Jihoon Song

Interests: Green space planning, Landscape diversity, Mental health and physical activity, GIS and quantitative research methods, Environmental planning, Urban design

Jihoon Song is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in urban planning with an architectural background, whose research interests encompass various social and environmental issues related to the making of healthy and sustainable cities. His research seeks to better understand interaction between spatial environment, especially physical elements, and human behavior, with implications for urban policies enhancing healthy living.

He is currently working on a dissertation that investigates which environmental factors of urban open spaces attract more visitors, to provide guidelines to further health benefits and efficient use of land in cities. The study answers questions formulated from two perspectives, policy and theory. In terms of policy, the study examines whether presence of certain environmental factors, such as water features, vegetation, and critical facilities, or a combination of them are associated with people’s visitation. Also, the study connects the information theory of environmental psychology with planning, seeking empirical evidence that psychologically preferred environments bring about actual behavior.

His interests in research methods have led to creative and precise applications of quantitative spatial analysis based on GIS and statistical tools. His dissertation deals with emerging data gathering and analysis techniques, including remotely-sensed imagery and massive GPS data, and ponders the potential and limitations of those techniques to answer important planning questions.

Working as a research assistant at the GSD, Jihoon participated in the publication of Cheonggyecheon: The City and the Stream (2010) which analyzed social and environmental impacts of the Cheonggye stream restoration project in Seoul. He also co-authored a peer-reviewed paper, Measuring the Externality Effects of Commercial Land Use on Residential Land Value: A Case Study of Seoul (2016), examining the relationship between commercial use and residential property values.

Jihoon holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Seoul National University and a master’s degree in architecture and urban design (MAUD) from Harvard University. He has been fully supported by the Samsung Scholarship from 2008 to 2015. He practiced architecture at Heerim Architects, taught courses at Bucheon University in Korea, and offered several class lectures at Harvard as a module instructor. Currently, he is a cooperative researcher at the Center for Spatial Information Science in the University of Tokyo.

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