Chief Executive Officer // Landscape Architecture Foundation
The Green New Deal Superstudio
Now more than ever, we must use our unique training as designers to confront the pressing challenges of climate change and justice. The Green New Deal Superstudio is an opportunity for design schools, professional practices, individuals, and others to explore these principles from a designer’s perspective and support this opportunity for change.
In August 2020, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) in association with the McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture put out an open call to be part of a historic, national initiative to translate the core goals of the Green New Deal—decarbonization, justice, and jobs—into design and planning projects with regional and local specificity.
The Green New Deal Superstudio and the design responses produced through it will inform a national conversation about how the framework of the Green New Deal can be translated into actual projects and where, as a matter of priority these projects should take place, what will they look like, who will they serve, and how will they roll out. The concepts and dialogue produced through the Superstudio will also be catalogued as part of a curated collection that can support policy-makers and advocates to advance Green New Deal ideas and approaches.
In the academic realm, 96 university and college design studios (~1,500 students) participated in the Superstudio during the fall 2020 semester. From addressing environmental injustice through low-carbon food systems in the Fayetteville region to radical forms of re-investment in in the Jamaica Bay region of New York City, the scope and breadth of the academic work reflect the all-encompassing character of the Green New Deal itself, and are a testament to the diverse thinking and solutions that the design disciplines are poised to deliver. Dozens more studios plan to participate in the spring 2021 semester. The Green New Deal Superstudio runs until June 30, 2021 and will inform a forthcoming Landscape Architecture Foundation summit on policy and design.
A national climate plan like the Green New Deal will be understood by most people through the landscapes, buildings, infrastructures, and public works agenda that it inspires. The Superstudio is a concerted effort to give form and visual clarity to the scale, scope, and pace of transformation that the Green New Deal implies.