Phone No415.332.5100


Joe Runco

Managing Principal

“I have always been interested in rural development, and in the interface between urbanization and open lands. As landscape architects, we should be looking for ways to protect and integrate nature and productive landscapes into projects whenever possible—a key factor for the long-term sustainability of communities.”

Joe Runco, PLA, has been a landscape architect and community planner since 1978, with diverse project experience of all types and scales. Joe directs large-scale community planning and design efforts that balance development desires with existing natural systems, and also designs for campus, residential, hospitality, commercial and recreation projects with an emphasis on creating livable, sustainable places. Joe has been with SWA for 36 years. His focus today is on large-scale community design and projects that balance development desires with existing natural systems. For the last 26 years, he has worked primarily in Northern California.


Mountain and desert landscapes; Gardens; Great cities; writers Iaian Banks, Paolo Bacigalupi, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Wallace Stegner, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, Ursula LeGuin and many others who envision different, better places that celebrate the interaction of humans in the natural world.


Master of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design (1981)

Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, Oregon State University (1978)


Member, American Society of Landscape Architects (1990-Present)

Member, American Planning Association (2000-Present)

Associate Member, Urban Land Institute (2010-Present)

Registered Landscape Architect: California, Oregon, Texas, Florida


Pacific Coast Builders Conference Gold Nugget Grand Award, Best on the Boards Site Plan: The Cannery (2014)

ASLA Northern California Chapter Honor Award, Analysis, Planning and Communication: Buchanan Field (2006)

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

Gold Achievement Award – NAHB / National Council of Senior Housing: Rotary Valley Senior Housing (1999)

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


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