Most universities in leading countries have programs in urban planning or urban studies in which research quantifies policy regarding the nature and extent of growth. There is, however, a physical component to urban development that remains largely unrecognized and under-researched, without which any coherent physical development cannot be brought to successful realization; that element is the actual design of urban spaces. In order to train both qualified governmental specialists and a profession able to deal with complex urban design issues, physical urban planning requires an academic profession devoted to this issue. From the bifurcated vantage point of landscape architecture – both art/design, and science/ecology – it can be argued that the field of study and professional discipline best suited to lead the design and redesign of the urban public realm is that of landscape architecture, and the best method to succeed at this effort is through a community outreach model. Utilizing the long accepted time model for academic activity, i.e., 70% to research, 20% to teaching, and 10% to public service, the community outreach model can be shown to encompass all three. Public service requires site and time specific research, and teaching and learning in both directions, both to and from the effected community. This defines the university and its program in new ways: the site data becomes the bases for theoretical hypotheses, and the physical design becomes the test proof. It further redefines who is student and who is teacher and thereby redefines the university’s client base and activities. In this regard, the studio teams up with the professional advocacy efforts of the chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects in these cities. All involved are dedicated to providing volunteer effort for the betterment of the community.
|Keywords:||Public Private Partnership, Practice Orientation|
Tenured Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design Planning and Construction, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
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