Urban Green Infrastructure

Class: Urban Green Infrastructure
Date: Fall 2011
Professor: David Fletcher

“Landscape Urbanism describes a disciplinary realignment currently underway in which landscape replaces architecture as the basic building block of contemporary urbanism. For many, across a range of disciplines, landscape has become both the lens through which the contemporary city is represented and the medium through which it is constructed.” – Charles Waldheim
This course will concentrate on Urban Green Infrastructures and the performative potentials of landscape at many scales. Students would study and document international and local operative landscape based strategies with emphasis on application. Students will learn fundamental skills in landscape architecture ecologies and technologies: topographic design, planting and vegetation, remediation, and temporal considerations. This technical skill will be build through short in class exercises and will be supported by guest lectures and field visits. The course outcome will be case studies, field notes and drawings, and a design exercise which is applied to the newly acquired property to the East of the existing San Francisco CCA campus. Field visits will include the works of Hargreaves Associates, Peter Walker and Partners, CMG Landscape Architecture, GLS Landscape Architecture, Andrea Cochran, to name a few.
This course will also serve as an introduction to the technical, analytical and analogical skills used in the interpretation, representation, and production of landscape architectural design. Students will give precedent presentations of historic and contemporary natural and urban landscapes.
The materiality, shaping, and construction of landscape are studied through natural processes, grading, site engineering, planting and building. Through direct experience, students will develop the ability to grasp the features of the place. Construction, ecology, social use, representation, site-memory, maintenance and project economy all derive from an unconditional demand to understand the place, its history, identity and character. Students will gain a critical understanding of the technology, issues, influences, and generative possibilities in landscape design and planning within the contemporary urban environment.
Students will identify concerns for human settlement within the dynamics of urban ecology. The processes of growth, transformation, and the complex layering of ownership, density, distribution, and territoriality will be explored.