Sustainable Redevelopment of Fashion Square Mall; How to Equitably Spread Carbon Capture Technologies

Awasthi, Neha, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Culver, Teresa, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia
Baritaud, Catherine, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

As climate change induced by manmade actions continues to worsen, designing and implementing better and more resilient infrastructure is vital to adapt to our changing climate and world. The technical portion focuses on the redesign of Fashion Square Mall located in Charlottesville, Virginia in the Meadow Creek Watershed. The watershed is ecologically impaired due to high levels of nitrogen, phosphate and sediment and retrofitting the mall to include greater amounts of green infrastructure will help remove pollutants and slow stormwater down. Another way to combat a changing climate is through carbon capture and sequestration technologies. As these technologies become more prominent in order to combat climate change,the equitable distribution need to be considered in order to make the largest impact. Therefore, although loosely coupled, both papers relate to the designing and the implementation of better and more resilient infrastructure to adapt to our changing climate and world. The technical portion’s purpose was to redesign the stormwater management system of the Meadow Creek watershed to improve water quality through incorporating green infrastructure. It has the ability to improve water quality and reduce peak flows, and it can reduce the urban heat island effect. Green infrastructure also is more aesthetically pleasing and engages residents into the natural environment. The team chose to focus on redesigning the Fashion Square Mall parcel because of its current lack of stormwater management, abundance of impervious surface and waning economic potential. GIS was used to map out the layout of the design and calculate areas for each feature of the redesign. Additionally, PCSWMM, i-Tree, and VRRM models were developed for the site to perform hydraulic, hydrologic, and environmental analyses of the system. The results indicated that through the implementation of green infrastructure, the site was able to see sustainable changes in pollutant loads and stormwater peak flows. The largest change, although, was not due to the green infrastructure but instead from land use changes from impervious parking lot to something as simple as green space. This indicates that although green infrastructure is immensely useful, not disturbing natural environments in the first place provides equal or even greater benefit. The purpose of the STS portion was to investigate the different actors that influence the equitable distribution of carbon capture and sequestration technologies. There is limited time and money and to create the largest impact, the difference between where and when to invest are vital. Using actor-network theory, the different components that affect such a decision were analyzed, as well as the social and moral implications and the roles the different actors can take. Implementing carbon capture and sequestration technologies in developing countries would have the largest impact. Wealthier nations have the resources to invest in solutions that do not even require the emitting of carbon dioxide, while less wealthy nations could still use fossil fuels to become more stable but become net zero through these technologies. To accomplish this, a global network needs to be established, with governments taking the lead and creating regulations and positive action steps. Although adaptation is important, the most important step is to decrease emissions and mitigate effects as much as possible first. In a world that is changing so quickly and drastically, infrastructure must be designed and built to meet current and future conditions. As grasped from the technical portion, instead of implementing technologies, reverting to natural state does an equal or greater amount of good. The first step, whether in green infrastructure or carbon capture and sequestration technologies, is to mitigate or revert back to a natural state. If new infrastructure is going in, it must be designed for future conditions and be effective and equal.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Fashion Square Mall, Actor-Network Theory, Carbon Capture, Green Infrastructure

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering
Technical Advisor: Teresa Culver
STS Advisor: Catherine Baritaud
Technical Team Members: John Gore, Burke Haywood, Shreya Moharir, Annalee Wisecarver, Rachel Yates

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