ULI GCC: We are Not Exterior Decorators – Urbanism’s Virtuous Cycles


2021-05-04T20:30:00 - 2021-05-04T22:00:00

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    We invite you to join us for ULI GCC's first interactive presentation on Tuesday, 4 May entitled 'We are Not Exterior Decorators – Urbanism’s Virtuous Cycles'.
    • In the past Urban Planning & Landscape Architecture was reduced to ‘placemaking’ and beautification but the climate crisis impels us to be ecological in all our design decisions
    • Urban Planners and Designers need to take responsibility to weave new natures that treat waste as a resource into our cityscapes to realize opportunities for sustainable, functional, and beautiful urban landscapes
    • Beauty has a function beyond simple enjoyment and humans have biological needs for experiences with nature which we must also concern ourselves with
    • Through an exploration of recent projects that combine cyclical ecological utility and beauty the presentation will outline a role for landscape architecture & urbanism that achieves artful landscapes that serve ecological ends
    • Martha Schwartz, Senior Partner, Martha Schwartz Partners
    • Steven Veligrinis, Head of Master Planning, AECOM Middle East & Africa



    Steve Velegrinis

    Head of Masterplanning, Middle East and Africa, AECOM

    Steven Velegrinis is Head of Masterplanning at AECOM Middle East and Africa. His work has focussed on the multi-disciplinary intersections between urban planning and landscape architecture and he has led design teams since 2003. Over the past 23 years he has practiced in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Gulf. His recent work has included urban design projects such as the Expo 2020 Masterplan, District 2020 Legacy Masterplan, NEOM Regional Land Use Masterplan, Dubai Design District Masterplan, Bogacay Creek Masterplan in Antalya, The Mount Masterplan in Muscat, Le Marais Masterplan in Rabat, Morocco and the Hatta Tourism Masterplan. Steven has also led the site design and landscape architecture of a series of public realm and hospitality projects including Expo 2020 Public Realm, the Chedi, Ras Al Hadd, La Ville Hotel and City Walk Residential in Dubai, Kempinski The Wave Muscat and Hakkasan Restaurant in Emirates Towers Dubai. He remains involved in the development of the profession through his speaking engagements and research initiatives which have included speaking at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge University and Universite Paris Sorbonne.


    Martha Shwartz

    Senior Partner, Martha Schwartz Partners

    Martha Schwartz is a tenured Professor in Practice at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She is a landscape architect, urbanist, and climate activist. Her work and teaching focuses on the urban public realm landscape and its importance in making cities “climate ready”. For more than 40 years, she and the firm, Martha Schwartz Partners, have completed projects around the globe, from site-specific art installations to public spaces, parks, master-planning and reclamation. Schwartz is now engaged in strategic land-use and landscape planning in assisting leadership in their preparation for effects of climate change that their city will be facing in the near future. Ms. Schwartz is a founder and participant of the GSD Climate Change Working Group, which gave shape to the first ever required climate change course to incoming students in 2020. She also has mounted a seminar in conjugation with Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Science on the topic of geoengineering. Schwartz foresees landscape architecture as the leading profession to face the challenge of Climate Change. At the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s 2016 “New Landscape Declaration” summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, Martha’s “Declaration” on climate change became the key proponent of the industry’s current position that Climate Change is a central issue to the practice. She is a founding member of the Working Group of Sustainable Cities at the Harvard University Center for the Environment, a founding member of the Landscape Architecture Foundation ‘s “Working Group on Climate Change”, and has recently founded MAYDAY. Earth, a non-profit organization focused on Climate Communications and Education for non-scientists and generalists about Nature Based and Geoengineering Solutions which act at a global scale and can be integrated into practice, thus expanding the role of landscape architecture. Awarded the 2020 ASLA Design Medal, Ms. Schwartz is the recipient of numerous international recognitions, including the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for her outstanding contribution to UK design; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award; the Women in Design Award for Excellence from the Boston Society of Architects; an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Ireland; a fellowship from the Urban Design Institute; visiting residencies at Radcliffe College and the American Academy in Rome; an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects; the Council of Fellows Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects and most recently a Doctor Honoris Causa from the Boston Architectural College.