What if a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Seattle?

What if a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Seattle?

​Wikimedia commons: Labeled for reuse

In preparation for the BIG ONE — the mighty 9.0-magnitude earthquake that’s expected to lay waste to the Pacific Northwest — geophysicists have created 50 virtual simulations to see how such a quake could rattle the region.

The simulations don’t paint a pretty picture for Seattle or the coastal areas of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Northern California, but the locations of some epicenters were a bit more forgiving than others.<...

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Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

​NOAA: Labled for reuse

The best designs can also be the most surprising. A promising new concept for tsunami resistant buildings features breakaway walls and floors on lower levels that, when removed by forceful waves, strengthen the structure and better protect occupants seeking safety on higher floors.

Thanks to a $1 million National Science Foundation Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation grant, CEE faculty will be developing a new structural system to better protect communities during tsunamis. The...

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Earthquakes are inevitable but catastrophe is not

Written by University of Washington Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Marc Eberherd, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Jeffery Berman, and Department of Human-Centered Design senior scientist Scott Miles.

Many older buildings provide vital, low-cost housing. But we must find a way to make these structures safer. It should not be acceptable to us to subject our fellow citizens to such hazardous conditions.

ONCE again we...

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UW gets federal money to boost early-warning system for West Coast earthquakes

UW gets federal money to boost early-warning system for West Coast earthquakes

​Wikimedia: FEMA: Public Domain

The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded $4.9 million to six universities and a nonprofit to help advance an early-warning system for earthquakes along the West Coast. The federal agency says the ShakeAlert system could give people seconds or up to a minute of warning before strong shaking begins. The University of Washington, Central Washington University and University of Oregon are among those receiving grants. Congress provided $10.2 million to the USGS earthquake hazards program earlier...

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There’s a map for that

There’s a map for that

Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain: USGS

If you own a cell phone or a mobile device you’re likely creating data that could be mapped. “When you add a Yelp review or geotag a tweet you’re actually volunteering geographic information, you are mapping,” said UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Britta Ricker. Most of us use maps to determine our location, to find out how to get from point A to point B. Ricker, who teaches in the university...

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USGS, partners launch a unified, West Coast-wide earthquake early warning system

USGS, partners launch a unified, West Coast-wide earthquake early warning system

​Wikimedia commons: Arg : CC BY-SA 2.0

The U.S. Geological Survey and university, public and private partners held an event April 10 at the University of Washington to introduce the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning program as a unified, West Coast-wide system. The event also introduced the first pilot uses of the earthquake early warning in Washington and Oregon.

The first Pacific Northwest pilot users of the system are Bothell, Wash.-based RH2 Engineering, which will use the alerts to...

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How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

Image Credit: Robert Lawton - CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The current Seattle rainstorm, and many like it this year, are overwhelming our city’s wastewater pipes, and some sewage may be dumping into the Puget Sound as we speak. But even in a normal year, King County dumps about 800 million gallons of raw sewage into its waterways. That’s because, when it rains too much in too short a time, “pipes start to flow too full,” School of Public Health professor...

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Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

​Photo by: David de la Cruz

​On November 7th and 8th Urban@UW, in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (CIG), hosted a symposium to begin transdisciplinary conversation on the multifaceted dynamics and consequences of Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (UEJ). Below are some reflections from this event, and a sample of the resources we’ll be sharing from our time together.

Urban environmental justice has been impacting cities...

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Livable City Year releases RFP, invites cities to partner for 2017-8 academic year

Livable City Year releases RFP, invites cities to partner for 2017-8 academic year

The University of Washington’s Livable City Year initiative is now accepting proposals from cities, counties, special districts and regional partnerships to partner with during the 2017-2018 academic year.

UW Livable City Year (UW LCY) connects University of Washington faculty and students with a municipal partner for a full academic year to work on projects fostering livability. The municipal partner will identify a selection of projects in their community that could be...

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New! Urban Map Gallery

New! Urban Map Gallery

​We’ve created a new urban map gallery to explore how other people and organizations are studying and visualizing data. The gallery features seven cities facing different social, economic, and geographic issues. This curation is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather provide insight and inspiration. Maps included track everything from sound to subway pathogens.

Check it out, it’s fun!

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Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds

Risk of lead poisoning from urban gardening is low, new study finds

Using compost is the single best thing you can do to protect your family from any danger associated with lead in urban soils. Good compost will also guarantee that you will have plenty of vegetables to harvest.

That’s the main finding of a paper appearing this month in the Journal of Environmental Quality. The University of Washington-led study looked at potential risks associated with growing vegetables in urban gardens and determined...

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Monthly Wrap up January 2016

Monthly Wrap up January 2016

It’s been a great start to 2016.

UW Alumni association and History Department put together a woderful history lecture series: Excavating Seattle’s histories: Peoples, politics, and place check out details and videos here>

The CBE also hosted a number of great speakers and events including SUSTAINING JAPAN: 3.11 FIVE YEARS ON lecture and panel discussion with Hitoshi Abe

Smart city leaders from around the world...

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Weekly Recap 12/12-12/18

Weekly Recap 12/12-12/18

A few of the highlights in Urban news for the past week:

195 nations reached a landmark accord that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html UW announces new Master of Science in Data Science for professionals program https://www.washington.edu/news/2015/12/14/uw-board-of-regents-approves-new-master-of-science-in-data-science-for-professionals/ San Diego Vows...

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Weekly Recap 11/16-11/20

Weekly Recap 11/16-11/20
​UW releases new report on climate change in the Puget Sound. View story on UW Today > Students from the UW School of Public Health tackle heath care challenges facing people without homes. Video on King 5 News > UW College of the Environment posted last week’s lecture from John Vidale, “A tale of three Seattle temblors: One big, one deep, and one direct hit” . View Dr. Vidale’s Lecture Here > UW...

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New report outlines Puget Sound region’s future under climate change

New report outlines Puget Sound region’s future under climate change

The Puget Sound watershed — the area west of the Cascades Mountains that stretches from the state capitol up to the Canadian border — is warming. It also faces rising seas, heavier downpours, larger and more frequent floods, more sediment in its rivers, less snow, and hotter, drier summer streams.

A new report by the University of Washington synthesizes all the relevant research about the future of the Puget Sound region to...

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