OMS-Rollins: John Nolen-The Art of City Planning & Its Restoration

APA Florida Chapter, Orlando Metro Section


Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 9 p.m. EDT

Winter Park, FL, United States

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OMS-Rollins: John Nolen-The Art of City Planning & Its Restoration Bruce Stephenson will share insights from his new biography, John Nolen: Landscape Architect & City Planner. It is the final volume in a trilogy Stephenson has written analyzing the origins of city planning, a profession that grew out of the “fine art” of landscape architecture. Stephenson will share the art and relevance of Nolen’s work, especially in regard to sustainability and historic preservation. He will also focus on Nolen’s Florida commissions, his relationship with Rollins President Hamilton Holt, and his attempts to mitigate racism. John Nolen (1869–1937) was the first American to identify himself exclusively as a town and city planner. In 1903, at the age of thirty-four, he enrolled in the new Harvard University program in landscape architecture, studying under Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and Arthur Shurcliff. Two years later, he opened his own office in Harvard Square. Over the course of his career, Nolen and his firm completed more than 400 projects, including comprehensive plans for more than twenty-five cities, across the United States. Like other progressive reformers of his era, Nolen looked to Europe for models to structure the rapid urbanization defining modern life into more efficient and livable form. His books, including New Towns for Old: Achievements in Civic Improvement in Some American Small Towns and Neighbor- hoods, promoted the new science of city planning and were widely influential. In this insightful biography, R. Bruce Stephenson analyzes the details of Nolen’s many experiments, illuminating the planning principles he used in laying out communities from Mariemont, Ohio, to Venice, Florida. Stephenson concludes by discussing the potential of Nolen’s work as a model of a sustainable vision relevant to American civic culture today. In particular planners will learn: 1. The Art of City Planning as practiced by John Nolen 2. How his plans prefigured the work of Ian McHarg and Andres Duany. 3. Why Nolen's plans were ignored, and the disastrous consequences of dredging and filling in Boca Ciega Bay. An ecological catastrophe that the Supreme Court ruled on, a precedent for planning in Florida and the nation. 4. How Nolen's plans prefigured sustainability in terms of green economy, local food production, livability, water conservation, and multi-modal transportation. 5. How Nolen and Aldo Leopold (the founding father of ecology) pioneered the field of ecologoical restoration, 6. Examples of modern projects that promote the restoration of the natural and human habitat based on Nolen's principles.

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