Affiliated Department or Office
BA Poverty Studies Williams College
MLA Landscape Architecture University of Michigan
MS Sustainable Systems University of Michigan
PhD Geography Clark University

Katherine Foo, PhD MLA, is co-director of the Berlin Project Center and an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Integrated and Global Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her research focuses on urban environmental governance and landscape visualization for social and environmental justice. She is passionate about fostering institutional change to empower community groups by building academic-civic partnerships.  Through engaged, inclusive practices like participatory mapping, scenario development, and design-build workshops, she has worked with communities to develop tools to understand their places better, strategize ways to change them, and design and build new places. She has extensive experience teaching and facilitating engaged, experiential learning in order to teach students about complex, wicked problems in innovative ways; to connect them with real world efforts to address these problems; and to give students an opportunity to engage meaningfully with them. Her experience with place-based learning and projects includes both international (Thailand, Cambodia, Bolivia, Guatemala) and domestic (Boston, Worcester, New York City) localities. She was previously a Radcliffe/Rappaport Doctoral Public Policy Fellow and USDA Forest Service Sustainability Science Fellow. She has published in Landscape Ecology, Landscape & Urban PlanningCitiesGeoforum, and other outlets.  

Scholarly Work

Foo, Katherine. 2018. Examining the Role of NGOs in urban environmental governance. Cities. 77:67-72. 2018

Foo, K. (2017). Institutionalizing Urban Possibility: Urban Greening and Vacant Land Governance in Three American Cities. Transience and Permanence in Urban Development, 117-130. 2017

Foo, Katherine. Forthcoming (2017) Visualizing empathy, memory, and identity: a study of visual methods that challenge dominant scopic regimes in Boston, Raleigh, and Los Angeles. Visual Methodologies. Special Issue. 2017

Foo, Katherine, Emily Gallagher, Annette Kim, and Ian Bishop. (2015) Critical Landscape Visualization. Landscape and Urban Planning. Special Issue: Critical Approaches to Landscape Visualization. 184:80-84. (Lead editor for special issue. 13 research papers and 4 commentaries) 2015

Foo, K., Martin, D., Polsky, C., Wool, C., & Ziemer, M. (2015). Social well‐being and environmental governance in urban neighbourhoods in Boston, MA. The Geographical Journal, 181(2), 138-146. 2015

Foo, Katherine, James McCarthy, and Anthony Bebbington. 2018. Activating landscape ecology: a governance framework for design-in-science. Landscape Ecology, 33(5), 675-689. 2018