All human activity takes place on a geographic stage of great diversity and constant transformation. For more than a century, the Geography Department at Berkeley has been a leading center of scholarship about earth's landscapes and human relationships to the environment. Our inquiries encompass a wide range of topics, from the economies and cultures of cities and built landscapes, to tropical climates and the flow of polar ice sheets. We combine rigorous empirical work with deeply conceptual theoretical analyses, always recognizing the importance of both spatial processes and accumulated histories. We use geographic analyses to illuminate the abiding problems of the modern world.
Featured Project - The Living New Deal
At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs put millions of Americans back to work creating new infrastructure, including schools, parks, public buildings, and artworks. In every town in America these works are still in use, but their origins are largely forgotten. The Living New Deal is a collaborative project to document, map and make public the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, which put people back to work during the Great Depression creating infrastructure, including schools, parks, public buildings, and artworks.
The Living New Deal Project was founded by Berkeley Geography PhD Gray Brechin in 2003 as a book proposal, but has grown into a nationwide, collaborative project over the last decade. The Living New Deal is currently directed by emeritus professor Dick Walker. The vast majority of research, cartography and growth of the project has been thanks to the efforts of Geography graduates, undergraduates and alumni who have put in thousands of hours tracking down the missing pieces of the New Deal's Legacy.
Building a complete as possible public database of New Deal sites project requires far more than the work of a small research team. Thus, the project is calling on historians, researchers and volunteers to contribute their own knowledge of the New Deal in their communities. Information on how to contribute to the project can be found here.