Landscape + Urbanism at MIT

news & events

DUSP L+U STUDENT WINS ASLA AWARD FOR "RIPARIAN URBANISM" Recent DUSP graduate Haley Heard has won the ASLA 2010 Honor Award for her project on "Riparian Urbanism." According to her project statement, "Riparian Urbanism is a new urban model that illustrates how landscape can become the armature of our future cities." The project centered on Mumbai, India, where "rapid developments are a threat, but also a necessity." In this context, Riparian Urbanism provides a mechanism for protecting these systems, while allowing development to proceed more intelligently. The project was designed as part of the "Landscape + Urbanism  Around the Bay of Mumbai" studio, under the supervision of Professors Alan Berger and Rahul Mehrotra. For more details on this prestigious award, see the ASLA Award website.

ALAN BERGER TO KEYNOTE OSLO TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE On September 24, 2010, Professor Alan Berger will deliver a keynote address to the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2010. Architecture Day 2010 is a key event in Oslo's Architecture Triennale 2010, the fourth in a series of architecture triennale to be arranged in Oslo. The event, entitled "Man Made Tomorrow," will focus on infrastructure, densification, and mobility. Renowned speakers from Norway and abroad will discuss current challenges and present relevant projects. See for more info.
A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DESIGN A two-year research project with Sekisui House of Japan has resulted in a new book on sustainable urban housing and community design that incorporates a broad-based ecological systems approach not yet commonly found in the building and planning fields. The project was led by Professor Eran Ben-Joseph Dean Adèle Naudé Santos and Professor Andrew Scott. For more, see

"RETHINKING WATER" CONFERENCE: MAY 20-21 organized by Professor Jim Wescoat "Rethinking Water: A Critical Resource", Thursday, May 20, 2010 An Institute-wide workshop to identify common interests, collaborative opportunities, and funding for research and teaching related to water-oriented work at MIT. The two-day event will begin Thursday evening, May 20th (6-8 pm) and continue on Friday, May 21st (9 am - 5 pm). Thursday's opening keynote address will be given by Charles Duhigg of the New York Times, author of their ongoing series Toxic Waters. MIT President Susan Hockfield will open the working program on Friday morning, May 21st. Meeting sessions and panels on Friday (9 am to 5 pm) will focus on: The Water - Energy - Food Nexus; Water, Sanitation, Heath and Technology; Climate, Hydrology, Risk, and Adjustment; and The Scaling and Cultural Context of Water Solutions. This FREE event will be held in the Kirsch Auditorium at the MIT Stata Center. For more information and to register, visit the web link provided below. More Information:

ANNE SPIRN - Professor Anne Whiston Spirn's lates book Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field is reviewed by the New York Review of Books.

STUDENTS GATHER PRIZES A number of current CDD and L+U students and recent graduates have been awarded international prizes in design in the past month. * Sabrina Kleinenhammans (SMArch in Urbanism 2009) won the AECOM Design + Planning "Urban SOS; Distressed Cities, Creative Responses" student design competition at the World Architecture Festival. See site. Cristina Ungureanu and Sloan Dawson (current DUSP/CDD/ L+U students) and Chai Pattamasattayasonthi and Pamela Richot (current Architecture students) were among five semi-finalist groups for the this competition as well, for their project on Baltimore, "Restringing Charm City"; see

ALAN BERGER ON " BRINGING HYPOXIC DEAD ZONES BACK TO LIFE" The work of DUSP Professor Alan Berger was recently featured on the Pop!Tech Blog. "Where others might simply see cyanide pools and smelly canals, Berger--a new-wave landscape architect and urbanist--sees an urgent new opportunity for intelligent redesign." For more, see

JIM WESCOAT gave a series of talks on water-conserving design at the Aga Khan Foundation workshop on the Built Environment in Paris, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in Geneva, and the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. He has recently published articles on "Submerged Landscapes: The Public Trust in Environmental Design, from Chicago to Karachi and Back Again," in the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (2009); “Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan,” in Running on Empty: Pakistan’s Water Crisis" (2009); “Comparative International Water Research,” in Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education (2009); and "Waterscapes and Water-Conserving Design," in LA! Journal of the Indian Society of Landscape Architects (2009).

NEW SENSEABLE CITY PROJECT TRACKS TRASH SENSEable City Lab has stated a major project called "Trash Track," which aims to get people thinking about what they throw away. Trash Track relies on the development of special electronic tags that will track different types of waste on their journey through the disposal systems of New York and Seattle. The project will monitor the patterns and costs of urban disposal and create awareness of the impact of trash on our environment - revealing the last journey of our everyday objects. For more information on the project, see the project's website. Trash Track was also featured in a recent story from the MIT News Office, as well as dozens of news outlets.

STUDENTS DEVELOP "ECOLOGIC PATTERN BOOK FOR SITE PLANNING" Students in Eran Ben-Joseph's 2009 "Site and Infrastructure Planning Studio" have completed a manual for "ecologic oriented development and infrastructure design" that uses Tama New Town outside of Tokyo as a reference. This project is part of a long-term collaboration between Japan's Sekisui House and the MIT School of Architecture and Planning formed in 2008 to envision, design, and build prototypical sustainable residential communities for society in the years 2030-2050. Using the 1970s New Town developments as a reference, the project team is conducting studies on sustainable community design and ideal residential housing in order to accumulate new insights and technical expertise that can be utilized in future business. The team hopes that this project will serve as a useful guideline on a global scale. Overall, the research represents the work of a joint project team of graduate students from Architecture and Urban Planning departments and staff members from Sekisui House working under the guidance of Dean Adèle Naudé Santos, Professor Eran Ben-Joseph, Professor Shun Kanda, and Professor Andrew Scott. To see additional reports and information, visit:
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Landscape Fall 2008 CDD Forum on Landscape + Urbanism - poster
Room 10-485 5:00p–6:30p

• October 06, 2008 - Anne Whiston Spirn, MIT
"Restoring Mill Creek: Landscape Literacy, Environmental Justice, and City Planning and Design"
• October 27, 2008 - Eran Ben-Joseph, MIT
"Rethinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking"
• November 03, 2008 - Alan Berger, MIT
"Systemic Design in Landscape + Urbanism"
• November 24, 2008 - Charles Waldheim, University of Toronto
"Planning, Ecology, and the Emergence of Landscape"
• December 01, 2008 - James Wescoat, MIT
"Submerged Lands: The Public Trust in Waterfront Design from Chicago to Karachi" -Jim Wescoat