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Landscape Architecture

News | April 12, 2016

10 Parks that Changed America Premieres Tonight on PBS (KCTS9)

Tune into KCTS9 at 8:00pm to see the premier of 10 Parks that Changed America. Two of Seattle’s great parks made the list for this interesting look at the influence parks and public spaces have had on America. A packed house at Architecture Hall saw a preview a few weeks ago and it’s great! Our…


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Aaron Luoma

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News | June 26, 2015

Achieving Inclusivity in Visions of a Better Urban Future by Lynne Manzo

Presented at June 1st Urban@UW Launch Meeting


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Alex Anderson

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Andrew Prindle

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Anne Vernez-Moudon

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News | September 2, 2016

August Sees New Grants, Project Launches, and Original Research and Writing

August was a busy month at the University of Washington and the Seattle region when it comes to urban research, writing, and project launches. Take a look at what’s been happening. Urban@UW will be running a half-day workshop as part of the Eighth International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016.) Our workshop seeks to bring…


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Bill Estes

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Brian Gerich

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Brooke Sullivan

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Degree Program

Built Environment (PhD)

Three fundamental areas of specialization in built environment knowledge and practice are offered within the BE Built Environment Doctoral Program: 1) sustainable systems and prototypes; 2) technology and project design/delivery; 3) history, theory, and representation studies. Each student will select one of these areas, within which she or he will take their advanced and specialized…

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News | August 7, 2019

Can tiny houses help solve affordability crisis? A student who’s building one thinks so

Olivia Tyrnauer adjusts the ladder and carefully begins to climb, balancing on the steps as she carries a large window up to an empty frame. Positioned precariously on one of the top steps, she loops a screw gun out of her belt and pulls a screw from one of the pockets of her tan cargo…


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Catherine De Almeida

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Course | L ARCH 362

Cityscapes & City Design

Introduction to the design of landscape in urban contexts. Overview of major urban design theories and examples of historic and contemporary work. Discussion of the contesting urban processes: visions of city, social and cultural factors, public and community process, and the discourses of nature, urban ecology, and ecological design.

News | September 8, 2017

College of Built Environments’ David de la Cruz partners with communities for environmental justice

David de la Cruz has a question about power. “When we think about toxic sites and where they’re placed in relation to where people live, who’s left out of making those decisions?” “Often,” he answers, “it’s the people who live there. It’s low-income communities, working-class communities and communities of color who don’t have a say….


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Daniel Winterbottom

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News | July 7, 2016

Data Science for Social Good 2016

This summer we are thrilled to be supporting the eScience Institute’s Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program. Modeled after similar programs at the University of Chicago and Georgia Tech, with elements from eScience’s own Data Science Incubator, sixteen DSSG Student Fellows have been working with academic researchers, data scientists, and public stakeholder groups on…


Course | SOC 513 / CSDE 513

Demography and Ecology

Theories and research on human fertility, mortality, mobility, migration, and urbanization in social/economic context. Comparative and historical materials on Europe, the United States, and the Third World.

Course | L ARCH 362

Design of Cities

Introduction to the discourses and debates in the contemporary design of cities. Provides an overview of design theories and examples of historic and contemporary work. Includes discussion of the contesting urban processes: visions and paradigms of city; discourses of nature and the city; contemporary urban changes; public and community process; and everyday place making.

News | May 31, 2019

Designing for resilience

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country– a hub of innovation with a thriving economy. Yet this rapid growth challenges the capacity of the city to adapt without damaging its current communities. Students from The University of Washington’s College of Built Environments responded to these and other challenges through the Winter…


Course | L ARCH 482

Designing High Performance Landscapes

Looks at ways to design ' high performance landscapes' that integrate ecological realities and urban infrastructural needs while expressing an aesthetic of performance. From site analysis to final design, provides hands-on experience in creating green infrastructure assets in the urban environment.

