Phoenix Arizona


ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY News Release by azhttp

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY News Release

January 28, 2008

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY JOINS LARGEST TEACH-IN IN U.S. HISTORY
Thousands of campuses help focus nation on global-warming solutions

TEMPE, Ariz. — On Jan. 30 and 31, 2008, Arizona State University (ASU) will participate in Focus The Nation, an unprecedented teach-in on global-warming solutions.

Focus The Nation has created a teach-in model centered on the three most essential pillars needed to embrace solutions to global warming — education, civic engagement and leadership.

“Today’s college students are truly the greatest generation,” said Lewis & Clark professor of economics Eban Goodstein, author and project director for Focus The Nation. “No other generation has ever had to face this kind of challenge. We as educators would be failing if we did not prepare them with the tools to meet this challenge.”

“Arizona State University is delighted to take part in Focus the Nation,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “All of these efforts represent education at its finest. Our students have enormous power to use their education and passion to create positive change in the world.”

Focus the Nation activities at ASU include a pre-recorded web cast of the “The Two Percent Solution,” produced by the National Wildlife Federation. The web cast (which will be held at 6 p.m., Jan. 30) includes a four-minute segment on ASU’s School of Sustainability, the first school of its kind in the nation. The four-minute video will showcase what ASU is doing on Focus the Nation day and tell the larger story about sustainability at ASU.

The segment will come after a focused discussion about the “The Two Percent Solution” (reducing carbon emissions two percent every year to reach an 80 percent reduction by 2050), led by actor Edward Norton, climate scientist Steve Schneider, author Hunter Lovins (CEO, Natural Capitalism) and environmental justice leader Van Jones (executive director, Ella Baker Center, Oakland, Calif.)

The next day, Jan. 31, will include a range of global warming curricula presented by faculty members and guest speakers, flashlight tours at the Nelson Fine Arts Center, followed by a festival on Hayden Lawn from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Student groups will host interactive activities, continuous viewings of “The Two Percent Solution” and the ASU video, and hear the “recycled” of The Sustainabillies band.

As a key part of Focus the Nation, students, faculty and staff will participate in the Choose Your Future vote and select what they think are the top five solutions for global warming. Participants can vote online (www.focusthenation.org ) or at the event. Voting results will be presented nationally to congressional offices on Feb. 18. All students who vote on the Choose Your Future ballot will be eligible to win a $10,000 leadership scholarship for a project to be completed by end of August 2008.

For more information on ASU’s Focus The Nation events, visit http://schoolofsustainability.asu.edu/events/focus2008.php.

# # #

Focus The Nation is an educational initiative on global warming solutions for America occurring at more than 1,000 universities and colleges and in all 50 states on Jan. 31, 2008. As the largest teach-in in U.S. history, Focus The Nation is preparing millions of students to become leaders in the largest challenge any generation has faced. For more information, visit http://www.focusthenation.org .

Contacts:
Lauren Kuby, ASU, (480) 730-8457
Lauren.Kuby@asu.edu
Garett Reiss Brennan, Focus the Nation, (503) 768-7990
garett@focusthenation.org

Skip Derra
National Media Relations Officer/Science Writer
Arizona State University
Media Relations
(480) 965-4823
(480) 965-2159 (fax)
skip.derra@asu.edu



ASU scientists invite the community to explore Earth and space Nov. 3 by quotes
October 31, 2007, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Arizona, Arizona State University, ASU, Science | Tags: , , , , , ,


TEMPE, Ariz. – Kids of all ages, and their parents and teachers too, are invited to learn more about Earth and space through hands-on activities, experimental demonstrations and public lectures by ASU scientists from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 3, in the Bateman Physical Science Building, F-Wing, at ASU’s Tempe campus.
 
The annual Earth and Space Exploration Day, hosted by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, provides a variety of educational activities “for kids ages 5 to 95,” says professor Tom Sharp, a mineralogist and associate director of the NASA Arizona Space Grant Consortium.
 
