TREK 2014: New York – The Power of Green Spaces in the Urban Landscape

Growing up in one of the ten largest metropolitan cities in the world made me realize that cities with large and small pockets of green spaces (parks, gardens, courtyards) improve quality of life and provide people an escape from the day to day traffic of people, vehicles, and noise. The role of landscape architects are ever more increasing and needed in times where we are socially disconnected. Landscape design needs to perform socially, economically, environmentally and ecologically. HMWhite is a landscape architecture firm that focuses on performance of landscapes in urban cities. The firm prides itself on creating high performance and multi-functioning landscapes that are rooted in the dynamic needs of the site and its users. I will be visiting a variety of their sites and a few other sites by Thomas Balsley Associates, another firm rooted in the same principle.

Purpose: Experiencing and documenting the performance of different types of urban landscapes and the impacts it has on the city and the community. Types of urban landscapes include: roof decks, gardens, courtyards, parks, waterfronts, and housing.

Goals: The goal of this TREK is to experience and understand how green spaces can impact the city and the community successfully and powerfully by the implementation of social, ecological systems and beauty. I would like to see how landscape architects are incorporating creative and innovative design as part of a landscape that performs. I hope to develop a way of perceiving and seeing things with a wider lens and to not limit the capability of my perception by seeing things only through a camera lens or through the screen of a computer.