2018 National Planning Conference

Creating Great Places: Examining the Pioneers

Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m. CDT

Location: R09

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188056


  • Successful programs that have influenced city planning and park planning in the United States
  • How to compare the political and social issues of past planning programs to today’s conflicts
  • How to connect to our planning heritage to today’s programs


As we work to develop creative places that emulate our cultural values in a changing world, we mus examine the work of past planners and landscape architects who were successful in creating sustainable city plans, public parks, and iconic places throughout the United States in a previous time of change. Examine four key planners and landscape architects who created great places at the turn of the last century: John Nolen, Charles Mulford Robinson, George Edward Kessler and John Charles Olmsted. Panelists will discuss issues of the past and present and will also discuss why the lessons learned so long ago still apply in the 21st century. They will explore Nolen’s plans for San Diego, Madison (Wisconsin), and Venice (Florida); Robinson’s work in Santa Barbara (California), Los Angeles, and Colorado Springs (Colorado); Kessler’s work in Houston (Texas), Kansas City (Missouri), and Saint Louis; and Olmsted’s work in Seattle and throughout the United States. Their philosophical approaches to integrating the natural environment, developing innovative streets and boulevard systems that promote pedestrian mobility, and integrating public art and park systems that promote public health are the cornerstone of many of the issues we face today.

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Session Speakers

Brian F. Mooney, FAICP
RICK Engineering
San Diego, CA

Kurt Culbertson
Design Workshop
Aspen, CO

Lake Douglas
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA

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