2024 Promotion / Karly Behncke is Promoted to Project & Community Development Manager

Carducci Associates is thrilled to announce that Karly Behncke is stepping into the role of Project and Community Development Manager! This promotion is a testament to her unwavering dedication to nurturing our office community, especially in the wake of the challenges posed by the pandemic. From spearheading virtual initiatives to seamlessly transitioning back to in-person engagement, Karly has poured her heart into fostering a vibrant office culture and environment for her coworkers. 

Beyond our walls, Karly's advocacy for community shines in her project work as well, where she excels in outreach and connection. Through her recent endeavors in community outreach, such as her work for Fairmont Terrace Park and virtual engagement with Sunset Futsal Courts, Karly has demonstrated her ability to coordinate and lead diverse groups toward a design aimed at improving the lives of many within the community. Her current efforts extend to coordinating the design and green standards for ten schools within the Mountain View Whisman School District, showcasing her adeptness in navigating complex projects and bringing together individuals from various socio-economic backgrounds. With her approachable nature and genuine passion, she effortlessly unites people both within and outside the office.

Community Meeting for Bidwell and El Rancho Verde Park
Opening Day at Fairmont Terrace Park

Karly understands that a strong sense of community is essential for our team's growth and our ability to serve our clients effectively as well. She embodies this ethos through her active participation in conferences, public discussions, and her relentless advocacy for others' well-being. Indeed, Karly's recent participation at the CPRS JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Academy in Oakland underscores her fervent commitment to inclusion and her tireless advocacy for equity for all individuals.

As Karly steps into her new role, we eagerly anticipate the positive impact she will continue to make on our office and beyond. Cheers to Karly and to the bright future ahead for our team under her leadership!

Karly with Winston (aka our Junior Pawject Manager) at our recent office field trip to the Presidio Tunnel Tops

Feature / People

Community Impact / Why should Landscape Architects be leaders in their community and have a passion to serve? - Vince Lattanzio

Amidst the pressing challenges of climate change, the demand for environmental stewardship and nature-based solutions has reached a critical juncture. Landscape architects, with their distinctive skill set and comprehensive grasp of natural systems, are ideally positioned to spearhead this transformative journey. It's imperative to elevate the role of landscape architects in decision-making processes, given their expertise in collaborating with nature and communicating innovative solutions. As a profession, we must cultivate a fervent dedication to serving our communities and regions, crafting localized responses to global environmental issues.

Whether serving on committees, boards, or as elected officials, landscape architects have a responsibility to advocate, educate, and protect the natural world. My personal journey reflects this commitment. I initiated a Neighborhood Alliance Group (NAG) 24 years ago, comprised of eight Bel Marin Keys’ residents dedicated to safeguarding our natural environment and community. Through our advocacy efforts, we successfully lobbied for funding nature-based improvements in our region. Subsequently, I was invited to run for a seat on our community service district board, where I collaborated with experts in various fields to complete over 110 projects aimed at climate change adaptation and environmental restoration.

Aerial of Bel Marin Keys

Our efforts were centered on revitalizing the watershed and enhancing water quality. By installing aeration systems, we aimed to boost community health and biodiversity, while employing natural enzymes to manage algae blooms. This approach fostered a robust ecosystem capable of sustaining high biodiversity levels, promoting the healing and longevity of our natural systems. Additionally, we prioritized community education on watershed protection and improvement, advocating for a strategy that embraced the "4 R's" - sediment removal, relocation, restoration, and recreational education - as alternatives to dredging, thereby working in harmony with nature.

We're incredibly fortunate to reside alongside an undeveloped watershed, offering a prime opportunity for restoration efforts. By revitalizing this area, we can return the watershed to a sustainable system, bolstering natural habitats and safeguarding against flooding amid rising sea levels and the impacts of climate change.

With the expiration of our previous 20-year funding in 2022, our community rallied together, forming a new Neighborhood Alliance Group (NAG) to educate and advocate. Through six months of concerted efforts, including door-to-door outreach and town hall meetings, we successfully passed a new tax measure with overwhelming 80% support. 

While our community may be distinct, the challenges of climate change and sea-level rise resonate universally, underscoring the importance of collective action. My 38 years of volunteer experience have been emotionally and personally fulfilling, marked by collaboration, discovery, and resilience in the face of adversity. It has been a journey filled with challenges, but also with celebration, as we work together to protect and preserve the delicate balance between humanity and nature.

To delve deeper into Bel Marin Keys, take a look at this article featured in the SF Chronicle: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/bel-marin-keys-18941646.php

Vince Lattanzio prepares for passing through the south lock at the Bel Marin Keys community in Marin County.

Feature / People

Carducci Spotlight: Emma Lesser / A Culture of Change: The Inherent Power of Restorative Justice to Transform Public Schoolyards

Emma recently completed an MLA thesis entitled: “A Culture of Change: The Inherent Power of Restorative Justice to Transform Public Schoolyards” that explores how landscape architects can co-create safe and healing spaces in Oakland's public schoolyards. Her thesis topic stems from a deeply personal conviction that childhood learning environments play a crucial and protective part in a child’s experience of trauma. She first sets the scene with a review of the psychology and physiology of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), and how they are currently addressed by schools, focusing on restorative justice (RJ). She then investigates the current state of America's public-school spaces, their effects on students, and the politics and logic behind their designs. She presents landscape precedents that were designed with social emotional learning in mind, and their theoretical bases. Few of these precedents include schoolyards, particularly public ones, as they have only recently become the focus of landscape architects. Over the past several decades, the green schoolyard movement has grown to address heat and pollution, stormwater, community access, ecological learning, and even experimental or 'risky' play. Emma proposes restorative justice as a worthy rationale for schoolyard transformation. In doing so, she intends to not only push landscape architects towards working in support of social programs, but to also promote a more emotionally compelling rationale for schoolyard changes—and one that takes advantage of existing school social infrastructure. She concludes that RJ programming can indicate a school “culture of change” that would both more readily allow for and be supported by built environmental changes. 

"Restorative landscapes might serve as "compatible" feeling spaces: where one's environment is compatible with one's emotional state. In these contexts I demonstrate how my RJ landscape principles and elements can work together. In "the grove," loneliness can be met with connection under the warm colors and diffused light of a fabric-lined structure. Evergreen trees provide further shade, seasonal interest and greater enclosure of the space."

Feature / On the Boards / People


We are really sad to say goodbye to our intern Pian Zhang, but before she flies back to the east coast we would like to feature one of her amazing projects from her first year at RISD. We wish you the best and hope you visit again soon!



“Phillipsdale Landing has witnessed industrial developments along Seekonk River over centuries since 1860, which has been drastically shaped to a post-industrial waterfront wasteland. Though being totally dismantled, what these factories left are contaminated soil and topography shaped by industrial activities, leaving the land barren through decades while slowly getting into succession with the reoccupation of pioneer plants. Despite being a wild urban void, it is located at a crucial ecological node for both anadromous fishes and migratory birds. The question for us is how to make the voids vibrant again by bringing out its potential.

We conceive a possible shift from extractive human-centric productivity to sustainable natural resources production, which aims for interrelating ecological restoration, economic anchoring, and activity programing. Through healing the ground, making profits from green, and bringing back life, This site-in-transition is supposed to adapt to future new systems, which will reunite fauna, flora and people and lead to a vibrant future.”

Feature / People