An adequate response to the climate crisis requires a new model of urbanism that wholly reconstructs the relationship between urban and natural systems. The key to this new model is the recognition that modern urbanism began revising this relationship more than a century ago. The organicism of Mies and Hilberseimer, the primitivism of Le Corbusier, and the “organic space” of Frank Lloyd Wright all positioned natural forces as the baseline of modernist urban reforms. These architects’ attempts to create a working urban “ecology” constitute a powerful legacy that is arguably more useful today than it was at its inception. Today, this legacy not only gives the discipline a head start, it avoids a diversion into the natural and human sciences and proposes instead broad-based cultural solutions to environmental problems that have long incubated within the discipline itself. That is the theme of this lecture by Albert Pope, the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture at Rice University. In his lecture, Pope will present two large-scale urban projects that attempt to directly extend the legacy of modern urbanism.
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