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Hong Wu

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture
Portrait of Hong Wu

Hong Wu joined the Department of Landscape Architecture in 2016 as the Stuckeman Career Development Assistant Professor. She is co-chair of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture’s Geospatial and Digital Analytics Track, co-chair of Penn State’s University Water Council, director of the Penn State Stormwater Living Lab, and a core member of Penn State’s Ecology + Design research initiative.

Academically trained in architecture and landscape architecture, Wu’s research passion lies in an important and timely set of topics across different spatial scales.

At the regional and watershed scale, Wu applies computer-based models to facilitate natural resource decision-making, especially as it relates to water. Through agent-based landscape change simulation and hydrological modeling, she has investigated the effectiveness of stormwater best management practices and alternative urban development patterns for conserving stream ecosystem health in the context of urbanization and climate change.

At the site scale, Wu is passionate about exploring innovative design approaches to integrating sustainability into urban landscapes. Her current green stormwater infrastructure research focuses on investigating the environmental, social, and economic aspects of green stormwater infrastructure across different social and environmental contexts.

Wu previously practiced landscape architecture professionally as a principal of Urban People + Space Landscape Design Studio (Beijing) and as a consultant for the Beijing Tsinghua Tongheng Urban Planning and Design Institute.

With three international design awards, including a 2012 American Society of Landscape Architects Professional Honor Award, Wu’s previous work mainly dealt with the transformation of contaminated sites into environmental and social amenities, municipal-scale urban green space planning, and green stormwater infrastructure planning and design in the context of China’s Sponge City Development.

  • Education
    • B.Arch. from Tsinghua University, Beijing
    • M.L.A. from Tsinghua University, Beijing
    • Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture from University of Oregon
  • Courses Taught
    • LARCH 112: Introductory Design Studio
    • LARCH 216/311/321/530/816: Landscape Systems Studio & Seminar
    • LARCH 231/235: Design Implementation: Grading
    • LARCH 336/431/838: Design Implementation: Stormwater Management
  • Honors + Awards


    • Excellence in Research and/or Creative Work Award (Junior Level), Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture


    • McPhillips, L., Brent, D., Clark, S. E., Gotsch, S., Hoffman, M., Wu, H. (Co-PI). “Ecosystem services assessment for green stormwater infrastructure in Lancaster, PA.” Pennsylvania Sea Grant, $120,000.


    • Wu, H. (PI), Rosas, C. E., Azari, R. “Healthy Interactive K-12 Educational Environments for the Pandemic Times and Beyond,” College of Arts and Architecture Sustainability Research Team Grant, Penn State, $5,000.
    • Wu, H. (PI), Flohr, T. L., & Yencha, A. “A Web App for Enhancing Knowledge Transfer and Science Communication in Community Engagement during Pandemic Time and Beyond”. Hamer Center for Community Design, College of Arts and Architecture, Penn State, $10,000.
    • McPhillips, L., Clark, S. E., Hoffman, M., Wu, H. (Co-PI). “Impacts of salt loading on nutrient and metal processing in stormwater bioretention,” Chesapeake Bay Trust, $196,183.
    • Hoffman, M., McPhillips, L., Wu, H. (Co-PI), Skvarla, M. “Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Design, Maintenance and Location Impacts on Biodiversity,” Mainstreaming Biodiversity in a Decade of Action Seed Grant, Sustainability Institute, Penn State, $9,910.
    • Clark, S. E., Mysliwiec, T. H., Felker, J. M., Blaszczak-Boxe, C., McPhillips, L., Wu, H. (Co-PI), Driscoll, W. W., Moazeni, F., Spear, J. M. “Water quality assessment of an urban watershed in Lancaster, PA: implications for environmental justice,” Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, $30,000.


