CMG Speaks at APA NPC 2019


CMG is excited to announce that Willett Moss (Partner), Lauren Hackney (Senior Associate), and Kevin Conger (Partner) will be presenting at the upcoming APA National Planning Conference 2019! The conference is from April 13 – 16 at Moscone West in San Francisco. At APA NPC planners, planning commissioners, appointed and elected officials, and students will discuss new ideas and innovative planning. Come see CMG’s Willett Moss, Lauren Hackney, and Kevin Conger on April 13-16 at Moscone West in SF! Willett and Lauren, with City and community partners, will conduct the Heart of the City: Civic Center Mobile Workshop, which will depart at 2:30pm. Kevin, with fellow session speakers Leo Chow and Christopher Meany, will be presenting the topic Treasure Island: A Forward Looking Community on April 16 from 10:15am-11:30am. For further information about the sessions, look below:


Topic: Treasure Redevelopment Island: A Forward-looking Community – NPC198197, CM | 1.25

Speakers: Leo Show, Christopher Meany, Kevin Conger

Date/Time: April 16, 10:15-11:30am

The redevelopment of Treasure Island is an opportunity to create a 21st century neighborhood based on principles of sustainability, community diversity, and social vibrancy. Learn about its innovations in urban design, landscape-based water management, and native and wildlife habitat creation. This course is approved to offer 1.25 LUs (AIA).


Topic: Mobile Workshop to Civic Center – NPC190022, CM | 5

Cost: $25.00

Activity TypeOffsite Tours and Programming

Speakers: Lauren Hackney and Willett Moss

Location: Depart from Moscone West – Mobile Workshop Departure Area


To learn more about APA NPC19, click here!

Pamela Conrad Speaks at Rescape California 2019 – Water in the World of Climate Change

Pamela Conrad, Principal, of CMG is speaking at the Rescape California 2019 Seasonal Speaker Series: Spring Talk – Water in the World of Climate Change on Thursday, April 11 from 6-8:30pm at EBMUD, Oakland ($25 members/$35 non-members). This is the second in a series of conversations about regenerative landscape practices that addresses the climate issues of our time. This conversation will address the importance of how landscape architects design and manage landscapes to respond to climate change through watershed health and water issues.

To purchase tickets, click here!


Collective Climate Action

World Landscape Architect highlights the climate change primer presented by CMG’s Principal, Pamela Conrad, ASLA, and Martha Schwartz, FASLA, in a panel titled “Climate Action, Now!” The conversation revolved around the impacts of climate change and how landscape architects have a responsibility to incorporate climate-friendly elements into their designs and practice.

While this may seem like a daunting task, the article goes on to advocate overcoming fear through open communication across the profession and interdisciplinary collaboration in order to initiate insightful action. In her own practice, Pamela has created a “Landscape Carbon Calculator” for use on site projects, and is launching a Climate Positive Design website as a tool to provide resources and guidance to improve individual projects and our profession’s climate impact through science-based design.

To read the entire article, click here!

Envisioning A New Civic Center

CMG Landscape Architecture has led a design team to develop plans for Civic Center public spaces through a community-based process that encourages participation and conversations. At an open house event celebrating the community’s role in the process, the vision plan for these Civic Center public spaces was revealed.

Three major public spaces have been reconsidered and reconceived: Civic Center Plaza, United Nations Plaza, and the block of Fulton Street that connects them. In addition to CMG, the design team includes Gehl Studio, HR&A, InterEthnica, Kennerly Architecture + Planning, Lotus Water, Structus M. Lee, JS Nolan, architecture + history, and HRA Engineering.

The design puts emphasis on reaching traditionally underserved communities, particularly bilingual and monolingual constituents. While engaging with the locals through community meetings and focus groups, more than 60 community organizations and over 3,000 people participated in the development of the plan since the project began in April 2017.

“Civic Center’s public realm should be the pride and joy of all San Franciscans, valued as useful and beautiful space that is a unique expression of our city and its democratic life,” said Willet Moss, founding partner of CMG. “With our community and City partners, we are excited to propose this vision for twenty-first-century commons that all San Franciscans are proud of – a civic gathering place that welcomes daily life and everyday use.”

Click here to learn more about the project!

Check out the official Civic Center website!

Recent press coverage:

Seawall Community Meeting

On January 31st, CMG Landscape Architecture, as a part of the CH2M/Arcadis Team, facilitated the third community meeting for the Embarcadero Seawall Program. Over 100 community members came to SPUR on a Thursday evening to hear presentations from Lindy Lowe, Chief Resiliency Officer of the Port of San Francisco, and Pamela Conrad, Senior Associate at CMG. The meeting presented a three part program: Strengthen, Adapt, and Envision. These three program horizons will lead the Port and City through developing resiliency solutions for near term seismic threats, as well as ongoing flood and sea level rise hazards through the coming century. Community members where led through an interactive exercise identifying priority assets and developing resiliency strategies for various time horizons and hazards.

San Francisco Civic Center – Community Open House

Please join CMG Landscape Architecture, the City and County of San Francisco, and CMG’s consultant team as we celebrate the culmination of a year of significant accomplishments in Civic Center. A long-term vision for the future of Civic Center’s public spaces will be on display. The vision builds on the current progress underway and reflects extensive community feedback and ambitions.

Come see the designs, speak with the designers, see art and performances, and celebrate this milestone in the ongoing effort to enhance Civic Center as a welcoming gathering space and public commons for all San Franciscans.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | Open House from 4-7pm

City Hall – South Light Court (off rotunda) | 1 DR. Carlton B Goodlett Place, San Francisco

Click here to learn more about the project!

