The Land Is Full: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape ArchitectsEssays by Thomas L. Woltz, Nina-Marie Lister, Brent Leggs, Robert Pogue Harrison, with a foreword by Andrea Wulf

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A celebration of parks and public gardens by renowned landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz, whose designs reflect the histories that are held in the land

Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW) is one of the most in-demand and respected firms working in landscape architecture today with major commissions across the United States. This collection of twelve projects illustrates the power of design to create vital public realms at the heart of communities. Through the celebrated firm’s process, ecological and cultural histories are revealed and integrated into meaningful public experiences. 

The firm has worked with exceptionally sensitive sites across the United States, including those that hold the vital histories of enslaved peoples, the rich cultures of indigenous peoples, and the natural habitats that have been threatened by infrastructure and construction. 

These projects are found across the firm’s geographic reach. One, in southern Texas, is the revitalization of Memorial Park in Houston, a 1500-acre landscape that interweaves city infrastructure with a vibrant ecology. In the northeast, a burial ground adjacent to the Brooklyn Naval Yard has been reclaimed as a contemplative meadow filled with native plants, pollinators, and birds. And thousands of miles to the northwest, the Aga Khan Garden in Alberta, Canada, stands as a regenerative sanctuary in opposition to the surrounding landscape often battered by the pollutants, mining, and fire. 

The work of NBW is set in a broad context through the book’s inclusion of authoritative essays by noted scholars, ecologists, and cultural historians. It articulates the central role of landscape architecture in reshaping public space to meet challenges of ecological and social resilience.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 279 × 240 mm (11 1/2 × 10 in)
  • Pages: 240 pp
  • Illustrations: 275 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580936606

Thomas L. Woltz is senior principal and owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.

Nina-Marie Lister is professor and graduate director of the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Brent Leggs, is founding director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC.

Robert Pogue Harrison is Rosina Pierotti Professor of Italian Literature at Stanford University.

Andrea Wulf is the author of the acclaimed Magnificent Rebels and The Invention of Nature