News | May 20, 2020

EarthLab announces Innovation Grant recipients for 2020

Research projects funded for 2020 by EarthLab’s Innovation Grants Program will study how vegetation might reduce pollution, help an Alaskan village achieve safety and resilience amid climate change, organize a California river’s restoration with tribal involvement, compare practices in self-managed indigenous immigrant communities and more. EarthLab is a University of Washington-wide institute connecting scholars with community…


Course | L ARCH 363

Ecological Design and Planning

Introduction to landscape ecological theory applied to urban environments. Comparison of different vocabularies used to describe landscape structure and function, from the fields of landscape design, urban design, and biology. Discussion of design theories that have sought to re-center landscape planning and design around the goal of achieving ecological sustainability.

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Eric Higbee

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News | August 18, 2016

Exploring Artistically Significant Landscapes

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Thaisa Way has been appointed chair of the Dumbarton Oaks Fellows in Garden and Landscape Studies. Way, who has been a Senior Fellow with Dumbarton Oaks since 2011 will serve a one year term.As one of six Senior Fellows, the group serves as advisors to the Director of Dumbarton Oaks…


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Fritz Wagner

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Gundula Proksch

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Course | L ARCH 450

History of Environmental Design in the Pacific Northwest

Development of landscape architecture, architecture, and urban planning in the Pacific Northwest from nineteenth century to the present, with major emphasis on twentieth century.

Course | L ARCH 353

History of Modern Landscape Architecture

Development of profession and art of landscape architecture in the United States, Europe, South America, and Japan in relation to prevailing social, economic, political, and cultural factors. Relationships with other professions, especially architecture and urban planning, and other arts, such as painting and sculpture.

Course | L ARCH 452

History of Urban Landscapes

Introduces the history of urban landscape design of public spaces in cities. Comparative survey of non-western cultures, including China, Japan, Islamic world, and Pre-Columbian countries to the western world from the Pre-Classical through nineteenth and twentieth century in Europe and USA. Examines as pragmatic practices or works of art.

Course | L ARCH 454

History of Urban Landscapes and Environments

Explores the history and historiography of urban landscapes and the design of cities with an emphasis on North America in the context of the broader study of cities in China, Japan, and in the Western world from the pre-classical through twentieth centuries in Europe.

News | March 8, 2017

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.   Leadership: Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture Executive Committee: Margaret O’Mara, Department of History Susan P….


News | July 6, 2020

How urban design can make or break protests

If protesters could plan a perfect stage to voice their grievances, it might look a lot like Athens, Greece. Its broad, yet not overly long, central boulevards are almost tailor-made for parading. Its large parliament-facing square, Syntagma, forms a natural focal point for marchers. With a warren of narrow streets surrounding the center, including the…


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Iain Robertson

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News | March 31, 2020

In the coronavirus crisis, who gets to be outside?

As the first weekend of spring began, nearly 100 million Americans had just been ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Even the most stringent stay-at-home orders in the U.S. currently allow people to go outside, which is providing multitudinous benefits in this time of great uncertainty. Taking a short walk, roll,…


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Jean Ni

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Jeff Hou

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Jeffrey Karl Ochsner

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Jess Hamilton

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Julie M. Johnson

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Julie Parrett

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Kathryn Rogers Merlino

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News | May 14, 2015

Ken Smith: Going Beyond the Metrics

In case you missed it. Ken Smith’s lecture, a part of the UW Landscape Architecture Lecture Series on May 14th 2015. The lecture focuses on ideas and craft in creating contemporary landscapes particularly at a larger scale. A number of new or recent projects are discussed as case studies. It addresses issues of scale, infrastructure…


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Ken Yocom

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Kristi Park

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Degree Program

Landscape Architecture (BLA, MLA, dual MArch-MLA, dual MLA-MUP)

At the University of Washington, we strive to create a program that meets the complex social, environmental, political, and aesthetic challenges of our time. Our program emphasis on urban ecological design addresses the multiple dimensions of today’s environmental challenges – infrastructure, culture, ecological literacy, and human and environmental health. With our focus on the intersection…

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Course | L ARCH 310

Landscape Architecture Field Sketching

Introductory level sketching of landscape subjects: natural and urban sites, plants, animals, architectural elements. Emphasis on perspective. Various media, including pencil, charcoal, markers, ink wash, water color.

