Date: Thursday, April 7, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
We think of nature as a force acting on the environment and the planet; similarly, we think of cities as a force acting on the whole of the nation and globe. This segregation of nature and cities can be traced back to classical times: text on a Roman entablature reads: "Sacred nature made the countryside, people built the cities." Can we continue to afford this compartmentalized approach to city-making? This discussion will focus on the deep connections of nature and cities and the opportunities designers have to develop new urban spaces that link landscape and ecology. We have much to learn about the urban by investigating natural processes and allowing them to shape our urban landscapes.
Kongjian Yu, Dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Peking University; Founder and President, Turenscape
Kongjian Yu received his Doctor of Design degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1995. Yu’s projects have been recognized by organizations such as the American Society of Landscape Architects, the World Architecture Festival and the Urban Land Institute. Yu is visiting professor of landscape architecture and urban planning and design at Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has published 17 books and more than 200 papers: recent titles include The Big Foot Revolution, Beautiful Big Feet, Back to Land, The Art of Survival, and The Negative Approach. He is the chief editor of Landscape Architecture China.
Karen Seto, Associate Professor, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
Professor Seto, a geographer by training, is an expert in remote sensing analysis and integrating satellite data with social science research methods. Her research uses a combination of satellite remote sensing, socioeconomic and biophysical data, in-person field interviews, and a range of statistical and computational models to gain insight on the patterns and processes of urban land-use change. She has had research projects in China,India, Vietnam, Qatar, and the US. She is the Executive Producer of "10,000 Shovels: Rapid Urban Growth in China," a documentary film that integrates satellite imagery, historical photographs, and contemporary film footage to highlight the urban changes occurring in China.
Pierre Bélanger, Harvard University
Bélanger is an associate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He teaches graduate courses on landscape, infrastructure and urbanism in the fields of planning, design and engineering. He is the editor of the Landscape Infrastructures DVD published by the National Research Council of Canada and recipient of the 2008/2009 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts. His most recent publications include Redefining Infrastructure, Power Perestroika, and Landscape as Infrastructure. He collaborates with public agencies, private landowners, regional authorities and a team of interdisciplinary practitioners focused on the dual objectives of ecological durability and economic performance in the reclamation of regional systems and large urban landscapes.
- Register for the May 5 Sawyer Seminar "Social Justice, Inequality and Cities"
- Register for the May 26 Sawyer Seminar "The University and the City"