Joshua Peter Newell

Joshua Peter Newell
University of Michigan | U-M · School for Environment and Sustainability

Ph.D.

About

72
Publications
68,526
Reads
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6,604
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - September 2017
University of Michigan
Position
  • Professor
September 2010 - present
University of Michigan
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
July 2007 - August 2010
University of Southern California
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (72)
Article
This paper considers the limits and potential of ‘urban metabolism’ to conceptualize city processes. Three ‘ecologies’ of urban metabolism have emerged. Each privileges a particular dimension of urban space, shaped by epistemology, politics, and model-making. Marxist ecologies theorize urban metabolism as hybridized socionatures that (re)produce un...
Article
Full-text available
This paper develops a political-industrial ecology approach to explore the urban water metabolism of Los Angeles, which sprawls for thousands of miles across the American West. Conventional approaches to quantify urban carbon footprints rely on global, national, or regional averages and focus narrowly on improving the efficiency of flows of resourc...
Article
Full-text available
Due to climate change and ongoing drought, California and much of the American West face critical water supply challenges. California's water supply infrastructure sprawls for thousands of miles, from the Colorado River to the Sacramento Delta. Bringing water to growing urban centers in Southern California is especially energy intensive, pushing lo...
Article
The forests of Russia comprise roughly one-fifth of Earth’s total forest cover and one-quarter of its remaining “frontier” forests. The quality (i.e. natural productivity) of these forests continues to decline, however, with timber harvest a major underlying cause. Efforts to ameliorate forest degradation have been production centric, with a focus...
Article
Urban agriculture, experiencing a resurgence across the Global North, features prominently in food system sustainability and urban resilience discourse, planning, and policy. Research, however, indicates that racialized gentrification tends to accompany urban agriculture, similar to a phenomenon documented with other green space. This study used re...
Article
Full-text available
Good urban green space is conducive to the physical and mental health of residents. However, the exposure of different social groups to urban greenness is not always equal. The majority of literature used residential areas as the analysis unit to evaluate green space, which may lead to biased estimates because it ignores daily mobility. In addition...
Article
Full-text available
Urban agriculture provides a range of ecosystem services (as well as potential disservices). This study examines the spatial extent, physical characteristics, and residents' perceptions of community and private gardens in Detroit, a city that has high potential for agricultural development given its abundant vacant and abandoned land. Despite popul...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Final report of the "FEW-meter" project. The FEW-meter project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (GA No. 730254) under the Belmont Forum and JPI Urban Europe’s call SUGI—FWE Nexus, and the ANR, France, grant number ANR-17-SUGI-0001-01; BMBF, Germany, grant number 01LF1801A; National Scien...
Article
Full-text available
Despite extensive literature on the socio-cultural services of urban open spaces, the role of food-producing spaces has not received sufficient attention. This hampers advocacy for preserving and growing urban agricultural activities, often dismissed on justifications that their contributions to overall food supply are negligible. To understand how...
Article
Growing global demand for natural rubber is leading to increased deforestation for rubber plantations with consequences for biodiversity, carbon storage, and social dislocation. There has been little attention given to these issues in Sri Lanka, where the rubber production is central to economic growth. Although private initiatives and government r...
Presentation
Communities face unprecedented risks due to climate change including coastal and inland flooding due to rising sea levels and precipitation. Studies demonstrate that some communities are especially vulnerable due to socio-economic and demographic status. Another crucial but understudied risk is climate change denialism, in that some individuals and...
Presentation
Urban agriculture (UA) is widely discussed as a key intervention for urban sustainability and resilience, but its multi-dimensional effects – food provision, community cohesion, job training, and more – have proven difficult to assess and plan for at the scale of a city. Furthermore, many UA services (e.g., mental health benefits) and disservices (...
Article
Residential energy use represents roughly 17% of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the United States (U.S.). Studies show that legacy housing policies and financial lending practices have negatively impacted housing quality and home ownership in non-Caucasian and immigrant communities. Both factors are key determinants of household energy use. But...
Article
Full-text available
China has pledged to cap its carbon emission by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, making knowledge about how the Chinese general public understands climate change crucial and timely. This article reports findings from surveys of climate change perceptions in six Chinese cities (∼40 million people). We identify 10 distinct mental images an...
Article
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There is a growing interest in planning for green infrastructure, as well as a growing recognition of the multifunctional nature of green infrastructure, since it provides many social and environmental benefits to cities and regions. However, there is a lack of appropriate methods for prioritizing the locations for green infrastructure intervention...
Article
This paper uses bibliometric mapping and network analysis to review decades of research on ecosystem services and life cycle assessment (LCA). The study reveals how these two academic fields evolved to become distinct fields with little interaction despite shared environmental sustainability objectives. In assessing more than 56,000 publications, w...
