Limiting Footprints March 27, 2001
The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Landscape Architecture broadened in scope far beyond the 19th Century ideal of the picturesque park and garden design to include urban redevelopment schemes, land reclamation projects, ecological studies, and designs for urban open spaces. This wide variety of projects has presented new challenges to the profession and at the same time provided landscape architects with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary design teams and thereby forge new links with other professionals.
Designing for a Green Landscape February 13, 1999 Dublin
Many professionals have important contributions to make to the design and installation of a garden. Their full participation as a team will insure on each site a balance between ecology and human needs, between idea and execution, between costs and benefits, so as to awaken the spirit of the place.
Today all of us are challenged by rapid change: all of us must collaborate with citizens, designers, architects, engineers, politicians, elected and appointed officials. We have a pivotal role to play in mitigating the impact of ever-expanding cities in a world of finite natural resources, as articulated during the U.N. Conference at Rio de Janeiro in Agenda 21 in 1992. Broad general principles of sustainable land use must be translated into site-specific unique solutions.
Sustainable Development Directions For The Future
March 18, 1998 Smith College
Learning about the environment must start in pre-kindergarten where individual behaviour is shaped. In the last decades we have seen some changes, for example no smoking in certain places, reduced water consumption in airport washrooms, separating garbage, lawn sprinkling regulations, re-cycling paper, etc. but this is not enough. We must revise our building codes to construct efficiently and encourage re-cycling and re-use of materials. We must learn to use public transportation and walk to our destinations, or better still, make that car trip un-necessary by planning the land use of our neighborhoods which must support the diversity of life and living. Where we live, where we work, where we shop, where we send our kids to school and where we find recreation is of utmost importance. This is all-interdependent and should be planned as an integrated and sustainable community. We must learn to live more modestly and must not loose sight of our innate need to be surrounded by nature. The word Education - educa means to draw out. Today we must draw out the whole person and instill in everyone the glory and marvels of our natural world, as David Orr writes in his book Earth in Mind that we have to acquire ecological literacy.
Where Architecture Greets The Trees
October 22, 1998 Rhode Island School of Design
The eminent scholar Edward O Wilson, Professor of Science at Harvard University, in collaboration with Stephen R. Kellert at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University published a series of essays called The Biophilia Hypothesis, which explores our biological need to be in touch with nature, and that relentless destruction of the environment could have significant impact on the quality of life. The biophilia hypothesis proclaims a human dependence on nature that extends far beyond the simple issues of material and physical matters.