EquitableResilience.io (ER.io)
Publication LinkTool-1 Link (Transit Stations Occupancy Changes (%))Tool-2 Link (Parks Occupancy Changes (%))
Team: Mehdi Ashayeri, PHD.  (co-PI)Narjes Abbasabadi, PHD. (co-PI)
SYNOPSISThe COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented attention to the interplay between spatial, environmental, and human dynamics, and the need for equitable resilience in built environments. To address this complex issue, we developed a spatiotemporal model and a conceptual framework to examine the relationships between spatial disparities of access to critical infrastructure, environmental factors (including the energy burden of households and exposure to pollutants such as PM2.5), health crises (such as COVID cases), and households' response behaviors and resilience capacities, within the context of their socio-economic contexts. Our tool, ER.io, was used to develop data-driven models at the county level for Texas, US, at daily temporal granularities, using data from various sources such as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), Census Bureau, Google, and OpenStreetMap (OSM).Our analysis using ER.io reveals that changes in occupancy patterns in public and private buildings during the pandemic were associated with environmental issues and households' energy burden, as well as socio-economic characteristics. For instance, we found that households with a higher level of energy burden had a greater demand for public transportation, while households with a lower energy burden showed a decrease in demand for public transportation, indicating the influence of socio-economic status and energy affordability on daily mobility behavior during the pandemic. Additionally, our model reveals an increase in the use of parks and green spaces during the pandemic, although the presence of low-income households in these areas decreased. Furthermore, the presence of low-income households in residential buildings decreased, suggesting a lower possibility of working from home or having service jobs.ER.io can be a useful tool for allied design, planning, and policymaking disciplines to better understand human dynamics in relation to socio-economic characteristics and infrastructural systems, while also considering spatiotemporal dynamics to ensure equitable resilience within built environments. Our findings highlight the need to ground design, planning, and placemaking in human needs, equity, and environmental sustainability, by developing reflective indicators and metrics and harnessing emerging technology and innovative solutions to make built environments healthier, more equitable, and resilient.