Placemakers 13: Environmental Resiliency in Urban Public Spaces

When & Where

Join CMLC and our partners for a panel conversation about the significance of environmental resiliency in urban public spaces.

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Date & Time


St. Patrick's Island - Confluence Plaza

1300 12 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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About This Event

Event Recording

10 years ago, CMLC began the revitalization of St. Patrick’s Island as a key placemaking and sustainability strategy in the redevelopment of East Village.

Before the island’s redevelopment in 2013, CMLC engaged Dr. Steven Handel of Green Shield Ecology to conduct a BioBlitz to assess the island’s biodiversity. Now, 10 years later, CMLC has invited Dr. Handel to return to the island to evaluate how the biodiversity of the island has changed – through flooding and redevelopment – in the last decade.

On June 8, CMLC, Dr. Handel, and W Architecture and Civitas – partners in the redevelopment of St. Patrick’s Island – will gather for a panel conversation about the significance of environmental resiliency in public spaces.

Rain or shine, event will move indoors if required

Panelists will explore:

Why is environmental resiliency an important consideration in the development of urban public spaces?

How has the biodiversity of St. Patrick’s Island changed since its redevelopment?

How did the biophilic design approach support the ecology of the island?

What was the influence of the 2013 floods on the island’s design?

Panelists & Bios:

Dr. Steven Handel, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University

Steven Handel, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University, and formerly Visiting Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, studies the restoration ecology of urban habitats and how this can mesh with landscape architecture design. He is the Editor of the journal Ecological Restoration and is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He received the Theodore Sperry Award from the Society of Ecological Restoration, their highest research award, for work on urban habitat creation. He is an Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architecture. He received his BA in biology from Columbia University and a PhD in ecology and evolution from Cornell University.

Barbara Wilks, Principal & Founder, W Architecture

Barbara Wilks, principal and founder of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, is a leader in the field of design. Barbara uses her skills to realign nature and the city with a focus on waterfront environments. Having worked on over 50 waterfronts, and having won almost 100 design awards, both in planning and design, she is astutely knowledgeable about the specific requirements and characteristics of these unique places. This synthesis creates a comprehensive connection between the fundamental ecology of the site, its historical and cultural legacy and its current iteration.

Barbara is one of the few professionals elected to both the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (in 1999) and to the College of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects (in2010). Her projects range from urban public spaces, to infrastructure, to architecture, to parks, with her goal being to use design to create access and a means of participation—a public route to discovery, engagement and stewardship. In addition to opening her projects for participation, during the design process Barbara continues the spirit of inclusion to the surrounding communities, government agencies and professional collaborators. Projects include award winning projects in seven countries and many cities including NYC, Calgary, AB, Dubai, UAE, Tampa and St Petersburg FL, Baltimore MD, and others.

Scott Jordan, Principal, Civitas

Scott Jordan is a Principal at Civitas, a Denver based landscape architecture and urban design firm. Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office, he plays a prominent role in establishing, maintaining, and curating the culture of the interdisciplinary practice.

With 20 years of professional experience, Scott has led the firm's most complex and challenging projects across North America. Having spent his career engaging in the transformation of public realm spaces in urban cities, he has led multifaceted project teams with a variety of multi-agency client groups. His communicative style, quick wit, and ability to synthesize inputs of all forms, enable him to be an effective leader and decision-maker, while his collaborative spirit is best embodied by his beliefs that it does not matter where an idea comes from, what matters most is that itis the best idea for the given problem. Scott projects have received awards from ASLA, AIA, APA, Waterfront Center, ULI, and Fast Companies Innovation by Design Award.

Amber Osadan-Ullman, Director of Development, CMLC

Amber joined CMLC in April 2014 and brings a decade of land development experience to the team. She is passionate about bringing placemaking and great design to the city-building projects she leads in and outside the Rivers District. In Amber’s capacity as Director of Development, she drives strategic capital projects and brownfield redevelopment with a focus on innovative urban design solutions and financial sustainability. She leads all projects with an eye towards placemaking, project management, economic development, land use planning and design. With this experience Amber has presented at several conferences including the Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers, CIP, and the Alberta Professional Planner Institute in addition to guest lecturing at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, and School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape.

Amber holds a Bachelor of Arts with High Honours in Regional and Urban Planning from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Policy Studies from Mount Royal University and is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP).