Recently, Peleg Kremer, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Villanova University Department of Geography & the Environment and her co-authors, Neele Larondelle, Yimin Zhang, Elise Pasles and Dagmar Haase had a Scholarship Open Access Reserve Fund (SOAR)* application approved by Falvey Library. This program is designed to provide financial support to Villanova faculty who are interested in publishing in high quality open access journals. The article, “Within-Class and Neighborhood Effects on the Relationship between Composite Urban Classes and Surface Temperature” appeared in a special issue of the open access, peer-reviewed journal Sustainability (2018), published by MDPI.
Below, Prof. Kremer describes some details of the process leading up to the open access publication.
Why did you choose the open access journal, Sustainability, in which to publish?
I chose Sustainability because it is a high quality open source journal. Sustainability is a multidisciplinary journal and thus draws diverse readership. I think it is crucially important to support cross-disciplinary work and the outlets that publish it. I particularly like publishing in open source journals because I think research should not be put behind a paywall. I want anyone who might find my research useful to be able to read it.
How did the SOAR funding application process go for you?
It was really simple. I had known about this option vaguely, and when our paper was accepted, searched the library website for information, found the award submission form and sent it. I then had quick interaction with library staff, and received the award a few days later.
Can you briefly tell our readers about the significance of your research?
This paper is part of a larger research project trying to develop a nuanced understanding of the relationship between urban structure and ecological and environmental performance in cities. We argue that in order to understand environmental processes in urban settings, we need to be able to account to the heterogeneous and complex nature of urban areas. For that we look at grey, green and blue combinations that occur in cities including the vertical dimension of building elevation. This paper as well as two previous ones, are testing the applicability of the concepts we propose and offer methodology and empirical evidence using publically available data. Much more research is needed but we believe this approach can help urban planners and other decision makers, make better decisions about the effectiveness of urban sustainability interventions.
What brought your geographically separated team of authors together on this unique Structure of Urban Landscape (STURLA) classification project?
I started working on the STURLA project in my Post-Doc at The New School, where we were collaborating with a group of European researchers working on urban ecosystem services through the URBES (Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) project. As a team, we developed case studies in New York City and Berlin. In 2015, I spent the summer as a visiting researcher at Humboldt University in Berlin working with my colleagues on this and other projects. Back home, when we encountered a statistical modeling question we were not quite sure about I felt it would be the perfect time to bring in new colleagues from the Villanova Math department – Yimin Zhang and Elise Pasles. It turned out to be a great collaboration and we are looking forward to working together again (a Philadelphia case study is next).
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