James LaGro, Jr.

James LaGro, Jr.Professor
Urban and Regional Planning, UW-Madison


Cornell University
Ph.D., Natural Resource Policy and Planning, 1991
M.L.A., Landscape Architecture, 1982
B.S., Ornamental Horticulture, 1978

Research areas:

Sustainability of the Built Environment, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, Landscape Ecology

Selected Publications:

LaGro, J.A., Jr. 2008. Site Analysis: A Contextual Approach to Sustainable Land Planning and Site Design. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.

Ohm, B.W., J.A. LaGro, Jr., and C. Strawser. 2001. A Model Ordinance for a Traditional Neighborhood Development. University of Wisconsin Extension, Madison, Wisconsin.

LaGro, J. A., Jr. 1996. Designing without Nature: Unsewered Residential Development in Rural Wisconsin. Landscape and Urban Planning, 35: 1-9.


Jim LaGro joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990. The causes and consequences of landscape pattern – especially within the built environment – are primary research interests. His current work focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation, with an emphasis on vulnerability assessment and strategies for retrofitting the built environment.

LaGro was Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning from 2002 to 2008.  He has also served on the U.S. Region's Executive Committee of the International Association of Landscape Ecology. Currently, he is on sabbatical in Washington, D.C. as a 2008-09 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the U.S. EPA's Global Change Research Program.

Prior to earning his doctorate, LaGro worked in private practice as a land planner. A licensed landscape architect in Florida and New York, his professional work spans a broad range in scale and geographic setting.

With over 25 years of professional experience in industry and academia, LaGro has been a frequent advisor to the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment on the "State of the Nation's Ecosystems" project.  His recent book – Site Analysis: A Contextual Approach to Sustainable Land Planning and Site Design - was selected by Planetizen (an online urban planning, design, and development network) as one of the top planning books in 2008.