Modern Landscape Architecture and the Pedestrian City

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Lectures

Modern Landscape Architecture and the Pedestrian City

Modern Landscape Architecture and the Pedestrian City
Apr 21, 2017
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building
Providence, RI
United States

Using examples from America’s first “park plaza” in Minneapolis to reinterpretations of the piazza, including Boston City Hall and Cathedral Square in Providence, Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR, and Tim Love will examine the ways that landscape architects and urban designers collaborated on a new vision of the city in the period following WWII.

Love will compare Providence’s Cathedral Square to similar urban renewal proposals for Worcester and Boston. In each case, pedestrian precincts focused on a central square were seen as a corrective to the emerging dominance of the automobile. Birnbaum will place these projects in the larger context of the Modern movement and then trace the way that a dearth of reasoned criticism, coupled with inadequate maintenance, has led to a lack of appreciation for these landscapes today.

The conversation will put forth a series of recommendations and strategies, reversing an era of unmonitored modifications which would have risked editing-out a significant chapter in the evolution of our cities and the profession of landscape architecture. In Providence, it’s important that preservationists, landscape architects, urban designers, historians, and the general public, come together to help manage change in Cathedral Square, one of the important “invisible” public places that represent a significant chapter in our nation’s evolution.

Join us for this examination of the Modern movement in architecture, including where and how the 1960s-era I.M. Pei iteration of Providence’s Cathedral Square fits within it.

Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR, is the President & CEO, as well as founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF). Prior to creating TCLF, Birnbaum spent fifteen years as the coordinator of the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative and a decade in private practice in New York City with a focus on landscape preservation and urban design. Birnbaum is currently a Visiting Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning + Preservation and a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post.

Tim Love is the founding principal of Utile, a 50-person Boston-based architecture and planning firm. He is also a tenured Associate Professor the Northeastern University School of Architecture where he teaches urban design theory and graduate-level research studios. Love’s primary focus is the relationship of buildings and opens spaces to the larger city. His work is not driven by aesthetics, but by collaborative research focused on the social, cultural, regulatory, and environmental issues of urban design problems. Love and his colleagues are currently the on-call urban design consultants for the I-195 Redevelopment District and recently completed a study of the 6-10 corridor for the City of Providence.

This project was made possible in part through funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

6:00 to 7:00 pm
Joseph Doorley Municipal Building
444 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
United States