Colloquium: “Ecology for Land & City: Exploring the Confluences of Landscape, Road, and Urban Ecology”

In a bare twenty-five years, landscape ecology, road ecology, and urban ecology have sprung from synergies between ecological science and society’s activities on land. Each field builds its body of theory, models, and principles. Each generates new solutions to slow, even reverse, the cascading land-and-city degradation around us. Each moves arm-in-arm with sister experts, including landscape architects, foresters, urban planners, conservationists, transportation engineers/planners, wildlife managers, hydrologists and architects.

The time has arrived to explore and highlight linkages among the three dynamic fields, both to discover new important patterns and principles, and to catalyze useful applications for a vibrant future. This is the colloquium challenge. Imagine, for instance: viable ecological designs for outer-suburb/sprawl areas; improving or replacing the patch-corridor-matrix model; an optimal arrangement of urban greenspaces for flooding/heat/wildlife/recreation; an ecologically and socio-economically designed regional transportation system; useful equations for flows/movements across land mosaics; spatially optimal flows benefiting both city and ring-around-the-city; an ecologically robust mesh of geomorphic and built patterns; sustainable adaptation for combined urbanization and climate change; and big-picture solutions concurrently addressing many of society’s core goals. Giant needs, many confluences, ripe opportunities.

Landscape, road, and urban ecology synergies promise new visions, as well as novel applications for land and city. This colloquium should open up a cornucopia of ideas, patterns, principles and projected solutions that energize everyone.

Convened by Jane Hutton and Richard T.T. Forman, Harvard Graduate School of Design, in Recognition of the Retirement of Richard T.T. Forman

Preliminary Colloquium Schedule: 

Friday, September 13, 2013
Piper Auditorium

4:00 p.m. Reception and Exhibits

6:00 p.m. Patricia Roberts, Executive Dean, Graduate School of Design;
Charles Waldheim, Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture. “Welcome to the Harvard Graduate School of Design”

6:05 p.m. David R. Foster, Director, The Harvard Forest. “Introducing Ecology for Land and City”

6:10 p.m. Michael R. Van Valkenburgh, Harvard University and MVVA (Keynote Speaker)

“The Unpredictable and the Predetermined Unfold Together”

6:50 p.m. Sharon K. Collinge, University of Colorado (Keynote Speaker)

“Trends and Thoughts on Biodiversity Protection, Food Production, and Wildlife-Related Public Health in Urbanized Landscapes”

7:30 p.m. Adjourn


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Piper Auditorium

8:00 a.m. Coffee and Exhibits

9:00 a.m. Session I. Michael W. Binford, University of Florida (Panel Chair)

Richard T. T. Forman, Harvard University (Speaker)
“The Challenge in Brief: Ecology for Land and City”

Steward T. A. Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, New York (Speaker)
“Reflecting on Present and Future Nature Around Cities, Where Social Conditions and Urbanization Shape Ecology”

Lenore Fahrig and Sara Gagné, Carleton University, Ottawa (Speaker)
“How Can We Maximize Biodiversity in Urbanized Regions?”

David R. Foster, Harvard University (Speaker)
“Past, Present and Future in the New England Landscape: the Role of Farms, Towns, Roads and Climate Change”

10:35 a.m. Questions/Responses

10:50 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. Session II. Jerry F. Franklin, University of Washington (Panel Chair)

Joan Iverson Nassauer, University of Michigan (Speaker)
“Dynamics of Landscape Appearance and Ecological Condition: Science, Design, and Civic Engagement”

Paul Wagner, Washington State Department of Transportation (Speaker)
“Road Ecology: The Nature of Transportation and the Road Ahead” 

Daniel Sperling, University of California, Davis (Speaker)
“Innovative Transport Technologies and Vehicles to Improve Air Quality, Climate Change, and Livability”

12:30 p.m. Questions/Responses

12:45 p.m. Break for Lunch

1:45 p.m. Session III. Lauren Alexander Augustine, The National Academies (Panel Chair)

Anthony P. Clevenger, Montana State University and Banff National Park (Speaker)
“Taming the Sleeping Giant: How Small-Scale Mitigation has Continental-Scale Impacts”

Jianguo (Jingle) Wu, Arizona State University (Speaker)
“Sustainably Tying Landscape and Urban Ecology Together: Convergence or Contrast in China and the USA?”

Arancha Muñoz Criado, Region of Valencia Planning, Spain (Speaker)
“Green Infrastructure Planning at Multiple Levels of Scale: Experiences from the Autonomous Region of Valencia, Spain”

3:00 p.m. Questions/Responses

3:15 p.m. Break

3:35 p.m. Session IV. Hilary M. Swain, Archbold Biological Station, Florida (Panel Chair)

Mark J. McDonnell, Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, Melbourne (Speaker)
“Urban-Rural Gradients and Changing Habitat Patterns in an Urbanizing World”

Anna M. Hersperger, Swiss Federal Research Institute-WSL, Zürich (Speaker)
“The Multi-Functional Urban Region in Switzerland: Ecology, Patterns, Actors, Driving Forces”

4:25 p.m. Questions/Responses

4:35 p.m. Landscape Architecture Roundtable, Jane Hutton, Harvard University (Roundtable Chair), Pierre Bélanger, Anita Berrizbeitia, Peter Del Tredici, Erle Ellis, Nina-Marie Lister, and Chris Reed (Roundtable Participants)

5:40 p.m. Brief Concluding Remarks, Richard T. T. Forman

5:45 p.m. Adjourn


Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].