Thinking Landscape-Making Cities – Designing Regenerative Futures

This design seminar challenges you to create regenerative concepts and strategies for a just, temperate, and regenerative urban future. You will design a new settlement pattern for a city, district, or neighborhood of your choice, based on three propositions that will be part of research, class discussion, and presentations. First, regenerative design and development builds the capacities of all living and mineral systems. The second is that the goal of design, planning, and policy is the co-evolution of urban development and local and regional ecosystems into a single interactive complex realm. The third proposition is that a commitment to justice for both human and non-human communities based on community-led commons resource institutions will ensure space for all living things to flourish, reproduce, and migrate.

In Part 1, two Introduction meetings will establish the interests and questions of the students. Part 2 Scope and Depth will consist of four workshop meetings in which you are generating your design-research theme by challenging the three propositions through the filters of geography and climate, landscape and ecology, economy and society, and urban and landscape pattern. In the four meetings of Part 3 Focus and Scenario, you will further develop your concepts and strategies for your chosen city, region, and community. In Part 4 Communication, we will focus over three weeks on effective communication and presentation.

This is not a design studio. The goal is to support your proposition for your city with selected visual material. You will produce an abstract, conceptual diagrams, and the comparative maps and plans to advance your concept and scenarios including images of daily life. The seminar is open to all students at the GSD. It offers urban design skills for landscape architects, and urban and landscape design thinking and skills for architects. For urban designers, it will offer landscape ecology strategies, and for city planners it will offer an opportunity to invent policy and future forms of representation.

You will look beyond today’s adaptive solutions to imagine future scenarios. Working as individuals and teams, the collaborative and supportive experience of the class will nurture the confidence to experiment.