Richard Register


If we enter a free fall collapse — which has happened to many head-strong societies in the past — our disappearing act will define the coming of a new geological and ecological age, one that paleontologists say we just started anyway in the “extinction spasm” we are still furiously engaged in. The extinction species de jure is the horseshoe crab right now and last year about this time the last River Dolphin expired in the Yangtze River.

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Ecologist, Urban Designer & Builder

Richard Register, Founder and Emissary of Ecocity Builders, is one of the world’s great theorists and authors in ecological city design and planning. He is also a practitioner with four decades of experience activating local projects, pushing establishment buttons and working with environmentalists and developers to get a better city built and running. Among his many “firsts,” he convened the first of the Ecocity International Conference Series in Berkeley, California. He was Founding President of Urban Ecology (1975) and founder and past president of Ecocity Builders (1992-2014), both nonprofit educational organizations. Richard illustrates his own writing, and his books are considered as pleasurable for his imaginative drawings as profound in their ecological urban philosophies and visions. Register is the author of Ecocities: Building cities in balance with nature (2002), Ecocity Berkeley: Building cities for a healthy future (1987), and Another Beginning (1978). He is editor of Village Wisdom/Future Cities (1997). Richard is a frequent guest of organizations and conferences large and small in his home town, the San Francisco Bay Area, and around the world. He has traveled the equivalent of 28 times around the world (as of 2010) advocating for the potential for the pedestrian city to save the world — by reducing automobile dependence, global warming, massive sprawl, ecological habitat fragmentation, air and water pollution and other harms.

Cities are the largest systems that humans build, and we can build them to contribute to humanity’s creative and compassionate evolution on a healthy planet, in exciting and rewarding built communities from the village scale to the city scale. He has spoken at the alternative events at all the major United Nations environmental conferences, in Stockholm, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg, and Habitat II, “The City Summit” in Istanbul. Universities, architectural firms, transportation experts, futurist conferences, colleges’ associated student body events, business councils, small local creek restoration groups, and city mayors and government agencies have all hosted his talks or classes. Richard was recently appointed to the International Scientific Advisory Committee on Active Ecological Urban Development to the Scientific Committee on Problems in the Environment (SCOPE), an international association of several nation states and two dozen major scientific associations. The project is led by Rusong Wang, host and co-convener of the 5th Ecocity International Conference in Shenzhen, China.