Sprouting Possibilities at 49th and Parkside

Sprouting Possibilities is a response by an artist and landscape architect team to the shifting environmental conditions and the impact of climate change on native plants in the Philadelphia region. Artist laura c carlson and Landscape Architect Moya Sun have created a temporary piece that pays homage to nine species of native plants of Philadelphia: Read more about Sprouting Possibilities at 49th and Parkside[…]

Why design? Pt. 2

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post ahead of our Student Design Competition introducing the importance of design. This post (read it online) serves as a follow-up examining the need for site-specific ecological design at the Urban Arboreta sites. What makes for ‘great design’? Great or successful design does not exist in isolation: Read more about Why design? Pt. 2[…]

Towards a Deeper Understanding of Urban Ecology

“The city is both an outward form – expressed as spatial pattern – of housing, factories, streets, and parks and an inward pattern of life – expressed as processes – such as cycles of nature, rhythms, of work and play, rates of travel, rules of conduct, and so forth.” – The Baltimore School of Urban Read more about Towards a Deeper Understanding of Urban Ecology[…]


The jury of Tom Dalfo of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Professor Sean Burkholder of University of Buffalo, Professor Karen M’Closkey of University of Pennsylvania, Professor Anne Spirn of MIT, and Skip Weiner of Philadelphia Urban Tree Connection met on Friday June 3 in Philadelphia to review the submissions for URBAN ARBORETA: Transforming Ground Read more about COMPETITION WINNERS ANNOUNCED[…]

Student Design Competition Update

As of the May 2nd registration deadline, 39 competitors from Canada, China, New Zealand, and the United States have registered for Urban Arboreta: transforming ground, thus making it an international student design competition.  American universities represented include Harvard University, University of Virginia, Northeastern University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Philadelphia Community College, University of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Read more about Student Design Competition Update[…]

Urban Arboreta wins NEA award

More Than $82 Million Awarded for Arts Projects Nationwide  – Includes award to City Parks Association to support Urban Arboreta: transforming ground Philadelphia: National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects and partnerships in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016.  Included Read more about Urban Arboreta wins NEA award[…]

A Reflection on Urban Tree Campaigns

New York. Los Angeles. Miami. Denver. Around ten years ago now, each of these cities made a commitment to plant one million trees within its boundary. Mayors far and wide grabbed onto this seemingly simple solution to a myriad of health, equity, and environmental issues confronted in their cities: plant more trees. Simple enough, right? Read more about A Reflection on Urban Tree Campaigns[…]

Why design?

In order to preface our upcoming registration deadline (May 2, 2016) for the Urban Arboreta Student Design Competition, I thought we should emphasize the importance of design. No small task, especially for someone who wouldn’t consider himself a “designer,” for right or wrong. I go to a Design school. As an undergrad, I was a Read more about Why design?[…]

Transforming Ground: Detroit Future City

This is the first in a series of posts that will examine what different individuals and organizations are doing to access and repurpose vacant land. Given the large number of vacant lots in Philadelphia, there is incredible opportunity for revitalizing this underutilized land and many have already begun to do just that in thoughtful and Read more about Transforming Ground: Detroit Future City[…]

Urban Aboreta takes root

Originally posted on Knight Blog by Chip Schwartz. Empty lots are a common sight in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia is dotted with vacant land in just about every corner, and this surplus of space could serve any number of purposes. Urban Arboreta has an unequivocal approach to the issue of urban land: trees. Read more about Urban Aboreta takes root[…]