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Examples from Elsewhere: Copenhagen and Indianapolis

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As Boston begins thinking strategically about its development throughout the 21st century, cities around the world provide case studies for how to achieve excellent outcomes in urban design and community building.

How can great design make a roadway a beautiful destination, instead of merely a place to travel through? What strategies learned from projects abroad can be applicable here in Boston? How can we create a greenway on Columbia Road that is a source of pride for Dorchester residents, unities neighborhoods, and remains a conduit for the movement of people, buses, cars, and bikes?

Join a conversation on lessons learned in design excellence and neighborhood connections from the Indianapolis Cultural Trail (Indianapolis, Indiana) and Superkilen (Copenhagen, Denmark). Both of these projects link diverse neighborhoods in a thoughtful way, with high standards for design excellence and a complete integration of public art.

This event is the third in the four-part series of Fulfilling the Promise: Community Building and the Emerald Necklace. Be sure to join the BSA for both conversations in this series that will look at local and international case studies, Examples from Elsewhere: NYC and Washington DC, on Tuesday April 25, 6:00 pm and Examples from Elsewhere: Copenhagen and Indianapolis, on Monday, May 1, 6:00 pm.


Brian Payne, president and CEO, Central Indiana Community Foundation
Brian is the Founder/Leader of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. The Cultural Trail is a $63 million dollar, eight-mile, beautifully designed and landscaped bicycle and pedestrian pathway that connects every significant arts, cultural, heritage, sports, and entertainment venue in Indianapolis' dynamic downtown. It was created by taking a lane of traffic away from cars and dedicating it to people on foot, bikes, Segways, and wheelchairs. The national consulting firm, Project for Public Spaces chose the Indianapolis Cultural Trail as the best North American example of a big, bold, transformative project that is changing the way people think of cities and city life. The US Department of Transportation awarded the Cultural Trail a $20.5 million stimulus grant, one of only 51 grants awarded out of 1,400 proposals submitted in a merit-based competitive process. He has spoken at national conferences of the American Planning Association, CEOs for Cities, Larger Community Foundations Annual Conference, Council on Foundations,and United Way.

Martin Rein-Cano, director, TOPOTEK 1
Martin was born in Buenos Aires in 1967. He studied Art History at Frankfurt University and Landscape Architecture at the Technical Universities of Hannover and Karlsruhe. He trained in the office of Peter Walker and Martha Schwartz in San Francisco. In 1996 he founded TOPOTEK 1. TOPOTEK 1 participates in a wide variety of international projects and has achieved the first prize in various competitions. Several professional books and articles have been published exclusively on his work, which has been honored with many awards and prizes, including the 1st Prize in the German Landscape Architecture Award 2015 for the project UNESCO World Heritage Site, Abbey Lorsch. Martin Rein-Cano has been appointed as a guest professor in academic institutions in Europe and North America, including the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Presently he teaches at the Dessau Institute for Architecture. He frequently lectures at internationally renowned universities and cultural institutions and regularly serves on competition juries.


Laura Gornowski Marett ASLA, senior associate, Sasaki
Laura Gornowski Marett is a landscape architect with a particular interest in the design of urban public spaces through an engaged public process. A senior associate at Sasaki Associates, her practice includes landscape design and systems planning for cities and campuses with an emphasis on resiliency. Laura maintains a close connection to academia. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has taught at Northeastern University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design in recent years. She has a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard GSD and a bachelor’s degree in literature from Harvard College. Laura's recent work includes Houston's Downtown Plan, the Pennsylvania Avenue Initiative, and urban design guidelines for Boston's Avenue of the Arts. She led the development of Sasaki's research initiative and exhibition: Emerald Networks: Reviving the Legacy of City Parks.


Kishore Varanasi, urban design principal, CBT Architects
Kishore Varanasi is an award-winning urban designer, strategist, innovator, teacher, and writer, with a wide ranging influence on both the public and private sectors locally and internationally. His work involves the rejuvenation of downtowns and waterfronts, master planning for urban institutions and new communities, and design of large mixed-use projects. Kishore’s innovative contributions stem from his ability to create viable and sustainable mixed-use neighborhoods converging the interests of residents, government entities and developers, by inspiring creative collaborations and fresh approaches to community building.

For those who qualify, 2 LUs are available.


Fulfilling the Promise: Community Building and the Emerald Necklace, a program of the BSA Foundation, is sponsored by the Chleck Family Foundation. The series has been organized in partnership with the Boston Society of Landscape Architects, and the Emerald Network initiative of LivableStreets. Other partners include the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and Franklin Park Coalition.

The promise of Columbia Road is long in the making. Intentionally created as one of the widest streets in Boston, this critical connection links Boston’s residential center to one of its greatest assets: the Boston Harbor. After more than a century as a connection primarily for vehicles, serving to divide the residential neighborhoods on either side, it is time to re-think the promise of Columbia Road. How can this road become a focal point for the community and enhance the lives of those living and working alongside it?

Completing this piece of the Emerald Necklace will not only connect residents of Roxbury and Dorchester to Boston Harbor and beyond, but also offer opportunities to improve public health, and create new placemaking moments.

Header image courtesy of NBBJ Boston and LivableStreets.