Urban Nature: Paradoxcity talk at CELA, Los Angeles

This years conference theme of CELA poses a critical question on the state of URBAN NATURE:
Crises abound in every global mega-city, but also in other cities and towns in which a sense of abandonment and helplessness replaces former self-sufficiency and confidence. What can be the future of urbanity? How can we understand “our nature” within larger nature? How is caring for life on the land both an amazing heritage and an astounding responsibility? Are there principles and methods for identifying and operating within the complex “ecologies” of the city? Where does landscape practice find the best opportunities for action and success? What new vehicles and platforms are necessary to maintain a dynamic, adaptive, and opportunistic practice?
If the romantic notion of a rational urban condition has been laid waste by an overwhelming confluence of cultural forces, decaying infrastructures, and multiple layers and scales of complexity (perhaps best characterized by mega-cities like Los Angeles), the theme of Urban Nature suggests the existence of an inherent order and process to the urban that can become the basis of landscape research, education, and practice.
This conference thus seeks to further our understanding of ourselves as part of nature, and how we ask critical questions about this in our design, research, and teaching. How we do this is the purpose of the 2011 CELA Conference. Such criticality demands a sharp focus on a more integrative ecology and a breadth of perspectives and productive debates in the form of posters, presentations, and panel discussions. Each presenter and participant is encouraged to reference “our nature in nature” as this may apply to the focus of their explorations.

Published by: paradoXcity

Jorg Sieweke is licensed as landscape architect and urban designer in Berlin. He founded and directs the design-research initiative paradoXcity in 2010. He held professorships at University of Virginia and Visiting professor at RWTH Aachen and HCU Hamburg in Germany. He was fellow at Villa Massimo the German academy in Rome in 2015. His award winning firm challenges convention of practice in landscape architecture to establish its own trajectory of a landscape & urbanism. His PhD reflects the paradigm.

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