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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Todd McLeish 874-7892

‘Public Housing: Hope or Hopeless?’ kicks
off URI lecture series in Community
Planning and Landscape Architecture

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 2, 2003 -- Len Hopper, chief landscape architect for the New York City Housing Authority, will kick off the University of Rhode Island’s fall Community Planning and Landscape Architecture lecture series on Thursday, Sept. 25. He will discuss "Public Housing: Hope or Hopeless?"

All lectures in the series begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the White Hall auditorium on the Kingston campus. They are free and open to the public.

Hopper is responsible for approximately 2,600 acres of open space at more than 350 housing developments throughout New York City’s five boroughs. Since the early 1980s he has developed concepts and design guidelines that associate site design with social concerns and resident security. Hopper’s ideas for humanizing the spaces around high-rise apartments in a scale, texture and richness that encouraged residents to reclaim their open spaces became the standard for site improvements at the Housing Authority’s developments. These projects integrate site design with complementary efforts to empower residents and improve their quality of life.

Hopper’s efforts earned the Housing Authority recognition from the Landscape Architecture Foundation for "Outstanding Leadership on Issues Affecting Urban Design, Rehabilitation and Policy" in 1993. He is also on the faculty at the City College School of Architecture and Environmental Studies.

The rest of the lecture series schedule is as follows:

Thursday, October 16 – Ken Smith, principal of Ken Smith Landscape Architect Workshop in New York City, will discuss "Urban Places." Smith has worked on a wide variety of national and international projects, and he is particularly interested in projects that explore the symbolic content and expressive power of landscape as an art form. He won the Excellence in Design award from the Art Commission of New York City for his design for the East River ferry landings.

Thursday, November 13 – Stephen Ervin, director of computer resources at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, will speak on "Powerful Tools for Planning and Design: Digital Landscape Modeling." Ervin teaches and conducts research in the areas of design, computing, media and technology, with a special interest in landscape modeling and visualization. He is the co-author of Landscape Modeling: Digital Techniques for Landscape Visualization.

Sponsors of the lecture series are the URI Department of Community Planning and Landscape Architecture, the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association.

For more information about the lecture series, call the URI Department of Community Planning and Landscape Architecture at 874-2249 or email Professor Will Green at

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Page last revised Tuesday, September 2, 2003 .