ASLA 2018: Nancy Somerville Speaks of CMG Work


ASLA 2018 was held in Philadelphia from October 19th through the 22nd. Nancy Somerville, EVP/CEO at American Society of Landscape Architects opened the annual meeting and expo with crucial remarks about landscape architect’s role in the fight against Climate Change. CMG is honored to have two of the firm’s most recent resiliency based projects recognized in the kick off speech of the conference.

Click HERE to read further through and learn more about the Seawall Resiliency and Carbon Calculator projects.

CMG Active Educational Leaders Teaching Across the Bay Area

Jamie Phillips PLA, Principal and Nico Wright, Associate are co-teaching a Landscape Architecture studio this fall semester at UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. The studio concept is an extension of CMG’s Resilient by Design competition, Estuary Commons. Through this course, the students will explore modes of urban ecological design to deal with sea level rise and ground water flooding in East Oakland.  The studio will work with community groups to identify strategies for resilient urban design and planning that create wealth and stability for the housing stock and economics of under-served residential communities.

Course Taught: LD ARCH 201 Ecological Factors in Urban Landscape Design

Noah Levy, RA is leading a semester-long course on design media at California College of the Arts (CCA). As a laboratory using both analog and digital media, the fall course introduces students to fundamental techniques necessary to investigate, analyze and represent spatial configurations. Students will weave together multiple aspects of drawing, digital 3D modeling and fabrication in order to discover new potentials for expression, reveal qualitative aspects in their work and effectively communicate design intent.

Course Taught: Design Media 1

Paul McGehee is co-teaching with Graduate Student Instructor, Miriam Arias a 24 undergraduate student class at UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. This exciting course marks the first dedicated studio for the students, after having previously taken drawing and analytical classes, beginning with exercises geared towards having students articulate their point of view, and interests in landscape architecture. Through a series of semester-long learning practices, students will develop drawing skills, conceptual design response tactics and habitat studying tools, which they will then apply to their final park design project. The course is meant to give student a platform and skill set to discuss scale and experience, legibility of conceptual intent, and political notions related to public space and representation.

Course Taught: LD ARCH 101 Fundamentals of Landscape Design

Phoebe White is leading a digital representation and drawing undergraduate course this semester at UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. The class familiarizes students with moving dynamically between analogue and digital representation methods and teaches them how drawing is a tool for design. Additionally, offering students an overview of the history, theory, and methodologies of digital representation within the field of landscape architecture. Course exercises are meant to foster critical design discourse, to encourage exploration and experimentation, to engage analogue drawing techniques, and to capture the dynamism of the landscape medium. Students are challenged to consider how digital drawing techniques can evolve their design process and narrative across many scales.

Course Taught: LD ARCH 134B Drawing Workshop II


Jamie Phillips, Principal, Presenting at UC Berkeley Fall Landscape Architecture + Environmental Planning Lecture Series

Jamie Phillips, CMG Principal, is one of the landscape architects and environmental design experts presenting this fall at the UC Berkeley School of Environmental Design – 2018 LAEP Lecture Series. The speakers will discuss the theme of ‘empowerment’ and how the social topic is expressed in a common thread throughout their environmental work in the public realm.

Jamie will be presenting – Empowerment is ‘democratic public space’. Her presentation will highlight; the role public space has in a democratic society, CMG’s partnership with USB for the Resilient by Design: Bay Area Challenge project, Estuary Commons and the importance of remaining at the forefront of the sea level rise resiliency conversation.

Monday, October 29th | 6:30PM | 112 Wurster Auditorium

More information on the lecture series can be found here:

CMG Leaders presenting at ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia

Principal Jamie Phillips is presenting Urban Design for Coastal Flooding: A Landscape-led Design Strategy. This presentation offers a new strategy for adapting to future flooding in coastal cities using landforms that guide the mixing of seawater, stormwater, and groundwater. Jamie, along with her co-presenters, developed this strategy using an explicitly “landscape-led” approach while participating in the San Francisco Bay Area Resilient by Design Challenge.

Senior Associate Pamela Conrad is bringing an emerging leader perspective as moderator for a panel discussion entitled Climate Action – Now!. The panel is comprised of inspiring individuals representing climate change initiatives from leading landscape architecture organizations – ASLA, IFLA, and LAF.

More information on the conference can be found here.

