Public Works, Land, and the Green New Deal


In the midst of our climate crisis, it's time to talk about how and where we live.

In the era of climate change, everything is on the move. People, animals, and entire ecosystems. We can find evidence of this migration in the Puerto Rican diaspora, the spread of feral hogs to northern latitudes, and the expanding range of fire regimes in the American West. It is no longer a question of if or when these massive shifts will occur. We are living through them now. All that remains is the scale, scope, and pace of our responsewhether we'll plan for change, or simply react to it.

This fall, the McHarg Center is putting this work at the top of our agenda. On Thursday, September 5th we'll host Jodi Hilty, chief scientist of the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative, for a wide-ranging, public discussion on the future of land conservation and climate change. She'll be joined by Amy Freitag (Kaplan Fund) and Richard Weller from 6-7:30 in Meyerson Hall.

A week later, we'll host the most ambitious public event of the year at the University of Pennsylvania: "Designing a Green New Deal." It will feature Naomi Klein, Dave Roberts (Vox), Rhiana Gunn-Wright (New Consensus), Julian Brave Noisecat (Data for Progress), Leah Stokes (UCSB), Kate Orff (SCAPE), and many others.

These events will be linked to a new round of coursework and research in the Center focused on the landscapes of decarbonization and adaptationthe central tenets of the Green New Deal. Like every event hosted by the Center, these are free and open to the public. By appealing to both the public imagination (through our events and writing) and to the Members of Congress writing the pending slate of Green New Deal legislation (many of whom have now formally invited us to help shape and draft their work), we are entering a period of once unfathomable hope on climate change. We hope you'll continue to support our efforts as we this vital work continues.

Upcoming Events

Conservation with Climate Change

How might we reimagine the design, planning, and management of conservation land in the erea of climate change?

Register Today

Designing a Green New Deal

Whatever form the Green New Deal eventually takes, it will be realized and understood through buildings, landscapes, and other public works.

Register Today

The Center in the News

Tired of waiting for a national push, a buzzing hive of climate resilience innovators are buzzing in Boston | Boston Globe
“We’ve reached the limit of what design firms and cities can do...Adapting to climate change and decarbonizing the economy — these are huge structural things.” Read More in the Boston Globe
Ian McHarg's Design With Nature Turns 50 | WHYY
“Show me any civilization who believes reality exists only because man can perceive it, that the cosmos was erected to have man at its pinnacle, that man exclusively is divine, and then I will predict the nature of his cities,” McHarg said to the camera. Read More in the WHYY
The Green New Deal Could Change the Way America Builds. Here's How | Fast Company
“We’re going to need to do many different things in terms of injecting design expertise into the federal bureaucracy." Read More in Fast Company
How Ian McHarg Taught Generations to 'Design With Nature' | CityLab
“The last 50 years of landscape architecture and environmental planning belong to Ian McHarg. In theory and practice, no designer has done more to stoke the public imagination or reshape the professions around the environment." Read More in CityLab
50 Years after 'Design With Nature', Ian McHarg's Ideas Still Define Landscape Architecture | Metropolis Magazine
“In McHarg’s wake, it’s hard not to read much of landscape architectural labor as either an endorsement or a critique of his ideology and methods." Read More in Metropolis Magazine

Friends of McHarg

The Center's work is made possible by the generosity of our alumni, partners, and friends. Everything you see in this letter--the events, the research assistance, the press and published writing--are supported by our discretionary fund. Become a friend of the McHarg Center today by giving to our fund.

Design With Nature Now exhibitions have been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design is an interdisciplinary think tank that brings 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.

The McHarg Center | Weitzman School

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