The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Contact details


John W. Olver Design Building

551 N Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Office 333


My principal scholarly interest concerns the historical, scientific, cultural, and design bases of urban greening, which I define as a social practice of organized or semi-organized efforts to introduce, conserve, or maintain outdoor vegetation in urban areas. This research encompasses urban tree planting initiatives (TPIs), urban ecosystem services and disservices, human health and wellbeing links with urban flora, design and planning norms, equity, and governance. It also includes an emerging area of interest that I describe as 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 landscape architecture and urban planning. 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 and transcultural perspectives on urban greening theory and practice.


  • SUSTCOMM 533: Urban Greening Theory & Practice
  • LANDARCH 502: Introduction to Landscape Design II
  • SUSTCOMM 314: Writing in Community Development & Landscape Architecture
  • LANDARCH 494LI: Landscape Planning & the Cultural Landscape
  • HONORS 391AH: The Anthropocene – An Introduction and Contemplative Inquiry