|Mr. David Proffitt holds a Master's degree in urban & environmental planning and a Bachelor's degree in English literature, both from Arizona State University. Most recently, he has worked as a land-use planner and writer/editor at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Phoenix, Arizona. His research focuses on quantifying the effects of urban environmental policies on climate change, the urban heat island, and resource use. His interest in urban planning stems from an earlier career as a journalist, and he has published extensively on topics ranging from architecture, crime, business, and entertainment in "The Arizona Republic", "Dwell" magazine, and other media outlets.|
The urban heat island in Pune, Maharashtra has raised average temperatures in the city by 9°C over surrounding rural areas, with resultant increases in energy demand and public-health issues. This phenomenon is the result of urban expansion and the corresponding spread of concrete, asphalt, and other materials that trap heat from the sun. Mr. Profitt's Fulbright-Nehru research titled as "Cooling Development: Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategies in Pune, India," seeks to identify the heat-island mitigation strategies most appropriate for Pune's climate, built environment, and business and regulatory structure. The end product will quantify the expected energy savings, health benefits, and effect on air pollution, as well as preliminary costs of proposed mitigation strategies.