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Charles Waldheim, coiner of the term landscape urbanism, is chair of landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Landscape urbanism argues that landscape, rather than architecture, should organize the city and enhance the urban experience. It has emerged as a theory in the last 10 years and Waldheim is one of the core instructors, practitioners, and theorists who are articulating its terms and issues. An early landscape urbanism project, the Parc de la Villette in Paris (1982), has been influential for both its actual built environment, designed by architect Bernard Tschumi, as well as the runner-up's (unbuilt) design by Rem Koolhaas.
Waldheim's lecture, titled "Planning, Ecology, and the Emergence of Landscape," will begin with a series of short historical cases, each describing the role of landscape in the formation of the region as a subject of city and regional planning practice in the 19th and 20th centuries. Waldheim will continue with a survey of the recent reemergence of landscape design as a medium of urban design, and the impact of that shift on the disciplinary commitments and professional precedents of urban planning. He will survey several recent projects in North America, and offer a provisional sketch of potential future models for contemporary planning practice.
Waldheim is currently writing the first book-length history of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. His writings have appeared in Landscape Journal, Topos, Log, Praxis, 306090, Canadian Architect, Dimensions, and Landscape Architecture magazine.
Generous support for CCA public programs in San Francisco has been provided by Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund. The Architecture Lecture Series is funded by McCall Design Group; Pfau Long Architecture; Jensen Architects; ARCH Drafting and Art Supplies; GCI Inc.; Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc.; Perkins+Will; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; and SRG Partnership.