This paper describes the evolution of my professional career, which parallels the evolution of landscape and greenway planning in the United States and indeed around the world. But prior to the describing this evolution, I felt the need to describe my roots, which led me to become both, a landscape and a greenway planner.
Naturally one can become a planner from any profession, any field. Yet, I felt fortunate to come to it from agronomy, which introduced me well to the “living environment”. As landscape architects we have always modified all planning implementation which may be minor or major changes (modifications).
I became a landscape planner twenty years before greenway planning became known in the United States. The difference between landscape and greenway planning is simple: landscape planning plans for 100% of an area, while the focus of greenway planning is primarily dealing with the fragile portions of the drainage areas such as wetlands, overly steep areas and ridgelines.
The majority of our landscape planning research and publication resulted in detailed methodology, supported by our interdisciplinary research team, with expertise in natural social sciences and engineering. In contrast, greenway planning has been supported primarily from the natural sciences, hence greenway planning is more focused and simpler than landscape planning. Our landscape planning teams have been supported at the University of Massachusetts by 12 departments throughout the campus during the 1970’s and the 1980’s. In contrast, greenway planning which we have been involved with since 1985, we can do independently under our landscape architecture/regional planning department.
All greenway planning I was involved in has been done in collaboration with a colleague within my department or with Hungary. More specifically during the 1990’s I collaborated with Jack Ahern which resulted in a book, entitled Greenways: The Beginning of An International Movement, and published by Elsevier in 1996. Similarly, my collaboration with Robert Ryan during the past decade resulted in two special journal issues. Landscape and Urban Planning Journal published our first special issue under the title “International Greenway Planning” during May 2004. The same journal published our second special issue during April 2006 under the title “Greenway Planning around The World”. Both of these special issues are book size publications: The 2004 publication is 342 pages long and our 2006 publication is 297 pages long.
Our current and most recent collaboration is international. Our university from the United States is currently collaborating with the University of Corvinus of Hungary.
At this writing we are preparing our conference to be held in Budapest. We are working with 126 individuals or teams around the world. We plan to select as many presenters as possible for presentation in July 2010 in Budapest. The final presenters selected, must be able to come to Budapest. While we are optimistic that the majority of the people selected will be able to submit a publishable paper and on time, we will find out only later the people who will attend in July.
We are confident that this collaboration will be a successful one, both in numbers & in worldwide representation. Equally important is the fact, that at this time we have a truly diverse and well represented list of landscape and greenway planners from all around the world. Please note, our first greenway planning book of 1996 was identified as the beginning of an international movement. Today, the 121 people around the world with whom we have worked in preparation of this international conference in Budapest prove that landscape and greenway planning is a global phenomenon. Its influence has grown significantly in just two decades.
Fábos, Julius Gyula Ph.D., FASLA
"From Agronomy to Landscape & Greenway Planning,"
Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning: Vol. 3:
1, Article 59.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/fabos/vol3/iss1/59
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