Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Danlin Yu

Committee Member

Huan Feng

Committee Member

Yang Deng

Committee Member

Eric Stern

Subject(s)

City planning--New Jersey--Paterson, City planning--New Jersey--Passaic County, Sustainable urban development, Information visualization, Decision support systems

Abstract

A recent United Nations study concludes that worldwide population will grow from approximately 7 billion today to 9.3 billion in 2050 and 10.1 billion in 2100. Nowhere is this population growth more evident than in the major cities of the world. For the first time in history, a majority of the world’s people lived in cities. In 1950, by comparison, less than 30% of the world’s population dwelled in cities. This rapid growth of population, coupled with an aging infrastructure, and the abandoning of urban manufacturing sites, creates an urgent need for inner city revitalization. There are several urban areas especially at risk. They include cities with high concentrations of derelict properties and vulnerable populations that are located within the urban core. Others include sites that are in proximity to urban industrial riverfronts. These sites are collectively known as Brownfields. Also included are sites, including Public Complexes (e.g. large publicly owned campuses such as colleges, universities, prisons, and hospital centers), with an expansive campus footprint, “where storm water runoff occurs instead of soaking into the ground” (Rutgers, 2014). As global population continues to increase in these areas, researchers are investigating new techniques that promote economic growth and sustainable development, while minimizing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of urban sprawl. One such technique is building green buildings on these Brownfield Sites. The present study investigates whether a prescriptive approach to urban development, the third party rating system, coupled with a Business Intelligence Dashboard, as a data visualization tool to display the status of redevelopment, can provide feasible and intuitive integration of data in which to prioritize redevelopment. The study presents a new framework and key sustainability indicators, based on existing third party rating systems, to prioritize redevelopment. It introduces these assessments into a Spatial Decision Support System, utilizing a dashboard as an interactive tool to gather and consolidate data and to present an evaluative means for decision-makers. The tool allows identification of the highest priority sites for long-term and short-term redevelopment of distressed properties. The aim of the research is to advance knowledge for new concepts for sustainable urban redevelopment projects using decision frameworks for selection among alternative Brownfield redevelopment projects. The study indicates that the third party rating system, coupled with dashboards, is an effective decision support tool that facilitates efficient decision-making.

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