“The purpose of this event is to provide an up-close opportunity for the public to see some of the great science we do at ASU, while we engage students of all ages in fun, hands-on scientific learning activities,” says Sharp. “There is plenty of depth for adults too.”
 
For example, ASU planetary scientist David Williams will present a lecture on solar system exploration at 10 a.m., and give an overview of results from NASA’s and the European Space Agency’s 2007 planetary missions. Other lectures on black holes, volcanology, the Mars rovers and whether there will be an energy crisis are scheduled on the hour throughout the event.
 
In conjunction with the day of exploration, ASU’s Space Photography Laboratory is hosting an open house and will show the latest NASA planetary images.
 
There also will be special shows in the planetarium, including one on “Stars over Arizona.” Other educational activities include learning about minerals while panning for gold, examining rocks and meteorite sections under a microscope, viewing the sun with a solar telescope, and learning about volcanoes and their explosive eruptions.
 
The public can “take a tour” of Mars with the aid of a GeoWall 3-D projector. Children, and adults can bring in rocks for “Dr. Rock” to identify or water samples for “Dr. Water” to analyze. Minerals, gems, fossils from around the world, the only active seismograph in central Arizona, a six-story Foucault pendulum, and Columbian mammoth bones from Chandler, Ariz., will be on display in the Dietz Museum of Geology.
 
Also scheduled is a geology field trip to “A” Mountain (Hayden Butte) to learn about sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and geological structures exposed in Tempe.
 
There will be handouts and outreach information for teachers from the School of Earth and Space Exploration and other academic and research units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, including the Institute for Human Origins and the School of Geographical Sciences.
 
“We hope the event will encourage children to learn that science is fun as they learn about how the Earth works and how we study it,” Sharp says.
 
For more information, contact the School of Earth and Space Exploration at (480) 965-5081 or http://www.sese.asu.edu <http://www.sese.asu.edu/> .



TEMPE, Ariz. – “Mighty Manimal March.” by azhttp

TEMPE, Ariz. – “Mighty Manimal March,” the second of a two-part temporary,

shared-terrain public art exhibition was installed on Friday October 12

Friday on the ASU Gammage lawn, at the northeast corner of Mill Avenue and

Apache Boulevard.

Seattle artist Nicole Kistler, formerly of Tempe, will install a more than

160 commercially produced plastic, latex and fiberglass animal lawn

ornaments, such as deer, flamingoes and coyotes on the Gammage lawn. The

menagerie features 64 flamingoes, 30 penguins, five pelicans, seven iguanas

and lizards, two pythons, 10 chicks, a baby elephant named “Bessie,” 11 wild

boar, 20 rabbits, four squirrels, six reindeer and three bears. She intends

to arrange this “river” of animals so that they appear to be on a protest

march or leaving class together and chatting about the course material.

The installation will be on display through December (date pending).

Shared Terrain exhibitions are intended to explore the blurred territory and

shared history where the university meets the city. Pedestrians and

passengers of the thousands of vehicles that pass through this area can

receive a new perspective on the familiar territory and expand their

awareness of site-responsive artwork.

This exhibition furthers the arts district concept of Mill Avenue, which

begins at Gammage Auditorium and includes the Music Building, ASU Art Museum

and the Ceramics Research Center and several School of Art galleries.

Shared Terrain information:

http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/public_art/temporary/sharedterrain.html

Nicole Kistler information: www.nicolekistler.com

<http://www.nicolekistler.com/>



Mars by azhttp

 
Heat-sensing ASU camera finds possible cave skylights on Mars volcano

TEMPE, Ariz. – A heat-sensitive camera designed at Arizona State University and flying on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter has led a team of Mars geologists to find seven small, deep holes on the flanks of Arsia Mons, a giant volcano on Mars. The holes may be openings, called skylights, in the ceilings of underground caves. The discovery is announced in a scientific paper published recently in Geophysical Research Letters.
 
