate it into the surroundings, creating a “heat island effect”. While trees cast […]


Rescuer on a water craft in front of a flooded home where a man wearing waders is carrying items out of the house.

GCSC seminar: disaster resilience in an unjust world

By Maria Archibald, Sustainability Office As climate-induced wildfires rage across the West and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten our communities, many of us have disaster on the mind. How will we respond when disaster strikes close to home? How will we recover? How can we build our communities to be resilient in the face […]


Tall buildings in Salt Lake City against the Wasatch Mountains, under a blue sky

Ewing: COVID-19 rates in urban centers

Research from GCSC affiliate Reid Ewing, College of Architecture + Planning, runs counter to the instincts that some city dwellers have had in fleeing to the suburbs in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Ewing is the Director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the U of U. In a study with his former graduate student and GCSC […]


Center for Ecological Planning and Design logo and image

Our new parter – Center for Ecological Planning and Design

We have a new partnership with the newly-constituted Center for Ecological Planning and Design. Two entities in the College of Architecture + Planning, the provisional Ecological Planning Center and the Integrated Technology in Architecture Center, have melded to “bridge the gaps between research and the design and planning fields, both within CA+P and across campus, […]


Divya Chandrasekhar on social capacity and community recovery

When Superstorm Sandy blew through Staten Island in 2012, Joe’s asphalt and concrete equipment was washed away along with $19 billion of New York infrastructure. A business owner in his early 60s, Joe owned his dump trucks, pavers, and rollers outright. Now he was left with two months of payroll and small hope of keeping […]