Landscape Architecture

Ghostly white and grey images of animals hover over blue shapes on top of the globe lit by nighttime light.
Field Notes Toward an Internationalist Green New Deal, from The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, is “intended to open new terrains for scholarship, organizing, contestation, and struggle in the fight for a globally just Green New Deal.” The site hosts data and visualizations on topics including deforestation, mass extinction, oil and gas reserves, international development, and global carceral infrastructure.
A man gestures to a drawing with two young people outside a brick building

Photo Huiyi An

A new initiative at Weitzman called Studio+ brings together faculty members and students in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, fine arts, and city planning to elevate and reimagine the role of public-school buildings in collaboration with several West Philadelphia schools. “What we’re trying to do is propose new interventions to the problem of school facilities in Philadelphia,” Assistant Professor of City Planning Akira Drake Rodriguez says.
Spread from the LA+ interview
This excerpt of “In Conversation with Chomsky” comes from the just-released LA+ GREEN, the latest issue from LA+, Weitzman's interdisciplinary landscape architectural journal. In the interview, Nicholas Pevzner, assistant professor of landscape architecture, talks with Noam Chomsky, the doyen of international green socialism, about his new book, Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal (co-authored with Robert Pollin).
Robert Gerard Pietrusko
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.
A group of people pose in a line in lush tropical scenery
With storms, floods, heat waves, and cold snaps growing more intense by the season, climate change is no longer just a future concern, but a daily reality. The work of planning resilient spaces and cities, therefore, increasingly requires urgent interventions alongside long-range visions. In the fall of 2021, students in landscape architecture and city and regional planning studios at the Weitzman School grappled with the varied challenges of planning for climate change. Their work took place at multiple spatial scales, across decades, and in diverse communities, from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the nation’s capital. Below is a sample of the work they produced. 
4 x 8 grid showing renderings and photographs of various landscapes
Between August of 2020 and July of 2021, more than 180 design studios at 93 universities in 39 states and 10 countries responded to the Green New Deal Superstudio, a nationwide call, developed in part by Weitzman’s Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, for designs that spatially apply the principles and policy ideas of the Green New Deal to regions and localities. In total, the Superstudio generated 670 proposals aimed at “translating the core goals of decarbonization, justice, and jobs into place-specific design and planning projects.” The idea for the Superstudio was born during The McHarg Center’s Designing a Green New Deal conference in 2019.
A man walking through grassy marshland
The Environmental Modeling Lab (EMLab), a newly launched research unit within The Ian L.
Birds Need Your Help sign
Penn’s location along the Atlantic Flyway makes it an important stopover spot for birds during migration season, but it is not without peril for birds due to the risk of window collisions. A group of students, faculty, and staff developed a campaign to lower the risk.
Anu Mathur seated at a review in 2017
Former students, colleagues, and classmates pay tribute to Emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture Anu Mathur (1960-2022; MLA’91).
Aerial map of a wetland with Sturgeon Island highlighted
Before landscape architects can make decisions about how to intervene in a landscape, they need data about the land itself. Generating and deploying this data—for mapping, modeling, and monitoring landscape change—is the unifying interest of the Environmental Modeling Lab (EMLab), a newly-formed applied research unit of The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology at the Weitzman School.
The McHarg Fellowship is a $75,000 award given to an emerging voice in landscape architecture and its related fields. The Fellowship will be awarded competitively on an annual basis and the fellow is expected to be in residence at the Weitzman School in Philadelphia full-time for one academic year from the beginning of the Fall semester (August) through to the end of the Spring semester (May) in the following year. 
Parallel lines of underwater stone embankments hug a shoreline under turquoise water

Photo: Healthy Port Futures

At the Illinois State Park and other sites on the Great Lakes, Sean Burkholder, Andrew Gordon Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage sediment in ways that would protect economic assets like ports while also promoting water quality and wildlife habitat. “If you work with the natural systems that exist in a place, most likely it’s those things that actually help make that place special in the first place,” he says.