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Landscape Studies


Marcia McNally
Research Associate in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

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For 20 years Professor McNally's teaching, professional practice, public service and research have centered on two issues in citizen participation: what roles can government officials, individuals and organized constituencies play in planning and design decision making; and what tools can enable citizens to make informed decisions. More recently she has focused on the neighborhood landscape as a training ground for activism and collaboration. In her classes she brings together the rigor of a methods specialist with on-the-ground experience to teach students how to systematically and creatively generate and communicate data gathered from a diverse array of sources.

As an undergraduate I studied economics at the University of Hawaii, with an emphasis on econometric modeling. Looking for a way to apply my skills to more dynamic venues I came to Berkeley to do a master's degree in city and regional planning. Since graduation I have practiced with Randy Hester in our firm Community Development by Design. Our work includes small town community development, large-scale open space planning, and public participation in natural resource management decisions in Washington, California, Hawaii, and elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad. In recent years my interests have expanded to the other side of the Pacific Rim. Since 1997 I have worked with a growing coalition of fishermen, legislators, environmentalists, scientists and students from around the world to protect the shrinking habitat of the endangered black-faced spoonbill. Our efforts play out in southwest Taiwan, where there is a proposal to build a petrochemical plant in this bird's wintering habitat. Last year I spent six months in Kyoto, Japan, investigating initiatives in city-citizen partnerships and neighborhood planning. This work dovetails with my current research interest—the neighborhood landscape. At this writing I am working on a field guide for planning and designing at this scale that I am testing in Berkeley, Kyoto, and Taipei.