Have you ever imagined city streets without gas stations? Or what a post-oil society might look like? The answer lies in bringing the past together with the future. A free exhibition, presented by the UMass Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), and the Goethe-Institut Boston, draws from past utopian ideas and contrasts them to current sustainable planning projects across the globe.
Until October 31 (see below for hours) visitors will have a chance to contextualize how the problems caused by climate change, a limited supply of fossil fuels, and economic recession can be addressed through creative urban and regional planning techniques. The exhibition, which has been shown in several other cities throughout the world, is celebrating its United States premier in Holyoke.
“As a future planner, it’s fantastic to have all these ideas so accessible to me," says Brandon Gibbs, who is a first-year student in the Master of Regional Planning program. "I’m hoping this exhibit will inspire communities to commit to sustainable growth."
The UMass Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department chose to hold the exhibition in Holyoke for several reasons. Michael DiPasquale, an instructor in LARP says, “Holyoke, as one of the original industrial planned cities, is a great example of how history and redevelopment can come together to create really exciting, sustainable cities. Great urban planning is for everyone, and we wanted to make the exhibit accessible beyond the UMass community. Plus, the large and open industrial space at Gateway City is absolutely spectacular. It also highlights the reuse potential of a beautiful existing building and is adjacent to the city’s historic canal system. These are the kinds of settings that make cities like Holyoke so valuable and on the forefront of sustainable design.”
The free exhibition is on view Saturday and Sundays, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, 92-114 Race St. Holyoke or by special appointment. Contact Michael DiPasquale  for details.
The exhibition is sponsored by American Planning Association Massachusetts Chapter, Smith College Landscape Studies, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at UMass Amherst, the Institut for Auslandbeziehungen (ifa), the Goethe Institute Boston, and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at UMass Amherst. And a special thanks to Lori Devine and Vitek Kruta, owners of Gateway City Arts.