SOLD OUT -- but wait list available
Intertwine Alliance partners The Nature of Cities, The Bullitt Foundation, Urban Greenspaces Institute and Portland State University Institute for Sustainable Solutions are teaming up for the Nature of Cities Summit: Exploring Paths to Collaboration on Green Cities. The event will feature a group of 25 green city luminaries from around the world for an afternoon of presentations and small group discussions, followed by a happy hour.
Space is very limited; tickets range from $15 to $30, with early-bird registration available through Friday, April 7.
The summit is part of a three-day event, April 25-27, during which the international delegation will work with a group of local leaders to explore the potential for an international symposium on the “nature of cities” in 2018.
Themes will include: adaptation to climate change and green infrastructure, equity and inclusion, governance across jurisdictional boundaries, creating university and community partnerships, and sustaining green city building over time.
Doors open at 12:15 p.m. The program will start promptly at 12:45 p.m. Please plan to arrive by at least 12:30 p.m. for registration.
INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL ROUNDTABLE LEADERS:
William L. Allen, III, conservationist, Chapel Hill
Janice Astbury, social scientist, London
Katrine Claassens, artist, Cape Town
PK Das, architect, Mumbai
Paul Downton, architect, Melbourne
Martha Fajardo, landscape architect, Bogotá
Cecilia Herzog, green activist and educator, Rio de Janeiro
Mark Hostetler, ecologist, University of Florida, Gainesville
Noboru Kawashima, biologist and landscape architect, Bogotá
Nina-Marie Lister, planner, Toronto
Shuaib Lwasa, geographer, Kampala
Patrick Lydon, artist, Seoul
David Maddox, ecologist/artist, New York
François Mancebo, sustainability scientist, University of Reims, Paris
Franco Montalto, engineer, Philadelphia
Diane Pataki, ecologist, Salt Lake City
Rob Pirani, planner, New York
Andrew Rudd, UN-Habitat, New York
Laura Shillington, social scientist, Montreal
Phil Silva, civil society, New York
David Tittle, housing planner, Coventry
Chantal van Ham, IUCN, Brussels
Diana Wiesner, landscape architect, Bogotá
Lynn Wilson, planner, Vancouver
Lorena Zárate, housing activist, Mexico City
Visit the International Symposium Planning Retreat page (link at left) for more information about the international and local cohort, and the work they will be doing April 25-27.
Welcome & International Presenters 12:45 to 2:10 p.m.
· Nina-Marie Lister, Toronto. Green infrastructure: Ecological design for resilience
· Shuaib Lwasa, Kampala. Attitudes toward urban conservation in Africa
· Katrine Claassens, Cape Town. Painting the edges
· Lorena Zárate, Mexico City. They are not informal settlements—they are habitats made by people
· Martha Fajardo, Bogotá. The meaning of landscape
· P.K. Das, Mumbai. Urban planning and open data as a right
Roundtables 2:10 to 2:50 p.m.
Roundtable discussions with international visitors, local experts and stakeholders. Participants choose the table they’d like to be part of.
Break 2:50 to 3:10 p.m.
International Presentations 3:10 to 4:20 p.m.
· Paul Downton, Melbourne. Biophilic urban fractals are essential elements of ecocities
· François Mancebo, Paris. Justice, access, and unintended consequences
· Laura Shillington, Montreal. Gender and environmental equity in Central America
· Diane Pataki, Salt Lake City. Shouldn’t planners and ecologists talk to each other more?
· Andrew Rudd, New York. The big picture—So many global conventions, from Habitat III, the SDGs, to the Paris Climate Accord. So what? What’s next?
Roundtables 4:20 to 5 p.m.
Roundtable discussions with international visitors, local experts and stakeholders. Participants choose a different table they’d like to be part of.
Closing Remarks and Reception, 5:15 to 6:15 p.m.
Light food and beverages, opportunity to network and engage with international guests
1. Big international agreements: What are they? Why do they matter?
Andrew Rudd (program officer, UN-Habitat)
There have been numerous global gatherings and agreements in the last few years: the World Urban Forum (Medellín), the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and its urban SGD#11, the Paris Climate Agreement, Habitat-III and its “New Urban Agenda”, and so on. Why do they matter? How are they doing? Why should the Portland-Vancouver metro region care?
2. Open data, maps, participation and justice
P.K. Das (architect and activist, Mumbai)
Mumbai has only 1 percent of the open space that New York City has. Forty percent of its population lives in slums; 70 percent are impoverished. Yet, the City of Mumbai had no public maps of its slums. It had no maps of its green spaces. This lack of open information led to all kinds of cozy arrangements between developers and government, and very poor planning. Creating open maps (“open Mumbai”) changed the politics of planning and dialog in Mumbai for the better.
3. Building coalitions: political + scientific + civil society
Rob Pirani (NY Harbor & Estuary Program, New York)
Cecilia Herzog (Inverde, Rio de Janeiro)
New York harbor and the wider estuary spans two states, a mega-city (>20 million people), and countless jurisdictions of all sorts, federal to state to local to civic. Rio de Janeiro, also a mega-city (>12 million) on the Atlantic Ocean, has struggled to navigate a World Cup and Olympics while maintaining livability and ecological health. Both comprise a wide range of important ecosystems that are key to the ecological health of the region. What are the keys to building successful coalitions of politics, people, and science that produce better cities?
