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Not the blue marble

Lampoon review: Planetary – Not the Blue Marble

What We're ReadingSeptember 27, 2021Matilde MoroLampoon

Architecture must stop thinking just in terms of providing shelter to humans: «animal, plants and the environment should be your clients just as well.» The first artwork of the Australian landscape architect Richard Weller, titled Not the Blue Marble, is an exact one-to-one replica of the one of the doors of the Apollo XXI seen from the inside. Not the one which led the astronauts on the moon, but the one they had to open to get back on Earth: «the reason why this is the main symbol of the artwork is that, as French philosopher Bruno Latour claims, the thing to do now is coming back to Earth, and it’s a difficult thing». Part of the solution to make our planet greener would be stopping exploring Space to find answers on how to build our future and return to focus on Earth. In a metaphorical way this is what the Apollo XXI door stands for. There’s more to that though: inside the door window is a simulation of the Earth, «it could be a long way in the future, when the planet has dehydrated: it’s a climate-changed planet». The artwork invites viewers to «imagine going back to the Earth that’s in the picture, sometime in the future, when the ecosystem is no longer inhabitable». In the Earth portrayed, which is mostly white to symbolize dryland, there are still some bits of green: those are the existing environmentally protected areas, «places where life could regenerate and start again». Needless to say, these are way too few. «On the door is a set of instruction» on the same spot where they were on the original door, but the text is changed: the new instructions are advice on «how you might go back to this new world and start to cultivate it». The first artwork also serves as a tool to build an imagery to read the two following pieces. Not the Blue Moon sheds light on the projects currently in place to protect areas of our planet and underlines that this is not enough. We need to build more and above all connect them.

Bringing Nature to Cities: Integrating Nature and Biodiversity into Land Use and Ecological Planning

Bringing Nature to Cities: Integrating Nature and Biodiversity into Land Use and Ecological Planning

What We're SayingSeptember 23, 2021GPSC

The McHarg Center's Richard Weller participated in the World Bank's Webinar Series, Bringing Nature to Cities: Integrating Nature and Biodiversity into Land Use and Ecological Planning. He joined Rodrigo Pimentel Pinto Ravena, Chief of Staff of São Paulo's Secretariat for Green and the Environment, and Lena Chan, Senior Director of Singapore's National Parks Board for a panel discussion on urban solutions to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change in cities. The panel was moderated by Xueman Wang, Senior Urban Specialist at the World Bank with an introduction by Sameh Naguib Wahba, the World Bank's Global Director of Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice. 

Ahead of the panel discussion, the World Bank's Global Platform for Sustainable Cities (GPSC) presented their new report “Urban Nature and Biodiversity for Cities” and its initiative – C4B: Cities4Biodiveristy.

Landscape Architectural Education in the United States

What We're WritingSeptember 1, 2021Sonja DümpelmannMcHarg Center

The McHarg Center has welcomed a new research project that is exploring the history of Landscape Architectural Education in the United States. Weitzman Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture, Sonja Dümpelmann, is heading this project. The evolution of landscape architecture as a modern profession since the late nineteenth century is closely linked to the development of landscape architecture as a discipline in professional schools of higher education. Today’s character of professional practice, the gender distribution and lack of BIPOC students, faculty, and professionals in the field, are closely linked to historic events, the history of the profession and its development as a discipline. This project explores these connections and the evolution of landscape architectural education in the United States. Knowledge and explanations of this past can contribute to addressing current inequities.

 The Concept of a World Park: Cheddar TV, NYC

The Concept of a World Park: Cheddar TV, NYC

What We're SayingAugust 21, 2021Cheddar TV

Richard J. Weller, Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania joined Cheddar News to discuss his latest article that dives into how a 'World Park' could help curb climate change.

The World Park Project

The World Park Project

What We're WritingJuly 1, 2021Richard WellerThe World Park Project

The World Park Project website, concerning a proposal to create a connected and conserved landscape at a planetary scale, was launched in July 2021. This project is now in a phase of peer review and feasibility assesment involving representatives of nations and conservation NGOs with a vested interest in the subject.The World Park was most recently exhibited at the Venice Biennale and presented as part of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseilles.

The Hotspot Cities Project: The case study of Bogotá 2050

The Hotspot Cities Project: The case study of Bogotá 2050

What We're WritingJune 25, 2021Richard Weller, David Gouverneur, Zuzanna Drozdz & Boya YeJournal Of Landscape Architecture

This paper summarizes an urban and regional planning case study concerning urban growth in relation to biodiversity in the city of Bogotá, Colombia. The case study is the third phase of an ongoing research project_the Hotspot Cities Project_at the McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology at the University of Pennsylvania.

