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Grounding the Green New Deal: A Summit on Design, Policy, and Advocacy

April 9, 2022
National Building Museum, Washington, DC

Thank you to all who attended the summit or tuned in for the livestream. And a huge than you to our 16 presenters and panelists for the thought-provoking and inspiring conversation! 

Follow the links below to see recordings and photos from the event.

The summit recordings can be viewed on-demand to earn up to 3.5 PDH (LA CES/HSW) upon successful completion of a short quiz.

TEXT: Summit - Grounding the Green New Deal - Design, Policy + Advocacy | April 9 12-5pm National Building Museum, Washington, DC

Grounding the Green New Deal: A Summit on Design, Policy, and Advocacy

Addressing the climate crisis will require an unprecedented scale, scope, and pace of physical landscape transformation. There is an essential role for the built environment disciplines to play in reimagining this future and translating the goals of decarbonization, jobs, and justice into on-the-ground practices and built works. Through panel discussions with leading changemakers, this summit examined the intersection of policy, design, and advocacy to identify ways to accelerate individual and collective actions to effect change.

The summit built from the Green New Deal Superstudio, a year-long open call which attracted the participation of more than 3,000 students and practitioners in the built environment disciplines. Some 670 design and planning projects were submitted to give form to the goals of the movement-led vision, and a select set was on display during the event.

Short preview video with clips from the live event on 4/9/22

TEXT: "Climate ABC: Action, Building, Community"

The summit was presented in partnership with the National Building Museum as part of its Climate Action Weekend and Climate ABC (Action/Building/Community) program series. Climate ABC’s goals are to educate the public on innovative climate action initiatives and to drive substantive action in the building industry to reduce environmental impact.

The Grounding the Green New Deal Summit and Superstudio are an initiative of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) in association with the Weitzman School of Design McHarg Center, the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).


Event Sponsors

  • Presenting Partner

  • Title Sponsor

  • Title Sponsor

  • Supporting Sponsor

  • Biohabitats



    General Sponsors

  • Hord | Coplan | Macht

    University of Washington College of Built Environments





April 9, 2022 
National Building Museum, Washington, DC
All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

11:00am     Doors open for exhibit and networking

12:00pm     Welcome + Kickoff
                      Aileen Fuchs, National Building Museum
                      Barbara Deutsch, Landscape Architecture Foundation

12:15pm     From the New Deal to the Green New Deal
                      Billy Fleming, Weitzman School of Design McHarg Center

12:35pm     Panel: Advocacy
                      Moderated by Billy Fleming
                      Katherine Baer, River Network
                      Bryan Lee Jr., Colloqate
                      Colette Pichon Battle, Esq., Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
                      Nikil Saval, Pennsylvania State Senate
                      Linda Shi, Cornell University
                      Anne Whiston Spirn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  2:10pm      Intermission

  2:40pm      Insights from the Green New Deal Superstudio
                      Kate Orff, Columbia Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes

  3:00pm     Panel: Implementation
                      Moderated by Kate Orff
                      Alexa Bush, The Kresge Foundation
                      Kevin Bush, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
                      Mia Lehrer, Studio-MLA
                      Mitchell Silver, McAdams
                      Jess Zimbabwe, Environmental Works Community Design Center

  4:35pm      Closing panel
                       Moderated by Anjulie Rao
                       Roxanne Blackwell, American Society of Landscape Architects
                       Kofi Boone, LAF President | North Carolina State University
                       Billy Fleming, Weitzman School of Design McHarg Center
                       Kate Orff, Columbia Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes

  5:00pm      Reception


Speakers and Panelists

Katherine Baer

Vice President of River Programs, River Network

Headshot of Katherine Baer

An environmental advocate and leader for over 15 years, Katherine has worked for American Rivers, Triangle Land Conservancy, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, leading efforts to improve policies for clean and reliable water at the local, state and national levels.  


Roxanne Blackwell, Esq., Hon. ASLA

Director of Federal Government Affairs, American Society of Landscape Architects

Headshot of Roxanne Blackwell

Roxanne directs and implements all federal government affairs programs and is the lead advocate for ASLA before the U.S. Congress and federal agencies. She has extensive experience in transportation and infrastructure issues, including transit and bicycle/pedestrian policies.



