Research Seminar, January 25, 2013
The CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform, in conjunction with The New York City Urban Field Station, presents a quarterly research seminar on Friday January 25th, 2013, from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in the CUNY School of Law Faculty Lounge.
The seminar, Landscape Architecture: Re-envisioning Curriculum and Practice for 21st Century Ecosystems, features Dr. Laura Lawson (Rutgers University, Department of Landscape Architecture) and Denise Hoffman Brandt (City College, Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture). Light refreshments will be served
All are welcome. Space is limited so please RSVP at UFS.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Laura Lawson, Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University. Given the complexity inherent in most contemporary urban landscape design propositions, landscape architecture curricula is as much about reflective process and perpetual learning as it is about specific areas of knowledge and technical skills. While many of us found our way into this field because it blends environmental and social sciences with art and ethics, we also face an increasingly urgent responsibility to address health, engagement, and responsible resource use. As a design discipline, we contribute a comprehensive perspective that enables us to be a vital and critical outlet for community outreach, collaboration, and creative propositions, through our courses as well as through engaged research and work with cooperative extension agents and projects. From our unique position – the only professional design program in a land grant university serving the most urbanized state in the U.S. – the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University is building a program that relishes in the changing role landscape architects can play to address the complex issues facing communities today and in the future. Our new Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability (CUES) promises to serve as a vehicle for interdisciplinary research and engagement projects.
Denise Hoffman Brandt, Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture, City College of New York Landscape architects should be critical voices in future discourse to reconcile social, cultural, and environmental forces into a truly urban ecological system. Curricula should embrace the current and future challenges facing the profession of landscape architecture in research, design, and planning of ecologically robust urban landscapes, and design programs should address issues of increasing globalization, expanding urbanization, environmental and social system sustainability, the promotion of social and environmental justice, the need for transformed land management practices in response to diminishing natural resources, and the mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The popular conception of cities as human constructs in an oppositional relationship to nature undermines our capacity to design ecologically viable cities. A nuanced approach to instruction in the complex interweaving of society, culture and environment in New York City urban landscapes can counter that reductive thinking. As Director of the Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture of the City College of New York (CCNY), I have initiated reconsideration of the scope of our ecology curriculum to include not just instruction in the environmental processes that landscape architects engage in the design process, but also their reciprocity with the social forces and cultural ideas that influence urban morphology. The presentation will discuss the initiative to refocus the teaching of ecology for landscape architects at CCNY.
Wednesday October 17th, 2012, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
In conjunction with the NY Urban Field Station and the US Forest Service
Greening in the Red Zone
Keith Tidball, Ph.D., Civic Ecology Lab, Cornell University
Access to green space is understood to promote human health, especially in therapeutic contexts among individuals suffering traumatic events. Less understood is the how the act of creating and caring for such places plays a role in promoting neighborhood health and well-being within a larger social-ecological system. Researcher and practitioners from around the world have come together to explore this notion, and more specifically, the idea of ‘social-ecological resilience,’ in a new collection of case studies, entitled, “Greening in the Red Zone.” The book’s co-editor, Keith Tidball, will present excerpts from this work in an effort to explore the act of greening in promoting and enhancing human recovery, and perhaps resilience, in social-ecological systems disrupted or perturbed by violent conflict or other catastrophic disaster. Tidball will present the beginnings of an integrated research and policy framework to explore how access to green space and the act of creating green spaces in extreme situations might contribute to resistance, recovery, and resilience of social-ecological systems.
Cultivating a System of Stewardship
Erika Svendsen, Ph.D., NYC Urban Field Station, U.S. Forest Service
Many urban environmental groups have grown less content to participate in urban environmental planning through traditional means of public participation, preferring the ‘hands-on’ role of a civic steward. While stewardship still includes neighborhood clean-ups and plantings, in a growing number of instances, it has grown to include formal rule making, technical expertise, fiscal management and design over a broad range of urban open space sites. Increased activities and engagement has created a highly diverse group of urban stewards, personalities and projects. Svendsen will present findings from recent studies that include new stewardship group dynamics and reveal actions by individual volunteers that operate within a larger, urban social network. Svendsen’s presentation will shed light on the range of environmental stewardship groups and individual actions emerging from different social ecologies and human motivations. In order to strengthen mechanisms of individual-neighborhood resilience, Svendsen argues for understanding stewardship as a social-ecological system and to cultivate the capacity of different types of stewardship groups across the urban landscape.
Space is limited. Please RSVP, or request additional information, at UFS.email@example.com