Resilient Design

Education Session - Panel Format

SAT-A04 - Aggregating Nature: Expanding Territories of the Public Realm

Saturday, October 21
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM


Cities are experiencing significant growth and change to their historic urban and ecological patterns.  The ubiquitous “city center” is succumbing to alternative public realm projects, such as waterfronts, to become the dynamic places of culture, nature and activity. We will discuss the challenges and triumphs of this new phenomenon.

Learning Objectives:

Omar Brownson

Executive Director
River LA

As Executive Director of River LA, Omar seeks to build a broad coalition across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors to champion the LA River. River LA acts as a hub to drive forward tangible change along the river. Omar was hired in January 2011 with a background in purpose-driven real estate finance, project development and community investment. He completed a joint-Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning from the Harvard Kennedy School and Graduate School of Design where his team won the ULI/Hines Urban Design Competition.


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Gerdo Aquino

SWA Group

Gerdo Aquino is the Chief Executive Officer of SWA, a studio-based design firm recognized for its creative ideas in the fields of landscape architecture, urban design and planning. SWA has worked strategically in over 60 countries nurturing a critical dialogue of urbanism that integrates principles of design, ecology and technology into a robust public infrastructure for people. Recently Gerdo completed Phase I of the Sava Promenada in Belgrade, Serbia; the San Jacinto Plaza in El Paso, TX, and Milton Street Park along the Ballona Creek in Los Angeles


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James Corner

Founding Partner and CEO
James Corner Field Operations

James Corner is the Founding Partner and CEO of James Corner Field Operations. James has devoted the past 30 years to advancing the field of landscape architecture and urbanism, through his leadership on high-visibility, complex urban projects at Field Operations, as well as through teaching, public speaking and writing. His work is renowned for innovative and bold contemporary design across a variety of project types and scales, with a special commitment to the design of a vibrant and dynamic public realm in cities, informed and inspired by the ecologies of place, people and nature.


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Adriaan Geuze

Founder / Principal Designer
West 8

Adriaan Geuze is one of the founders of West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v., a leading urban design practice in Europe. Geuze attended the Agricultural University of Wageningen where he received a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture. After winning the prestigious Prix-de-Rome award in 1990, Geuze, with his office West 8 founded in 1987, established an enormous reputation on an international level with his unique approach to planning and design of the public environment. By founding the SLA Foundation (Surrealistic Landscape Architecture) in 1992, Geuze increased public awareness of his profession.


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SAT-A04 - Aggregating Nature: Expanding Territories of the Public Realm

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