Kofi Boone, FASLA

Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, North Carolina State University

Headshot of Kofi Boone

Kofi's work is in the overlap between landscape architecture and environmental justice with specializations in democratic design, digital media, and interpreting cultural landscapes. His scholarship has provided context, theory, and methods for engaging issues of equity and justice through design.


Alexa Bush

Program Officer, Detroit Program, The Kresge Foundation

Headshot of Alexa Bush

Alexa guides the implementation of investments in transformative public spaces that bring people together and promote greater understanding and inclusion. She also shapes strategies that interconnect sustainable urban development and economic equity.


Kevin Bush

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Headshot of Kevin Bush

Kevin oversees affordable housing and community development programs as well as Department-wide energy and environmental policy. Previously, he served as Washington, DC’s first Chief Resilience Officer and on the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.


Billy Fleming, PhD

Wilks Family Director, Weitzman School of Design Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology

Headshot of Billy Fleming

Billy's work on the built environment impacts of climate change includes low-carbon public housing policy briefs. He is co-editor of A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation, co-editor/co-curator of book and exhibit Design With Nature Now, and lead author of "An Atlas for the Green New Deal.”


Bryan Lee Jr.

Founder/Principal, Colloqate Design

Headshot of Bryan Lee Jr

An architect, design justice advocate, and founding organizer of the Design As Protest Collective and Dark Matter University. Bryan has won numerous awards and fellowships and led two award-winning architecture + design programs for high school students.


Mia Lehrer, FASLA

President and Founder, Studio-MLA

Headshot of Mia Lehrer

Mia is recognized for a research-based design process that advocates for resilient and just relationships between individuals, communities, and nature. She is a Commissioner on the LA Department of Water & Power and served on the US Fine Arts Commission 2014-2018. 


Kate Orff, FASLA

Founding Principal, SCAPE | Professor and Director Columbia University Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes

Headshot of Kate Orff

Kate focuses on retooling landscape architecture practice relative to the uncertainty of climate change and creating spaces to foster social life, which she has explored through publications, activism, research, and projects.


Colette Pichon Battle, Esq.

Founder and Co-Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy 

Headshot of Colette Pichon Battle

A Louisiana native, Colette develops programming focused on equitable disaster recovery, global migration, community economic development, climate justice, and energy democracy. She has been awarded a number of fellowships and an Honorary Doctorate.


Anjulie Rao

Editor, Chicago Architect magazine and journalist

Headshot of Anjulie Rao

Anjulie is a journalist and critic whose work focuses on how we live with—and, more dramatically, how we suffer through—the built environment. She teaches writing and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the departments of Architecture/Interior Architecture and New Arts Journalism.


Nikil Saval

Pennsylvania State Senator, First District

Headshot of Nikil Saval

Senator Saval is a father, husband, writer, and organizer. In office, he has focused his legislative work on critical response to Pennsylvania’s ongoing housing, mass incarceration, wage, and climate crises, while simultaneously pushing for deep structural change.


Linda Shi, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

Headshot of Linda Shi

Linda's research concerns how to plan for urban climate adaptation in ways that improve environmental sustainability and social justice. She studies how aspects of urban land governance shape climate vulnerability and adaptation responses. 


Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Hon. ASLA

Principal and Vice President of Urban Planning, McAdams 

Headshot of Mitchell J Silver

An award-winning planner with more than 35 years of experience, Mitchell specializes in comprehensive planning, placemaking, and implementation strategies and is responsible for providing advisory services in urban planning, parks and public space planning.


Anne Whiston Spirn, FASLA

Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Headshot of Anne Whiston Spirn

Anne’s books include The Granite Garden (1984) and The Language of Landscape (1998). She is currently writing The Buried River: Restoring Nature, Rebuilding Community. Anne received Japan’s 2001 International Cosmos Prize, the 2018 National Design Award, and the 2020 ASLA Medal, among other honors. 


Jess Zimbabwe, LEED AP

Executive Director, Environmental Works 

Headshot of Jess Zimbabwe

Prior to the nonprofit community design center in Seattle, Jess led Plot Strategies, the Rose Center for Public Leadership, and the Mayors’ Institute on City Design. She serves on the boards of Next City, the National Main Street Center, and Colloqate and teaches urban planning at Georgetown and the University of Washington.


The Green New Deal Superstudio and Grounding the Green New Deal Summit are a joint initiative of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) in association with the partners listed below.