EMLab Website

Healthy Port Futures

What We're WritingApril 1, 2021EMLab

A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal

What We're SayingApril 22, 2020The McHarg CenterVimeo

The age of climate gradualism is over, as unprecedented disasters are exacerbated by inequalities of race and class. We need profound, radical change. A Green New Deal can tackle the climate emergency and rampant inequality at the same time. Cutting carbon emissions while winning immediate gains for the many is the only way to build a movement strong enough to defeat big oil, big business, and the super-rich—starting right now.

A Planet to Win explores the political potential and concrete first steps of a Green New Deal. It calls for dismantling the fossil fuel industry, building beautiful landscapes of renewable energy, and guaranteeing climate-friendly work, no-carbon housing, and free public transit. And it shows how a Green New Deal in the United States can strengthen climate justice movements worldwide.

We don't make politics under conditions of our own choosing, and no one would choose this crisis. But crises also present opportunities. We stand on the brink of disaster—but also at the cusp of wondrous, transformative change.


Kate Aronoff is a Fellow at the Type Media Center and a Contributing Writer at the Intercept. She is the co-editor of We Own the Future and author of The New Denialism. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, In These Times, and Dissent.

Daniel Aldana Cohen is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Nature, the Nation, Jacobin, Public Books, Dissent, and NACLA.

Alyssa Battistoni is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and an Editor at Jacobin. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, n+1, the Nation, Jacobin, In These Times, Dissent, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Thea Riofrancos is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Providence College and the author of Resource Radicals. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, n+1, Jacobin, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Dissent, and In These Times. She serves on the steering committee of DSA’s Ecosocialist Working Group.

Mary Annaïse Heglar is a climate justice essayist and writer. Her essays about climate change have appeared in Vox, Dame Magazine, and Inverse, and she also writes regularly on Medium. She is the director of publications at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and holds a BA in English from Oberlin College. She is based in New York City.

Billy Fleming is Wilks Family Director of the McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Places Journal, Dissent, and Jacobin. He is the co-editor of Design With Nature Now (Lincoln, 2019), An Adaptation Blueprint (Island Press, 2020), and lead author of "The 2100 Project: An Atlas for the Green New Deal."

The Economics of a Green Recovery

The Economics of a Green Recovery

What We're SayingApril 20, 2020The McHarg CenterVimeo

One of the central, unanswered questions in debates surrounding the Green New Deal and ongoing stimulus negotiations in Congress is: how will we marshal the resources to transform America's economy around its principles of clean energy jobs, justice for frontline communities, and rapid decarbonization? This conversation has begun to take shape in the fields of economics and finance, where green stimulus, industrial policy, and other long-ignored policy levers have once again moved to the center of discourse. On Monday, April 20th, the McHarg Center organized a moderated discussion on this topic between Stephanie Kelton, Richard Murphy, and Gernot Wagner in conversation with Mark Paul and Billy Fleming.

Stephanie Kelton, SUNY Stony Brook, is a well-known policy expert who has served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Budget Committee and as Senior Economic Advisor to the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. She continues as chair of the Board of Economists for Peace and Security. In 2016, POLITICO recognized her as one of the 50 people across the country who is most influencing the political debate.

Richard Murphy is company secretary of the Green New Deal Group Limited, Professor of International Political Economy, City, University of London, and director of the Corporate Accountability Network. He is a chartered accountant and tax justice advocate based in England.
Gernot Wagner is a clinical associate professor at New York University’s Department of Environmental Studies and associated clinical professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. He writes the Risky Climate column for Bloomberg Green. Prior to joining NYU, Gernot was the founding executive director of Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program (2016 – 2019).

Mark Paul is a political economist working in the areas of inequality, environmental economics, and applied microeconomics. His research is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of inequality and assessing and designing remedies to address it. Professor Paul is also involved in economic policy in the United States and is currently a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, The Atlantic, Vox, The American Prospect, The Nation, The Hill, and Jacobin, among other publications. Prior to coming to New College he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University.

Billy Fleming is Wilks Family Director of the McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Places Journal, Dissent, and Jacobin. He is the co-editor of Design With Nature Now (Lincoln, 2019), An Adaptation Blueprint (Island Press, 2020), and lead author of "The 2100 Project: An Atlas for the Green New Deal."

The Paul-Fleming Rule for Green Growth

What We're WritingApril 10, 2020Mark Paul and Billy FlemingForbes

More specifically, we’re calling for an ambitious Green Stimulus of at least $2 trillion that creates millions of family-sustaining green jobs, lifts standards of living, accelerates a just transition off fossil fuels, ensures a controlling stake for the public in all private sector bailout plans, and helps make our society and economy stronger and more resilient in the face of pandemic, recession, and climate emergency in the years ahead. Rather than a one-time infusion of capital, this stimulus should be automatically renewed at 4% of GDP per year until the economy is fully decarbonized and the unemployment rate is consistently below 3.5%.