Urban Resource Assessment: A Quantitative Evaluation of an Urban Neighborhood's Theoretical Capacity to Harvest Energy, Manage Water and Grow Food

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy & Mgmt


Steven Arnold


sustainability; urban agriculture; renewable energy; stormwater management; rainwater harvesting; Water quality; solar energy; wind energy; biomass


Sustainability is considered to be the utilization of natural resources in a manner ensuring they will be available for future generations. This is dependent on our efficient use of these resources carefully balanced with our growing need for three necessities: energy, water and food. It is imperative for urban centers to evaluate and optimize these critical resources. The Urban Resource Assessment demonstrates existing urban neighborhoods can be quantitatively evaluated using publicly-available GIS, CAD and aerial photography to determine the theoretical capacity for harvesting energy, managing water and growing food. Theoretical capacities for renewable energy sources, water quality capture volume, rainwater harvesting and vegetable crop yields were estimated utilizing a digital, three-dimensional model of an existing neighborhood block in Denver, Colorado.

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