    • Wu, H. (PI), L. McPhillips, O. Mina, D. Brent, M. Hoffman, S. E. Clark, C. A. Cole, A. D. Gutberlet, T. Richard, M. Hoskins, J. Fetter, & D. A. S. Hoag. “Greening our stormwater: using campuses as living labs for green stormwater infrastructure”. University Strategic Initiatives, Penn State, $249,883.
    • Wu, H. (PI), O. Mina, L. McPhillips, D. Brent, & C. A. Cole. “Improving Green Stormwater Infrastructure Performance and Cost-effectiveness on Penn State’s University Park Campus”. Penn State Office of Physical Plant, $33,665.
    • McPhillips, L., D. Brent, A. K. Chaudhary, S. E. Clark, J. M. Duncan, R. Cibin, Wu, H. (Co-PI), & M. Royer. “Identifying sweet spots for green stormwater infrastructure interventions in Pennsylvania urban communities,” Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Penn State, $50,000.
    • Mcgraw, E., A. Rosinger, Wu H. (Co-PI), & L. McPhillips. “Healthy Houses, Healthy Communities: Improving Water Management to Enhance Health Outcomes and Global Security,” Center for Security Research and Education, Penn State, $15,000.
    • Wu, H. (PI) & B. Yang. “Understanding Societal Impacts of the Case Study Investigation Program: Perspectives from Professionals”. Ecology + Design annual research grant, Penn State, $5,396.


    • Wu, H. (PI) & O. Mina. “Multi-variate Evaluation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure on Penn State University Campus”. Ecology + Design annual research grant, Penn State, $14,000.
    • Chaudhary, A. K., C. Raj, J. M. Duncan, M. Royer, C. Grady, S. Echols, Wu, H. (Co-PI), K. Curry, & J. Fetter. “Urban Stormwater Management Initiative”. College of Agricultural Sciences, Environment and Natural Resources Institute Centers of Excellence Grant, Penn State, $15,000.
    • Flohr, T., D. Miller, Wu H. (Co-PI), & N. Tebyanian. “Developing a computational planting design and decision-making tool for assessing and predicting pollinator habitat resilience”. The Stuckeman Center for Design Computing Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Grant, Penn State, $13,200.
    • Bose, M., Wu, H. (Co-PI), & B. Abhinandan. “Hydrological Corridors and Urban Decisions – A Study of Eastern Canals in Calcutta as Social-Ecological Systems (SES)”. Ecology + Design annual research grant, Penn State, $14,000.


    • Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) Case Study Investigation (CSI) Research Fellow.
    • Wu, H. (PI).  “Exploring Maintenance-friendly Design for Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Pennsylvania”.  College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Research Grant, Penn State, $7,500.
    • Wu, H. (PI).  “LAF Case Study Investigation Program”.  Landscape Architecture Foundation, $7,840.


    • Smithwick, E. A. H., K. Y. Zipp, M. W. Kaye, A. Taylor, P. B. Newman, & Wu, H. (Co-PI). “Firescapes in the mid-Atlantic: mismatches between social perceptions and prescribed fire use”. USDI Joint Fire Sciences Program, $327,726.


    • Honor Award, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Professional Awards, Analysis and Planning Category.


    • Presidential Award, the 8th International Federation of Landscape Architecture Asian Pacific Region (IFLA APR) Award, Landscape Design Category.


    • Second Prize, Torsanlorenzo International Prize in Section A – Landscape Design in Transformation of the Territory.
  • Exhibitions + Productions


    • Wu, H., & Hall, J. “Exploring Maintenance-friendly Planting Design for Green Stormwater Infrastructure.” Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2019 Annual Conference, Sacramento, CA, March 9.


    • Smithwick, E. A. H., K. Y. Zipp, H. Wu, M. W. Kaye, A. Taylor, P. B. Newman, Y. H. Shr, A. Zhao, C. Dems, and E. Thurston. “Firescapes in the Mid-Atlantic: Mismatches between Social Perceptions and Prescribed Fire Use.” The Association of American Geographers 2018 Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, April.
    • Wu, H., and C. Silveira. “Improving Environmental Performance Evaluation of Landscapes: One Metric/Project at a Time.” Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2018 Annual Conference, Blacksburg, VA, March 23.


    • Wu, H. “Landscape Performance: One Project at a Time.” Penn State E + D Inaugural Symposium, The developing center of Ecology + Design at Penn State, State College, PA, November 1.
    • Wu, H. and R. Henderson. “Beijing’s natural history.” Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2017 Annual Conference, Beijing, China, May 29.


