About CED

CED Frontiers - Strategic Initiatives

What do we envision for the future?
How do we get there?

Today’s challenges are radically different than they were 50 years ago. Climate change was not even on our radar in the 1950s, just to take one example. We are under greater pressure than ever before to use bold new design and planning tools to create innovative solutions that respond quickly to the demands of the present and the needs of the future.

The complexities of rapid urban growth, cultural diversity, economic inequality, and the welfare of the planet insist that we stay future- focused – and demand that we have a strategic plan to guide us. So, CED embarked on a year-long collaborative strategic planning project to create a road map that prioritizes activities and resources for growth, and responds more keenly the issues we face.

What emerged is CED Frontiers, a new, 21st century vision for the future of CED as well as six key goals and game changing initiatives to apply next-generation environmental design solutions that are as ground-breaking and relevant as the College’s founding premises were in1959.

CED Frontiers is a living document that will continue to sharpen in focus as we work with our alumni community and friends of the college to realize important college objectives. On this website and through our ongoing interactions, we will continue to highlight the ways you can contribute to our collective vision and help propel CED forward.


The College of Environmental Design provides leadership to address the world’s most pressing urban challenges through rigorous research and scholarship, design excellence, innovative pedagogy, open debate, craft and skill-building, critical and theoretical practice, and insights from both the academy and professional practice.

Within this broad mission, we value:

  • Excellent and accessible public higher education
  • Sustainable design, planning and urbanism
  • Aesthetic quality, craft, and technological innovation
  • Visionary yet pragmatic design practice
  • Critical pedagogy and cross-disciplinary learning
  • Social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Ecological and public health
  • Local-global engagement and activism
  • Respect for place, community, and diversity
  • Ethical professional practice and research


  1. Claim the Berkeley difference, building on our heritage of design and planning activism
  2. Embrace diverse standpoints, experimenting with new ways to understand and embrace social difference
  3. Bridge intellectual fault lines, crossing the boundaries of established disciplines to create new knowledge
  4. Span local and global, linking multiple scales of understanding, activism, and practice
  5. Assess environmental design performance, related to adaptation, resilience, and sustainability
  6. Transform professional practice, from today’s best practices to practices for the future


Our vision, values and goals set our course, while concrete initiatives allow us to achieve them.

Together, the CED community identified three broad rubrics for action:

  • Extending the reach of research and creative practice
  • Creating inclusive and cross-disiplinary pedagogy and
  • Building community spaces and common ground.  

Under each rubric are two game-changing initiatives that are clear and actionable; mobilize human and physical resources; lead to institutional transformation; and promote recognition of CED’s leadership. These initiatives aspire to extend the impact of our research and creative practice, create inclusive and cross-disciplinary pedagogy, and transform our home in Wurster Hall to encourage collaboration and the sharing of new ideas. For more information on each initiative, please review the gallery to the right.