College of Environmental Design Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning Iryna Dronova was awarded the competitive Hellman Faculty Grant this past summer. The grant will help fund Dronova’s new study, “Urban Resilience to Intensifying Heat Under Different Climatic and Socioeconomic Contexts,” which will focus on the aspects of urban landscape structure that enable greater resilience to increasing heat in different climates globally, and how they are affected by the socioeconomic context of development.
Increased resilience of urban systems in the face of increasing heat hazards has become a critical planning objective globally. However, there is a lack of replicable indicators that could be compared among climatically and socioeconomically different regions. Dronova’s study aims to utilize 25+ years of satellite data to develop and test such indicators for a set of different global cities and to assess reveal which aspects of urban landscape structure and dynamics are the strongest predictors of resilience in different climates and socio-economic contexts to inform future policies and planning. Dronova will begin work on the project this academic year with the assistance of LAEP graduate students, including Master of Landscape Architecture graduate student Jed Collins (MLA ‘19), and will be using new research tools like a web-based Google Earth Engine API for satellite image processing.
Established by Warren & Chris Hellman and their children in 1994, the Hellman Fellows Program was established to support the research of promising assistant professors. The impetus for the Program came when Hellman family members, who were junior faculty themselves, observed young faculty were well-funded when first hired, but challenges would arise after start-up funding is exhausted and before their research qualifies for other external support. Since its inception, the program has supported more than 850 junior faculty members.