The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Junsik Kim

Junsik Kim

I was born in Seoul, South Korea. I obtained my bachelor¹s in Landscape Architecture from Kyungpook National University and my master¹s from Seoul National University, South Korea. Following graduation, I worked at SNU’s Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences for a year and a half to create sustainable urban environments and reduce the impact of climate change on health outcomes. After then, I worked as a researcher at the National Institute of Biological Resources under South Korea’s Ministry of Environment, where I used GIS to conduct an environmental analysis.

Why did you decide to pursue a Ph.D.?
I started studying urban planning Ph.D. program because I want to contribute to creating the right and better world. Urban planning was thought to be the most direct area to improve the quality of life of urban residents. Through this study, I dream and hope to enhance the quality of human life. Specifically, I desire to create a healthy walkable environment and an environment that reduces climate change risks by analyzing the influence of the 3D structures of urban form and trees. By applying this in Smart Growth, I intend to seek an optimal Smart Growth method. I aim to do so using tools such as UAV, Physiological Equivalent Temperature, Thermal Comfort Index, and LiDAR as well as GIS, GPS, FRAGSTATS, remote sensing, and sky view factor. Therefore, I thought that the urban space can be improved by the reduction of vehicles through public transportation improvement and ecological planning through mixed-use development.

Why did choose the University of Utah?
I applied to the Ph.D. program in Metropolitan Planning, Policy and Design at the University of Utah because the program is home to eminent scholars researching TOD, public health, climate change, walkability, urban ecology, and spatial analysis. I was particularly impressed with Dr. Reid Ewing’s publications and accomplishments in the areas of TOD, public health, climate change, and transportation. Because my research objectives also focus on the intersections of TOD, human health, climate change, and sustainable development. With the tools and knowledge gained from this Ph.D. program, I want to provide a theoretical framework for urban planning and to contribute to a sustainable society.

Tell us about a recent accomplishment.
I received the Global Change and Sustainability Center Graduate Fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.
I love snowboarding! So, I am looking forward to the winter in Salt Lake