River Cities: Historical and Contemporary (review)

River Cities: Historical and Contemporary (review) Conference Reviews RIVER CITIES: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY 2015 Dumbarton Oaks Symposium in Garden and Landscape Studies May 8­9, 2015 Reviewed by Brenda J. Brown "All cities are river cities." That assertion, made--and dismissed--at this symposium, is certainly false. It is true nonetheless that many cities are river cities, especially if a river city is defi ned as one that evolved beside and because of a river--or two or more rivers' juncture. Rivers have long been vital to trade, travel, and agricultural and industrial production, their floods beneficent and destructive, their waters sacred and profane, their visages picturesque and blighted. River temporalities link to weather, climate, geology and physics and to ecosystem fluctuations and proximate cultures' manipulations. Rivers build land and take it away; they connect and divide; they create boundaries but do not respect them. The 2015 Dumbarton Oaks symposium, River Cities: Historical and Contemporary, organized by Thaisa Way, resulted partly from a 2012 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation award to create an interdisciplinary urban landscape studies program supporting scholarship and higher education at the intersection of architecture and the humanities. Not coincidentally, this year's event speaker roster included nine design professionals (seven landscape architects) and (only) seven historians http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Landscape Journal: design, planning, and management of the land University of Wisconsin Press

River Cities: Historical and Contemporary (review)


Conference Reviews RIVER CITIES: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY 2015 Dumbarton Oaks Symposium in Garden and Landscape Studies May 8­9, 2015 Reviewed by Brenda J. Brown "All cities are river cities." That assertion, made--and dismissed--at this symposium, is certainly false. It is true nonetheless that many cities are river cities, especially if a river city is defi ned as one that evolved beside and because of a river--or two or more rivers' juncture. Rivers have long been vital to trade, travel, and agricultural and industrial production, their floods beneficent and destructive, their waters sacred and profane, their visages picturesque and blighted. River temporalities link to weather, climate, geology and physics and to ecosystem fluctuations and proximate cultures' manipulations. Rivers build land and take it away; they connect and divide; they create boundaries but do not respect them. The 2015 Dumbarton Oaks symposium, River Cities: Historical and Contemporary, organized by Thaisa Way, resulted partly from a 2012 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation award to create an interdisciplinary urban landscape studies program supporting scholarship and higher education at the intersection of architecture and the humanities. Not coincidentally, this year's event speaker roster included nine design professionals (seven landscape architects) and (only) seven historians and seemed somewhat younger and less clubby than customary. As Director John Beardsley observed in opening, all but two speakers chosen from the 180 proposals were new to Dumbarton Oaks. Although history figured significantly in all presentations, nine of the thirteen also contextualized twenty-fi rst century developments. The call for papers cast the symposium in terms of resilience and adaptability, highlighting cities' and rivers' dynamic relationships. However, other themes emerged: changing and competing river narratives and images; power--the power of rivers and the...
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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1553-2704
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Abstract

Conference Reviews RIVER CITIES: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY 2015 Dumbarton Oaks Symposium in Garden and Landscape Studies May 8­9, 2015 Reviewed by Brenda J. Brown "All cities are river cities." That assertion, made--and dismissed--at this symposium, is certainly false. It is true nonetheless that many cities are river cities, especially if a river city is defi ned as one that evolved beside and because of a river--or two or more rivers' juncture. Rivers have long been vital to trade, travel, and agricultural and industrial production, their floods beneficent and destructive, their waters sacred and profane, their visages picturesque and blighted. River temporalities link to weather, climate, geology and physics and to ecosystem fluctuations and proximate cultures' manipulations. Rivers build land and take it away; they connect and divide; they create boundaries but do not respect them. The 2015 Dumbarton Oaks symposium, River Cities: Historical and Contemporary, organized by Thaisa Way, resulted partly from a 2012 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation award to create an interdisciplinary urban landscape studies program supporting scholarship and higher education at the intersection of architecture and the humanities. Not coincidentally, this year's event speaker roster included nine design professionals (seven landscape architects) and (only) seven historians

Journal

Landscape Journal: design, planning, and management of the landUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Mar 15, 2015

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