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Steven T. Moga

Associate Professor of Landscape Studies

Steve Moga


Wright Hall 111


Steven Moga teaches landscape studies at Smith College. He is an urbanist and city planning historian with research interests in environmental design, cultural landscapes and the power of place. He completed his master's and doctorate in urban planning (University of California, Los Angeles, 1999; MIT, 2010). As a preservation planner, he has consulted on cultural landscape reports, tax credit projects, environmental reviews, historic surveys and municipal plans in more than 50 local communities in California and Massachusetts.

His research publications include analyses of the origins of the zoning map, New York City waterfront planning, and metropolitan parks and open space planning in Boston. He has published articles and review essays in Journal of Planning Education and Research, Journal of Planning History, Journal of Urban History, and The Public Historian. In 2013, Moga was awarded a Mellon Foundation Fellowship for research at the New-York Historical Society. He is currently completing a book on the history of urban lowlands and American city form.

Moga brings a strong visual sense to his work—making photographs as fieldwork, using visual analysis as a research method. He is passionate about questions of how people shape place, experience nature in our surroundings, and identify patterns and meanings in the landscape. In his research in city planning, he seeks to understand how people have defined urban problems and how they have articulated a vision of a better city.

Selected Publications

Steven T. Moga, Urban Lowlands: A History of Neighborhoods, Poverty, and Planning (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020).

Andrew Mondschein and Steven T. Moga, “New Directions in Cognitive-Environmental Research: Applications to Urban Planning and Design,” Journal of the American Planning Association, vol. 84, nos. 3-4 (Summer-Autumn 2018): 263-275.

Steven T. Moga, “The Zoning Map and American City Form,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, vol. 37, no. 3 (September 2017): 271-285.

Steven T. Moga, “Marginal Lands and Suburban Nature: Open Space Planning and the Case of the 1893 Boston Metropolitan Parks Plan,” Journal of Planning History, vol. 8, no. 4 (November 2009): 308-329.


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M.A., University of California Los Angeles
B.A., Carleton College

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks