Skyline of Abu Dhabi Al Reem Island with mangrove forest in the foreground

Ecologies of Urban Development: Audiovisual Mapping of the Socio-Environmental Impacts of Residential Development in Abu Dhabi

Fellow: Aaron Marcus-Willers
Supervisors: Prof. Matteo Marciano & Prof. David Wrisley

This coming year, as a new CITIES’ Post-graduation Research Fellow, Aaron Marcus-Willers will work alongside Professors Matteo Marciano and David Wrisley on an interdisciplinary research project that focuses on assessing and demonstrating the impacts of large-scale urban development on both human and wildlife populations in the Abu Dhabi islands through acoustic surveys of biophonic and anthrophonic sound, as well as through quantitative, questionnaire-based research among affected populations. The project proposes an interdisciplinary approach that bridges acoustic ecology with the fields of environmental, digital, and spatial humanities, in which field recordings and their spectral analyses will be compiled with interview-based data in a multimodal representation of data-based storytelling. It is his hope that this project will also create a foundation for further research in this area—a largely understudied topic in the region—by creating an open repository of high-quality acoustic and survey-based data. 

Ground Truth Validation of the Microclimate Model of NYUAD Campus: An Arid Cities Research Project

Fellow: Yaman Garg
Supervisors: Prof. Kemal Celik & Prof. Masoud Ghandehari

At the same time, Yaman Garg, the other CITIES’ Post-graduation Research Fellow this year, will work on developing a methodology for the validation of CFD microclimate models of arid regions such as the UAE, using the NYUAD campus as the laboratory. The model will simulate the campus microclimate, including the thermal comfort, represented by Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET), and its output will be validated against an extensive set of field measurements using micro-weather stations, contact temperature sensors, and surface temperature data from satellites. Thus, it will help in the production of reliable insights that will be essential for cities such as Abu Dhabi to tackle their energy, health, and climate issues affected by temperature. The study will be supervised jointly by Professor Kemal Celik at NYUAD and Professor Masoud Ghandehari at NYU Tandon.