I combine design projects with research, writing and teaching using a planner’s perspective and a designer’s sensibility to help people understand the built environment and the processes that shape it. Recently my study of land settlement patterns led to an exhaustive look at the issue of density. Visualizing Density was a five year project sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to develop tools for understanding density — the issues, the role of design, and overcoming public opposition. The components of the project are: a book containing a “density catalog” of 1,000 images of neighborhoods across the country, a workshop for planning and design professionals, and an interactive web site.
My current project is a companion edition to Visualizing Density, with a working title of Density Close-up which will include a more detailed, formal analysis of select high quality dense urban neighborhoods. My design practice focuses on helping state agencies, municipalities, non-profits, and developers envision alternatives to sprawl and build more compact and sustainable projects. Two long-standing collaborations are with Housing Vermont, a non-profit housing development company and Preservation Trust of Vermont, a non-profit dedicated to preserving Vermont’s downtowns. Now only a few months since my Fellowship ended, I’m wondering what the exact impact on my career will be. I’m already applying my newly gained knowledge of sustainable development, urban agriculture, and green infrastructure as well as recently acquired skills in writing and photography to my current book project. I look forward to getting to know, learning from, and possibly working with my new, larger Loeb family — the alumni.