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Mark Johnson, Climate Council Co-Chair

President, Civitas

Mark is a leading designer and thought leader who has spearheaded Civitas’ most challenging projects. He began his career at Utah State University where he received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. He worked at Maas and Grassi, an Ogden Utah design firm, where he learned how to transform ideas into built work for residences, campuses and the design of retail streets. After a brief time with Roy Mann Associates in Cambridge, Mark landed his first dream job with Jones & Jones of Seattle. There he worked on several zoo exhibits, urban plazas and streets, parks and several major river plans. He left Seattle to earn an MLA in Urban Design at Harvard, where he found important mentors in Peter Walker, Moshe Safdie, and Jose Luis Sert. These great designers and thinkers fueled Mark’s passion to make a real difference in how cities work for both people and the environment. His Harvard thesis, chaired by Moshe Safdie, focused specifically on how urban form responds to dramatic cultural, economic and environmental change, establishing Mark’s commitment to adaptable + resilient urbanism fully 30 years ahead of today’s focus on these issues.

Since co-founding Civitas in 1984 Mark has led major public space projects, urban design plans and strategies, and has become widely known for his impact on several cities, on education, and on the role that landscape architects can play in leading complex projects to successful results. He is a natural communicator who has led many communities through challenging programming and design conditions and he has established Civitas as a leading firm on a national and international level.

Mark is a regular lecturer at AIA, ASLA, APA, ULI events and a participant in many issue driven symposia around the world, notably the International Academy of Design and Health, with whom he has lectured in North America, Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia on the role of community design in promoting public health. He has been on many design juries for national awards and competitions, was Chair of the Editorial Committee of Landscape Architecture Magazine, and is a founder of the CEO Roundtable, an independent association of the leaders of the top landscape firms in the world that has met bi-annually for more than 15 years to assess impacts and trends in the profession.