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2008 Placemaking Seminar Archive / back to Placemaking Network Committee page »

Logan International Airport: Humanizing the Airport Environment 

November 24, 2008 

Speakers: John Krajovic, Manager of Airport Planning, Massachusetts Port Authority, and David Dixon, Principal, Goody Clancy

Annually, approximately 27 million people travel through Boston-Logan International Airport. The Massachusetts Port Authority, which manages this large-scale operation, is charged with the task to provide safe, efficient and comfortable passage, and to manage community impacts. Planning challenges include integrating urban design considerations into security planning and creating a sense of place and human scale in this concrete tangle of roadway viaducts, terminal complexes, and runways. Two planning professionals gave the insider's perspective on opportunities and challenges of an airport environment.


Enriching Public Space: Opportunities and Challenges in a Design Team Context

October 27, 2008

Speaker: Howard Ben Tre, Sculptor and Public Artist

Sculptor and public artist Howard Ben Tre is a pioneer in the use of cast glass as a sculptural medium. Mr. Ben Tre will present major projects, such as the fountain at Boston’s Post Office Square Park and Warrington Town Center in England, which won three national awards in urban design. In addition to numerous public and residential commissions, the artist has exhibited widely and his work is included in more than 85 museum and public collections worldwide. The presentation and subsequent discussion zeroed in on his experience, as well as opportunities and challenges working with design teams.


A Place Busy with People: The Buffalo Bayou Master Plan

September 22, 2008 

Speaker: Pratap Talwar, Principal, Thompson Design Group

“A place busy with people, drawing residents and visitors to enjoy its destinations and neighborhoods, its commerce and culture along the rediscovered waterfront.” The vision for the Buffalo Bayou urban corridor south of Houston, TX, characterizes an attractive and energetic district. Urban centers that offer these elements have been hailed for their extraordinary vitality and quality of life. Mr. Talwar, team leader of the Buffalo Bayou master plan, presented and discussed methods and tools on how to achieve this goal.


Interim for Learning on the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s Dewey Square Parcels

July 28, 2008

Speaker: Linda Jonash, Director of Planning and Design, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

Linda Jonash gave an overview of the Conservancy’s initiative to experiment with bold, innovative public programming on Greenway Parcels 19, 21,22 in downtown Boston. The project, called an ‘Interim for Learning’ creates a temporary park armature system that can support a diverse array of creative public activities beginning summer 2009. All elements of the project are driven by environmentally sustainable principles and practices. The Conservancy works with the public to help test and evaluate what works and what doesn’t.  This experimental period, lasting between 2 to 4 years, provides real-life data to support the City of Boston’s master-planning process for this prime section of the Greenway.


Topography as an Architectural Tool for Placemaking

June 23, 2008

Speaker: Franziska Amacher, Amacher and Associates Architects, Cambridge, MA

In her architectural practice, Franziska Amacher promotes sustainable building practices and environmentally sensitive, resource efficient methods, materials, and systems. Join this presentation and discussion of the environmental impact of select architecture and landscape architecture projects that minimize mass and eliminate barriers. This examination of local and international examples included Giardino Botanico Barcelona/Spain, and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, DC. Emphasis is placed on how to successfully distill the spatial character.


The Intersection of Art and Landscape Design

May 5, 2008

Speakers: Cynthia Smith, Halvorson Design Partnership and David Phillips, Sculptor

By telling the story of several park projects, including Quincy Square Park near Harvard Square and City Square in Charlestown, the nature of artist/landscape architect collaboration involving interdisciplinary design teams is explored. In each project, the client asked for a design that was authentic, related to its site and reflective of its context. Together with seminar attendees the presenters discussed different models of artist/designer collaboration and community engagement.


Celebrations of Place

April 28, 2008

Speaker: Justin Crane, Cambridge Seven Associates

Justin Crane, co-chair of Common Boston, introduced the group and its Community & Architecture Festival.  The festival celebrates Boston's neighborhoods through tours, exhibitions, discussions, and charrettes. Mr. Crane discussed the communities featured in the event, as well as other popular celebrations of place, from Open House New York and Illuminale Frankfurt to WaterFire and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival.


Reinventing Public Space: Contemporary Placemaking Practices in Berlin, Germany

March 24, 2008

Christina Lanzl, Urban Arts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Since the reunification of Germany in 1990, Berlin has seen immense public and private investment. The city's reunification and the reinstatement of Berlin as the main seat of government triggered an unprecedented wave of building activity, rivaled only by the rebuilding after WWII and carried out on a scale unprecedented in Europe. The architectural elite are designing the new Berlin, and the sites in the city center that stood empty until 1990 are being filled with new buildings and public places at a fast pace. What are the impacts of the rapid transformation from a neglected, ailing metropolis to a new cosmopolitan and globalized cityscape in the context of placemaking?

Many communities have realized the great potential of the arts and culture as a vehicle and centerpiece in connecting individuals to each other and to their localities. What are the relationships between neighborhood revitalization, activation of public spaces, private and public investment and development? Christina Lanzl's investigation stretches from the grand public spaces at Potsdamer Platz to smaller-scale sites in Berlin Mitte and Kreuzberg, among others.