Sprouting Possibilities: Beginnings

Our last Urban Arboreta blog post described Sprouting Possibilities: a collaboration between artist laura c carlson and landscape architect Moya Sun. What brought this collaboration together? “Moya and I met in a graduate Fine Arts class at UPENN with professor Orkan Telhan. Telhan emphasized that we must dig into and challenge our own perspectives and Read more about Sprouting Possibilities: Beginnings[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Jurors Announced for Student Design Competition!

We are excited to announce a partial listing of jurors for the Urban Arboreta Student Design Competition: Sean Burkholder, Assistant Professor of Landscape and Urban Design at the University of Buffalo Tom Dalfo, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Services at Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation Karen M’Closkey, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University Read more about Jurors Announced for Student Design Competition![…]

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?[…]

Urban Arboreta Sites: A Brief Land Use History

As a non-native of Philadelphia, I regret to say that I had largely forgotten about the city’s historical significance until moving here last fall. Sure, I associated Philadelphia with William Penn, Ben Franklin and the Liberty Bell, but much of my eighth grade American History had been lodged in the back of my mind, unstirred Read more about Urban Arboreta Sites: A Brief Land Use History[…]

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[…]