V. Kelly Turner

V. Kelly Turner’s research addresses the relationship between institutions, urban design, and the environment through two interrelated questions: (1) How does urban design relate to ecosystem services in cities? and (2) To what extent do social institutions have the capacity to deliver those services? Her approach draws from social-ecological systems frameworks to address urban planning and design problem domains. In recent work she has used this approach to investigate microclimate regulation through New Urbanist design, water and biodiversity management through Homeowners Associations, and stormwater management through green infrastructure interventions.

Dr. Turner’s training is highly interdisciplinary. She received a Ph.D. in geography from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University, where she was an IGERT Fellow in urban ecology. Her work is funded by the National Science Foundation and the interdisciplinary National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. She recently chaired the Human Dimensions of Global Change specialty group of the American Association of Geographers. Dr. Turner deploys interdisciplinary pedagogy in the classroom and teaches courses in environmentalisms, urban sustainability, and urban ecology.


Ye, X., Turner, VK., and She, B. 2018. Automating land subdivision database cleaning and merging for neighborhood-scale urban analysis. International Journal of Digital Earth: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17538947.2018.1502370

Turner, V.K. and Kaplan, DH. 2018. Geographic Perspectives on Urban Sustainability: Past, Current, and Future Research Trajectories. Urban Geography. Online: https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2018.1475545

Mapes, J., Kaplan, D., Turner, VK., and Willer, C. 2017. Building ‘College Town’: Economic Redevelopment and the Construction of Community. Local Economy, 32(7).

Turner, V.K. and Galletti, C. May 24, 2017. Addressing Climate Change through Design: A Land Systems Science Approach to Assessing Microclimate Regulation in New Urbanist Developments. Public Square: A CNU Journal. Available Online: https://www.cnu.org/sites/default/files/2017_NewUrbanResearch_AddressingClimateChangeThroughDesign_TurnerGalletti.pdf

Turner, V.K. 2017. Developing Sustainable Cities: The Real Estate Rigidity Trap. Ecology and Society, 22(2):1.

Turner, V.K., Jarden, K.*, and Jefferson, A. 2016. Resident perspectives on green infrastructure in an experimental suburban stormwater management program. Cities & the Environment, 9(1): 4.

Turner, V.K. 2016. How do conventional master planning processes facilitate or constrain sustainable urbanism? An environmental management perspective. Society & Natural Resources, 29(12):1483-1500.

Shook, E. and Turner, V.K. 2016. The Socio-Environmental Data Explorer (SEDE): A Social Media Enhanced Decision Support System to Explore Risk Perception to Hazard Events. 2016. Cartography and GIS. DOI:10.1080/15230406.2015.1131627

Minn, M., Cutts, BB., Greenberg, JA., Fraterrigo, JM., and Turner, VK. 2015. Detection of Foreclosure-related Landscape Management Changes Using Landsat. Applied Geography, 62: 217-224.

Turner, V.K. and C.S. Galletti. 2015. Do sustainable urban designs generate more ecosystem services? A Case Study of Civano, Tucson, Arizona, USA. The Professional Geographer, 67(2):204-217.

Turner, V.K., K. Benessaiah, S. Warren, and D. Iwaneic. 2015. Essential Tensions in Interdisciplinary Environment-Society Research Centers. Higher Education, 70 (4):649-665.

Turner, V.K. 2014. Institutional Barriers to Sustainable Urban Development: A Case Study of Civano in Tucson, Arizona. Cities and the Environment, 7(2): 5.

Lerman, S.B., V.K. Turner, and C. Bang. 2012. Biodiversity in suburban developments: Homeowners Associations as a vehicle for promoting urban biodiversity. Ecology and Society, 17(4):45.

Turner, V.K. and D.C. Ibes. 2011. The Impact of Homeowners Associations on Residential Water Demand Management in Phoenix, AZ. Urban Geography, 32(8):1167-1188.

Elin, N. and V.K. Turner. 2010. Recycling the City: Darning Downtown Phoenix. Critical Planning, 17:155-173.