On February 5th, Penn IUR partnered with Penn’s Department of Landscape Architecture to present a dynamic discussion on urbanism. The audience packed the Lower Gallery of Penn Design’s Meyerson Hall to hear Laurie D. Olin, Practice Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania talk about urbanism. Professor Olin discussed what it means to re-integrate the public realm into the urban and architectural fabric in order to create more sustainable, more iconic urban environments.
Olin’s lecture guided the audience through an array of universal landscape design projects and the lessons behind them. Some problematic projects pointed to a disregard for originality, local style, and creativity. Olin pointed out that increased sharing of materials and ideas has resulted in diminished localism and regionalism, resulting in landscape designs similar across cities.
Olin argued that local characteristics are important to individual identity and to a sense of community. Architects, she said, should incorporate global, local, and regional needs into one symphonious design in order to build places we love to live.