    • Lenth, J., W. Lucas, D. Ahearn, Y. Yang, and H. Wu, June. Lesson learned from stormwater management in the United States. Full-day pre-conference workshop at the 2016 International Low Impact Development conference, Beijing, China.
    • Wu, H., June. “Protect stream ecosystem health with integrated stormwater management in the context of urbanization and climate change”. International Low Impact Development conference, Beijing, China.
    • Wu, H., Y. Zou, L. Liu, and S. Jiang, June. “Designing rain gardens in north China: lessons learned from pilot projects”. International Low Impact Development conference, Beijing, China.
    • Lenth, J., C. Hinman, and H. Wu, June. “A statewide Low Impact Development training and certificate program for Washington State, USA and the potential for its adaptation in China”. International Low Impact Development conference, Beijing, China.
  • Publications + Presentations


    • [B] Wu, H. Philadelphia, PA, USA. In Newman, G., & Qiao, Z. (Eds.), Landscape Architecture for Mitigating Sea Level Rise: Innovative Global Solutions. Routledge: Oxfordshire, UK.
    • [B] McPhillips, L., Wu, H., Lerer, S., Rojas, C., Rosenzweig, B., Sauer, J., & Winfrey, B. Nature-Based Solutions as Critical Urban Infrastructure for Water Resilience. In McPhearson T., Frantzeskaki N., & Kabisch N. (Eds.), A Modern Guide to Nature-based Solutions for Cities. Edgar Elgar Publishing: Northampton, MA, USA.


    • [J] Wu, H., Yang, Y., & Hu, J. (2021). Nurturing nature in a mega-city: a decadal assessment of the Beijing Olympic Forest Park. Socio-Ecological Practice Research. (Selected as Editor’s Choice)
    • [J] Xu, X., & Wu, H.* (2021). Audio-visual Interactions Enhance Soundscape Perception in China’s Protected Areas. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. (SSCI, 2020 IF=4.63).


    • [J] Wu, M., Liu, Z., Li, H., & Wu, H.* (2020). Urban River Ecological Restoration from the Landscape Hydrology Perspective – Case Study of the Los Angeles River Revitalization (in Chinese). Landscape Architecture (Chinese).
    • [J] Miller, Z., Wu, H., Zipp, K. Y., Dems, C. L., Smithwick, E. A. H., Kaye, M. W., Newman, P. B., Zhao, A., & Taylor, A. H. (2020). Hunter and Non-hunter Perceptions of Costs, Benefits, and Likelihood of Outcomes of Prescribed Fire in the Mid-Atlantic. Society and Natural Resources. (SSCI, 2020 IF=2.821)
    • [P] Flohr, T. L., Wu, H., & Tebyanian, N. (2020). A Web App for Urban Pollinator Site Assessment. Landscape Research Record No. 9.
    • [J] Adib, M., & Wu, H. (2020). Fostering Community-engaged Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) through the Use of Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS). Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture.
    • [J] West, C., & Wu, H.* (2020). The Next Green Revolution: Rebuilding Urban Abundance through Plant Community-Based Design (in English and Chinese). Landscape Architecture (Chinese).
    • [J] Wang, X., Gorenflo, L. J., Wu, H., & Wu, C. (2020). Evolution Mechanism of Social-Ecological System Based on Cultural and Political Ecology: A Case Study of Hangzhou and West Lake (in Chinese). Landscape Architecture (Chinese).




    • [J] Wu, H. *, J. Bolte, D. Hulse, & B. Johnson (2015). A Scenario-Based Approach to Integrating Flow-Ecology Research with Watershed Development Planning. Landscape and Urban Planning (Cover story).
  • Built Works
    • Lotus Lake National Wetland Park, Tieling, Liaoning, China
    • Urban People + Space Rain Garden, Beijing, China
    • Dianchi Dounan Wetland Park Planning and Design, Kunming, Yunnan, China
    • Tianjing Lake Landscape Planning and Design, Tongling, Anhui, China
  • Service + Affiliations
    • Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Geo-spatial and Digital Analytics Track Co-chair
    • Penn State Water Council Co-chair
    • Penn State Center for Landscape Dynamics (CLD) Steering Committee member
    • Penn State Arts and Architecture Sustainability Council member
    • Penn State Hamer Center Advisory Board member
    • Penn State Ecology plus Design (E+D) Steering Committee member
    • Landscape Architecture International Student Adviser
  • Expertise
    • Watershed planning and management
    • Green stormwater infrastructure
    • Urban river restoration
    • Landscape performance
    • Urban sustainability
    • Landscape planning and design in China