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Susan Peerson

Adjunct Lecturer

Sue Peerson is principal of peerson+design+consult specializing in urban design, city planning, campus planning, and landscape architecture. She has developed a keen understanding of how to integrate physical plans within the political, social, and environmental context. She received her Bachelor of Science in City & Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design where she won The Faculty Medal in Landscape Architecture and Medal of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects. She has licensure with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and she was appointed by the Mayor and City Council to serve on the City of San Diego Planning Commission in 2012 to help shape the city’s land use policy and design framework.


MLA, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Landscape Architecture

Post-baccalaureate Certificate, University of San Diego, Lawyer’s Assistant Program

BS, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, City & Regional Planning

Scholarly and Creative Work

Peerson uses her skills in the fields of urban design, planning, law, and landscape architecture to respond to design issues with a comprehensive vision. She has created strategic and physical plans for multiple scales: site, neighborhood, and community. She has prepared land use plans, design guidelines, and landscape designs for public and private sector clients. Prior to starting her own consulting firm, she was Director of Physical Planning at UC San Diego responsible for overseeing the 1,200 acre La Jolla campus and the Hillcrest Medical Center. She was staff to the Chancellor appointed Design Review Board responsible for review and approval of physical development of the campus. She has worked for landscape architectural offices in Tempe, Arizona and San Diego. She began her career with the City of San Diego working on long-range plans for the communities of Mission Valley, Kearny Mesa, and University City.

Teaching Interests

Peerson’s professional practice, research, and public service reinforce her teaching methodology. Throughout her career she has studied how regulations, ordinances, and policies shape the physical environment. Students learn how to recognize patterns using formal elements – lots, blocks, streets, and neighborhoods – to analyze and interpret urban form. The importance of scale and measurement are integral to students gaining analytical skills to understand how form affects social factors. Her teaching bridges theoretical and methodological questions with an emphasis on the contemporary city – historical context, evolution of urban form, access to open space and public services, and quality of life.