Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

New Directions in EcoPlanning Annual Lecture, Boston, March 8th

Image: Elm Street, New Haven, Connecticut, around the turn of the 20th Century.

From the Harvard Museum of Natural History:

A Great Green Cloud: The Rise and Fall of the City of Elms
Lecture by Thomas J. Campanella
24 Oxford Street Cambridge, Massachusetts

Decades before Olmsted park, Yankee villagers planted elm trees on their streets and commons to forge a union of rus and urbe, i.e. the rustic and the urban. The trees brought about “a kind of compromise between town and country,” observed Charles Dickens, as if each had met the other halfway and shaken hands upon it. The result was that lost masterpiece of American urbanism, “Elm Street.” Thomas J. Campanella, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the University of North Carolina, will explore elm culture in the U.S., and how our love affair with this giant nearly brought it to the edge of disappearance. Reception to follow, free and open to the public.
Professor Campanella authored the book, Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm (Yale University Press, 2003), the first study of the rise and fall of "Elm Street" in America. The book received a Spiro Kostof Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.

His most recent book, The Concrete Dragon: China's Urban Revolution and What It Means for the World, a primer on contemporary Chinese urbanism, was runner-up for the 2008 Environmental Design Research Association book award and is among the most widely used texts on Chinese urbanization in American schools of architecture and planning.

He's a a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and his essays have appeared in Metropolis, Salon, Obit, Orion, Places and Architectural Record. He has been a guest on radio and television programs on National Public Radio, the BBC, CNN, CBC (Canada) and CCTV (China).

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