Scott Cataffa, Principal, presenting at the International Symposium on Urban Waterfront Planning and Landscape Environment Design

Scott Cataffa, CMG Principal, is one of the landscape architects and urban design experts from around the world presenting this week at the International Symposium on Urban Waterfront Planning and Landscape Environment Design in Hangzhou, China. The speakers will discuss the design of urban waterfront spaces in different world regions and at different scales. Scott will be presenting – Social Infrastructures: Working with communities to rethink their waterfront, transforming them from utilitarian spaces into resilient places. His presentation will highlight CMG’s current waterfront projects in San Francisco including Treasure Island, Resilient by Design Challenge, and the Seawall Resiliency Project, as well as Irishtown Bend and Wendy Park in Cleveland, and the South Central Waterfront Vision Framework Plan in Austin.

More information on the conference can be found here.

Climate Positive City Design

Climate Positive City Design is situated at the nexus of policy and design. Environmental designers are experimenting with techniques, technologies, and designs to venture beyond net-zero goals and build climate positive places. Policy can support this quest to build sustainable sites at various scales, and designers can guide policy through boots-on-the-ground knowledge of challenges, opportunities, and built successes.


As an Affiliate Event of Global Climate Action Summit 2018, this evening salon hosts a panel of nationally-recognized leaders in environmental design and policy for an invigorating discussion of lessons learned and ways to fast-track climate positive design solutions at an urban scale. Join us after the lively panel discussion to continue the conversation around the future of our cities.


Link to Pamela Conrad, Senior Associate at CMG Landscape Architecture blog post on ASLA | The Field, found here.


444 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
CMG Landscape Architecture



September 13th, 2018



6:00 – 6:30      Registration and Networking
6:30 – 7:30      Panel Discussion and Q&A
7:30 – 8:30      Reception


This is a free event. Register Here for Climate Positive City Design.

This evening salon is part of a series of evening salons hosted by CMG. We bring together thinkers, academics, innovators, and practitioners to discuss issues of community building, placemaking, design, and politics in the contemporary city, with an eye toward strategies for change.




Ryan Allard, PhD, Senior Fellow/Senior Data Modeler, Project Drawdown

Ryan is a Senior Fellow and Senior Data Modeler at Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that assesses, maps, models, and communicates the world’s most substantive solutions to reversing global climate change. At Project Drawdown, Ryan leads research on the built environment connecting transportation, buildings, and urban materials use, and therefore many sectors important to urban life. He also guides the underlying modeling work across all of Project Drawdown including the land-based solutions and energy generation to ensure published results are based on sound and consistent scientific analysis. Ryan’s span of experience in the academic, nonprofit, consulting, and finance worlds across two continents and four islands allows a divergence of perspectives on global climate change that enables communication of deep scientific knowledge to a wide range of individuals. Ryan has published in the academic literature on sustainable infrastructure and also regularly presents his work at conferences around the world. He earned PhD and MSc degrees in Transportation Systems at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, and a BSc in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering at MIT.


Claire Maxfield, Director, Atelier Ten

Claire is Managing Director of Atelier Ten’s San Francisco office, a global leader in environmental design with a reputation as inventive collaborators in high-performance green building design. She is a recognized leader in the environmental design and delivery of large, complex, environmentally ambitious master plans, landscapes and buildings. Her breadth of work spans from the first LEED Platinum building to designing what will be the largest and most sustainable mass transit development on the west coast. Claire’s expertise in green buildings marries technical excellence with a strong design and environmental ethos. She has extensive expertise in climate-responsive architecture, design for thermal and visual comfort, high performance façade optimization, advanced energy and HVAC systems, water reuse systems, and carbon management.


Lisa Fisher, Sustainable City Team Lead, San Francisco Planning Department

Lisa leads the Sustainable City Team at the San Francisco Planning Department, whose mission is to foster a vibrant, regenerative, and adaptive urban environment through bold efforts at the building, neighborhood, and citywide scale. Although focused on “environmental” sustainability (climate, ecology, resources, et al), the initiative also seeks to embed a more comprehensive sustainability lens into Department-wide efforts (e.g., neighborhood plans, land use, housing, and transportation policies; public space and urban design; community engagement, et al). Currently, Lisa is developing sustainability policies and implementation for several of the City’s Sustainability Districts, including Central SoMa and three major waterfront developments. She also co-leads the City’s biodiversity work and district-scale utility explorations, and helped author the City’s Sea Level Rise Action Plan.


Pamela Conrad, Senior Associate, CMG Landscape Architecture

Pamela is a Senior Associate at CMG Landscape Architecture where she applies her experience as a landscape architect to transform challenged urban areas into highly valued public realm open spaces. Currently Pamela is managing two of the largest environmentally innovative projects in the Bay Area responding to climate change — the redevelopment of Treasure Island and San Francisco’s seawall resiliency project. She brings a strong ecological background to her work on resiliency and climate change solutions, which is rooted in her passion for the environment developed through her degrees in Plant Science and regenerative-focused landscape architecture, and experience restoring waterways with the US Army Corps of Engineers. She is a recipient of the 2018 Landscape Architecture Foundation Fellowship for development of the Landscape Carbon Calculator – the product of an extensive research initiative on Climate Positive solutions which she is sharing at lectures and events to academics and professionals around the globe.



