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Rethink ''Landscape''

Oysters once thrived in New York Harbor and in the Hudson riverbed as far up as Ossining. As for plans to bring oysters back to the Hudson, the Beczak Environmental Education Center and the NY/NJ Baykeeper's Oyster Gardening Program are working on it. But oyster restoration would be good for the Hudson in important ways. Oysters "would create a habitat that would attract fish and a lot of invertebrates, like crabs. In addition, when oysters one day colonize the river bottom by forming reefs, they would filter the water as they feed.
Rain bird
Teak Warehouse Came America

Architect Kate Orff sees the oyster as an agent of urban change. Bundled into beds and sunk into city rivers, oysters slurp up pollution and make legendarily dirty waters clean -- thus driving even more innovation in "oyster-tecture." Orff shares her vision for an urban landscape that links nature and humanity for mutual benefit.

Kate Orff asks us to rethink “landscape”—to use urban greenspaces and blue spaces in fresh ways to mediate between humankind and nature.

Kate Orff is a landscape architect who thinks deeply about sustainable development, biodiversity and community-based change—and suggests some surprising and wonderful ways to make change through landscape. She’s a professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she’s a director of the Urban Landscape Lab. She’s the co-editor of the new book Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park, about the Gateway National Recreation Area, a vast and underused tract of land spreading across the coastline of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and New Jersey.

She is principal of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design office with projects ranging from a 1,000-square-foot pocket park in Brooklyn to a 100-acre environmental center in Greenville, SC, to a 1000-acre landfill regeneration project in Dublin, Ireland.

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June 18, 2019, 6:42 pm PDT

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