Course | L ARCH 412

Landscape Representation II

Development of advanced skills of visual representation to communicate students' visions for urban ecological design including techniques used during the design process and for presentation.

Course | L ARCH 523

Landscape Technology

Studio on rehabilitation of stressed urban landscapes. Focus varies but often deals with an analysis of the potentials in urban watershed and the study of alternative site designs for enhancing a range of landscape functions related to water quality. Taught by an interdisciplinary team.

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Laure Heland

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Leann Andrews

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News | June 13, 2019

Livable City Year celebrates partnership with City of Bellevue

This year’s Livable City Year partnership with the City of Bellevue mobilized 285 students from a variety of schools and colleges, representing all three UW campuses, to work on 30 projects in the city. The students’ research, findings and recommendations were on display at a celebration at Bellevue City Hall on Monday, June 3. The Bellevue City…


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Liz Browning

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Lynne Manzo

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Mackenzie Waller

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Makie Suzuki

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Manish Chalana

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Margaret O’Mara

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Maria Taylor

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Marina Alberti

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Michael Lewis

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Milenko Matanovic

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Degree Program

Minor in Urban Ecological Design

The Department of Landscape Architecture’s focus on Urban Ecological Design. This design practice integrates site, landscape, and people in a way that is functional, artful, and engaging. Urban Ecological Design is an interdisciplinary approach that addresses emerging local, regional, and global issues in five key areas: (1) design as activism, (2) design for ecological infrastructure,…

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News | January 31, 2016

Monthly Wrap up January 2016

It’s been a great start to 2016. UW Alumni association and History Department put together a woderful history lecture series: Excavating Seattle’s histories: Peoples, politics, and place check out details and videos here> The CBE also hosted a number of great speakers and events including SUSTAINING JAPAN: 3.11 FIVE YEARS ON lecture and panel discussion…


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Nancy Rottle

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News | August 25, 2016

NEH Awards $179,000 for Urban-Nature Summer Institute at UW

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $180,000 for a new summer institute on the urban environment at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington. The institute, City/Nature: Urban Environmental Humanities, examines how Western cultures have historically viewed city and nature as separate—and how a more integrative understanding can…


Course | L ARCH 402

Neighborhood Design Studio

Studio at neighborhood and site scales, mixed use. Incorporates urban design theory, precedents, neighborhood/project issues, and community clients. Skills in neighborhood and site analysis, programming, designs are developed in groups and individually. Methods include readings, research, critiques, field studies, and graphic, written and verbal presentations.

News | January 11, 2018

New book ‘City Unsilenced’ explores protest and public space

Jeff Hou is a professor of landscape architecture and adjunct professor of urban design and planning in the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. His research, teaching and practice focus on community design, design activism, cross-cultural learning and engaging marginalized communities in planning and design. Hou has written extensively on the agency of citizens…


News | May 12, 2016

New Project to Shine Light on Dark Places Around UW campus

Where do you walk on campus after dark, and which areas could benefit from better lighting? An interdisciplinary team of students, faculty and staff together with lighting design experts is asking the UW community those questions as part of a new plan to improve the efficiency and sustainability of outdoor lighting around the Seattle campus….


News | May 18, 2016

Office Hours with Britton Shephard

Britton Shepard is a Masters student in Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, and will be graduating this June. He is currently wrapping up his thesis project, Site 1121: Field Notes, a public site exhibition of an abandoned lot that explored the history and identity of a landscape in an urban setting. The week-long…


News | September 16, 2016

PARK(ing) Day+ and Little Collective’s “Bees and Salmon”

Today you may notice some new public spaces in your neighborhood; but look fast, because they will be gone by Sunday. Now a global phenomenon, PARK(ing) day is a few hours per year when cities endeavor to convert city spaces into public places called parklets. The parklet’s origins are tied to ReBar, a San Francisco…


News | November 27, 2018

Parks help cities – but only if people use them

Written by Thaisa Way, faculty director of Urban@UW and Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Built Environments. In cities, access to parks is strongly linked with better health for both people and neighborhoods. Children suffer higher rates of obesity when they grow up in urban areas without a park in easy reach. Because low-income neighborhoods have fewer green spaces, poorer…


Course | L ARCH 481

Planning Urban Green Infrastructure Networks for Healthy Cities

Explores the planning of green infrastructures to maximize ecosystems services and support more compact and livable communities. Credit/no-credit only.