Presentation
Urban sprawl in the US leads to the loss of forests, wetlands, and prime farmland and to built environment infrastructures that are inefficient in terms of mobility, energy and water use. This study uses very-high resolution remotely sensed data (1m ortho-photos), spanning a 30 years period, and the machine learning Random Forests algorithm to quan...
Presentation
Human experience of ongoing social-ecological changes will be governed by intersecting and interdependent infrastructures. Yet, existing evidence indicates that planning practice struggles to integrate social, ecological, and technological dimensions of infrastructures. Further, recent calls for decentralization of key life support infrastructures...
Article
The United States (U.S.) imports 87 percent of its avocados from a single Mexican region, Michoacán. Although environmental and social costs associated with avocado production are significant, consumers and retailers in the U.S. cannot clearly discern them in part due to complex, opaque supply chains. In this paper, we use a novel methodology, TRAc...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies examine the correlation between the use of resources such as water, energy and land, and the production of food. These nexus studies focus predominantly on large scale systems, often considering the social dimensions only in terms of access to resources and participation in the decision-making process, rather than individual attitudes...
Article
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As globally important forested areas situated in a context of dramatic socio-economic changes, Siberia and the Russian Far East (RFE) are important regions to monitor for anthropogenic land-use trends. Therefore, we compiled decadal Landsat-derived land-cover and land-use data for eight dominantly rural case study sites in these regions and focused...
Article
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Context: Urban sprawl typically consists of low-density urban development dominated by single-family housing and automobile-oriented land use patterns. Sprawl impacts landscape structure and composition, especially along the urban periphery. However, few studies have simultaneously examined sprawl at the building level and by building type (e.g. si...
Article
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Significance This study uses data on ∼93 million individual homes to perform the most comprehensive study of greenhouse gases from residential energy use in the United States. We provide nationwide rankings of carbon intensity of homes in states and ZIP codes and offer correlations between affluence, floor space, and emissions. Scenarios demonstrat...
Article
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Although fields such as industrial ecology have advanced our understanding of how cleaner technologies, recycling, and lifestyle changes can reduce the impacts of production and consumption on people and planet, environmental deterioration and social injustices stubbornly persist. New strategies are needed to achieve change in an era of increasing...
Article
Informal footpaths known as desire lines crisscross the city of Detroit and are visible from space. Despite their prevalence, especially in postindustrial cities, no comprehensive study of desire lines exists for any urban area. How extensive are these lines, how do people use them, and how are they changing over time? What is their potential to re...
Article
Full-text available
Essential for society to function, the production and consumption of food, energy, and water (FEW) are deeply intertwined, leading to calls for a nexus approach to understand and manage the complex tradeoffs and cascading effects. What research exists to date on this FEW nexus? How have scholars conceptualized these interactions at the urban scale?...
Presentation
Detroit is a city-region in renewal, after decades of socio-economic recession and urban decline. The Detroit region has abundant vacant and abandoned residential, commercial, and industrial land and there are ambitious plans to demolish properties and ‘shrink’ the city by concentrating stabilization efforts in target neighborhoods. One emerging st...
Article
The University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) seeks to transform sustainability learning through new curricular tools that incorporate multimedia sources, build both scientific and professional skills, and nurture partnerships with practitioners for extended engaged learning beyond the classroom. The Michigan Sustainab...
Article
Increasing urbanization places cities at the forefront of achieving global sustainability. For cities to become more sustainable, however, the infrastructure on which they rely must also become more productive, efficient and resilient. Unfortunately the current paradigm of urban infrastructure development is fragmented in approach lacking a systems...
Article
This paper introduces a mixed method approach for analyzing the determinants of natural latex yields and the associated spatial variations and identifying the most suitable regions for producing latex. Geographically Weighted Regressions (GWR) and Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique (ISODATA) are jointly applied to the georeferenced d...
Article
Cities are expanding green infrastructure to enhance resilience and ecosystem services. Although green infrastructure is promoted for its multifunctionality, projects are typically sited based on a particular benefit, such as stormwater abatement, rather than a suite of socio-economic and environmental benefits. This stems in part from the lack of...
Article
Despite our declared era of ‘Big Data,’ we lack information on the flows of energy, water, and materials that support modern societies. These data are essential to understand how ecologies and the labor of people in far flung places supply urban areas, as well as how these resource flows are used by whom, where, and for what purpose. Like other pla...
Article
In the 25 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, sweeping political, economic, and social changes have profoundly influenced environmental protection in Russia, the world’s largest country and one of global importance with respect to natural resources, biodiversity conservation, wilderness preservation, and climate change mitigation. This...
Article
Full-text available
