Wang, Y., Rigolon, A., & Park, K. (2024). Transit to parks initiatives in the U.S. and Canada: Practitioners’ perspectives, Transport Policy 154: 84-95. [download] [link to the project page]

As large open spaces, such as national and regional parks, have become popular as recreational destinations, car dependency to access those open spaces has created capacity challenges. Due to these issues, transit-to-parks (T2P) initiatives—public transportation services connecting populated areas to large parks—have gained global traction. Limited research has examined these sustainability initiatives, and more knowledge is needed about how these initiatives are created and function. To address these gaps, this study explores motivations, facilitators, and challenges related to T2P initiatives in the U.S. and Canada. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 28 practitioners involved in the planning or operation of T2P initiatives in the two countries. Motivations for T2P included parking and congestion issues, environmental concerns, equity, and economic development. Facilitators of T2P initiatives included robust partnerships, community engagement, and advocacy efforts, emphasizing the importance of tailored narratives and coalition-building. The primary challenges mentioned were limited funding and labor, inadequate infrastructure, and siloed agencies and politics. This study reveals the complex dynamics of T2P initiatives and provides practical implications for transit agencies, public lands agencies, and community advocates seeking to enhance more sustainable and equitable access to nature.

Chen, M., Cai, Y., Guo, S., Sun, R., Yang, S., & Shen, X. (2024). Evaluating implied urban nature vitality in San Francisco: An interdisciplinary approach combining census data, street view images, and social media analysis. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 128289. [download]

Urban green spaces (UGS) are vital in modern cities, offering extensive health, social, and environmental benefits. However, traditional research methods primarily focus on UGS distribution and aggregation through 2D mapping, often neglecting the quality and vitality of urban natural environments. This limited approach hampers our full understanding of the complex issues and opportunities surrounding UGS. This study proposes a novel concept of Implied Urban Nature Vitality (IUNV) and evaluation framework that offers a comprehensive lens to understand better and evaluate the manifold human-urban-nature interactions in modern cityscapes. Based on our IUNV framework, an interdisciplinary investigation is conducted to show the distribution and population-level perceived IUNV in San Francisco by leveraging a triad of data sources: census, street-built environment, and social media data. Utilizing census data, we analyze socio-economic influences on UGS distribution and IUNV, including factors such as education, age demographics, income, and ethnicity. Street view imagery (SVI), analyzed with advanced image recognition algorithms, serves as a proxy for visual and physical aspects of IUNV, highlighting features like trees, sky, buildings, and roads. This analysis paints a granular picture of UGS’s spatial distribution and physical attributes, facilitating an objective measure of IUNV. Subsequently, we analyze Flickr photos related to urban natural areas, examining their distribution and identifying thematic clusters that illuminate various aspects of UGS vitality. Lastly, we combine computer vision and manual review to define 12 IUNV themes from architecture and nature, eco-friendly gatherings, to cultural performance, exploring the relationship between the vitality clusters and the independent variables. The main findings are: (1) Macro-level factors (e.g., accessibility level, land use mix level, road density, population density, etc.) are the dominant variables influencing IUNV.; (2) Street view factors play key roles in IUNV. Through this holistic IUNV analysis, the study shed light on the complexities of urban green space planning and management, informing future urban development strategies towards greater vitality and, by extension, environmental and social sustainability.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (Since September 2021)

Note: Names of the lab members are in bold

  • Chen, S., Sleipness, O., Christensen, K., Yang, B., Park, K., Knowles, R., Yang, Z., & Wang, H. (2024). Exploring the Associations between Social Interaction and Park Quality: An Urban Case Study in Utah, USA, Cities 145: 104714. [download]
  • Chen, M., Cai, Y., Guo, S., Sun, R., Yang, S., & Shen, X. (2024). Evaluating implied urban nature vitality in San Francisco: An interdisciplinary approach combining census data, street view images, and social media analysis. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 128289. [download]
  • Khanal, A., Abdelfattah, R. S., Alawadi, K., & Nguyen, N. H. (2024). Beyond streets: The role of alleys in Abu Dhabi’s and Dubai’s network systems. Journal of Urban Management13(1), 33-51. [download]
  • Park, K., Garcia, I., & Kim, K. (2023). Who visited parks and trails more or less during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how? A mixed-methods study, Landscape Research Record 11: 157-171. [download]
  • Park, K., Singleton, P.A., Brewer, S. & Zuban, J. (2023). Pedestrians and the built environment during the COVID-19 pandemic: Changing relationships by the pandemic phases in Salt Lake County, UT, USA. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2677(4): 448-462. [download]
  • Park, K., Nasr-Isfahani, H., Novack, V., Sheen, J., Hadayeghi, H., Song, Z., & Christensen, K. (2023). Impacts of disability on daily travel behaviour: A systematic review. Transport Reviews 43(2): 178-203. [The editors’ choice] [download] 
  • Zhang, Y., Li, X., Jiang, Q., Chen, M., & Liu, L. (2022). Quantify the spatial association between the distribution of catering business and urban spaces in London using catering POI data and image segmentation. Atmosphere, 13(12), 2128. [download]
  • Ren, B., Park, K., Shrestha, A., Yang, J., McHale, M., Bai, W., Wang, G. (2022). Impact of Human Disturbances on the Spatial Heterogeneity of Landscape Fragmentation in Qilian Mountain National Park, China, Land, 11: 2087. [download]
  • Wang, L., Ding, J., Chen, M., Sun, Y., Tang, X., & Ge, M. (2022). Exploring tourists’ multilevel spatial cognition of historical town based on multi-source data—A case study of Feng Jing ancient town in Shanghai. Buildings, 12(11), 1833. [download]
  • Shen, X., Chen, M., Ge, M., & Padua, M. G. (2022). Examining the conceptual model of potential urban development patch (PUDP), VOCs, and food culture in urban ecology: A case in Chengdu, China. Atmosphere, 13(9), 1369. [download]
  • Chen, M., Zhang, Y.*, Yang, Y., Fang, Z. (2022). Application of data visualization in urban design based on Grasshopper. Landscape Architecture 陈铭泽,张洋,杨玉冰,方智果. 基于Grasshopper平台的数据可视化在城市设计中的研究与实践[J].园林, 2022, 39(05):44-51. [download]
  • Park, K., Sanchez, T., & Zuban, J. (2022). Evaluating scholarly productivity and impacts of landscape architecture faculty using citation analysis. Landscape Journal 41(1): 1-14. [download]
  • Park, K., Chamberlain, B., Song, Z., Nasr-Isfahani, H., Sheen, J., Larsen, T., Novack, V., Licon, C., & Christensen, K. (2022). A double jeopardy: COVID-19 impacts on people with disabilities’ travel behavior and community living. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 156: 24-35. [download]
  • Abu Ali, M., Alawadi, K., & Khanal, A. (2021). “The role of green infrastructure in enhancing microclimate conditions: a case study of a low-rise neighborhood in Abu Dhabi”. Sustainability, 13(8), 4260. [download]