Resilient Urban Futures: A Symposium on Design and Planning

As co-organizer of the Resilient Urban Futures Symposium at the University of Illinois, Conor O’Shea is leading a panel titled “The Urbanism of E-Commerce.”

Date: Friday, February 22, 2019

Time: 1:15 - 2:30 pm

Location: Temple Buell Hall, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Urbanism of E-Commerce

Since the turn of the century, the discipline of landscape architecture has become an indispensable tool for cities seeking to lure jobs and investment to downtown areas and nearby neighborhoods. In the United States, alongside iconic skyscrapers, high-profile works of landscape architecture such as the High Line, Millennium Park, and the Chicago Riverwalk symbolize their respective cities. While urban investment and landscape architectural disciplinary activity has focused on these spaces, an equally as important, yet understudied, trend has emerged: the development of vast areas for the storage and coordination of e-commerce. These "landscapes of logistics" are the corollary to walkable streets, high-profile parks, next-day shipping, and international supply chains that some urban residents so often enjoy. The rapidly emerging forms they take, from the single-story Amazon warehouse built on former cropland to the city warehouse located to accelerate last-mile delivery, are negatively affecting the ecological and social health of their context. Can landscape architecture and design apply urban expertise to the urbanism of e-commerce to promote healthy, resilient communities? This panel gathers designers to take stock of these recent transformations and discuss ways in which design can effect positive change.

  • Moderator: Conor O’Shea, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, U of I

  • Julie Cidell, Professor, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, U of I

  • Ali Fard, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Virginia

  • Ghazal Jafari, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Virginia

  • Clare Lyster, Associate Professor, College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts, UIC

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Conor O'Shea