Conversations on Ecological Urbanism in Latin America

May 2017

Latin American cities are a rich resource for ecological urbanism case studies, as a set of multi-scale urban projects that can inform and inspire future interventions in the built environment. This daylong workshop will facilitate a conversation among academics and practitioners with two primary intentions. First, to interrogate a series of case studies on ecological urbanism from Latin America. Second, to generate a discussion on the implications for policy and implementation of an ecological approach to cities. Ecological urbanism is an initiative started at the Harvard Graduate School of Design based on the observation that while climate change, sustainable architecture, and green technologies have become increasingly topical, issues surrounding the sustainability of the city are much less developed. The premise is that an ecological approach is urgently needed as an imaginative and practical method for addressing existing as well as new cities. Ecological urbanism considers the city with multiple instruments and with a worldview that is fluid in scale and disciplinary focus. Design provides the synthetic key to connect ecology with an urbanism that is not in contradiction with its environment. The promise is nothing short of a new ethics and aesthetics of the urban. Urbanismo Ecológico, the 2014 Spanish and Portuguese translation of Ecological Urbanism (revised in 2016), the translation of which was supported by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), is currently out of print. Another ambition of the workshop is that the conversations started will inform a new volume centered on Latin America.