The team of scientists includes Philip Christensen of ASU, plus Glen Cushing and Tim Titus of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, and Judson Wynne of Northern Arizona University. Cushing is the lead author on the paper.
 
Christensen, a Regents Professor of geological science in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, designed the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), the instrument the team used to make the discovery. THEMIS has been photographing the Red Planet at five visual and 10 infrared wavelengths since February 2002.
 
Says Christensen, “THEMIS is the only heat-sensing imager currently orbiting Mars.” Temperature data was the key in spotting the potential cave skylights, he notes.
 
The features the team found are dark, nearly circular holes in the ground with diameters ranging from 100 to 250 meters (yards). The holes appear in images of Arsia Mons taken by Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor orbiters. Located in the volcanic region of Tharsis, Arsia is one of the larger volcanoes on Mars, and like the rest of Tharsis, it has a heavy coating of dust.
 
“We examined the flanks of the volcano in nighttime infrared images, looking for temperature anomalies – warm spots,” explains Christensen. “Then when we re-examined the locations in daytime images, we saw the small, deep holes in the ground.”
 
Dusty surfaces, he says, become hot during the day, both on Earth and Mars. But at night, dust and sand give up heat quickly, becoming very cold shortly before sunrise. The holes, however, changed temperature by only two-thirds as much as the surface.
 
Says Christensen, “We saw that we had dark holes that are warm at night, but cool by day. The best way to explain that is to have a deep hole with vertical walls, so you’re looking at a rocky surface free from sand and dust.”
 
The team suggests that the deep holes on Arsia Mons probably formed as faults created stresses that opened spaces underground. Some of the holes are in line with strings of bowl-shaped pits where the surface has collapsed.
 
The observations have been discussed at meetings with other Mars scientists earlier this year, and they have prompted researchers using Mars Odyssey and NASA’s newer Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to search for other openings to underground spaces.
 
Christensen adds, “The temperature data is what really separated these unique holes from millions of run-of-the-mill craters, volcanic vents, and collapse pits.”
 



ASU RESEARCH GROWS TO MORE THAN $218 MILLION PER YEAR by azhttp

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State University’s research expenditures grew to $218.5 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. This represents a growth of $15 million or 7.4 percent over last year’s total of $203.5 million.

“We experienced decent growth in our research expenditures this year, considering that there was a change in leadership in Congress that resulted in some delays in finalizing the Federal budget,” said R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, ASU’s vice president for research and economic affairs. “Right now, our proposal activity is up so I am optimistic about continued growth in our research portfolio.”

Shangraw added that at these levels of research expenditures, ASU ranks in the top tier of universities without a medical school and without an agricultural school.

The $218.5 million total research dollars for FY07 comes from a variety of sources. ASU spent $173.3 million in funds received from the federal government and industry, $39.1 million in state funds (including Technology & Research Initiative Funds from state sales tax revenue), $4.3 million in funds received by the ASU Foundation specifically for research projects and $1.8 million from local governments.

There was a wide variety of projects that brought in major funds in FY07, said Stephen Goodnick, ASU associate vice president for research. Those projects included the Flexible Display Initiative Center, which was funded at more than $9 million by the U.S. Army; the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera project got $3.85 million from NASA; a Department of Education grant of $2.35 million went to a program at ASU’s Speech and Hearing Science Department to maximize learning opportunities for young children with disabilities, and $2.35 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was provided to the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology for a project on “opening routes to math and science success for all students.”

The National Institutes of Health awarded $1.44 million for a project to explore plant-made microbiocides and mucosal vaccines; ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City received $1.4 million from the NSF; and ASU’s Nanotechnology in Society Center received $1.4 million from NSF.

Fiscal year 2006 was the first time research expenditures at ASU topped the $200 million level, and it marked a doubling of research expenditures in a period of six years. This is a remarkable growth rate for a relatively young major research university, Shangraw said.

