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Reconsidering Ian McHarg

The Future of Urban Ecology

By Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa

Ian McHarg's Design with Nature blazed the trail for sustainable urban development. But where did the trail lead? The author of Reconsidering Ian McHarg studied under McHarg. Discover his clear-eyed view of McHarg's lessons — and the road ahead for sustainable cities.

Published by APA Planners Press, 2014

Format: Paperback, 232 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-61190-123-8

Quick order code: A01238

Available now

In 1969 Ian McHarg laid out a new approach to land-use planning. His seminal work, Design with Nature, blazed the trail for sustainable urban development. The road was paved with good intentions. But where exactly did it lead? And where do we go from here?

Reconsidering Ian McHarg offers a fresh assessment of McHarg's lessons and legacy. It applauds his call for environmental stewardship while acknowledging its unintended results. For McHarg's idyllic developments at the edge of nature turned greenfield sites into suburban communities. They added to sprawl and made America more dependent on cars. And they may even have delayed the kind of urban redevelopment needed to make today's cities more sustainable.

Author Ignacio F. Bunster-Ossa brings a unique perspective to the subject. He studied under McHarg at the University of Pennsylvania and now holds his teacher's former job at Wallace Roberts & Todd. From that vantage, Bunster-Ossa looks back at his predecessor's pioneering work and ahead to tomorrow's challenges. Join him as he examines the myth of the American wilderness against the backdrop of brownfield development in our increasingly dense cities.

Explore case studies from the Plan for the Valleys to the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the ambitious Trinity River Corridor Project in Dallas. Consider the role of green infrastructure, the rise of community engagement, and the place of public art. And ask: how can our generation create healthier, denser urban environments right in our own backyards?

Click here to read an excerpt from Reconsidering Ian McHarg.

About the Author

Ignacio Bunster-OssaIgnacio Bunster-Ossa is a landscape architect and urban designer whose work is consistently recognized for design innovation. He is a leading practitioner of landscape urbanism, an approach to urban design based on the fusion of ecology, community identity, infrastructure, recreation, and public art. He is a principal at Wallace, Roberts & Todd (WRT) and directs the landscape architecture studio in Philadelphia. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and lectured at numerous schools around the world.

Bunster-Ossa is a Harvard Loeb Fellow, and a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He earned his Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami, and participated in the University of Notre Dame’s Rome studies program. He also co-authored the Green Infrastructure: A Landscape Approach Planning Advisory Service report.

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