Eco: UR: Landscape Urbanism

Landscape Urbanism has been recognized as a powerful discourse with which to address the environmental, social, and economic issues of our time. Fundamentally, the discourse synthesizes urbanist and green agendas, and repositions the role of natural processes in the contemporary metropolis. This practice is committed to operant and performative spatiality, including biodiversity, green infrastructure, water quality, in-situ reclamation, sustainable urban development, and energy generation, to name a few. Ecological and landscape planning principles such as succession and patch dynamics, normally applied to environmental systems, are also applied to political, cultural expression, economic and social systems. Landscape Urbanism has taken many forms, since its emergence as both neologism and theory only ten years ago. This course will trace the topic from its beginnings to its current manifestation in design discourse, pedagogy, and practice. The most critical metric for evaluating the generative force of landscape urbanism is the investigation of the ways in which its principles are able to affect positive urban form in distinctive ways. Imbricated in this notion is the expectation of a more sustainable or performative urbanism in all aspects of development. In addition to readings, students will research both built and theoretical precedents, to gain an understanding of the history and future trajectories of this vital discourse. These will be presented to the class and compiled into a seminar research publication. Guest lectures will occur throughout the semester. The class will also take field trips to local sites that will be assessed with regards to principles and performance metrics identified during the course.