The Challenge and Promise of Restoring Urban Landscapes

Steven Handel, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University

February 2019

Dr. Handel explores the potential to renew degraded urban landscapes, so that they contribute positively to ecosystem function. His excellent summary of challenges and opportuntities includes valuable discussions of projects at Freshkills Park (formerly one of the largest landfills in the world) and Brooklyn Bridge Park along the Hudson River. He frames the issues with true clarity and valuable wit.

Steven Handel was a Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design at the time of this lecture. Also the editor of the professional journal Ecological Restoration, he is a recipient of numerous awards for his pioneering work in the restoration of urban areas including the Theodore Sperry Award from the Society of Ecological Restoration. In 2007, he was elected an Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his significant contributions to the profession. He has worked on teams doing ecological restoration on public landscapes for many projects— including Freshkills, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Duke Farms Foundation holdings at Great Falls National Historical Park in NJ, and the landscape for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Summer Games.