In academic and policy discourse, the concept of urban resilience is proliferating. Social theorists, especially human geographers, have rightfully criticized that the underlying politics of resilience have been ignored and stress the importance of asking " resilience of what, to what, and for whom? " This paper calls for careful consideration of n...
Article
Full-text available
In academic and policy discourse, the concept of urban resilience is proliferating. Social theorists, especially human geographers, have rightfully criticized that the underlying politics of resilience have been ignored and stress the importance of asking "resili-ence of what, to what, and for whom?" This paper calls for careful consideration of no...
Article
Full-text available
Fostering resilience in the face of environmental, socioeconomic, and political uncertainty and risk has captured the attention of academics and decision makers across disciplines, sectors, and scales. Resilience has become an important goal for cities, particularly in the face of climate change. Urban areas house the majority of the world's popula...
Article
Russian forest resources are important for global carbon cycling. In contrast to traditional analyses that focus on the harvest and direct use of Russian timber resources (a.k.a. production-based accounting), this study investigates how the consumption of nations drives Russian timber harvest (a.k.a. consumption-based accounting or the Russian timb...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience is an increasingly popular concept in academic research and public discourse and is closely connected to complex systems theory. This article reviews research on resilience and complexity in industrial ecology and the broader academy by conducting a bibliometric analysis of the academic literature over a 40-year period (1973–2014). The r...
Article
Despite widespread media coverage of livestock-related issues and growing scientific evidence linking meat production and climate change, systematic content analysis of this relationship in media coverage has been surprisingly minimal. In this article, we combine actor-network theory with framing theory to develop the basis for “story-networks”—net...
Article
An audit of recreation programs with moderate or higher levels of physical activity (PA) in Los Angeles area cities (N=82) was conducted using internet, telephone, and survey methods. Metabolic Equivalents (METs) were used to code programs׳ physical activity intensity. MET-hours per recreation program was associated with required age for enrollment...
Article
Full-text available
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ports around the world are considering using electric cargo handling equipment. To assess the benefits of the strategy, this study provides a comparative life-cycle assessment between diesel and electric yard tractors in a case study of the Port of Los Angeles. Results indicate a significant reduction in life-cyc...
Article
With its rapid rise as a metaphor to express coupled natural-human systems in cities, the concept of urban metabolism is evolving into a series of relatively distinct research frameworks amongst various disciplines, with varying definitions, theories, models, and emphases. In industrial ecology, housed primarily within the disciplinary domain of en...
Article
We are witnessing an explosion in carbon calculators for estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (i.e., carbon footprint) of households, buildings, cities, and processes. Seeking to capitalize on the emergent “green” consumer, corporations are leading the next iteration in carbon footprinting: consumer products. This potentially lucrative low...
Article
Alleys are enigmatic, neglected features of the urban fabric. In this paper we explore the distribution, physical features, activity patterns, and resident perceptions of alleys in one major US city, Los Angeles, California. We do so through an integrated mixed-methods strategy involving participatory research with community-based organizations, sp...
Article
Southern California's gateway to international commerce is through major ports in the San Pedro Bay. The University of Southern California is working with local business and other port stakeholders to enable collaborative learning about sustainable business practices. We are using system dynamics-based models for participants to locate leverage poi...
Article
Two prominent and alternate approaches, ecosystem service valuation and ecological footprints, link the production of ecosystem services with their consumption by societies. An overlapping goal of both approaches is to promote the sustainable use of ecosystem services such that their production rates are not compromised. Yet, little integration of...
Article
To study the effects of growth management efforts on urban fringe areas in Washington State’s Puget Sound region, USA, this study documents and quantifies transformations in land cover and land-use from 1974 to 1998 for a 474 km2 study area east of Seattle. Geo-referenced aerial photographs (orthophotos) were digitized, then classified, to compare...
Article
The vast forests of the Russian Far East and Siberia represent one of the last great forest wildernesses in the world, containing large expanses of boreal and northern temperate forest types. These forests are of global importance as habitat for rare and endangered species, for the richness of biodiversity in areas such as the Sikhote-Alin Mountain...
Article
The Russian Far East has long been regarded by Moscow as a natural resource base. Under the Soviet regime, huge industrial complexes were set up to exploit the region's abundant reserves of timber, coal, diamonds, gold, oil and gas. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the area is now being opened up to foreign investment. Powerful national and m...

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Projects (2)
Project
The objective of this internationally comparing project perspective is the development of a comprehensive system which enables to comprehend the contribution of existing urban agriculture forms –Urban Agriculture - to sustainable urban development and to measure the quantity of produced food as well as the related energy and water consumptions. An additional objective is to increase knowledge on possible health risks of urban agriculture forms and to identify approaches in order to improve efficiency with regard to the relation between food production, energy and water consumption – abbreviated Food/Energy/Water (FEW).