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NellaYoung                                                                                                                Feb. 1, 2008
 Project Summary:
In 2006, Mayor Menino made a commitment to green building, which included an initiative to make energy efficient retrofits to existing buildings owned by the city of Boston.  In 2007, Justin Hollander, Assistant Professor, Tufts UEP and Peter Lowitt, Chair, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, proposed to use the concept of Ian McHarg's land suitability analysis to assess existing rooftops for their suitability for various kinds of green retrofits.  Solar panel installations, intensive and extensive green roofs, and wind generators are some of the potential installations that could be placed on existing roofs.  However, different conditions are optimal for different types of installations.  This semester, I am working with Justin Hollander to research the attributes that are important to consider when deciding whether and to what degree a rooftop is a suitable for one of these installations. I will use GIS to map the attributes such as wind density, solar orientation, slope, building height, and other characteristics that we choose as a result of the research.  Ultimately it will be a tool for the employees of the city of Boston to use as a tool for decision making on upcoming renovations for the city's buildings.
  Spatial/geographic questions

    1. What are the ages of buildings owned by the city of Boston?
    2. What is the solar orientation of the buildings owned by the city of Boston?
    3. What buildings (private or city buildings) in the city already have green retrofits?
    4. What are the rooftop areas of City of Boston buildings?
    5. What are the rooftop slopes of the city buildings?
    6. Where does street flooding occur from stormwater runoff?
    7. Where do urban heat islands occur in Boston
    8. What are the wind power densities in Boston?
    9. What are the characteristics of Boston's school rooftops?
    10. This is an undeveloped question, but it would be interesting to look at bird habitat in relation to the urban built environment, since green roofs could increase habitat. Data sources will be an issue with this project.  First of all, I need to become familiar with the kinds of data that can be measured.  Then I need to familiarize myself with the options for finding that data for Boston.
      Data Questions:
    1. How much of this project can be produces with existing data for the city of Boston?
    2. Does the city of Boston model stormwater runoff?
    3. Is there data that makes it possible to map the urban heat island affect?
    4. Do sources exist that record the age of buildings and other engineering details such as load-bearing capacity?  SOURCES:
      Kunert, Kelly. 2005.  Masters Thesis: "A Gis Approach To Habitat Restoration Site Selection and Prioritization in the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary".  Duke University.
      (This reference serves as a model for the process of mapping a suitability analysis)
       McHarg, Ian L. 1969. Design with nature. Garden City, New York: Natural History Press.
       Post, Nadine M., "Green Roof Study Plants Seeds for Stormwater Control; Civil engineer Drew A. Gangnes's project replaces hunches with numbers", Engineering News-Record, Jan. 7, 2008.  vol. 260, no.1, p. 41.
       Sehmel, Lindsey and Drew Thompson.  "Mitigating the Urban Heat Island - Downtown Tacoma".  Poster for GIS Certificate Program, University of Washington, Tacoma
       Shandas, Vivek, et al. "A GIS based Water Demand Analysis for Municipal Application". Presented at Map India Conference, 2003.
       Saiz, Susan, Christopher Kennedy, Brad Bass, Kim Pressnail, 2006. "Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Standard and Green Roofs_._" Environmental Science & Technology. Easton:Jul 1, 2006. Vol. 40, Iss. 13
        WEB SOURCES:
      MASS GIS:
      -Impervious surfaces (
      -Modeled Wind Speed Grids (
      -Natural Communities (
      -DEP Dept of Watershed Management water quality data (
      -Schools (
      -Wind power density (
       Boston Redevelopment Authority Green Building Task force website
       The Boston Atlas - maps and aerial photographs (Free access)
       Center for Watershed Protection Website
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