Joe Runco Managing Principal

Integrating undisturbed lands, agricultural uses, cultural landscapes, and natural systems into the framework of urban development; sustainability; redevelopment and re-use; projects that serve multiple, long-term needs; beauty and balance in the landscape.

A landscape architect and community planner since 1978, Joe today focuses on large-scale community planning projects that balance development desires with existing natural systems. “I have always been interested in rural development, and in the interface between urbanization and open lands,” he explains. As such, he tries to protect and integrate agricultural uses into projects whenever possible—a key factor, as he sees it, in the long-term sustainability of communities. For the last 15 years, he has worked primarily in Northern California.

Inspired By

Mountain and desert landscapes; writers Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Wallace Stegner, John Muir, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry and others who envision different, better worlds and celebrate the interaction of humans in the natural world.


Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies/Landscape Architecture from Oregon State University


Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Planning Association


2004 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Outstanding Project of the Year Award: Mountain House, Mountain House, California.

1999 NAHB/National Council of Senior Housing Gold Achievement Award: Rotary Valley Senior Housing, Marin County, California.

1990 ASLA New England Chapter (BSLA) Merit Award: Weston Planned Community, Broward County, Florida

Dream project

“Any project that replaces the ugliness and waste that characterizes most modern development—in an ecological and beautiful manner."