Course | L ARCH 423

Plant Identification & Management

Plants and the soil in which they grow are the living materials that form the foundational palette from which landscape architects work to design and manage landscapes. Learn to identify plants, their ecology and understand their maintenance requirements. Provides students with the opportunity to gain insight into the field of botany, biological complexity of plants and their structural contributions to urban ecology.

News | May 4, 2016

Quick Recap: A Busy April!

April saw a lot of wonderful developments here at the University of Washington, here’s a quick recap: Our first Office Hours interview with John Vidale (more coming of these soon!) UW researchers continued to explore the effects of a $15/hr minimum wage. PBS premiered their 10 Parks that Changed America program featuring our own Thaisa…


News | December 20, 2016

Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

On November 7th and 8th Urban@UW, in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (CIG), hosted a symposium to begin transdisciplinary conversation on the multifaceted dynamics and consequences of Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (UEJ). Below are some reflections from this event, and a sample of the resources we’ll…


Course | L ARCH 504

Regional Landscape Planning

Application of landscape ecological theory to the design of urban environments. Focuses on the strategic design of urban infrastructure, including underground drainage systems, roads, parks, transit systems, and on understanding the cumulative performance of urban sites.

News | May 7, 2020

Rethinking the needs of a post-pandemic city

What will the future city look like after the pandemic? As political leaders around the country debate when to safely reopen the economy, city planners and designers have been pondering the implications of the pandemic for the future design of cities. Some suggest reducing urban density, while others predict a second wave of “white flight”…


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Richard Hartlage

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Roark Congdon

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Rob Peña

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Sandy Fischer

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News | September 29, 2016

September Recap – News, Big Data, and Monthly Hightlights

September is nearly gone, but this was not a very sleepy month. The University of Washington has started the new school year and the past month has seen some tremendous developments for urban thinking and the City of Seattle. KQED published a piece about urban heat islands and how changes in landcover from hard-scapes and…


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Sharon E. Sutton

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Shawn Stankewich

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Course | L ARCH 341

Site Design and Planning

Introduces urban ecological design issues for good site-planning processes, principles, and methods. Linked with L ARCH 301. Addresses planning for people, natural systems in place-making, design for movement with carried land uses. Includes readings, discussions, presentations, campus walks, case studies, graphic and written assignments.

News | March 16, 2016

Southern Urbanisms: Edgar Pieterse and Jean-Marie Teno (1 cr. seminar)

This microseminar addresses the emergence of global urbanisms and especially southern urbanisms, focusing on the dramatic urbanization of Africa and the resurgence of African urban studies. The course is coordinated with the visits of the influential scholar of African urbanisms Edgar Pieterse (University of Cape Town) and renowned African filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno. Their visit provides…


News | September 12, 2018

Summer Design/Build Studio 2018

Food and the ability to prepare it are fundamental components of life. Places of food preparation–whether a home kitchen or a fire pit–serve not only their most explicit functions but also act as cultural gathering spaces for families and communities. Food preparation poses particularly unique challenges in Seattle’s homeless communities for individuals, families and larger…


Course | L ARCH 564

Sustainable Urban Landscapes

Introduces contemporary literature on urban sustainability and provides a forum for discussion about theories, applications, and practices towards the planning and design of sustainable and ecological urban environments.

