The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) and PHS will host the conference, Civic Horticulture, Friday May 17 at the University of the Arts, Gershman Hall, Levitt Auditorium in Philadelphia. Nationally recognized speakers will examine how the concept of civic horticulture–which bridges aesthetics and economics along with natural, cultural, and ecological systems–has been successfully used as part of Philadelphia’s city shaping and what other cities can learn from Philadelphia’s example.
The conference is divided into three themes (The Street; The Productive Garden; and Parks and Plazas) that will address health/lifestyle, environment, economy, and sense of place. The conference will take place in tandem with the unveiling of the new civic landscapes plan for Philadelphia developed by PHS and PennPraxis.
Two separately ticketed events will immediately precede and follow the conference; the first is a launch reception held in conjunction with the PHS Pop Up Garden program, temporary sites that transform Center City Philadelphia’s vacant spaces into urban oases by re-using elements from the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. The second is a post-conference reception at the offices of OLIN, which is known for creating iconic and vibrant landscapes throughout Philadelphia, including the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, Independence Mall, and Logan Square, along with significant projects across the country.
Conference speakers and panelists include:
- Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Washington, DC
- Elena Brescia, partner, SCAPE/Landscape Architecture PLLC, New York, NY
- David Brownlee, Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
- Raymond Jungles, founding principal, Raymond Jungles, Inc., Miami, FL
- Eric Kramer, principal, Reed Hilderbrand LLC, Boston, MA
- Mia Lehrer, principal, Mia Lehrer and Associates, Los Angeles, CA
- James F. Lima, president, James Lima Planning + Development, Tiverton, RI and New York, NY
- Keith McPeters, principal, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd, Seattle, WA
- Nancy O’Donnell, director, Landscape Design, PHS, Philadelphia
- Harris Steinberg, adjunct assistant professor, City and Regional Planning, PennPraxis, The University of Pennsylvania School of Design, Philadelphia
- Matthew Urbanski, principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA and New York, NY
- Susan K. Weiler, principal, OLIN, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, CA
- Henry M White, III, principal, HM White Site Architecture, New York, NY
- Peter Wirtz, director, Wirtz International nv, Belgium
- Thomas L. Woltz, principal, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Charlottesville, VA and New York, NY
The Architect’s Newspaper is the national media partner; sponsorship has been provided by Landscape Forms. American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) continuing educations units (CEUs) will be available for the conference.
Following the conference on May 18-19 is What’s Out There Weekend Philadelphia, featuring free, expert-led tours of more than 24 significant examples of Philadelphia’s landscape architecture, including hidden gems in Fairmount Park, the Beaux Arts grounds of the Rodin Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Colonial Revival parks and gardens near Independence Hall, the groundbreaking Modernist expressions of Society Hill, and the Postmodernist plazas of Venturi Scott Brown. The tours reveal the back story about city shaping, landscape architecture, and the design history of significant landscapes all over the city. Many are places people pass daily, but do we know their background stories? The presenting sponsor is Bartlett Tree Experts, along with sponsors Landscape Forms, Le Pain Quotidien, the PA-DE Chapter of ASLA, OLIN, and Studio Bryan Hanes.
“Philadelphia is in a leadership position in the use of horticulture for place making and city shaping,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF founder and president. “What will distinguish this symposium is that it will put plant materials first in developing a strategy for holistic stewardship of our cities’ streets, parks, plazas, and public gardens.”
“Since its founding and design by William Penn, Philadelphia has been a city that has grown and flourished around parks and green spaces,” said Drew Becher, PHS president. “PHS has been at the forefront in the transformation of the most treasured civic sites along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the city’s gateways. We look forward to unveiling the plan for the next seven sites that will be transformed by PHS and our partners over the next 10 to 15 years.”