Assistant Professor

Urban Observatory Project

School of Architecture 2018-19 Commencement Award for Outstanding Service Award
School of Architecture 2020-21 Commencement Award for Outstanding Teaching (Lecture)

Katherine Lieberknecht is an assistant professor in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. She researches urban water resources planning, metropolitan-scaled green infrastructure planning, and urban climate planning. Dr. Lieberknecht teaches courses on sustainable land use planning, water resources planning, and urban ecology. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked in regional land conservation. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of William and Mary, a Master in Environmental Management from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

Dr. Lieberknecht was the inaugural chair of Planet Texas 2050, The University of Texas at Austin's first grand challenge research program and continues to serve on its leadership team. She is the faculty lead for the Texas Metro Observatory, a Planet Texas 2050 research project and co-lead for the Planet Texas 2050 Flagship Project Equitable and Regenerative Cities in a Post-Carbon Future. She serves as principal investigator for a National Science Foundation Smart and Connected Communities project located in Dove Springs, Austin, Texas. Other current projects include contributing to a UT Austin-EcoRise collaboration and serving as a co-PI for the 2021 CHCI Global Humanities Institute on Climate Justice and Problems of Scale. She is a 2020-2022 UT Austin Humanities Institute Fellow, and she received UT Austin's School of Architecture's Outstanding Service Award in 2018-2019 and UT Austin's School of Architecture's Outstanding Teacher (Lecture) in 2020-2021.


  • B.S., Biology: College of William and Mary
  • Master of Environmnetal Management: Yale University
  • Ph.D., City and Regional Planning: Cornell University

Publications, peer reviewed and others (* denotes peer reviewed)

*Lieberknecht, K. (2021). “Community-centered climate planning: Using Local Knowledge and Communication Frames to Catalyze Climate Planning in Texas,” Journal of American Planning Association. 1-16.

*Lieberknecht, K., Zoll, D., Jiao, J., & Castles, K. (2021). Hurricane Harvey: equal opportunity storm or disparate disaster?. Local Environment, 26(2), 216-238.

*Eisenman, T. S., Flanders, T., Harper, R. W., Hauer, R. J., & Lieberknecht, K. (2021).  Traits of a bloom in urban greening: a nationwide survey of US urban tree planting initiatives (TPIs). Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

*Bixler, R. P., Lieberknecht, K., Atshan, S., Zutz, C. P., Richter, S. M., & Belaire, J. A. (2020). Reframing urban governance for resilience implementation: The role of network closure and other insights from a network approach. Cities, 103, 102726.

Lieberknecht, K., R. P. Bixler, M. Oden, L. Hall, Thomas, J. Y. Song, A. Zilveti, J. Brown, J. Felkner, F. Leite, S. Richter, S. Wu. (2019). People, Land, Water: Stories of Metropolitan Growth. Texas Metro Observatory. The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Vice President of Research.

*Lieberknecht, K. (2019) Ian McHarg and Planet Texas 2050:
Integrating Socio-Ecological Systems into Survey and Inventory
. Socio-Ecological Practice Research (1: 283).

*Bixler, R. P., Lieberknecht, K., Leite, F., Felkner, J., Oden, M., Richter, S. M., ... & Thomas, R. (2019) An Observatory Framework for Metropolitan Change: Understanding Urban Social–Ecological–Technical Systems in Texas and Beyond. Sustainability, 11(13), 3611.

*Lieberknecht, K. (2019) Water and EcoWisdom, in EcoWise: Theory and Practice, Bo Yang and Robert Young, editors. London: Springer Nature. 10.1007/978-981-13-0571-9_7

Lieberknecht, K. (2019) Fencelines and Observatories: Two Texas Communities Navigating Change in Platform. Elizabeth Mueller, Katherine Lieberknecht, and Alex Karner, editors. Austin, Texas: The University of Texas School of Architecture.

Karner, A., Lieberknecht, K., and E. Mueller, editors. (2019). PLATFORM. The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. Spring 2019.

*Young, R. F., & Lieberknecht, K. (2018) From smart cities to wise cities: ecological wisdom as a basis for sustainable urban development. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 1-18.Young, R. F., & Lieberknecht, K. (2018). From smart cities to wise cities: ecological wisdom as a basis for sustainable urban development. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 1-18.

Young, R., M. Oden, K. Lieberknecht, B. Muller, R. Balder, S. Richter, and T. Osdoba.  (2017) The Santa Cruz Project: Internal development report to the municipality of Santa Cruz, Madeira Island.

Lieberknecht, K. (2016) Texas CityLab 2015-2016 Final Report: Leander, Texas. Center for Sustainable Development, The University of Texas at Austin.

Lieberknecht, K. (2015) Texas CityLab 2014-2015 Final Report: The University of Texas at Austin, Campus Planning & Project Management. Center for Sustainable Development, The University of Texas at Austin.

*Young, R., J. Zanders, K. Lieberknecht & E. Fassman-Beck (2014) A comprehensive typology for mainstreaming urban green infrastructure. Journal of Hydrology, 519, 2571-2583.

Lieberknecht, K., Bayliss, C., Horstmann, J., Seidel, K, and Totten, K. (2011) Fairmont Neighborhood: Histories, Stories, and Communities.

Camilla Bayliss, JudiHorstmann, Katherine Lieberknecht, KarenSeidel, Kelley Totten

*Lieberknecht, K. (2009) Public Access to U.S. Conservation Land Trust Properties: Results from a National Survey. Journal of the American Planning Association, 75(4): 479-491.

*Lieberknecht, K., J. Papazian, and A. McQuay (2000) Balancing Conservation and Economics: The Development of an Ecotourism Plan for Panama. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 8:107-126.

Lieberknecht, K. (2000) “The Barton Springs Salamander Controversy,” in Foundations of Natural Resources Policy and Management, Timothy Clark and Andy Willard, editors. New Haven: Yale University Press. 149-172.

photo of Katherine Lieberknecht
  • environmental planning and equity
  • metropolitan-scaled green infrastructure planning
  • urban water resources planning
  • urban climate planning
SUT 4.114
(512) 232-2683