Tackling Climate, Justice, and Jobs: SmithGroup’s Superstudio

Launched in 2020, the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Green New Deal Superstudio is centered around a year-long, national ideas competition inviting working professionals and design schools to develop actionable planning and design innovations to help spur decarbonization, social and environmental justice, and new/green economy jobs. SmithGroup called on our firm to be part of this vital conversation by forming our own Climate Action Superstudio and holding an internal ideas competition to address the critical climate issues we’re facing globally. The winning proposals from our internal competition, which were further developed and submitted to the LAF, are featured here. 

Grafting: Repairing an Urban Scar; Healing for Those in Need SmithGroup


Grafting: Repairing an Urban Scar; Healing for Those in Need

The Grafting seeks to heal scarred urban space to foster community and growth in neighborhoods split apart by the consequences of urban expansion.  By providing the building blocks of shade, clean air, and cool water needed for gathering in the desert, social interaction across different ethnic, racial, and/or socio-economic groups can occur.

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Green new deal superstudio

Hospital[C]ity: Transforming Old Hospitals to New Community Health Resources

Under Senate Bill 1953, California hospitals have until 2030 to make seismic upgrades to continue to operate. What happens after 2030 and over 775 facilities across the state are decommissioned? Our proposal is to encourage the adaptive reuse of these buildings to become community health resources: Re-purpose old patient rooms to new housing, adapt old kitchens to new restaurants and food shops, turn old care suites to new day clinics. Replace the hospital with wellness amenities to create a hospital(c)ity. 

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Night Sky as a Common Pool Resource SmithGroup Super Studio LAF

Night Sky as a Common Pool Resource

To expand dialogue and offer novel solutions concerning increasing global light pollution, we consider the dark night sky as a resource, in particular, a common pool resource (CPR). We understand the night sky not as something to overcome but instead as something consumed for our own self-interest via light pollution. To preclude the tragedy of the commons, we explore several paths forward focusing on both top-down regulation and collective action.

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Localized Future for Delray SmithGroup

Localized Future for Delray

A transition from our current globalized economy and way of life is imminent, but a localized, post-fossil fuel future could be better than the world we live in now. This design submission explores how Community Resiliency Hubs could be the catalyst for sustainable, community lead change in disenfranchised communities like Delray, a neighborhood in Detroit plagued by industry. 

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Low-Impact, Infill Housing (LIIH) SmithGroup

Low-Impact, Infill Housing (LIIH)

Low-impact, Infill housing can holistically leverage financing, policy, and design to limit GHG emissions. With dense systems of transportation, infrastructure, and commercial activity, infill development further limits emissions. In this way, infill housing combats the inefficiency of sprawl. We can raise awareness of new financing options, the advocacy of policies that promote infill housing and grant design agency through low impact building systems. We can combat the climate challenge, address the housing crisis and disrupt development through design.

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