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Adapting Modernist Landscapes in the Public Realm

Modernist landscapes played a very specific role in the public sphere in the mid-to-late 20th century, and their spatial construct responded to the social and political aspirations of the era. However, landscapes today have greater expectations to be a mechanism to several ends – distributors of spatial equity, condensers of urban living, identifiers of civic grandeur, defenders of ecologies, and composers of resiliency. In what ways do existing landscapes like Banneker Park, Pershing Park, John Marshall Park, and others in the District need to adapt to accommodate these many ends? How do these places respond to mercurial technologies and what do they look like in the future? Join AIA|DC for an exploration into these questions and more.

Presented by:

Sarah Ridgely - Senior Urban Planner, National Capital Planning Commission
Jon Fitch, ASLA - Owner, Landscape Architecture Bureau
Otto Condon, AICP - Urban Principal, ZGF Architects

Moderated by

Julia Koster, AICP; Director of the Office of Public Engagement, National Capital Planning Commission


After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Investigate and analyze the contemporary significance of modernist landscapes;
  • Discuss the performance of modernist landscapes like Banneker park & Pershing Park in DC;

  • Identify Modernist Landscape's role today in DC; and

  • Explore and discuss the future of Modernist Landscapes in the society