About amirgohar

An urban designer, planner & sustainable development expert with fourteen years of experience working with municipal governments, international organizations, and private sector firms on site planning, urban design strategies, master planning, informal settlement development and landscape planning. Possesses an outstanding ability to use illustrations, sketches and freehand drawings. Adept at communicating complicated design rationale through sketches and diagrams to make subject matter readable and understandable to technical as well as non-technical personnel. Exceptionally skilled at working with teams of architects, landscape architects, environmentalists, social experts, surveyors, road planners and engineers to produce quality deliverables within deadlines. Flexibility to adapt and communicate at all levels of business and within communities. Have in-depth experience in working through participatory planning with local inhabitants and trained to face challenges and overcome obstacles “politically” that occur from the local governance and decision-making.

Multiple Issues Related to Climate Change | By: Rachel Cross

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As a future Landscape Architect, I envision our work as a whole, to change. With climate change and population growth becoming a greater concern, we as designers will have to efficiently design cities that are able to grow effectively and be environmentally savvy. As a landscape architect, my hope is that we can create the same opportunities for all types of people. I believe that you should be able to create designs for all, even those who may have disabilities. Lastly, I believe that it is important to partner with professionals who have similar but different backgrounds to efficiently mix ideas and create new opportunities through the design of the world.

For a complete copy of the booklet, click here.

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Equity & Environments | By: Marcos Aleman

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As a landscape architect, I want to give my service where it is needed to uphold equity, sustainability and education. Providing the right environment and education to people who need them can open the gateways needed to a better life and a better world.

I see landscape architecture as a crucial link between many disciplines that can influence how we move into the future. We have the tools and knowledge to bring vital information and experiences to people around the world. I want our discipline to be known as those who enhance communities and improve the environment, rather than those who cater to the privileged and the rich. Our services are needed across the world and we should be ready to apply them to the best of our abilities.

For a complete copy of the booklet, click here.

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The Relationship of Social Equity & Landscape Architecture | By: Madison Quincke

Picture1As landscape architect, I envision our roles to be intertwined between
the realms of the environment, the people, and policy. We should act as designers, advocates, educators, and citizens of the community reaching many scales in our daily work with forward-thinking goals and ideas. Overall, we have the opportunity to bond people and nature in a meaningful way, fostering stewardship, social interaction, and ecological thinking.”

For a complete copy of the booklet, click here.

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Examining Environmental Issues through a Social Justice Lens | By: Mack Yeagar

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Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.

Environmental injustice recognizes that economically disadvantaged groups are adversely affected by environmental hazards more than other groups

For a complete copy of the booklet, click here.

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Resilience of Urban Ecosystem | By: Priyasha Shrestha

Picture1The world is prone to disturbances: many are natural (volcanoes,floods, earthquakes, etc.) and others are man-made (climate change, fires, deforestation, desertificaion, etc.). Urban ecosystems, whichcomprise of natural and man-made systems, must display an extent of resilience to these disturbances to avoid shifting to another state.

In 2015, there were two massive earthquakes in Nepal, which not only shook the ground, but also the lives of people, by destroying property, livelihoods, and human and ecological communities. In such circumstances, if there had been planned open spaces linked together by multi-modal networks in place, and disaster response functions designed in the buildings, infrastructure and public spaces, then maybe so many casualties would not have occurred. If planning initiatives had taken into consideration risk locations and improvised density according to that, then maybe Kathmandu would have had a much easier time recuperating from the loss of life, livelihood and infrastructure. Thus, the concept of resilience is of substantial importance in urban planning and landscape considerations.

Human activities are putting critical habitats at risk. Activities such as resource mining, deforestation, pollution, uncontrolled urbanization, are all causing the loss of habitats and the shift of stable ecosystem states to other homogenized states lacking in diversity and reduced ecosystem functions. Rise in sea levels due to increase in global temperature is one of the many crucial issues that requires resilience planning. Coastal development in places such as Florida, are beingput at risk because of excessive flooding and storm surges that occurdue to the rising sea levels. In such places, planning that allows for preparedness to tackle such disturbances is necessary. Landscape onsiderations such as retaining coastal wetlands for protection against rising water levels, and habitat corridors that allow the movement ofthese wetland flora and fauna inland, as well as well-planned escaperoutes and adaptation mechanisms are all examples of resilience planning.

