The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism & Ecology

  • From ‘Atlas for the End of the World’

Ian L. McHarg (1920 - 2001), professor and chair of landscape and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania, was arguably the most important environmental planner and landscape architect of the 20th century. Through his writings and teaching, McHarg brought the sciences and the arts together to develop innovating planning and design techniques for improving the relationship between human nature and designed ecology.

In recognition of McHarg’s legacy, the department of landscape architecture at Penn is establishing The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, a nexus of research, teaching, and advocacy for improving the relationship between cities and their landscapes, and processes of urbanization and ecosystems. The Center’s official launch will be part of Design with Nature Now, an international symposium to be held in Philadelphia in 2019, marking the 50th anniversary of McHarg’s magnum opus, Design with Nature.


In the spirit of Ian McHarg’s renowned philosophy for “Designing with Nature,” the Center’s mission is to build on the Weitzman School’s position as a global leader in urban ecological design by bringing environmental and social scientists together with planners, designers, policy makers, and communities to develop practical, innovative ways of improving the quality of life in the places most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.


Frederick Steiner 
Dean and Paley Professor
Co-Executive Director, The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology

Richard Weller
Professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture
Co-Executive Director, The McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology

Billy Fleming
Wilks Family Director, The McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology

Read more on The McHarg Center's website.