Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson



Fueled by a career-long passion to make a tangible difference in the way cities work for people and the environment, Mark Johnson co-founded Civitas in 1984 and has guided its growth into an international leader in landscape architecture and urban design ever since.

Mark is respected globally for his impact on cities, on design education, and on the role that landscape architects can play in leading communities through complex projects to successful results. His design process centers on asking questions, challenging assumptions, and seeking relationships between issues that others may not see. An exceptional listener, effective speaker, and empowering leader who inspires and guides team members to generate creative, innovative ideas, Mark is sought by clients and collaborators for his willingness to challenge urban issues that are rooted in economic, political, legal and social issues. His commitment to addressing these conditions and improving life in cities through the natural environment has resulted in the implementation of some of the most transformative projects in the country.

Mark has been a recognized thought leader and a regular lecturer at AIA, ASLA, APA and ULI events for decades. Passionate about education and lifelong learning, he frequently participates in issue-driven symposia around the world, including the International Academy of Design and Health, with whom he has lectured in North America, Europe and Asia on the role of community design in promoting public health. He serves on the board of the Brooklyn-based Van Alen Institute, which seeks to create equitable cities through community-led design. Mark has also contributed to numerous design juries for national awards and competitions; has chaired the editorial committee of Landscape Architecture Magazine; and is co-founder of the CEO Roundtable, an independent association of the leaders of top global landscape firms who meet biannually to identify trends and assess their impacts on the profession.


Prior to launching Civitas, Mark earned a master’s in landscape architecture degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he found important mentors in great designers and thinkers Peter Walker, Moshe Safdie, and Jose Luis Sert. His thesis, chaired by Safdie, focused specifically on the way urban form responds to dramatic cultural, economic and environmental change, establishing Mark’s commitment to adaptable and resilient urbanism decades ahead of today’s focus on these issues.


Harvard University; MLAUD, Urban Design

Utah State University; Bachelor of Landscape Architecture