PUP190 Florida Atlantic University Urban Sustainability Solutions Research choose an urban sustainability problem that interests you and research a possibl

PUP190 Florida Atlantic University Urban Sustainability Solutions Research choose an urban sustainability problem that interests you and research a possible solution for it. This will not only expand your knowledge about the challenge you choose, but also help you learn how to find high quality research on any topic and apply it to solve a problem.


State a question related to an urban sustainability challenge for which research may offer answers. It is fine for you to adjust your question based on research you are able to identify!


List the (combination of) search terms you used to identify research to help answer your question (you are expected to use between 3-5 combinations of search terms, depending on your question).


List the databases (see lecture notes on finding research and library guides) you searched using these terms (you are expected to search between 2-3 databases, depending on your question).

4. ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY (around 300 words)

List the references in American Psychological Association (APA) format (e.g., see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/) for two peer-reviewed research articles that you found that would be most helpful in answering the question you selected. Under each reference write a paragraph (around 150 words) summarizing the article. This summary should:

a) evaluate the background of the author(s) (you may have to google them)

b) describe the scope of the study

c) outline the methods used

d) summarize the key findings

e) explain how this work relates to your research question.


Provide recommendations for how to address your chosen urban sustainability challenge. Support your argument using insights and examples from the research articles you found. Do not use direct quotes from the articles, instead put the information into your own words. You should use correctly formatted APA in-text citations whenever you are presenting information from the articles. If you will use additional sources, create a references page at the end and include proper in-text citations.

Also there’s an example attached Andrew John De Los Santos
PUP 190/SOS 111 Sustainable Cities
March 21, 2019
Assignment 4: Researching Urban Sustainability Solutions
How can composting food waste help reduce climate change and enhance sustainability?
I used different combinations of search terms:
1. Compost AND Sustain*
2. Compost AND “food waste” AND environment
3. “Compost Biochar” AND “Carbon Sequestration”
4. “Food Waste” AND “Carbon Sequestration”
I used the following databases:
1. Scopus
2. Web of Science
Bolan, N. S., Kunhikrishnan, A., Choppala, G. K., Thangarajan, R., & Chung, J. W. (2012).
Stabilization of carbon in composts and biochars in relation to carbon sequestration and soil
fertility. Science of The Total Environment, 424, 264–270.
(Word Count: 194)
Dr. Nanthi Bolan previously worked for the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and
the Cooperative Research Centre for Contaminants Assessment and Remediation of the
Environment at the University of South Australia, and now at the University of Newcastle, and
he has published many highly-cited studies on biochar, according to Google Scholar. Current
intensive farming techniques removes carbon from the soil, so it’s necessary to enhance its
capacity to act as a carbon sink and thereby help to mitigate climate change. In Dr. Bolan’s
paper, she looked at how to enhance carbon sequestration in soil using compost and biochar from
organic materials to mitigate GHG emissions. The methodology used was to run different
decomposition experiments on various organic amendments to measure the release of CO2.
Results showed that compost combined with clay materials increased the stabilization of carbon
the most. However, when organic material undergoes pyrolysis (heated at high temperatures with
little oxygen) and becomes biochar, it further enhances its ability to stabilize and sequester
carbon. Additionally, it was found that both compost and biochar enhance soil quality.
Therefore, composting food waste or turning it into biochar can improve soil quality and reduce
carbon emissions.
Oldfield, T. L., Sikirica, N., Mondini, C., López, G., Kuikman, P. J., & Holden, N. M. (2018).
Biochar, compost and biochar-compost blend as options to recover nutrients and sequester
carbon. Journal of Environmental Management, 218, 465–476.
(Word Count: 155)
Dr. Oldfield works at the School of Biosystems and Food Engineering at the University
College Dublin, Ireland. In his paper, he looked at the potential environmental impact of end-oflife of organic materials in agriculture and how the applications compare to that of traditional
mineral fertilizer. He looked at global warming, acidification, and eutrophication impacts among
pyrolysis (biochar), composting (compost), and its combination (biochar-compost blend). His
methodology utilized a life cycle analysis software (GaBi v6) to analyze inventory and impacts
associated. It was found that although all three end-of-life scenarios yield benefits to agriculture,
the biochar-compost blend was the most effective since it allowed synergies between the
composting need for energy and the pyrolysis net gain. Additionally, it allows for carbon
sequestration and nutrient cycling. This allowed for similar yields compared to mineral fertilizer,
while reducing environmental impacts. Therefore, food waste either composted or turned into
biochar, can increase yields for growing crops while decreasing emissions.
(Word Count: 485)
Universities like Arizona State University can provide a local end-of-life solution to food
waste generated on campus and work towards their sustainability goals by drawing on research
on compost and biochar. Since most food waste in the US ends up in the landfill, it creates
emissions due to transportation, equipment energy use, and GHG due to carbon dioxide and
methane released in the landfill (Gunders 2012). A solution to reducing GHG and lessening
climate change is to sequester the carbon that would have otherwise been wasted. Studies show
that combinations of compost and biochar can be highly effective in sequestering carbon and
improving soil quality (Boland, 2012; Oldfield, 2018). As carbon is captured in the compost or
biochar and placed in the soil, it slowly releases carbon back into the soil instead of being sunk
into the landfill and created emissions (Boland, 2012).
Arizona State University aims to become a zero-waste campus by 2025, meaning that
90% of waste will be diverted from the landfill. Since food waste makes up 12% of the overall
waste stream on campus, it includes finding ways to repurpose food waste generated in dining
halls and food courts (Zero Waste Annual Report Fiscal Year 2018). Developing a compost yard
and biochar generation facility on campus could be a logistical and environmental solution to
keeping waste materials within campus limits and producing a soil amendment that can benefit
the larger Phoenix metropolitan agricultural areas. Using machinery that runs on renewable
energy (i.e. hydroelectric, solar, wind) would make the composting and biochar production
processes carbon positive by avoiding emissions if food waste as disposed in the current
business-as-usual scenario.
ASU may already use compost for their many raised beds throughout campus that grow
different types of flora from native desert plants to beautiful multi-colored flowers. However,
this has an economic cost since it is likely purchased from an outside source and an
environmental cost due to packaging and transportation associated with bringing the compost to
campus. If the campus were to switch to compost that was generated on site, they could conduct
an experiment like what Oldfield (2018) did comparing compost, biochar, and biochar-compost
blends to mineral fertilizer. ASU can compare the quality of its campus-generated compost with
a third-party compost or fertilizer. If the campus-generated compost can offer similar, if not
better, yields than other soil amendments purchased elsewhere, it can be cost-competitive while
reducing emissions and providing a quality organic compost. Students can also be hired to help
collect the food waste, manage the compost yard, or even help run the biochar facility. This
would yield a social value by providing local jobs to students while providing an experiential
learning experience like a living lab for sustainability. Therefore, by investing in an on-campus
composting yard and biochar facility, it embodies the campus’ sustainability values by appealing
to the three pillars: social (job creation), economic (cost saving), and environmental (GHG
Gunders, D. (2012). Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of its Food from Farm to
Fork to Landfill. Natural Resource Defense Council. Retrieved from
Zero Waste Annual Report Fiscal Year 2018. Arizona State University. Retrieved on 21 March
2019 from https://cfo.asu.edu/zerowaste.

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