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Climate Council

Learning. Discovery. Awareness. Change.

Van Alen Institute’s Climate Council is a platform for exchange for leading architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners, researchers, philanthropic partners, and other professionals. The Climate Council’s purpose is to investigate critical climate-related issues, inspire change-making design projects that can improve the environment and promote healthy communities, produce mindset changes regarding climate issues, and guide Van Alen’s innovative public programming, research, and design competitions.

Van Alen believes that a resilient environment is key to human well-being and the protection of critical natural systems. Therefore, the Climate Council will look beyond cities to our continent’s rapidly changing landscapes and ecosystems. Through carefully curated trips, participants will explore the effects of climate change and related environmental crises first-hand. With this exposure, they will be able to respond more effectively and proactively through their work and personal advocacy.

The Climate Council builds on Van Alen’s successful International Council model in that it fosters a collaborative and congenial setting for exploration and reflection away from the traditional practice.

The Council is led by Claire Weisz, Climate Council Co-Chair, Principal-in-Charge, WXY Studio  and Mark Johnson, Climate Council Co-Chair, President, Civitas. Other members include architects, landscape architects, engineers, environmentally minded companies, researchers, designers, and philanthropic partners.


Starting with the Council’s inaugural trip to the Central Valley region of California in July of 2018, members participate in hands-on investigative trips to a wide range of North American destinations that are undergoing or will undergo, substantial environmental change. From deserts to coastal estuaries, Council members will meet with individuals and organizations working at the forefront of climate change research and adaptation.


For more information, please contact:
Stacey Anderson
Associate Director, Business Development and Special Initiatives
212 924 7000 x 18