In the Anthropocene era — our current geological age where human activities have been the dominant influence on the environment and climate — primeval elements have been increasingly a point of political contention. Toxic air, corrosive soil, black water, and environmental violence have been mediated with different degrees of consistencies and success in policymaking. The United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014. Public policies alone can’t resolve the crisis. It rests upon human capital to confront the environmental change through the agency of design to extend human survival. As part of the H.R. 109 Green New Deal one of the goals is to examine these Anthropocene activities and deliver a method that would resolve some of the major contributing issues at hand. The primary focus of H.R. 109 Green New Deal, has been on: Jobs, Justice, Decarbonization, Educational Ecology and the Environment. Meanwhile, architects have been building and developing through the ideal notion of urban environments and landscape urbanism through the theory of both shrinking cities and suburbanization, while environmental theorists recognize the need to cultivate stewardship through social-ecological transformations that reestablish human-ecosystem relationships and institutions are looking to play its part and relying on landscape architects to save the world. To gain a better understating of the roles that both architect and landscape architects play in the urban/suburban environment, this paper will look at three cities in southern California, Santa Barbara (wealthiest in the country), Lompoc (low-income) and Santa Maria (Indigenous Chumash Tribes), each very singular in both the demographics and social and economic setting all in relation to the Dangermond Preserve, the last pristine and untouched 24,000 acre land along with 9 miles of coast – the biggest donation gift, of $160M to the state of California, recently being managed by the Nature’s Conservancy.
Maryam Eskandari: Eskandari is an American Designer, Architect, Academic and the founding Principal of MIIM Designs, based in Los Angeles and Boston. She teaches Architecture at Harvard University, Cal Poly, and Boston Architectural College (BAC). In both practice and research, and developing new design solutions, Eskandari has the ability to create a space that is timeless and vernacular while preserving the local history + culture, providing greater value for clients and enhanced design and construction. Under Maryam’s leadership, MIIM has been a two-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award, the Doris Duke Foundation Award and the Institute of Library and Museums; and in 2014 Maryam was a recipient for the Women Entrepreneur Award at the White House under President Barack Obama. Prior to establishing MIIM Designs, Eskandari was the Director of the American Institute of Architect Associates, and at DLR Group she led the design team to several award-winning projects. Maryam graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as the Aga Khan Fellow in Architecture. She has been awarded for her work. Maryam serves on the Board of Open Architecture Collaborative, Harvard’s FDR Foundation, CleanAcwa, and the 1947 Partition Archives.