Professor helps National Academies promote sustainable urban development

April 19, 2013

Arizona State University engineer Samuel Ariaratnam is among contributors to a new book published by the National Academies aimed at providing communities some of the best strategies for sustainable urban development.

Ariaratnam is a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, and the chair of the construction engineering program in the Del E. Webb School of Construction Programs. Sam Ariaratnam book Download Full Image

He worked on material for three chapters in “Underground Engineering for Sustainable Urban Development.” The book was based on a study requested by the National Science Foundation and conducted by the National Research Council.

Underground construction is a rapidly expanding field, fueled by the growing needs of cities to replace aging infrastructure or build new infrastructure using methods that will increase the efficiency, resiliency and safety of such facilities and utility systems.

Building new infrastructure and related facilities underground “may be the most successful way to encourage or support the redirection of urban development into sustainable patterns,” The National Academies Press states in promoting the book.

Ariaratnam, a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Underground Engineering for Sustainable Development, says the book draws on expertise in broad range of areas – including construction industry leaders, academia and research leaders, urban planners and policy experts, fire prevention and public safety professionals, geotechnical engineers and psychologists.

Ariaratnam is a leading expert in the trenchless technology method of underground construction. He was named the 2012 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year by Trenchless Technology magazine, the leading North American publication in the field.

“I’m certain this book is going to have a big impact. It’s already gotten a lot of attention internationally,” he says. “Everyone is looking for better ways to build infrastructure, both the public sector and private sector.”

The National Academies is made up of four organizations, the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. They serve as advisers to government and public leaders.

The book can be downloaded free of charge on The National Academies Press website.

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


International Journal of Human Rights reviews Weinstein book

April 19, 2013

A book co-edited by Professor James Weinstein of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law is “ambitious and authoritative in its scope and invaluable in its recommendations,” according to a review in The International Journal of Human Rights.

Weinstein, the Amelia Lewis Professor of Constitutional Law and an Associate Fellow in the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Public Law, co-edited Extreme Speech and Democracy (Oxford University Press) with British barrister Ivan Hare. The book was released in hard cover in 2009 and in paperback in 2010. Download Full Image

Though noting that that the book was first published in 2009, reviewer Paul Wragg, a lecturer at the University of Leeds School of Law, explains in his recent review that the book remains “an important and impressive collection of essays that address the topical and challenging question of how unpopular, outrageous and downright vile expressive activity ought to be treated.”

Wragg criticizes the United Kingdom High Court’s “awkward, inept handling of the issues” in the 2011 case, Munim Abdul and Others v. Director of Public Prosecutions, when it ruled the prosecution of people who had shouted, among other things, “burn in hell” and “baby killers” at British soldiers was not a breach of their right to freedom of expression.

“It is a pity the court had not read … Professor Weinstein’s thoughtful and refined argument about the importance of ‘offensive’ dissent to democratic self-governance in which he perceptively notes the ‘insecure’ status of the ‘core democratic right’ to express unpopular ideas in public in the UK,” Wragg writes .

The International Journal of Human Rights is a quarterly journal that covers a broad spectrum of human rights issues: human rights and the law, race, religion, gender, children, class, refugees and immigration. It also publishes articles and reports on the human rights aspects of genocide, torture, capital punishment, and the laws of wars and war crimes, among other topics.

Weinstein’s areas of academic interest are Constitutional Law, especially Free Speech, as well as Jurisprudence and Legal History. In addition to Extreme Speech and Democracy, he is the author of Hate Speech, Pornography and the Radical Attack on Free Speech Doctrine (Westview Press 1999), and has written numerous articles in law review symposia on a variety of free speech topics, including: free speech theory, obscenity doctrine, institutional review boards, commercial speech, database protection, campaign finance reform, the relationship between free speech and constitutional rights, hate crimes, and campus speech codes. He has litigated several significant free speech cases, primarily on behalf of Arizona Civil Liberties Union.

To read the full review, click here.