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Firms & Projects: Utah State Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP) at Utah State University was founded in 1939 and offers nationally-accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees. The programs are designed to instill in the student the significance of the landscape architect's role in providing a holistic approach to design and environmental planning. Course work focuses on local, regional, national and international issues in landscape design and planning with an emphasis on the intermountain region.

What sets them apart

The LAEP department at Utah State University has a rich legacy of educating students for leadership roles in private practice, public practice and academia. During its 65 years of existence, LAEP has produced over 1,200 graduates who are presently at work in 46 states and 11 foreign countries.

Historic Campus Architecture: Old Main


Old Main

The "Old Main" is the oldest and most historic building on the Utah State University (USU) campus. "Old Main" was built slowly, piece by piece, over a period of 13 years, with construction of the south wing beginning in 1889. When classes started at USU (then called the Agricultural College of Utah) on Sept. 5, 1890, the "Old Main" essentially made up the entire school. In 1912, the original Utah State campus master plan created by Henry Vincent Hubbard (of the Boston firm Hubbard, Pray & White) featured "Old Main" as the focal point of a new academic quadrangle. The "Quad", which forms the heart of the present campus, was recognized in 1999 as one of three Utah winners of the ASLA Centennnial Medallion Award.


Old Main

Project: Synderville Basin


Snyderville Basin

Tamara Shapiro's students performed an open-space plan for the Synderville Basin in their graduate class LAEP 6100, Landscape Analysis and Planning Studio.


LAEP Professors: Elizabeth Brabec, David Bell, John Ellsworth, Michael L. Timmons, Peter A. Kumble, Craig Johnson, Caroline Lavoie, John K. Nicholson, Tamara Shapiro, Adjunct instructors: Vincent deBritto, Keith Christensen, Kristofor KvarfordtDarrell Morrison

Highlights: A guest lecture series (made possible through generous grants from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation) has included recognized professionals such as Laurie Olin and Martha Schwartz and features Peter Walker, FASLA, recipient of the 2004 ASLA Medal, who will speak on November 3, 2004.

Sustainable Landscapes:

Vision: Annual conferences by Sustainable Landscapes, a student-run organization, continue to shape the dialogue of sustainable design and planning. This year Sustainable Landscapes addresses sustainability issues by exploring food and human life cycles to better understand how people are connected to the places in which they live.

Topics: Sustainable Landscapes is exploring the connection between the foods we eat and the community we live in, locally, regionally, nationally and worldwide. Where does our food come from? Who benefits and who suffers in our global food system? Who is bucking that system and how? Internationally, large movements are afoot to understand and reverse the effects that corporate industrial agriculture is having on the environment, the world's poor, bio-diversity and the growing chasm between rich and poor.

Rural Revival: In the United States, a rural revival is unfolding, modeled on the principles of sustainable agriculture, reduced fossil-fuel dependency, local economic self-sufficiency and local government empowerment.

In the Intermountain West, suburban landscapes and technology and industrial sectors have supplanted generations of ecological knowledge and rural livelihoods.

Regional Implications: Locally, Cache Valley, the center of agriculture in Utah, is experiencing an awakening of sustainable sensibility, while simultaneously struggling to preserve farmland, enhance local economies and stifle rampant urban and suburban growth.

Their fifth annual conference took place during the spring of 2004 and was called "Desert Water: Shaping Our Future." The conference addressed issues related to water, including ethics, restoration, policy, use and conservation, regional planning and regenerative design. Keynote speakers included Robert France, associate professor of Landscape Ecology, Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University, and Alan Matheson, director of the Utah Water Project for Trout Unlimited.

Look for the next Sustainable Landscape Conference in the spring of 2005 called "Landscape Cycles: Connecting People to Place through Agriculture."


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December 7, 2019, 3:36 am PDT

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