Over the past several years, California has seen some of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire events in modern history. Experts caution that due to climate change, we have entered a new era of perennial megafires that will only become more destructive and costlier in the coming decades. While there are no easy solutions to these challenges, it is clear that landscape architects and urban designers have an important role to play. Today we are working on a handful of research projects that address landscape strategies for wildfire resilience in California, especially in the wildland-urban interface, or WUI. We are currently working with the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, The Nature Conservancy, and students at University of Michigan, California State Polytechnic, Pomona, and various other universities through our annual summer studio.

RESEARCH TEAM

Jonah Susskind, XL research and innovation Lab at SWA
Alison Ecker, SWA, XL
Molly Mowery, Community Wildfire Planning Center
Kelly Johnston, Community Wildfire Planning Center
Katie Oran, Community Wildfire Planning Center
Shannon Clancy, University of Michigan
Dallas Ford, University of Michigan
Peter Rustad, University of Michigan
Rajpankaja Talkudar, University of Michigan
Ted Vuchinich, University of Michigan
Harrison Raine, UC Berkeley
Luis Mota, University of Southern California
Michele Totoy, Polytechnic University of Milan
Jin Zhang, UCLA
Slide Kelly, Harvard GSD
Tejas Saiyya, University of Michigan
Xinyi Zhang, University of Pennsylvania
Yuanqing Su, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

THANKS TO

Matt Damon, California Office of State Fire Marshal/CAL FIRE
Claire McCoy, California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
Edith Hannigan, California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
Kristen Shive, The Nature Conservancy
Elizabeth Hiroyasu, The Nature Conservancy
Jesus Abril, California State Polytechnic, Pomona
Lisa Du Russell, University of Michigan
Jim Heid, Urban Green Inc
Brian Oh, County of Sonoma
Tennis Wick, County of Sonoma
Adam Sharron, County of Sonoma
Joe Runco and John Wong, SWA

FEATURED

LA+ Journal
“Centering the Fringe”

ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture
“On the Edge: Merging Wildfire Research and Design in Reimagining Frontline Communities”

Summer Studio

FINDINGS

California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research report (forthcoming)
The Nature Conservancy white paper (forthcoming)
Week 0-Summer Program (forthcoming)
University of Michigan capstone (forthcoming)

RELATED PROJECTS

The Edge of Paradise: Landscape Strategies for Living with Fire
SWA Summer Studio
Rancho Mission Viejo
Paramount Ranch
Kenwood Ranch
Meadowood Masterplan
Adventist Hospital