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Endowments at UVA

Teresa Heinz Professorship in Sustainable Communities-Saunders Match


The Teresa Heinz Professorship in Sustainable Communities was created by the Vira I. Heinz Endowment with matching support from the Saunders Professors Fund to attract and retain eminent scholars of sustainability at the School of Architecture. This professorship honors one of the nation's premier environmental leaders, Teresa Heinz, chair of the Howard Heinz Endowment and the creator of the prestigious Heinz Awards. The Heinz Awards are presented to individuals for outstanding vision and achievement in the arts, public policy, the environment, technology and the economy as well as for contributions to improvements in the human condition. The Vira I. Heinz Endowment created the professorship to support programs that reduce the incentives for urban sprawl and that link transportation, housing and land use policies.

In 2002, the Board of Visitors elected Timothy Beatley to the Teresa Heinz Professorship in Sustainable Communities. Beatley also currently chairs the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning.

In 2015-16, Beatley continued to advance the idea of biophilic cities, and growing the global Biophilic Cities Network. His webpage ( is up and running and his team continues to educate and promote the idea using enewsletters, blogs, video reports about innovative cities, and a webinar series. Beatley traveled to China and Singapore exploring how cities there could participate in the Network. He continued to see more biophilic groups forming in a number of U.S. cities. Beatley and his team continue to assist organizations like Biophilic D.C., and BioPhilly, and efforts in a number of other places including St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and elsewhere, as well as a number of cities outside the U.S.

Beatley worked on several new books including his “Handbook of Biophilic Design and Planning” which was published by Island Press in the spring, 2016. UVA Press published an edited volume of Beatley’s “Design and Health” as well. Beatley is still involved in the work of the Center for Design and Health, despite transitioning out of his role as co-director (with the arrival of Jenny Roe, the new DeShong Professor and Center Director). Beatley continues to teach extensively including the large lecture class entitled “Cities Nature.” It explores the ways in which biophilia and nature can be integrated into city design and planning.

History of Past Recipients and Projects