Sohyun Park

Assistant Professor, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

Primary Research Theme

Social-Ecological Systems

Secondary Research Themes

Built Environment, Healthy Cities


Research Interests

Sohyun Park’s research interests include urban ecology, urban and community planning, urban parks and green spaces, and urban morphology. Her research focuses on the relationships among patterns, functions, and services of urban ecological systems and their relevance to environmental sustainability and human well-being. Target sites of interest include various spatial scales ranging from a larger urban region and metropolitan area to a neighborhood and urban block. With her research on urbanism, landscape, and ecology (RULE), Sohyun seeks to understand a unifying theme of “landscape” as a holistic socioecological urban system. Her work has been supported by the U. S. Department of the Interior National Park Service, United Nations Development Programme, Korea Ministry of Environment, and national and local municipalities.

Recent Cities-related Projects

  • Pilot Study on the Relationship between Urban Green Spaces and Fine Particulate Matter. Various urban, green space, and meteorological variables influence city-wide PM2.5 pollution levels. In the six largest cities in Texas, city-wide fine particulate matter concentrations have significant and positive associations with temperature, city land area, population, population density, and landscape shape complexity. In addition, there are negative associations with wind speed, amount of green spaces, tree canopy, and connectivity of green spaces. These findings indicate that both the quantity and spatial configuration of green spaces play an important role in managing fine particulate matter in large cities.
  • Restoration and Creation of Endangered Species Habitats in Urban Areas. This work is a systematic approach to identify urban habitat requirements for endangered species in Korea including narrow-mouthed toads and Korean terrapins. It focuses on the development of the habitat suitability index (HSI) for habitat spatialization, restoration, and creation.
  • Impacts of Urbanization on Landscape Ecological Connectivity in the Phoenix Metro Area.  Desert ecosystems are becoming fragmented in the landscape mosaic due to urban development in one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. The land classification in this study based on the value of ecological connectivity utilizes GIS modeling and spatial pattern analysis. This study also examines ecosystem loss in relation to different development scenarios.

Select Publications

  1. Park, S., Kim, S. and Lee, J. A Pilot Study on the Relationship between Urban Green Spaces and Fine Particulate Matter. Journal of Geospatial and Environmental Research.  In Press.
  2. Zhang, P. and Park, S. Exploring the Role of Greening and Place-making in Vacant Lots Management for Addressing Environmental Injustice in Hartford, Connecticut. Landscape Research Record.
  3. Park, S. (2017) A Preliminary Study on Connectivity and Perceived Values of Community Green Spaces. Sustainability Open Access Journal. 9(5) 692.
  4. Park, S. (2015) Spatial Assessment of Landscape Ecological Connectivity in Different Urban Gradient. Environmental Assessment and Monitoring. 187(7): 187-425.
  5. Park, S., Hepcan, Ç, Hepcan, Ş., Cook, E. A. (2014) Influence of Urban Form on Landscape Pattern and Connectivity in Metropolitan Regions: A Comparative Case Study of Phoenix, Arizona, USA and Izmir, Turkey, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 186(10):6301-6318.
  6. Park, S. (2013) Spatiotemporal Landscape Pattern Change in Response to Future Urbanization: A Case of the Maricopa County, Arizona, USA. Landscape Research. 38(5): 625-648.
  7. Johnson, B.R., Brown, I., Pierce, J.R., Barton, M., Park, S., Alberti, M., Hallett, L., Harrigan, R., Jessup, K., Yun, M., Mooney, P., Yok, T.P. A Call to Action for Planning and Management of Urban Biodiversity. Book proposal submitted in 2018 for Routledge publication.
  8. Gamzøe, L. and Park, S. (2012) Turning Cities Around, a book chapter of Remaking Metropolis: Global Challenges of the Urban Landscape (Eds. Cook, E.A. and Lara, J.) Routledge: New York. Paperback 978-0-415-67082-1; Hardback 978-0-415-67081-4. PP. 185-202.
  9. Park, S. (2011) Book Review: Balance and Reconciliation between Planning and Ecology for Urban Region: for Urban Regions, Richard T.T. Forman, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2008, 408 pp. Urban Studies Journal 48(4):832-835
  10. Park, S. (2010) Book Review: Restorative Commons: for Restorative Commons: Creating Health and Well-Being Through Urban Landscapes, Campbell, L. and A. Wiesen (eds.),  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown Square, PA., 2009, 278 pp. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-39. Landscape Ecology 25(10): 1627-1628.