Dark Monoliths, New York, NY. Photo © Alex Fradkin, 2012.
Hunters Point South Park, Queens, NY. Photo ©Barrett Doherty.
Middle school teachers at a climate education training presented by the Climate Museum and the New York Hall of Science. Photo at Climate Museum's "Climate Signals" installation by artist Justin Brice Guarglia, New York, NY. Photo by Michaela Labriole.
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, NY. Photo courtesy of Natural Areas Conservancy.
Estuary Tattoos, 2018. A project of CALL’s Rescuing Tibbetts Brook. The temporary tattoo depicts the configuration of the Tibbetts estuary before it was buried in the Broadway sewer. Braine painted the estuary on scores of volunteers in the Bronx. The figure is looking out over the Harlem River at the location of where the outflow for the proposed daylighting will be sited. Currently the combined overflows from the Broadway sewer are the largest source of pollution into the Harlem River. City as Living Laboratory is working with local groups to advance the daylighting (bringing to the surface) of Tibbetts in the form of a linear park. Artist: Bob Braine. Image courtesy of Bob Braine.
Oyster-tecture. Courtesy of SCAPE.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Ettiene Frossard.
Governors Island, New York, NY. Photo by Charles A. Birnbaum, 2016.
The future for landscape architecture is immense. And if landscape architects don't take the opportunity at this point, while our governments are waffling on climate change, if they don't learn this climate change inside-out, namely storm-water management, limiting footprints, using plants that don't need much maintenance or water, if they don't seize that opportunity, then the landscape architects are asleep under the ground.
-Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, TCLF Oral History (2008)
Courageous by Design: Landscape Architects Confronting the Climate Crisis in New York City
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander’s declaration—a challenge to her fellow landscape architects—is the impetus for a June 2021 symposium about the role of the profession of landscape architecture in addressing climate change, an issue that has been a focus of Oberlander’s practice for more than 30 years. The symposium will serve as the inaugural Oberlander Prize Forum, the first of many fora to be developed in association with the newly established Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize.
Organized and presented by The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), this daylong symposium will focus on New York City just as the city’s Department of City Planning (DCP) is actively engaging with communities throughout the five boroughs to advance their own zoning and land use strategies in an effort to “reduce flood risks and support the city’s vitality and resiliency through long-term adaptive planning.”
But how do we begin to tackle such an intractable problem when local, national, and global scenarios are so dire? The symposium will feature leading women landscape architects, as well as allied professionals, whose work is creative, courageous, and timely. These practitioners are inventing and deploying new tools, techniques, and technologies to meet the challenges of the current climate crisis in New York City and beyond.
Martha Schwartz, an outspoken, iconoclastic, and inventive landscape architect, will deliver the opening keynote. Panels of speakers will address the theoretical – understanding the scope and scale of the climate crisis, especially in New York City – and the practical – including how to navigate bureaucracies to get projects built with environmentally/ecologically sound practices – along with pathways to civic engagement. Ultimately, this is a shared responsibility that will require courage and creativity from the design community, elected officials, governmental agencies, corporations, non-profits, and the public, if we are to confront this problem at a macro and micro scale. This symposium aims to support and inspire those undertaking the challenge.
A reception on the evening prior to the symposium will offer speakers and attendees a chance to mingle and initiate conversations about the day ahead.
6.0 LA CES™ professional development hours, pending approval