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Robert Ryan

Professor of Landscape Architecture
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Featured Projects

Research and Background

Professor Robert Ryan's research and professional work focuses on designing and planning greenways and green infrastructure systems that provide multiple benefits for local residents. These projects have been conducted at the multiple-scales across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in over 25 towns and cities. He is the co-organizer of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning,which is an international conference held every three years to highlight innovation greenway planning from around the world. His work also focuses on public attitudes toward sustainable planning and design solutions, such as green infrastructure. He is currently working on a UMass Center for Agriculture project to study local residents' attitudes toward landscape water conservation and stormwater management practices in the Ipswich River Watershed north of Boston. This project is an offshoot of an NSF funded study with Dr. Paige Warren (Umass Eco Dept.) and others entitled the Boston Metropolitan Area Urban Long-term Research Project (ULTRA) to explore the relationship between socio-economic forces and urban ecosystem patterns and processes across a metropolitan region He is the Director of the Center for Resilient Metro-Regions (, which "provides planning and applied research toward making communities more economically, socially, and environmentally resilient and vibrant." He is just completing an NSF-Pathways grant that imbeds research on urban planning, ecology, and design into an interactive exhibit called "City Science" at the EcoTarium Museum in Worcester for children and their parents. His work also includes the study of place attachment as a mechanism to promote increased stewardship of both public and private spaces.

Contact Info

Robert Ryan
109 Hills North, UMass, 111 Thatcher Road, Ofc 1
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003


Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, 1997; Master's Landscape Architecture and Master's in Urban Plannng, University of Michigan, 1995


Ryan, R.L. 2012. Ch. 7. Site Design: Human Health and Well-being. In Calkins, M. (ed.), The Sustainable Sites Handbook. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Ryan, R. L., J.G. Fabos, and J.J. Allan. 2006. Understanding opportunities and challenges for collaborative greenway planning in New England. Landscape and Urban Planning 76(1-4): 172-191.

Fabos, J.G. and R.L. Ryan. 2006. An introduction to greenway planning around the world. Landscape and Urban Planning 76(1-4):1-6.

Ryan, R.L., Warren, P.S., Nicolson, C, Cheng, C., Danford, R., and Strohbach, M. 2013. Scenario planning for the Boston metropolitan region: Exploring environmental and social implications of alternative futures. In Fábos, J.G., Ryan, R.L., Lindhult, M., & Jacknin, M. (Eds). Proceedings of 4th Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning 2013: Pathways to Sustainability. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, April 12-13, 2013. Pp. 74-80.

Curriculum Vitae

Full Curriculum Vitae