Pamela Conrad Speaks at Harvard GSD – Climate Positive Design

Imagine a world where every person asks themselves not only “how can I offset my carbon impacts?” but, more importantly, “how can I help solve climate change?”  In a moment in time where close to half of global greenhouse emissions are generated by the built environment, what are we doing as designers to curb this issue? As landscape architects, we hold an important responsibility as the only design professionals whose most fundamental medium includes carbon sinks in our everyday toolkit.  We have a unique opportunity to provide climate positive solutions through our work.

To date the global profession of 75,000 professionals has not been able to consistently measure, track and improve our contributions – but today, that changes.

Come hear Pamela Conrad, Senior Associate at CMG Landscape Architecture in San Francisco and a 2018-2019 LAF Fellow for Innovation and Leadership share her work on developing the Landscape Carbon Calculator. With a background in Plant Science and Regenerative Studies, Pamela approaches her climate and resilience planning projects from a deep ecological perspective. Her continued work on groundbreaking Bay Area resiliency projects including Treasure Island and the San Francisco Seawall Project demonstrate Pamela’s leadership in managing complex project relationships and extensive community engagement efforts. Those projects frame the context of her and CMG’s climate initiatives which she has been sharing around the globe to expand the role of landscape architecture in climate change solutions.



To learn more about Harvard GSD, click here!

To learn more about Pamela, click here!

Resilient by Design: Bay Area Challenge is Moving Forward

CMG Landscape Architecture is continuing its efforts to create a resilient future for the Bay Area through their work in East Oakland and with the University of California Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Our collaboration began as a part of the All Bay Collective who developed the Estuary Commons proposal for the Resilient By Design: Bay Area Challenge.

Jamie Phillips (Principal), Nico Wright (Associate), and Chris Guillard (Partner) from CMG Landscape Architecture, worked with UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design professor, Dr. Kristina Hill to lead a graduate landscape architecture landscape architecture studio.

The studio curriculum was inspired by our collaboration with the East Oakland Collective’s Keta Price and Oakland Climate Actions Colin Cook-Miller throughout the Resilient By Design process, and a critique of typical development models that promote “place making” without regard for existing residents and communities of color. As an alternative CMG and the UC Berkeley students and faculty explored modes of “place keeping” that sought to develop strategies for adapting existing neighborhoods to rising sea and ground water levels while strengthening their economic resiliency in the face or rampant gentrification.

The students explored whether a residential street right-of-way can impact the communities climate and economic adaptation by adding trees, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), community agriculture, bike lending libraries, and canals that draw the high water table draw down to accommodate  increasing sea levels in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students contributed maps and participated in community planning as a part of the City of Oakland’s to address the climate change in East Oakland.

Click here to learn more about the studio!

Take a look at what the All Bay Collective is doing now!

Here is an example of a video some of the students (Sam Gebb, Julia Prince, and Felix de Rosen) made to illustrate how canals can mitigate flooding:

Lessons Learned | Van Alen Climate Council: Designing For a Future of Food

Lisa Richmond Photography 2019
Lisa Richmond Photography 2019

On January 9-11, 2019, CMG Senior Associate, Pamela Conrad, joined the Van Alen Climate Council trip to California’s Central Valley, known as the agricultural cornucopia of the state, to experience firsthand the effects of climate change on the state’s primary food source. The group comprised of passionate leaders from the Van Alen Institute along with pioneering architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering firms visited UC Davis’s Innovation Institute for Food and Health, farms of various scales, Merced County’s Food Bank, and heard first hand experiences from day laborers part of Caesar Chavez’s organization, United Farmworkers. While listening to how climate effects are changing agriculture practices, like water shortages and increased temperatures, in the back of the group’s mind the question loomed – how can design improve the already challenged way of life for agricultural communities as climate change exacerbates those situations?

One positive takeaway was that agriculture in some ways is more resilient than we might expect – although crops that were once traditionally grown in the California’s Central Valley now may be more successful in the Pacific Northwest, those crops will shift north while traditional Southern California crops will shift into central California. A sort of “crop migration”. However, other challenges will likely be more challenging to overcome – increased temperatures up to 115 degrees in the summer reduce the manageable work hours for farm laborers already starting at hours as early as 3am. The water shortage in California will also continue to add increasing pressures to a volatile society that requires the precious resource for one of our most basic needs. Due to impermeable urbanization and overdrawing from the aquifer, the potable water supply is diminishing, which is spurring conversations of water rights and regulation – of which future issues are inevitable and foreseen.

Through a charrette process, the Council shared initial thoughts and impressions gleaned from the visit with a local organic agricultural leader, Bowles Farming Company, on how design might help to transform the agricultural system and help carry the industry through the changing climate. Ideas generated included the incorporation of alternative industries, like agritourism, imagining predictable, resilient infrastructure systems such as flexible housing, shared transportation and childcare resources, changing people’s perception of food, and  connecting people to culture and place to facilitate exchange of resources and community building.

To get involved with Van Alen Climate Council’s mission, click here!

To learn more about the event, browse these links:


Van Alen Climate Council: Designing For a Future of Food

On January 9 -11 in San Joaquin Valley, Pamela Conrad, Senior Associate from CMG Landscape Architecture joins the Van Alen Climate Council to explore the question: “How can designers apply their expertise to creating a food system that can carry us into the future?”

The Van Alen Climate Council is a platform for interdisciplinary exchange between architects, engineers, planners, researchers, philanthropic partners alike. Their missions is to promote healthy and sustainable communities through Van Alen’s public programming, research and design competitions.

Participants of this event will examine the three major components of food production (water, labor, land) and how they are affected by climate change, as well as considering how to improve them through design.

To get involved with Van Alen Climate Council’s mission, click here!

To learn more about the event, browse these links: