UC Berkeley News
Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Conference considers solutions to urban landscape problems

– Professionals, students and scholars will gather at the University of California, Berkeley, March 11-12 to explore how to best deal with increasingly complex urban issues such as reclaimed land, wasted space and the effects of economic pressures on the ecological structure of metropolitan areas.

"The Future Metropolitan Landscape" will be held in Wurster Hall, with speakers from the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Local architectural firms will contribute to an exhibit in the lobby that will display sketches and innovative projects involving new streetscapes, metropolitan architecture, waterfront redevelopment and other urban design efforts.

Organized by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning in UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, the event will feature discussion of solutions to such topics as:

. Ethics of recycled landscapes
. Contaminated land, on-site water treatment
. Rooftop and roadway redesign to create useable outdoor spaces
. Strip mall redevelopment in neighborhood spaces
. Encroachment of high-end development on previously marginal neighborhoods, such as West Oakland
. "Green" design

The keynote speaker will be Thomas Sieverts, UC Berkeley's Regent's Lecturer for 2004-2005 and a leading international environmental planner. He will speak at 9 a.m. Friday, March 11.

Sieverts was trained as an architect and urban designer in Europe. He was instrumental in the creation of Emscher Park in Germany, a regional park and cultural center built on the site of abandoned industrial sites such as steel mills and coal mines.

"The metropolitan landscape is a broad subject and needs to be covered in a multi-disciplinary way," said Jennifer Brooke, a UC Berkeley assistant professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning, and an event organizer. "It really goes beyond planting trees and deciding how many stories a building should be."

Scholarly papers presented at the conference will be compiled in a future publication.

UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design instituted a master's of urban design, an interdisciplinary program bringing architects, planners and landscape architects together to learn new skills, share working methods and explore new approaches for shaping the metropolitan landscape.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. in Wurster Hall, Room 112. For more information, contact Brooke at metrolandscape@lists.berkeley.edu.