November 9, 2018 at 8:35 am

Lein Presents on Sustainable Land Cover, Named to 3 Editorial Boards

Dr. James Lein, with mountains, lake in background

Dr. James Lein

Dr. James Lein, Professor of Geography, presented a paper at the 41st Annual Applied Geography Conference in October and was appointed to three editorial boards this year.

His paper was on “Exploring Machine Learning Strategies to Predict Sustainable Land Cover Arrangements in an Urban Setting.”

Abstract: There have been several themes that have run constant in the practice of environmental management and planning over the last several decades. Sustainability takes its place among these and has quickly become a decision construct that is actively re-shaping environmental policy and decision making. At present, there is a developing body of work that is attempting to define sustainability according to more precise criteria and produce methods of investigation that hope to facilitate its representation. Representation, as if sustainability is something that can be pointed to, introduces a temporal and spatial dimension that has not been well-examined. When is something sustainable and where is something sustainable are two critical questions if sustainability is to become something more than an environmental “buzz-word.” Land use plans and policies designed to produce “sustainable” outcomes need to address the where and when enveloped in this concept. Neither question is easy to answer and pose frustrating challenges to those seeking a more scientific approach to the question of sustainable development. In this paper the question of sustainable development and the allocation of land uses within the urban pattern is explored through the application of artificial neural networks. By means of this approach, the research presented in this paper introduces an “intelligent” model that can prescribe sustainable land cover patterns based on a series of input landscape variables functionally connected to sustainability theory. Through this machine learning strategy, sustainability assumes a spatial expression and predicted patterns of future land use arrangements can be critically examined to better inform developmental policies and plans.

Lein also was appointed to three editorial boards this year:



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