Alan Berger wants us all to clean up our mess. An Associate Professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at MIT, he founded and directs P-REX, The Project for Reclamation Excellence, a trans-disciplinary research effort focusing on the design and reuse of waste landscapes worldwide.
His work emphasizes the link between natural resource consumption and the destruction of landscape to help us better understand how to redesign our wasteful places for productive uses and sustainable outcomes. He coined the term “systemic design” to describe how abandoned mine pits, mountains of slag, and pools of cyanide, to vacant land, landfills, military installations, and places associated with high and low-density urbanization can be cleansed, valued and considered for adaptive reuse.
His 2002 book Reclaiming the American West, received the Research Award from the Environmental Design Research Association and Places Magazine, and was named a Colorado Book of the Year by the Center for the Book and Library of Congress. His other books include Designing the Reclaimed Landscape, published in January 2008, Nansha Coastal City: Landscape and Urbanism in the Pearl River Delta, published in early 2006.
A former Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, he has been Distinguished Visiting Professor of Landscape Urbanism at Oslo School of Architecture in Norway, and at Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. He was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Sustainability at University of Michigan’s Taubman School of Architecture, and Visiting Professor for Landscape Urbanism at Katholike University in Leuven-Belgium. He is a Prince Charitable Trusts Fellow of The American Academy in Rome, and currently serves as a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Brownfield and Superfund site revitalization.