As landscape architects, we understand the nature and importanceof critical interactions between the different components of theecosystem. With this understanding and with the power to create meaningful public open spaces we can create places that respond tothe context, ecology and the needs of the people. The field of landscapearchitecture has the strength to be at the forefront of advocating for sustainability and resilience, and in tackling multi-scale problems such as climate change, habitat loss, social inequity in public spaces, and diminishing natural resources. As a future landscape architect, I plan on striving towards environmental conservation, socio-ecologicalresilience, and cultural sensibility in my design and planning efforts, and strive to extend awareness of the field across scales and borders.I believe that resilience thinking is necessary to achieve these goals.

For a complete copy of the booklet, click here.

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Importance of Education in Landscape Architecture | By: Kate Larkin

Picture5As a Landscape Architect I believe we need to carefully consider the environment and the people we are designing for in order to connect them. We need to continue to become more knowledgeable and increase awareness to influence other people to become educated on environmental issues, so they can help make a change.
A Landscape Architect promotes social equity and provides opportunities for all people to experience outdoor spaces. They create meaningful designs that connect people to the environment and influence sustainable practices. Landscape architects have knowledge on many different topics that allow us to make educated decisions when developing the environment. We can share this knowledge and use it motivate other disciplines to be cautious and make smart decisions.

For a complete copy of the booklet, click here.

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Landscape Booklet: Emphasis on Sustainability | By: Allyssa Gray

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Our duty is to design for people in a way that is inclusive for all while being thoughtful of the surrounding context. As time goes forward, we have to adapt to the changes that occur. Currently we are in a situation of designing for rapid climate change and we have to be sensitive to that while designing for the client. We need to keep pushing for the integration of disciplines, advocate, educate the public about landscape architecture and the role we have in society.

For a complete copy of the booklet, click here.

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Nature in Cities | By: Caleb Parker

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Landscape Architects have a wide range of skills that allows them to work with a diverse group of professionals. It is important that they use this skill set to take the lead one projects because they can ensure that the project is well rounded. Landscape architects should also be advocates for change, and use their knowledge to educate people through design. It is also important that landscape architects get community members involved during the design process because the people who live in a place know the most about it and they are also the ones who are going to have to live there once the project is completed. Landscape Architects can use their skills to help build healthy cities through a variety of ways.

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Landscape Booklet | By: Cody Borwege

Picture3The future role of the landscape architect it that of a mediator. We have strategically placed our profession at the cross roads of design interventions and being stewards the land. Landscape architects use a lens that doesn’t extend to other professions and are trained to take in large amounts of information and produce results that acknowledge the best route of action unadulterated by bias.

For a full copy of the booklet please click here.

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An investigation of preservation | By: Danielle Hodgson

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As a landscape architect, my vision statement is to create space that promotes, enhances, and sustains outdoor space that unites the natural and built environment. I design with Olmsted’s and John Muir’s vision in mind— I prioritize social equity with the preservation of the natural environment. The growth and changing population of people must be accounted for in order to design efficient space that accommodates all forms of life and future expansion to protect vulnerable natural areas. The future of landscape architecture will involve greater interaction with buildings as rapid urbanization and population growth jeopardizes city centers. It will influence architecture an engineering, as those professions will have to take greater account of incorporating precious moments and exposure to the outside realm. As gentrification becomes a greater risk to vulnerable communities, landscape architecture will have to work harder to preserve the integrity and lifestyles of these areas through planning, transportation and accessibility. We will have to take greater care to protect the natural environment as we grow, and play a crucial role on the path to healthy coexistence.

For a complete copy of of the report, click here.

