I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My primary scholarly interest concerns the historical, scientific, cultural, and design bases of urban greening, defined as a social practice of organized or semi-organized efforts to introduce, conserve, or maintain outdoor vegetation in urban areas.
This research encompasses green infrastructure, urban tree planting initiatives (TPIs), urban ecosystem services and disservices, human health and wellbeing links with urban flora, landscape design and planning norms, and governance.I am also interested in travelscapes – the spaces people move through on a daily basis that may be one of our dominant experiences of landscapes.I believe that design is a powerful tool for enhancing human and ecological potentials, and this informs my approach to urban planning research and teaching.
Prior to starting at UMass, I was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Humanities Institute at The New York Botanical Garden.I have been a regular contributor to Landscape Architecture Magazine on ecological design topics, and my career spans research and practice with a range of federal, municipal, and nonprofit organizations.
Raised in Sweden and the U.S. and having traveled extensively including work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, I am also interested in international perspectives on urban greening theory and practice.As such, I am interested in cross-cultural research and practice that is rooted in the socio-ecological realities of real-world places.
And while my primary expertise lies in urban greening, I am broadly interested in promoting livable and sustainable cities across all dimensions of urban planning and design. Towards this goal, I am an integral thinker who can work with people from different disciplinary and cultural traditions.