Water Privatization in India: The social, cultural and political implications of contemporary Indian water management

For the purpose of this research, I will be going Northern India to the Punjab state in order to study the way in which water is and the perceptions by local communities to these strategies. The rationale for Northern India is based on the dynamic changes to how water is
accessed in the region. Water privatization has been promoted throughout India by both federal authorities and external agents, and as such the State of Punjab is looking to privatize water in the state in phases.

Bargaining with the state: street vending, urban resistance and thepolitics of everyday life and survival in Hanoi, Vietnam

In Hanoi (popn. 6.5 million), the capital city of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the majority of vendors are rural to urban migrants, often women, who lack access to more durable livelihoods due to limited formal education, financial capital or social networks, who are now being pushed off their household land by the state’s development plans. Simultaneously, government efforts have sought to restrict the use of public space for vending. Although by trading, vendors can be fined, arrested, and have their goods confiscated, vendors can be seen plying their trade throughout the city.

The Spice of Life: Cardamom cultivation, trade networks, and livelihoods in Yunnan, China

Agricultural production and trade are central to Chinese economic development and the livelihoods of millions of people throughout the country. In China’s southwest Yunnan province, cardamom is an important cash crop that many rural communities cultivate and trade to make an income. This research project will focus on the current cardamom cultivation practices and trade networks in the Yunnan province, to determine how resources are managed and how knowledge is disseminated.

Computer Simulation of Geospatial Dynamics: How Do Cities Grow and Evolve?

Cities are the engines of creativity, wealth creation and economic growth in our society. Despite the increasing importance of cities in modern world, our ability to understand them scientifically and to manage them well in practice is limited. The greatest difficulties and challenges to any scientific approach to cities have resulted from their many interdependent facets, such as social, economic, infrastructural, and temporal-spatial processes. The problems associated with urban research and city management lie in the treatments of those facets as independent issues.

Flows of Water, Flows of People in Lao Cai, Vietnam

The Red River, flowing from China, runs through the northern border city of Lao Cai, in one of the poorest and most mountainous regions of Vietnam. A new expressway runs through Lao Cai and supports increased trade and investment. The economic growth draws in rural migrants, and also displaces people as it appropriates land to grow. Lao Cai’s urbanization occurs in a region that expects more intense and frequent storms due to climate change. Lao Cai already faces frequent floods and landslides that overwhelm its current infrastructure.

Methods to improve high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery in support of urban waste heat mapping, monitoring and metrics

This proposal builds on 5 years of research in the award winning HEAT (Heat Energy Assessment Technologies) project. Every year, billions of GJ of wasted heat leave millions of buildings in thousands of cities world-wide. In an effort to support urban energy efficiency, this research proposes four novel image post-processing techniques to improve/verify the geometry, radiometry and the processing of large volumes of high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery. Results are expected to enable faster and more accurate urban waste heat mapping and refined waste heat metrics.

Green Roofs as a Stormwater Management Tool

For the continuation of the MITACS internship, the intern will be analyzing the effect of variable liner dimension on separate green roof systems. The data collected from several design storms, in addition to, natural precipitation will be used to determine which system best reduces peak flows from green roofs. The intern will also be involved in working on an integrated stormwater management plan and low impact, sustainable development methods.

Assessing the suitability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for data collection

The research project intends to test various aspects of data collection using a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in order to assess the suitability for small sites (~1 ha). Ideal conditions for UAV based mapping will be determined and compared to other traditional methods. To identify suitable conditions, the relationship between accuracy and several factors (the flying height, observational angle) will be assessed as well as limitations such as the effect of wind and distance to target. Various software will be utilized to address the accuracy of image stitching.

Space-borne water quality assessment

Understanding river water quality is critical for various purposes such as ensuring drinking water safety, protecting public health and aquatic habitat, monitoring pollution, and disease control. The traditional approach to investigating water quality is by acquiring water samples at fixed-locations, which is time and cost consuming and cannot discover spatial distribution of water quality over a large area. The goal of this proposal is using remote sensing imagery to provide a complementary method to map and monitor water quality in large areas at real time.

Methods to improve high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery in support ofurban waste heat mapping, monitoring and metrics

This proposal builds on 4 years of research in the award winning HEAT (Heat Energy Assessment Technologies) project. Every year, billions of GJ of wasted heat leave millions of buildings in thousands of cities world-wide. In an effort to support urban energy efficiency, this research proposes four novel image post-processing techniques to improve/ verify the geometry, radiometry and the processing of large volumes of high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery. Results are expected to enable more accurate urban waste heat mapping and refined waste heat metrics.

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