He adds that ASU is poised to earn more in research as it continues to bring on line new world class research facilities and ramps up its science expertise. Shangraw sees a maturing of ASU research efforts, which should result in securing larger grants for the university in the future.

“We have reached a point where a number of investigators are interested in and able to compete for much larger research projects,” he explained. “Our ability to match up against the more mature and better funded research institutions is a sign that we are moving into an elite tier of U.S. research universities. This is an exciting time for ASU research.”



ASU Gammage by azhttp

Nov. 26

ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave. (northeast corner of Apache Boulevard and

Mill Avenue)

Program:

“Triple Concerto (Mvts. 2 & 3)” by Ludwig Van Beethoven with Katherine

McLin, violin, Thomas Landschoot, cello, and Andrew Campbell, piano; “Suite

from the Opera, ‘Merry Mount’ ” by Howard Hanson; “Crown Imperial March” by

William Walton with Kimberly Marshall, organ; and “Mass in G Major” by Franz

Schubert with vocalists Carole FitzPatrick, soprano, Glenn Bennett, tenor,

Robert Barefield, baritone, and the Deseret Chorale (Michael Willson,

Conductor); Red Mountain Community College A Capella Choir; Sun Valley

Chorale (Glenn Bennett, Conductor).



Biomedical Sciences at ASU by quotes

Bee researcher at Arizona State University is one of 20 new Pew Scholars in the biomedical sciences

TEMPE, Ariz.– It’s hard to imagine, for most of us, that the bees we see buzzing between strands of orange flowers of the desert mallow could potentially usher in a medical breakthrough. However, in the right hands, these insects best known for their banded coloration, social life and skills with pollination could some day be the key to advancements in biomedical neuroscience of aging – if Gro Amdam has her way, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
 
Amdam, an assistant professor in Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences who heads social insect studies in laboratories at both ASU and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences’ Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, is one of only 20 researchers chosen this year to enter the Trusts’ exclusive rolls as a Pew Scholar in the biomedical sciences. About 150 eligible colleges across the nation were invited to submit a candidate for the award this year. Remarkably, it was the first year that Arizona State University was invited to participate and Amdam was the sole candidate put forward by ASU President Michael M. Crow.
 
“The focus of this award – biomedical sciences – is an evolving area of emphasis for ASU,” says Crow. “The fact that the award is going to a researcher using the honeybee as a biomedical model exemplifies the spirit of ASU unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries.”
 
Robert Page, founding director of ASU’s School of Life Sciences and Amdam’s oft-time collaborator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says he never had any doubt that the Pew Trusts would select Amdam, and that the award has special significance on several fronts: “This the first year that ASU was invited to nominate, so it marks our initiation as an institution into this select ’club.’ The fact that our faculty member was chosen also shows that ASU belongs in the club. Then, when you consider that this award is in the area of biomedical science and will support research using honeybees … it shows just how much the world of biology is changing and that comparative biology will be central even to the biomedical sciences.”
 
The Pew Charitable Trusts is composed of seven separate trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by the heirs of Joseph N. Pew, founder of the Sun Oil Company, and is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life. It partners with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share its commitment to fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.



“The Pew Scholars are among America’s finest biomedical research entrepreneurs. They seek out and mine unexpected leads in a quest for knowledge that may one day lead to new medical treatments and save lives,” says Rebecca W. Rimel, president and chief executive office of The Pew Charitable Trusts.



As a Pew Scholar, Amdam will receive a $240,000 award over four years to help support her research.



Among past Pew Scholars are Nobel Prize winners, such as Craig Mello from the University of Massachusetts, who shared the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Stanford’s Andrew Fire for their development of the RNA interference (RNAi) technique. Amdam’s research will make use of RNAi to study genes implicated in plasticity of honeybee neuronal aging.


Of the award, Amdam says, “In the scholarly system of Norway, where I come from, such recognitions are very rare, nearly unheard of. This is a great honor for me.” She also notes, “The award gives me a unique opportunity to take my research at ASU into the field of neuroscience, and neurogerontology in particular.”
 
