• Adjunct Associate Professor, Global Health
  • Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
  • Director, Architects Without Borders
Benjamin Spencer

348 Gould Hall
Seattle, WA 98195
United States

Phone Number: 
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Benjamin R. Spencer is an Associate Professor in the University of Washington, Department of Landscape Architecture, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of Washington, Department of Global Health, and the co-founder and director of the Informal Urban Communities Initiative. Ben’s work is collaborative and interdisciplinary. It integrates research, practice, service and teaching and explores the relationship between the built environment, ecology and health in developing urban communities. It champions design and technology as vehicles for human well-being, environmental regeneration and social justice. His recent and ongoing projects include the community-driven participatory design and implementation of public green space and point of use water interventions in informal urban communities in Lima, Peru and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

  • MArch (University of Virginia)
  • MLA (University of Virginia)
  • BA (University of Virginia)
Country Affiliations 
  • Khmer
  • Spanish
  • Tetum
Health Topics 
  • Environmental Health (incl. Climate Change)
  • Urban Health

Hou, Jeff, Ben Spencer and Daniel Winterbottom. “Whole-Systems Public Interest Design Education: Design/Build and Design Activism at the University of Washington.” (working title). In Bryan Bell and Lisa Albendroth (Eds.). Public Interest Design Education Guidebook: Curricula, Strategies, and SEED Academic Case Studies. Book to be published by Routledge. Anticipated publication date, 2017.

Spencer, Ben, Josh Lawler, Luanne Thompson, Celia Lowe, Tom Hinckley, Soo-Hyung Kim, Susan Bolton, Scott Meschke, Julian Olden, and Joachim Voss. 2016. “Case studies in co-benefits approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 0 (0). pp. 1-21. http://dx.doi.org/

Spencer, B. and Bolton, S. 2016. Emergent Convergent: Technology and the Informal Urban Communities Initiative. In D. Ortega and J. Anderson (Eds.), Innovations in
Landscape Architecture. London: Routledge. pp. 205-222.

Feld, S., Spencer, B., and Bolton, S. 2016. Improved Fog Collection Using Turf Reinforcement Mats. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment. 2 (3), 1-8.