News + Events

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.

Design with Nature Now, with Dr. Frederick Steiner

Design with Nature Now, with Dr. Frederick Steiner

What We're SayingNovember 28, 2021American Shoreline Podcast NetworkAmerican Shoreline Podcast Network

Co-executive director Fritz Steiner talks about the legacy of his mentor (and the name sake of The McHarg Center) Ian McHarg, whose visionary approach to regional planning included coastal resilience.

Do Prisons Deserve a Second Chance?

What We're SayingNovember 9, 2021Zach Mortice City Lab

Over the last decade, hundreds of jails and prisons in the U.S. have closed, inspiring architects and designers to reimagine sites of incarceration as positive community spaces.

A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation: Uniting Design, Economics, and Policy

What We're SayingOctober 26, 2021Zach MorticeThe Architect's Newspaper

Edited by Billy Fleming and his colleagues Carolyn Kousy and Alan M. Berger, A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation: Uniting Design, Economics and Policy goes deep into the policy decisions that have shaped the brittle condition of coastal infrastructure. It coalesces into a convincing picture of the wider context in which design operates, with the aim of making the built environment more equitable for those caught on the front lines of certain climate change cataclysm. The book also includes chapters written by the McHarg Center's Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys.

Green New Deal Superstudio Curated Projects and Full Archive Released

Green New Deal Superstudio Curated Projects and Full Archive Released

What We're WritingOctober 19, 2021JSTOR

This collection of design ideas was generated through an open call to translate the core goals of the Green New Deal—decarbonization, justice, and jobs—into design and planning projects with regional and local specificity. Between August 2020 and June 2021, over 50 groups, over 100 individuals, and 170 university courses representing 90 universities participated in the Green New Deal Superstudio. A complete archive of their submissions is available here. The Green New Deal Superstudio was a joint effort led by the Landscape Architecture Foundation in association with the Weitzman School of Design McHarg Center, the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).