According to Amdam, her Pew project will join two lines of study that have never been coupled: the emerging field of honeybee comparative neurogerontology – in which Amdam has published the first work on plasticity of neuronal oxidative damage – and honeybee behavioral physiology, where cumulative data show that age-related cell damage can be reversed. Amdam has authored or coauthored publications in Nature, Public Library of Science Biology, Advances in Cancer Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Experimental Gerontology and Behavioral Brain Research in the past year, laying the foundation for this work. Her group has documented that social reversal, which triggers old bees (that usually forage outside of the hive) to revert to tasks normally performed by younger bees (that nurse larvae within the hive), is associated with reversal of several physiological markers of senescence. Her findings, and supporting findings from other groups, Amdam says, indicate that “behavioral reversal triggers a systemic response, one which translates into a unique cascade of cell repair in bees.” Preliminary data collected in her laboratory suggest that this cascade can include the central nervous system.
 
“If social reversal causes arrest or partial clearance of neuronal oxidative damage, my project funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts will establish the first model for neuronal oxidative remission,” Amdam notes.
 
Oxidative brain damage is a fundamental pathology in normal human aging and in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and development of novel treatments has high priority in biomedical research, says Amdam. Although she describes this line of discovery as risky, “its prospective contribution is of considerable relevance for human health.” 
 



FINK WILL HEAD ASU’S EFFORTS IN SUSTAINABILITY by quotes

FINK WILL HEAD ASU’S EFFORTS IN SUSTAINABILITY

Jonathan Fink, instrumental in building up ASU’s research capacity, takes on a new role in expanding ASU’s sustainability initiatives

TEMPE, Ariz. — As Arizona State University positions itself to make a major move forward as the academic leader in sustainability, Jonathan Fink has been named Julie A. Wrigley director of the Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), and chief sustainability officer, a newly created position within the Office of the President.
 
Both appointments are effective July 1.  
 
Fink, ASU’s vice president for research and economic affairs for the past 10 years, will split his faculty appointment between the School of Sustainability and the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Rick Shangraw, associate vice president for strategic research and director of ASU’s Decision Theater, will take on the role of vice president for research and economic affairs. Charles Redman, the first Wrigley director of GIOS, will continue as director of the new School of Sustainability.
            
“ASU has two major world class initiatives, one in biodesign, applying nature’s principles to the solution of problems of human well-being, and one in sustainability, the development of technologies and practices that promote and protect the health of our world,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “While the Biodesign Institute is off to an excellent start, the Global Institute of Sustainability has reached a new stage of its evolution. I am delighted that Jon Fink, who has done an outstanding job in building the university’s research enterprise for the last decade, has agreed to take on the duties of leading GIOS through its critical maturation process.”
            
“I have long been committed to research and policies that will help sustain environmental quality,” Fink said. “Working to achieve a more balanced approach to the growth of cities, one that simultaneously takes into account the needs of society, the economy and the surrounding ecosystem, is one of the most exciting challenges I can imagine pursuing.”
 
Fink will oversee and coordinate four components of ASU’s sustainability efforts — the research of GIOS, the educational programs of the School of Sustainability, the integration of the wider set of sustainability activities across all of ASU and making sure that “ASU practices what it preaches through sustainable business operations,” he said.
 
A major emphasis, he added, “will be to promote ASU’s sustainability interests with federal agencies in Washington, private foundations around the world and regional, national and global NGOs. I also hope to greatly expand partnerships between ASU and those multi-national corporations that are committed to building a new kind of economy that is less environmentally damaging in the long term. These corporate linkages are an outgrowth of the initiatives led by our Office of Economic Affairs, which has become highly successful at connecting ASU’s research enterprise with the business community.”
 
