CLEMSON — Clemson University’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities appointed founding leaders for two recently formed departments. Mary G. Padua will lead the landscape architecture department, and James H. Spencer will lead the planning, development and preservation department.

The college created the two departments from the former School of Planning, Development, Preservation and Landscape Architecture. Both have been under interim administration as the college conducted national searches for leadership.

“In forming these two new departments, Clemson recognized not only their tremendous growth potential, but their capacity for making important contributions in terms of research and practice” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

“Landscape architecture, urban planning, real estate development and historic preservation will be called on to answer some of society’s toughest questions in the decades ahead,” he said. “These two new departments will position students and faculty for success in terms of focusing research and marshaling resources. I feel confident that Mary and Jim will lead those efforts well.”

Padua joins Clemson from the University of Florida, where she taught research-based design. She has a Ph.D. in landscape architecture from the University of Edinburgh, a Masters of Arts in architecture and urban planning from UCLA and bachelor’s in landscape architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Padua is a design educator, landscape architect and contemporary theorist whose research focuses on China’s post-Mao designed environments, its ongoing urban experiment; adaptive urbanism and the meaning of public space. She is a registered landscape architect in California.

“The new department of landscape architecture is uniquely positioned to capitalize on South Carolina’s iconic landscape legacies: Hilton Head resort development, historic plantation gardens and Charleston’s urban heritage,” Padua said. “It offers the opportunity to create an innovative platform for design education and set meaningful trends (locally, nationally and globally) for ‘restorative, smart, socially responsible designed and cultural landscapes’ that promote sustainable and livable rural, urban and natural environments.”

Spencer joins Clemson from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where he taught urban and regional planning, as well as political science. His scholarship focuses on inequality, urban infrastructure and services and public policy, and his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Social Sciences Research Council among others. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from UCLA, a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale, and a bachelor’s in anthropology and English from Amherst College.

Prior to his academic appointments, Spencer worked as a program associate at the Ford Foundation and directed a number of non-profit projects in the U.S. and globally.

“Development is one of the central challenges of our time,” Spencer said. “Whether we are talking about economic resilience in a time of globalization, climate change and our coastal communities or the loss of neighborhood and community livability, the ways in which our built, natural and social environments intersect and influence one another in places will drive the reality within which we and our children live.”

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Departments of landscape architecture and planning, development and preservation
The department of landscape architecture offers a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Landscape Architecture and is home to approximately 140 Clemson students. The planning, development and preservation department is home to three graduate programs – the Master of City and Regional Planning, the Master of Science in Historic Preservation, and the Master of Real Estate Development — and is home to approximately 90 students. The historic preservation program is a collaborative program with the College of Charleston and is based in the historic district of Charleston. The real estate development program is moving this year to Greenville and will be housed in the ONE building.


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