Landscape Infrastructure: Urbanism beyond Engineering, LU Lecture Series
Venue: New Soft Room
Responding to the inertia of urban planning and the overexertion of civil engineering, there is an urgent need for the redesign of urban infrastructures and for the rethinking of the performance of urban economies. Putting into question the conventional capacities of any single discipline to address the magnitude of urban challenges and ecological complexities today, the contemporary convergence of landscape and infrastructure proposes a series of systems and strategies for contemporary urbanisation where the synthesis of biophysical processes can be deployed across the footprint of urban regions and across the lifespan of service utilities in order to bridge the economic and ecologic divide of industrial economies. Stemming from the failure of 20th-century environmentalism, the cultivation of current and historic affiliations between ecology, engineering, and geography provides fertile ground for the reclamation of infrastructure as design discourse and as design practice for the next generation of post-carbon public works in the 21st century.
Pierre Bélanger is a Landscape Urbanist and Associate Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His academic research and public work focus on the convergence of urbanism, landscape and ecology in the interrelated fields of planning, design and engineering. Bélanger is editor of the Landscape Infrastructures DVD (Canadian National Research Council, 2009) and his most recent publications include ‘Urbanism beyond Engineering’ (Infrastructure Sustainability & Design, 2012). Bélanger is a recipient of the Professional Prix de Rome, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.