ASU has a 30-year history in advanced environmental studies, and during the last five years has become a leader in sustainability, first by establishing the Global Institute of Sustainability in 2004 and then the world’s first School of Sustainability in January. Creation of the institute and school were made possible by generous donations from philanthropist Julie A. Wrigley.
 
Fink commented, “Julie Wrigley’s far-sighted investments in ASU’s sustainability programs have allowed us to think more boldly about the scale of accomplishments we can aspire to achieve in this critical field.”
 
“In sustainability, we’ve gone through an incubation phase, and then a planning phase,” Crow said. “Now, we know what we have to do and are ready to take that next giant step.”
 
Fink will seek to increase the participation of academic departments that have had only limited engagement in sustainability so far. This expansion builds upon the groundwork of James Buizer, who as executive director of sustainability initiatives worked closely with President Crow and the ASU Foundation to promote ASU’s sustainability agenda. Buizer will be shifting most of his attention to other presidential priorities, but will continue to assist with selected aspects of ASU’s sustainability portfolio.
 
“We want to integrate these ideas with the ongoing research and teaching programs in GIOS and the School of Sustainability,” Fink said. “Under the leadership of President Crow and professor Charles Redman, ASU faculty members have created a research and education program in sustainability that is already a national showcase of interdisciplinary innovation. My goal is to expand upon this foundation through the addition of new faculty members, new funded research programs and greater participation in international and corporate networks, so that we are recognized not only for our creativity, but also for effective global leadership.”
            
Fink came to ASU in 1979 from Stanford as a post-doctoral researcher in geology, where he moved through the academic ranks to become department chair. His administrative experience includes a stint as director of the geochemistry program at the National Science Foundation prior to taking over ASU’s research office in 1997. Most of Fink’s research has focused on the study of volcanoes on Earth and other planets, but over the past several years he has begun to address questions of urban sustainability and resilience. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
 
As vice president of research and economic affairs, Fink oversees the research portfolio of all four of ASU’s campuses, including responsibility for research administration, strategic research initiatives, research publications, research space allocation and economic development activities. His office also coordinates an internal strategic investment fund of more than $25 million per year.
 
During Fink’s time as vice president, ASU faculty members have nearly tripled their expenditures for grants and contracts. This growth has been facilitated by an unprecedented expansion of ASU’s research infrastructure, with the addition of more than 1 million square feet of new space. A key ingredient in this research build-up has been the recruitment of top scholars from around the world to join ASU’s faculty and staff. Fink has helped attract 12 National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering members to ASU.
 
Fink has also played an integral role in shaping the State of Arizona’s burgeoning high tech economy, through helping to design and launch the Biodesign Institute at ASU, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and the Flexible Display Center; by overseeing ASU’s technology transfer operations (including the establishment of Arizona Technology Enterprises); and by serving on Governor Napolitano’s Council on Innovation and Technology.
 



RESEARCHERS FIND ‘LARGE IS SMART’ WHEN IT COMES TO CITIES by quotes

RESEARCHERS FIND ‘LARGE IS SMART’ WHEN IT COMES TO CITIES

TEMPE, Ariz. – Cities are considered by many to be both a blessing and a curse. Large cities generate considerable wealth; they are home to many high paying jobs and are known as engines of innovation. But cities also generate much pollution, crime and sometimes degraded social environments that lead to the urban blight that plague their very existence.
 
Now a team of researchers, including an economist from Arizona State University, has studied the growth of cities in different parts of the world and has come up with general equations that can foretell their resource consumption patterns as well as their contributions to society. The work has debunked the notion that cities act like biological organisms in the sense that they grow to a finite size and consume resources in ways that decrease per capita with size.
 
“It’s true that large cities have more problems, they are more congested, they create more pollution and they have more crime,” said Jose Lobo, and ASU economist in the School of Sustainability. “But also because of their size, cities are more innovative and create more wealth per capita. Large cities are the largely the source of their problems but they also are disproportionately the creators of the solutions to the problems of society at large.”
 