4. Shouldn’t planners and ecologists talk to each other more? Yes.
Diane Pataki (ecologist, Salt Lake City)
Will Allen (planner, Chapel Hill)
It makes a lot of sense that urban planners and ecologists would have a lot to say to each other. But they don’t talk so often, much to the detriment of city building. How can such dialogue be encouraged and nurtured? If you are en ecologist, how could you do better? If you are a planner, how could you do better? Here are successful examples from Salt Lake City and beyond.
5. Projective ecologies: Integrating ecology and landscape architecture
Nina-Marie Lister (planner, ecologist, landscape architect, Toronto)
Diana Wiesner (landscape architect, Bogotá)
Ecology and landscape architecture have a lot in common, even if the former is tilted toward the nature and ecological process while the latter is tilted forward people and aesthetic. How can ecology be better integrated with the design imperatives of landscape architecture to find the best of both, to the benefit of both people and nature? How can design be both aesthetic and ecological functional? Where can ecology let people in?
6. Propelling creative placemaking in the built environment
David Tittle (designer, Chatham, England)
In the UK the prefix ‘Garden’ is being applied to a range of proposed new settlements to make them politically acceptable. Globally one can see many similar examples of green branding and re-branding of places. The Black Country Garden City was an initiative by local urbanists to re-invent and subvert the Garden City concept and apply it to an existing post-industrial conurbation. Through a series of opens studios they developed a new vision for the Black Country that has now gained traction with local business leaders and been used to attract investment at the international property expo MIPIM. Green branding cannot just be empty sloganeering (“greenwashing”), especially in communities struggling to reinvent themselves. How can “greening" help raise aspirations and fire the debate on integrating urbanity and nature?
7. Art to inspire cities: Beyond aesthetics
Patrick Lydon (environmental artist, Seoul)
Katrine Claassens (painter, Cape Town)
"The job of the artist is not to reaffirm what we believe, but to challenge and expand it"—James Turrell. "In art, real knowledge is not what comes from hearsay, or what is gained by listening to the consensus, but what is unconcealed by deep engagement"—Enrique Martinez Celaya. “The new art … will straddle the space between specializations, the human and the inhuman, the ethical and the aesthetic, between practical and abstract thinking, empathy and intuition.”—Lázsló Moholy-Nagy.
Beyond the purely aesthetic, what are the roles that art plays (or can play) in city building?
8. Building partnerships and frameworks for biodiversity and design
Chantal van Ham (IUCN programme officer, Brussels)
Martha Fajardo (landscape architect, Bogotá)
People and organizations get more done when they build partnerships and work for collective impact. Various projects in IUCN and the Landscape Initiatives are examples of global coalitions. Portland’s Intertwine Alliance is a local example. What are they good for? And how can such networks of networks be strengthened through connections from the global to the local?
9. Biophilic design
Paul Downton (architect & ecocities activist, Melbourne)
Biophilia is the idea that people love nature, and, indeed, need it for happy and healthy lives. If this is true, then we need to build more biophilic cities, from the park, to the street, to the office. Beyond metaphor, what are the keys to building concepts of biophilia into the details of city building? How does such design lead to a truly biophiliccity?
10. How can civil society know it is making a difference?
Phil Silva (community activist, New York)
Janice Astbury (social scientist, London)
Impact is one of the important words of any enterprise, including civil society. Civil society organizations often struggle with demonstrating impact, for a variety of reasons. How do civil society organizations identify what their goals are? How can they show progress toward them? Why should civil society organizations care about these issues?
11. Valuing green infrastructure
Franco Montalto (engineer & green infrastructure designer, Philadelphia)
Lynn Wilson, (planner, Vancouver)
The idea of “value” is very important in green infrastructure in cities. But value has different interpretations. There is the economic and ecosystem service value of green infrastructure. There is also the value people assign to elements of their environment. There are also the Values (capital V) that drive our city building decisions. How do we distinguish these meanings of “value”?
12. Designing for biodiversity in the built environment
Mark Hostetler (ecologist, Gainesville)
We tend to think of development (for example, construction of suburban developments) and biodiversity conservation as fundamentally in conflict. Are they always? How can such conflicts be reduced through dialogue among stakeholders and tools for planning?
13. City building in the Global South: Why does it matter?
Shuaib Lwasa (geographer, Kampala)
Lorena Zárate (housing activist, Mexico City)
It is thought that 30 percent of the urban area that will exist in 2030 has yet to be built. Most of this enormous expansion will happen in the Global South, or developing world. It is a challenge for global sustainability. (But don’t just point your finger at the Global South—we should be consuming less in the Global North.) It is also an opportunity to get some design and sustainability things right. It is also a moral imperative to make sure these Global South cities are livable and just. How is this going to happen?
14. Sustainability and justice in urban planning: The Gordian knot
François Mancebo (urban planner and sustainability scientist, Paris)
Nowadays, sustainability and justice are two alleged priorities used lavishly by planners and elected officials to promote their urban policies. Their doxa considers that these two priorities are perfectly synergistic, but they are not as shown by many examples in Paris. Planning for one may produce redlines in the other: Sustainable policies often increase social injustice. How can we tackle this issue? Can urban agriculture foster new urban arrangements to make a city both just and sustainable.
15. Gender, race and environmental justice
Laura Shillington (social scientist, Montreal)
People in cities are unevenly exposed to environmental risks and hazards. Most people are also systematically excluded from environmental decision-making processes. Such exclusions are termed environmental racism or environmental inequality, and are at the core social and political issues (not ecological). Decisions about nature in cities are rooted in discourses, structures, and political and economic institutions that create and maintain inequalities. How do we address both sustainability issues and inequalities in cities?