Chris Guillard, Partner, CMG Landscape Architecture

Chris is a founding partner of CMG and works across boundaries – be they creative, technical, or management oriented, and he brings an inventive and rigorous ecological system agenda to each of his projects. His personal focus is on public parks and community spaces as they offer the best opportunity to deepen the relationship between people and place and to create social and ecological value. He views design as a way of thinking and investing that is simultaneously intuitive and rational, creative and solution-oriented, open-ended and critical. Chris has lectured at the University of California Berkeley, Virginia Tech University, Ohio State University, and Colorado State University, and has taught at the University of California, Davis. Recent projects range from community-based work such as Treasure Island, Mint Plaza, and the Panhandle Bandshell to pro-bono work designing Noe Valley Park to his current project designing Facebook’s headquarters campus.

Resilient by Design – What’s Next

The Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge (RBD) has come to a close and the next phase of work is just beginning. CMG is proud to provide the venue for ULI’s SF Sustainability Committee’s exciting discussion around new strategies for bringing RBD’s proposals to life. ULI’s ticketed event will discuss topics regarding the actualization of these projects with panelists focused on creative financing, proactive policy making, and neighborly collaboration.




Amanda Brown Stevens, Managing Director, Resilient By Design (Moderator)
Chris Guillard, Partner, CMG Landscape Architecture & RBD All Bay Collective Team
Kiran Jain, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Neighborly (formerly Chief Resilience Officer for Oakland) & Resilient by Design Executive Board Member
Lindy Lowe, Resilience Director for the Port of San Francisco (formerly Planning Director for BCDC) & Resilient by Design Research Advisor
Courtney Pash, Senior Development Manager, BUILD
Paul Peninger, Director, Design, Planning and Economics, Pacific, AECOM & RBD All Bay Collective Team



CMG Landscape Architecture
444 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94107



July 18th, 2018


Tickets & Information at:

Resilient by Design’s final stretch

This week at CMG marks the year-long culmination of tough learning and new alliances: The Resilient Bay Summit.

Last May, CMG as part as the All Bay Collective team proudly began research for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge as technical experts in environmental resiliency, this spring we emerge with a humbled yet hopeful outlook on the social complexities surrounding these environmental concerns. As the week draws to an end we invite you along with us to celebrate and explore the takeaways of this year long inquiry.


Summit Events include:

Thursday, May 17, 2018 – 2:30pm
All Bay Collective Design Team Presentation
Available through live stream link here.


Thursday, May 18, 2018 – 1:00-5:00pm
Resilient By Design Community Takeaway Conversations
Rock Wall Wine Company, 2301 Monarch Street, Alameda
An afternoon of exploring key takeaways from the process, and ideas,
strategies, and best practices for advancing resilience efforts around the Bay Area.


May 22  –  June 1, 2018
Resilient by Design-Bay Area Challenge Design Showcase
Bay Area Metro Center Lobby
375 Beale Street, San Francisco
Open: 7 am to 7 pm weekdays
9 am to 1 pm Saturdays


While the formal RBD Bay Area Challenge comes to an end, ABC will continue to work with community groups to implement the design and increase the social and environmental resilience of San Leandro Bay, as well as to share the lessons learned from this challenge with other cities worldwide.

Next Steps for St. James Park

CMG Associate Haley Waterson recently presented Next Steps for St. James Park at SPUR San Jose, along with Yu-Wen Huang, City of San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department; Mary Rubin, San Jose Public Art Program; and Laura Wolford, Friends of Levitt Pavilion. St. James Park is a significant, 150-year old public landscape in San Jose’s downtown that is now infrequently used by area residents and experiencing an increase in social challenges. CMG’s competition-winning design maintains and enhances the unique historic aspects of the park and re-organizes the new largely undefined central open space into outdoor rooms, each with a distinct character. As Haley said, St. James Park, “is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the city and a great way to kick-start downtown civic pride.”

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ASLA-NCC Spring Walking Tour

On Saturday April 28, the ASLA-Northern California Chapter conducted a walking tour of two of San Francisco’s transformative neighborhoods: Dogpatch and Mission Bay. One stop on the tour was CMG’s Daggett Park, where Associate Haley Waterson gave a brief presentation on how this 1-acre neighborhood park was created out of an existing right-of-way. On the edge between Dogpatch and Mission Bay, Daggett Park included a significant community engagement process in order to develop the programming for the three major park components: a dog park, lawn for events and recreation, and two play sculptures: the Tilted Lawn and the Penta-Step.

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