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Re-Imagining Local Landscapes

Kofi Boone explains how the design of landscapes has the ability to harm, or to heal. He reflects on the environment in which he grew up in Detroit, and shares the work he and his students have done in Ghana.

Published onJan 15, 2022
Re-Imagining Local Landscapes


Well-designed urban landscapes can nurture creativity and well-being and buffer or even help mitigate the negative effects of global change. But often, such landscapes are the exclusive purview of the wealthy. That needn’t be the case. Drawing insights from a recent, visionary paper outlining a history of Black landscape architecture, Kofi Boone considers how we might work as communities to locally create landscapes that are equitable, just and sustaining, even in light of global change. This video features cities/sites including Accra, Ghana (where Boone led a study abroad program), Detroit, Michigan (Kofi’s hometown), and cities in North Carolina.

Kofi Boone is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), a university faculty scholar and a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at NC State in the College of Design. Boone is a Detroit native and a graduate of the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources 1992, Master of Landscape Architecture 1995). His work is in the overlap between landscape architecture and environmental justice with specializations in democratic design, digital media, and interpreting cultural landscapes. Boone’s teaching and professional work have earned awards including student and professional American Society of Landscape Architects awards. He serves on the board of directors of The Corps Network as well as the Landscape Architecture Foundation where he is president-elect. Boone serves on the advisory board of The Black Landscape Architects Network. He has published work broadly in peer-reviewed as well as popular media, including The Conversation, Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Re-Imagining Local Landscapes (Kofi Boone)

This video was originally produced for an audience of entering first-year and transfer students at NC State University as a part of an interdisciplinary experience. It is available for noncommercial reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 4.0 License,



  1. To learn about the legacy of harm done to Black communities in the United States due to freeway construction and urban renewal and current work to repair the damage through freeway removal and redevelopment, read the Freeways Without Futures Report

  2. To learn about the integral roles Black people have played in the creation and development of the American landscape read Notes Towards a History of Black Landscape Architecture.

  3. To read about efforts of the 2014 Ghana International Design studio, including student work with the Mmofra Foundation, a Ghanaian non-profit organization focused on educational play spaces in Ghana’s cities read Playtime in Africa: Ghana International Design Studio.

  4.  Learn about The Green New Deal Superstudio, a year-long collective effort between hundreds of teams and thousands of students and practitioners developing project ideas that promote green jobs, environmental justice, and decarbonization, visit their website linked above..

  5. To learn more about landscape architecture, visit The American Society of Landscape Architecture or The Landscape Architecture Foundation websites.

  6. To learn more about the NC State program visit the NC State Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning website.

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