Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Emily Vogler

Second Advisor

Emily Vogler


An Agricultural Commons in California's Central Valley examines the spatial and structural relationships between food systems, the ecologies that support them, and the unincorporated farming communities in The Central Valley. Current industrial practices in The Central Valley deplete water resources, deplete topsoil, create toxic living conditons for local communities, and undervalues farmlabor. Further pressures from climate change will inevitably cause greater instability in this food system and greater injustices towards the local communities and ecologies. The Central Valley is already a commons for Americans, as it supplies the majority of our year-round produce. Through a reevaluation of the idea of the agricultural commons as both a practice and principle, new models of management, relationships between economy and landscape, and values can begin to formulate more a equitable and just food system. In this thesis, I research utopianism design, case studies on agricultural commons, and the three systems of agriculture, ecology, and community in The Central Valley. The design proposal, is a set of time-based strategies that aim to achieve the commons.


View exhibition online: Jacob Lightman, Agricultural Commons in Central Valley, California



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