News + Events

Field Notes Towards an Internationalist Green New Deal

What We're WritingApril 25, 2022Field Notes Towards an International Green New DealField Notes

The McHarg Center's Climate Policy Research Group has published Field Notes Towards an International Green New Deal. This three year digital project was produced by RAs Palak Agarwal, Selina Cheah, Yixin (April) Wei, Ian Dillon, Zane Griffin Talley Cooper, A.L. McCullough, and the Wilks Family Director, Billy Fleming. Field Notes ask what it might mean for the rest of the world if the US realizes an eco modernist vision for the energy transition.


Designing Decarbonization, Jobs, and Justice

What We're SayingApril 23, 2022Jared GreenThe Dirt

A two part recap of the 2022 Grounding the Green New Deal Summit is featured in the ASLA's The Dirt.

“The Green New Deal Superstudio models a collective form of practice. We have a foot in the world now, but can imagine a new future,” said Kate Orff, FASLA, founder of SCAPE..."

Design with Nature in Town and City

What We're WritingApril 22, 2022Brian Evans & Rachel HowlettGlasgow Urban Laboratory

In November 2020, the Glasgow Urban Lab at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, the Weitzman School of Design at UPenn, the Landscape Institute, and the Academy of Urbanism came together to celebrate the 100th birthday of one of landscape architecture's and Scotland's pioneers of urban ecology -- Ian McHarg. A symposium was held to look at McHarg's influence, with eyes on the future.

This publication, edited by the Glasgow Urban Lab's Brian Evans and Rachel Howlett, seeks to capture some of the event's essence. 

Earth Day Interview with Richard Weller: A Hopeful Vision for Global Conservation

What We're SayingApril 18, 2022Jared GreenThe Dirt

Later this year, the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will meet in China to finalize what is being called a “Paris Agreement for Nature.” The agreement will outline global goals for ecosystem conservation and restoration for the next decade, which may include preserving 30 percent of lands, coastal areas, and oceans by 2030. Goals could also include restoring one-fifth of the world’s degraded ecosystems and cutting billions in subsidies that hurt the environment. What are the top three things planning and design professions can do to help local, state, and national governments worldwide achieve these goals?

The McHarg Center's Richard Weller's answer -- Design, Design, and Design!

Turn out your lights to help save birds migrating through Philly

What We're SayingApril 14, 2022Sophia SchmidtWHYY

It’s spring migration season, which means millions of birds could make their way through Philadelphia in the coming weeks. Some could get hurt or die crashing into buildings — but you can help keep them safe, just by turning out your lights.

“Everyone’s home matters,” said Keith Russell, program manager for Urban Conservation with Audubon Mid-Atlantic. “Every commercial building, industrial building, every high-rise.”

The McHarg Biodiversity research group's bird safety banners are featured on WHYY!

The Green New Deal Superstudio: Designing the Impossible

What We're WritingMarch 17, 2022Richard WellerThe Dirt

The McHarg Center's Richard Weller writes a critically reflects on the Green New Deal Suprtstudio in an article for the ASLA's The Dirt.

"There are two reasons why Superstudio was a good name for an event that would build on the momentum already established by Billy Fleming, ASLA, at the University of Pennsylvania, Kate Orff, FASLA, founder of SCAPE, and Thaddeus Pawlowski at Columbia University to align landscape architecture with the Green New Deal (GND). The first is that with the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), back in 2020, we had all agreed to launch what was literally a supersized international design studio on the hot topic of the GND. The second reason was that Superstudio also recalls the eponymous Italian architecture group of the late 1960’s that specialized in bombastic imagery and anti-capitalist, anti-design rhetoric. This connection was, for me at least, most important because it signaled that the event we were planning was about design culture, not just political culture. The Superstudio is in this way situated as part of a certain modern tradition of speculation, which in turn provides context for the critical evaluation of its meaning..."

image of bus and street signs

What If Joe Biden Paid You to Get Out of Your Car?

What We're SayingMarch 14, 2022Alissa WalkerCurbed

A new report published on Monday, co-authored by The McHarg Center's Billy Fleming, lays out a framework for dramatically decarbonizing America by 2030.

Q&A: Robert Gerard Pietrusko

Q&A: Robert Gerard Pietrusko, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture

What We're WritingFebruary 11, 2022Weitzman School of DesignWeitzman News

This semester, Robert Gerard Pietrusko joined the standing faculty of the Department of Landscape Architecture as an associate professor, following a decade on the landscape architecture faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His design work, which is produced under the name of his studio, WARNING OFFICE, has been exhibited in more than 15 countries, and he a fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 2021. An inveterate polymath, Pietrusko earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Synthesis from the Berklee College of Music, a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University, and a Master of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Modeling and Monitoring Landscape Change

Modeling and Monitoring Landscape Change

What We're WritingJanuary 28, 2022Weitzman School of DesignWeitzman News

Before landscape architects can make decisions about how best to intervene in a landscape, they need data about the land itself: What its components are, how it moves, how it’s likely to change. Often, though, that data is collected by professionals in other disciplines, or government authorities with agendas of their own. Rather than taking that information for granted, says Keith VanDerSys, senior lecturer in landscape architecture, landscape architects can use emerging technologies to generate data of their own.

Crises and Contestations: The Promise and Peril of Designing a Green New Deal

Crises and Contestations: The Promise and Peril of Designing a Green New Deal

What We're WritingJanuary 4, 2022Billy FlemingArchitectural Design

It is clear that we are facing a tipping point in global politics, climate change and social justice. Much has been trumpeted under the banner of the ‘Green New Deal’. Billy Fleming, the Wilks Family Director of the Ian L McHarg Center at the Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, describes the history and various approaches encompassed within this ubiquitous epithet and how designers can get involved.