Randy and Marcia McNally Hester
Randy Hester and Marcia McNally have been leaders in the field of community design for decades. They have worked extensively in the eastern and western U.S. and in East Asia at a range of scales and communities. The work began in the late 60s with design for a series of parks in Cambridge, MA; projects devised as a way to prevent freeway construction through the city’s working and poor neighborhoods. For 10 years after that the work was conducted through a partnership between North Carolina State University and cities throughout the state of North Carolina and then for 30 years at the University of California, Berkeley, where Hester and McNally taught until 2010.
In 1985 they formed the firm Community Development by Design (CDbyD) to provide similar planning services to other public clients. The firm is distinguished for applying ecological thinking to community problems resulting in innovations in city design, regional land use, and natural resource management. Their comprehensive and participatory approach has produced plans, designs, and built projects that balanced economic development, environmental protection and enhancement, and the preservation of places sacred to the community, with a need to grow wisely. By creating new landscape planning techniques that introduce citizens to the scientific information needed to solve complex issues, the firm encourages citizens to become stewards of the land.