LA 205 | Environmental Planning Studio

Course Description

LandscapeArch 205
Instructor: G Matt Kondolf
Spring term
Lectures: Mon & Wednesdays 2 - 6p


The focus of this studio is applying natural and social science to understanding landscape and urban processes, identifying opportunities, and creating plans, policies, regulations, and designs for sustainable development. In the studio, we work as a professional team, breaking into smaller interdisciplinary teams to tackle specific topics.  We conduct spatial analysis using available digital datasets, conduct original field work, conduct geomorphic, hydrologic ecological, institutional and regulatory analyses, and consult with stakeholders and communities.  Based on our analysis, we develop plans informed by environmental and social science, promoting biodiversity and community development. Our plans seek to address economic development and environmental protection as one, and tackle some of the most critical environmental issues of our time –rising sea level, land use and risk from natural hazards, unsustainable urban form, protection of endangered species and biodiversity, and loss of wetlands, agricultural lands and cultural diversity. We examine how land use policies may need to be altered in light of current and future conditions of the landscape. The course is open to graduate students in planning, landscape architecture, and (with instructor permission) in allied programs such as ecological, earth, and social sciences, and engineering.  We normally tackle three topics over the semester, spanning multiple scales and geographic regions, for each conducting data inventory and analysis, policy and plan analysis, and plan formulation.  We work in interdisciplinary teams, reconstituting teams for each project.

2023 Projects

The Pearl River, Jackson, Mississippi

The One River Plan: An Alternative to the One Lake Proposal

The Pajaro River, Pajaro, California

Flood Mitigation Proposal for the Pajaro River Valley

2022 Projects

Walnut Creek, California

Restoring Concrete Channels to Creeks

Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea

A Vision for Hwaseong Wetlands

2016 Project

Xinghua Bay, Fujian Province, China

The Black-faced Spoonbill in Xinghua Bay: A Catalyst for Responsible Development

Final Report