News | May 29, 2019

Team of UW seniors wins ‘Re-imagining Red Square’ design competition

A team of UW Architecture and Landscape Architecture seniors has won this year’s Re-Imagining Red Square competition. The designers of the “The Loop” originally were looking at how to preserve Red Square and do some intervention underneath in the garage. Then, one of the architects helping critique the designs in the contest gave the team advice…


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Thaisa Way

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Course | L ARCH 361

The Human Experience of Place

Interdisciplinary approaches to exploring the reciprocal relationship between people and the landscapes of everyday life. Through readings, discussion, in-class activities and mini-projects, students study place attachment, relationships to nature, environmental attitudes and perception, personal space, territoriality, urban public space, diversity, participation, and the politics of space.

Course | L ARCH 324

Topics in Planting Design II

Explores planting design topics that relate specifically to site, program, and design issues addressed in concurrent studio projects. Utilizes trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants as space forms in urban contexts. Utilizes plant characteristics of color, texture, and form in studio project design. Considers design principles of unity/diversity, complexity/simplicity, and pattern in studio project design.

News | March 31, 2016

Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities with Edgar Pieterse – 4/12

Join us April 12 at Kane Hall (Room 120) for Visiting Scholar Edgar Pieterse, Please Register for this Public Event Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities The available frames to understand and reimagine contemporary urban politics in the African context come down two divergent pathways: 1) build the institutional infrastructure to enact the deliberative…


News | March 1, 2018

Tri-campus survey aims to identify student struggles with housing, food costs

In a region as expensive as the Puget Sound, making ends meet affects college students, too. Rent, utilities and food can run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month – and for students without the means, it’s a daunting and sometimes compromising challenge. Urban@UW is trying to learn more about the situations…


News | July 17, 2016

Urban Alleys: Seattle and Beyond

Alleys have long been seen as places of both delight and terror. These urban spaces have a cultural history built around them much the way train and subway stations, markets, or parks do. But alleys have an encompassing spectrum of associations: home to magical night markets as well as our most sinister fears. However, the…


News | May 5, 2016

Urban Planning and PhD Program Addresses ‘The Future City’ (5/5)

What kinds of cities shall we live in, and how can urban planners help make them a reality? What possible future scenarios lie ahead, and how will big data and new technologies affect science and decision-making in urban design? The University of Washington Graduate School’s Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Urban Design and Planning’s annual symposium…


Course | L ARCH 463

Urban Recreational Design

Special recreational studies in metropolitan, urban, and neighborhood areas; the design, policies, and behavioral studies of existing parks, playgrounds, public places, and commercial areas. Design projects dealing with the play environment for all ages. Open to nonmajors.

News | October 1, 2019

Urban Scholar Highlight: Rachel Berney

Rachel Berney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Design and Planning, Adjunct Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture, an Urban@UW Fellow, and author of Learning from Bogotá: Pedagogical Urbanism and the Reshaping of Public Space. Her primary interests include community sustainable design, public space, and international development in the Americas, as well as…


Course | L ARCH 302

Urban Sites Studio

Explores the application of design ideas and principles to urban sites. Theory and research informing the design of human environments and lessons from urban and ecological design precedents are implemented in the design of plazas, urban parks, waterfronts, streets, campuses, commercial areas, and historical sites.

Course | L ARCH 434

Urban Soils and Hydrology

Develops basic understanding and skills related to soil properties and their specification for use in horticulture and hydrological performance, and knowledge and skills needed by landscape architects to implement design solutions that manipulate urban hydrological conditions.

News | October 20, 2017

Urban@UW compiles Faculty Highlights Report for research, teaching and engagement on homelessness

As part of its recently launched Homelessess Research Initiative, Urban@UW has collaborated with faculty and staff across all three UW campuses to compile a broad-ranging selection of powerful and robust projects addressing homelessness from a research lens. Check out the Faculty Highlights Report to learn more about these efforts and the people behind them.


News | July 7, 2020

Why host platforms? Extracts from an interview with Professor Thaisa Way

In early March 2020, Andrea Kahn (Synthesis Lab Director for SLU Urban Futures and former SLU Landscape Facilitator) met Thaisa Way, Facilitator for Urban@UW, to discuss the origins, actors, actions and impacts of the platform.   Like SLU Landscape, Urban@UW is a network of researchers and practitioners engaging in different collaborative projects and initiatives across multiple…