AA Landscape Urbanism design tutor Eduardo Rico chaired an event on contemporary design practices dealing with the landscape of large scale infrastructures. The event took place in Huelva, Spain, and brought together a group of worldwide experts linked to Landscape Urbanism work, including Charles Waldheim (University of Toronto), Chris Reed (StossLU), Marcel Smets (KU Leuven), Martin Basdevant (Michel Desvigne Landscape Architects) amongs others.

The event, sponsored by Andalusian Government, was recorded and will be made availible shortly online


Across a range of disciplines, landscape has become a lens through which the contemporary city is represented and a medium through which it is constructed. These sentiments are evident in the emergent discourse of “landscape urbanism.” Landscape urbanism describes a disciplinary realignment currently underway in which landscape supplants architecture as the basic building block of city making. This lecture presents an introduction to practices of landscape urbanism and locates the recent emergence of landscape in the context of decentralizing industry and the emergence of a distributed global economy. The brownfield sites of abandoned industry and the greenfield sites of new exurban development invoke the landscape medium as uniquely relevant to the pressing environmental and social conditions in the wake of industrial economy. Citing Detroit as a special locus for the exploration of these topics, Ford’s Fields describes the conditions for urbanism in the “motor city” as among the most legible of examples in the region. The lecture references Ludwig Hilberseimer’s “New Regional Pattern” and partially realized plan for Detroit’s Lafayette Park as exemplary of a critically engaged, proto-ecological urban planning practice.

Thursday 17 January, 37 Bedford Square, FFB, 14:00


The joining together of landscape with urbanism is sometimes compared to the combination of two extremes. While this may be useful from a rhetorical point of view, this lecture will suggest that far from being polar opposites landscape and urbanism are in fact very similar. Borrowing from the field of landscape ecology we can see that both landscape and urbanism deal with complex networked systems arranged over kilometers wide areas. While in the popular imagination landscape has the edge ecologically and environmentally, urbanism has a focus on economics, infrastructure and political structures. The two joining together is a coming together of allied, rather than opposing, disciplines.

After reviewing some of the key concepts of landscape urbanism, the lecture will focus on examples in Bahrain, Brazil, Ireland and UAE to put forward the case for landscape as more than just beautification of urban spaces. The lecture will present landscape as an essential component of the city, and will outline some of the techniques and strategies that a landscape approach offers for urban architecture.

Frdiay 11th January, 18:00, Studio 1, Architectural Association


This Friday gareth Dohrty will be opening the Landscape Urbanism Lecture series.

These lectures will try to explore different questions posed as the discipline of Landscape Urbanism gathers momentum. Issues like the political implications behind the use of the term landscape, relationships between process and scale, or its critical position in the building of the iconography of the city will be brought into debate by the different speakers.