The researchers working with Lobo — Luis Bettencourt of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mex.; Dirk Helbing and Christian Kuhnert of Dresden University of Technology, Germany; and Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, New Mex. — detailed their findings in the article “Growth, innovation, scaling and the pace of life in cities,” in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. An on-line version of the article was published on April 16, 2007 (www.pnas.org
<http://www.pnas.org> ).
 
“Humanity has just crossed a major landmark in its history with the majority of people now living in cities,” the researchers state. “The inexorable trend toward urbanization worldwide presents an urgent challenge for predictive, quantitative theory of urban organization and sustainable development.”
 
This will require thinking about cities in new ways.
 
The old way of thinking about cities is as if they are an organism, which consumes resources and grows in size. Oftentimes, cities are referred to as its own ecosystem and many use the metaphor of it acting like a biological organism, Lobo said.
 
“The one thing that we know about organisms whether it be elephants or sharks or frogs, is that as they get large, they slow down,” Lobo said. “They use less energy, they don’t move as fast. That is a very important point for biological scaling.”
 
“In the case of cities, it is actually the opposite,” he added. “As cities get larger they create more wealth and they are more innovative at a faster rate. There is no counterpart to that in biology.”
 
In fact, Lobo said, the larger the city the greater return on investment.
 
The researchers base their findings on data on the growth of cities (metropolitan areas) in the U.S., Europe and China over the past 150 years. They analyzed cities consumption of resources, (such as water or electricity usage), requirements for infrastructure (roads, transportation, lengths of electrical cable), they also compiled and analyzed data on the creative output of these areas (patents issued, “super creative jobs” generated, R&D employment, total wages). The sizes of the cities were determined by population.
 
What they found were some general correlations of size and resource consumption that more or less fit the biological organism metaphor, meaning as the city grew in size it required less energy (resources) to sustain it in a proportion called sublinear scaling. What was surprising to the team was that the creative output (jobs, wealth generated, innovation) as cities grew, becomes faster and faster per capita.
 
“It isn’t like if you double the size of a city you double its creative output,” Lobo said. “But it does increase by about 10 to 30 percent.”
 
“We are not saying that any large city is assured of prosperity forever, but if you look at the collection of cities, large cities have managed to out run their problems,” Lobo added. “Large is smart.”
 
All of this points to the need of rethinking large cities, both in how they are managed and what they contribute to the greater good. This is especially true today, as cities are on the brink explosive growth in the developing world. Today a little more than half of the world’s population live in large urban areas. By 2030, it is estimated that two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas.
 
“Cities are really one of the most important innovations in human history,” Lobo said. “We need to think of them as being very human entities and as engines of our collective creation. We need a different perspective about cities, one that is away from thinking of large cities as a source of problems, but rather as the possible and unavoidable sources of solutions.”
 
“The practical application of this work is that the problem is not large cities, the problem is the conditions in which some of the people live in large cities,” Lobo added. “Policies should be directed to making large cities more livable not making them smaller.”



Phoenix again claims top spot for job growth by quotes

 

Phoenix again claims top spot for job growth

The Business Journal of Phoenix – 11:11 AM MST Thursday, April 5, 2007

As per the usual, the Phoenix area is No.1 for new jobs.

Arizona State University’s Blue Chip Job Growth Update ranks the area first among the nation’s largest metro markets for employment growth between February 2007 over February 2006.

The area’s 4.8 percent increase in total nonagricultural employment represents 89,200 new jobs. In metropolitan markets with less than 1 million workers, the Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss., area ranked No. 1, posting a 14.5 percent gain equating to 13,500 jobs.

Among states, Utah holds the top position in nonagricultural job growth for February, with a 4.4 percent increase, representing 52,000 jobs. Michigan remains in last place, with a 1 percent decrease, losing nearly 45,000 jobs.

Overall, the U.S. economy grew by close to 2 million jobs in February 2007 over February 2006, an increase of 1.5 percent.