Muskie School of Public Service
University of Southern Maine
What problem/s are you working to solve?
Metro regions in Maine are experiencing urban sprawl—the unorganized expansion of urban space. Negative impacts from this low-density and auto-dependent development pattern on our environment are being widely discussed. The magnitude of these impacts, however, is still controversial and the interactions between human behaviors and the surrounding environmental systems are complex. Without a clear understanding of the consequences of their decisions, people and organizations are reluctant to change decision-making patterns that may adversely affect their health, environment, and culture in the future.
What progress are you making toward solutions?
As a member of the SSI Sustainable Urban Regions Project (SURP) team, I’m developing an integrated land use-transportation model in the Bangor and Portland metro regions with my team members. The model is based on a simulation framework, UrbanSim, which is widely used by many metropolitan governments around the globe. I’m also developing micro-simulation models that are targeted to test various urban development policies.
How could your findings contribute to a more sustainable future in Maine and beyond?
We hope our modeling efforts, including not only model construction but also the stakeholder involvement process, will give us a better understanding of the interactions between the coupled social-ecological systems. This understanding will enable us to inform people and organizations in Maine about the consequences of their decisions and help them change their social preferences towards more sustainable options.
Why did you decide to join SSI?
Fortunately, I was hired as one of the faculty members funded by the NSF grant.
What’s the best part about collaborating on SSI research projects?
Working on an SSI research project is a great opportunity to gain knowledge from great people with multi-disciplinary perspectives.
Where’s your favorite place in Maine?
Eastern Promenade Park in Portland. The place has a great view of the ocean as well as a playground for my kids.
What’s your ultimate Maine experience?
My last year was my ultimate Maine experience, since it was my first year in Maine.
Mud season survival strategy?
Eat kimchi everyday.
What sustains you?
My family, friends, nature, daily work, and salary from the work.
Additional information about Yuseung and his team