Frederick Law Olmsted Lecture: Michael Van Valkenburgh, “New Parks”

Michael Van Valkenburgh


This lecture is summary of thirty years of park-making by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with a concentration on Teardrop Park, Lower Don River, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the 2018 winning entry for Detroit’s West Riverfront Park.


Michael Van Valkenburgh is the founder of the landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, with offices in Brooklyn, New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The firm works at all scales, from large urban green spaces like Brooklyn Bridge Park to intimate gardens like the Monk’s Garden at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Other recent projects include Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, The Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, A Gathering Place for Tulsa, and master planning and design for a new neighborhood at the mouth of Toronto’s Lower Don River.

Michael earned a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and a Master of Fine Arts in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Currently the Charles Eliot Professor Emeritus in Practice of Landscape Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Michael is a registered landscape architect in more than 25 states.

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