Second City: Building Communities on a Higher Plane

AIA Philadelphia


Thursday, November 10, 2016
3:10 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. EST

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Join us in an exploration of environmentally innovative strategies to weave Philadelphia’s second city –its rooftops and elevated planes–into our urban experience. With noted exceptions, most of Philly’s elevated rooftop space is completely impervious, utilitarian and largely ignored, but Roofmeadow’s vision for Philadelphia expands on the legacy of natural landmarks and emerging green spaces that are tightly integrated into our urban core. This vision identifies an entire second city –the vibrant plane of life that most of us miss--of elevated commons such as PECO, Cira Green, CHOP, the University of Pennsylvania’s Krishna P. Singh Nanotechnology Center, and the Free Library.  Sustaining these thin, hydrologically extreme elevated environments demands a multidisciplinary skill set of soil science, engineering, and horticulture. Specialized plant palettes, engineered soils, and artful manipulation of veneer water cycles can be integrated to form public meccas, privatespaes, shady hideaways, localized urban wildlife habitats, and elevated building connectorsthat mature over time and interact to draw a city’s social dynamic and rhythm upward. We’ll show how to leverage this found rooftop space to build a healthier,biodiverse,more attractive city that evolves and works with the natural order and the city’s hydrologic cycle.


Laura Hansplant

Invited Speaker

Laura combines 20 years of experience in sustainable landscape architecture with Roofmeadow’s long expertise in specialized design for supporting unique and challenging landscapes. Throughout her career, she has lead sustainable site development projects from master planning through design, including schools, universities, corporations, and government properties. Her work interweaves humanistic ... Read More