head shot of Jean-Michel Guldmann

This year’s Environmental Lecture Series opens Feb. 1 with presentation on how trees stem the urban heat island effect

Published on Jan. 24, 2024
Environmental Science

ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s 2023-24 Environmental Lecture Series, featuring a theme of “Does green infrastructure improve urban environments?” will kick off on Thursday, Feb. 1, with special guest Jean-Michel Guldmann, professor emeritus and Academy Professor of City and Regional Planning at Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture. He will present “Tree and Building Shade for Urban Heat Migration: Measuring Shade Temperature Effects and Population Exposure in Columbus, Ohio” at the Ronk Lecture Hall inside AU’s Dwight Schar College of Education, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. There is also an option to attend via a webinar; participants must register at this link for the webinar.

Guldmann will discuss the climate change and temperature increases that are expected to impact cities more harshly due to the urban heat island effect. Urban heat island refers to metropolitan areas being warmer than the rural areas surrounding them because of the buildings, roads and other infrastructure that absorb and re-emit the sun’s’ heat. A critical urban planning and policy issue is devising natural and design-based solutions to stem the urban heat island, which can be detrimental to public health and energy consumption.

Guldmann’s presentation will include analytical research on shade effects from buildings and trees, using geospatial and statistical techniques applied to sites in the Columbus area. Tree canopy volume has distinct effects on land surface temperature and modeling simulates such impacts of neighborhood tree greening scenarios and identifies population groups that are shade-deprived.

Guldmann was a professor at KSA from 1977-2012 and served as its interim director from 2005-07. He taught courses on optimization, decision analysis, population/economic forecasting and energy and regional modeling at OSU, as well as Capital Normal University in Beijing and Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey. He has supervised to successful completion the dissertations of 31 Ph.D. students and authored a book, “Industrial Location and Air Quality Control: A Planning Approach,” and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.

More information about the 2023-24 Environmental Lecture Series and all three of this spring’s events is available at ashland.edu/environmental-lecture-series.

“For more than 30 years, the AU Environmental Lecture Series, has connected AU students, faculty and members of the North Central Ohio community with leaders and experts in environmental problems and solutions,” said Patty Saunders, who serves as director of the environmental science program and organizes the series with input from other environmental science faculty. “We are always excited to learn more about specific case studies and research stories, and we especially like these opportunities for our students to learn about different careers and career paths.”

Current support for the AU Environmental Lecture Series is provided by donations from individuals and support from Ashland University, while previous series have been supported by AU and grants from the National Science Foundation, the Lubrizol Foundation, the GTE Foundation and the Fran and Warren Rupp Foundation.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.