Jack Ahern

Jack AhernJack Ahern, Ph.D., FASLA, FCELA, is Vice Provost for International Programs and Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, MA. He is a landscape architect who studies the application of landscape ecological theories, principles and methods on landscape planning and design projects – at multiple scales and across a range of contexts – from city centers to peri-urban landscapes and protected/natural areas. His earlier work looked at broad-scale integrated systems of protected lands known as greenways – linking their spatial configuration and resource base with a suite of ecosystem services and cultural landscape management strategies. Greenways are now an international movement and Ahern’s work built a robust theoretical basis to classify, plan, design, and manage greenways. His work contributed to an evolving intellectual bridge between the professional fields of landscape planning and design and the interdisciplinary field of landscape ecology. Continuing on this theme, Ahern published to translate landscape ecology principles and tools, meaningfully credibly, to a diverse audience of professionals and related academics.

Ahern’s current research is focused on the inherent challenges for sustainability and resilience in the 21st Century – the Century of the City. This work continues to engage landscape ecology as a theoretical platform to integrate the emerging, fine-scaled professional practices of green infrastructure and landscape urbanism across scales to form green urban networks linked with ecosystem services, sustainability and to build resilience capacity. He is internationally active, combining his leadership of the UMass International Office with his passion for urban sustainability and resilience.

Ahern shares these passions with his wife Linda, and together they enjoy their adult children and new grandchildren, as well as hiking, sketching and sailing.


Selected Publications:

Ahern, J., Cilliers, S., Niemelä, J. 2014.   The concept of ecosystem services in adaptive urban planning and design:  a framework for supporting innovation. Landscape and Urban Planning, 125: 254-259.

Ahern, Jack. 2014. Landscape Planning and design in the century of the City. Landscape Architecture China. 2014:1, 120-127.

Ahern, J. 2013.  Urban landscape sustainability and resilience: the promise and challenges of integrating ecology with urban planning and design. Landscape Ecology, 28:6, 1203-1212.

Ahern, Jack. 2011.   From fail-safe to safe-to-fail:  sustainability and resilience in the new urban world.  Landscape and Urban Planning 100: 3, 341-343.

Novotny, Vladimir; Ahern, Jack; Brown, Paul. 2010.  Water-centric Sustainable Communities: planning, retrofitting, and building the next urban environment.  John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Kato, Sada and Ahern, Jack. 2010. The Concept of Threshold and Its Potential Application to Landscape Planning, Landscape and Ecological Engineering.

Leitão, André Botequilha; Miller Joseph; Ahern, Jack; McGarigal, Kevin.  2006. Measuring Landscapes: A Planner’s Handbook. Island Press, Washington.  245 pp.

Ahern, Jack; Elizabeth LeDuc and Mary Lee York. 2006.  Biodiversity Planning and Design: Sustainable Practices. Island Press, Washington.

Ahern, Jack. 2009. Greenways as Strategic Landscape Planning for Linear Landscapes. LA China, 4:28-39.

Silva, E. A., Ahern, J. and Wileden, J. 2008.  Strategies For Landscape Ecology: An application using cellular automata models. Progress in Planning, 70(4): 133-177.

Kato, Sadisho and Jack Ahern.  2008. “Learning by Doing: Adaptive Planning as a strategy to address uncertainty in planning. Environment and Planning Journal. V. 51:4, pp. 543-559.

Leitão, André, B and Jack Ahern. 2002. Applying landscape ecological concepts and metrics in sustainable landscape planning. Landscape and Urban Planning, 59:2, pp.  65-93.

Ahern, Jack. 1995. Greenways as a Planning Strategy. Landscape and Urban Planning, 33:1-3, pp. 131-155.

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