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Vision Statement re Written & Future Role of Landscape Architect

Picture1Read your initial vision statement that you submitted in the class and –after engaging in multiple readings, documentaries, debates discussions, lectures, landscape architecture foundation, and group work– try to re-write your own visions statement now. It is important to be articulate and precise. Then in 4-5 lines, and in light of challenges discussed in class, describe the anticipated future role of the landscape architect and how this role can influence other disciplines that closely work with the landscape architect.

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The Landscape Debate

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The Blues are mainstream free-marketers. Such people have a positive bias toward the future based on technological optimism and the strength of the economy. They are armed with a strong statistical case, based on the vigorous and dynamic economies of Western and (until1998) Asian nations. Their approach is deeply rooted in conventional economics, and their number-crunching reveals a world vastly improved and rapidly ascending. Blues believe that reliance on innovation, investment, and individual freedom will ensure a shining future for humankind, and a level of material well-being that has strong appeal to virtually everyone in the world. Their optimism also extends to the environment, believing that in most cases, markets will send strong and appropriate price signals that will elicit timely responses, mitigating environmental damage or causing technological breakthroughs

The Reds represent the sundry forms of socialism. Although one might expect them to have been discredited by the downfall of the Soviet Union, their worldview is very much alive. They find validation in the chaotic and horrific economic conditions that the rise of bandit capitalism has brought to contemporary Russia, a country whose economic machinery now benefits a minority at the expense of a materially and socially disadvantaged majority. The growing and worldwide gap between rich and poor confirms the Reds’ analyses, which are as accurate about poverty and suffering as the Blues’ observations are accurate about growth and change. While Blues focus on the promise of growth and technology, Reds focus on its shadow and try to discern its root causes. They view labor—one aspect of human capital—as the principal source of wealth and see its exploitation as the basis of injustice, impoverishment, and ignorance. The Reds generally have little to say about the environment, seeing it as a distraction from fundamentally important social issues.

The Greens see the world primarily in terms of ecosystems, and thus concentrate on depletion, damage, pollution, and population growth. They focus on carrying capacity and want to bring about better under- standing of how large the economy can grow before it outstrips its host. Their policy focuses on how many and how much, the number of people, and the amount of impact each person can have upon the environment. Greens are not usually technophobes; most see technology as an important tool to reduce human impact. More recently, some have become interested in free-market mechanisms, and want externalities presently borne by society to be fully integrated into producer costs and consumer prices so that markets become, in David Korten’s phrase, “mindful.” The Greens, and to some extent the Reds, host bigger tents in that they hold a bolder and broader diversity of views. But this also keeps them splintered and self-canceling, as Greens tend to unite their enemies and divide their friends, a good formula for political failure. They are often portrayed as caring less for people than animals, more about halogenated compounds than waterborne diseases.

The Whites are the synthesists, and do not entirely oppose or agree with any of the three other views. With an optimistic view of humankind, they believe that process will win the day, that people who tell others what is right lead society astray. Since Blues, Reds, and Greens all fall into that category, Whites reject them all, preferring a middle way of integration, reform, respect, and reliance. They reject ideologies whether based on markets, class, or nature, and trust that informed people can solve their own problems. On the environmental level, they argue that all issues are local. On business, they say the fabled level playing field never existed because of market imperfections, lobbying, subsidies, and capital concentration. On social problems, they argue that solutions will naturally arise from place and culture rather than from ideology. Leadership in the White world is reminiscent of the Taoist reminder that good rulers make their subjects feel as if they succeeded by themselves. Environmental and social solutions can emerge only when local people are empowered and honored.


With regards to the Master Plan of the new city in Senegal that was viewed in class. In one page, indicate if you are (WITH) or (AGAINST) the decision of building such a new city. You may support your overall argument using the mandates of any of the hats. It is also encouraged to comment on those who are on the other camp to discredit their arguments and support yours. Use the lecture notes, class material, the readings, … and any other scholarly references or professional reports.

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The Debate Participants

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