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Surfacing Natural Systems: Toward an Ecology of the City // Kurt Culbertson, FASLA

A two-city, two-night lecture event, presented by Victory Stanley and ASLA Oregon.

Eugene, Wednesday October 16th, 5:00-7:00 PM:
Lecture from 5:00-6:00 PM at the University of Oregon, Lawrence Hall, Room 115. Reception afterward from 6:00-7:00 PM in the Lawrence Hall Hayden Gallery (Room L120). Free admission.


Portland, Thursday October 17th, 4:30-6:30 PM:
Lecture from 4:30-5:30 PM at the Peterson Lecture Hall (109 NW Naito Parkway). Reception afterward from 5:30-6:30 PM in the Gerding Edlen Lobby. Free admission.


Surfacing Natural Systems: Toward an Ecology of the City

A continuum of landscape architecture and environmental theorists including Patrick Geddes, Ian McHarg, Michael Hough, Ann Spirn, and Charles Waldheim have sought to describe the place of the natural environment within the urban context. Most recently the concept of landscape urbanism has entered the lexicon of the profession. Designers now speak of “constructed ecologies” and “green” infrastructure.

But what is the basis for such constructions? Are these simply landscapes of the imagination are do they grow from an understanding of the deep structure of the natural environment? Can an understanding of marginal lands and racialized topography also provide an urban ecology that addresses issues of environmental justice? Inspired by such recent research as Eric Sanderson’s Manahatta and William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis, Culbertson will explore the juncture of history, planning, and landscape architecture as a basis for crafting an ecology of the city through the firm’s work in Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans.

Kurt Culbertson.jpg

Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, FAICP, PLA, is the Chairman and CEO of Design Workshop. Kurt has been instrumental in the firm’s growth and sustained success both nationally and internationally. For over forty years, Kurt has been involved in the planning and design of landscapes throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. In 2016, he was awarded the ASLA Medal, the society’s highest honor, for lifetime achievements in the profession.


Thank you to Victor Stanley for sponsoring this event!