Urban sustainable development requires an in-depth and holistic understanding of the complex Food-Energy-Water-Waste (FEWW) nexus facing population growth, climate change, economic development, and pollution control. Following the United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), goal 11 aims for sustainable cities and communities to be resilient, sustainable, and safe cities to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Explicitly, SDG target 11.3 concentrates on inclusive and sustainable urbanization for sustainable planning and management. As the UN Food System program aims for inclusive, sustainable, and resilient network, promoting sustainable food systems becomes a necessity to echo social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The goal of this study is placed on analyzing sustainability patterns via different types of FEWW nexuses from building to regional scale in urban regions of Orlando and Miami, FL leading to deepen the holistic understanding of urban sustainable development. A series of system dynamic modeling analyses were conducted to create actionable options for mitigating climate change impact, improving carbon emission reduction, enhancing urban farming and green energy harvesting, and promoting carbon neutrality and decarbonization. By examining the governance structure and function of each city, this study generates actionable information by analyzing the distributed production and storage of materials and energy flows into, out of, and within a community/city given their consumption patterns and supply chains associated with various FEWW nexuses. Findings indicate the importance of sustainable technology hub integration via decentralized decision support in different types of urban FEWW nexuses. The two case studies present feasible alternatives via green building retrofit options and urban green infrastructure integration with respect to low impact developments, renewable energy harvesting, urban farming, and stormwater reuse. This information will be used to understand the role of key technologies in different types of nexuses associated with different urban planning scenarios affecting the final urban sustainable solutions.


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Graduation Date





Chang, Ni-bin


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering




CFE0009078; DP0026411





Release Date

May 2023

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)