Center for Rural Massachusetts 30th Anniversary Celebration
March 28, 2019
3:30 pm-6:30 pm
Olver Design Building
UMass Amherst Campus
CRM 30 Years Later: How the landmark project “Dealing with Change in the Connecticut River Valley” became an agent of change
- The celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Center for Rural Massachusetts.
- Robert Yaro, Professor of Practice at PennDesign, University of Pennsylvania; and President Emeritus of the Regional Plan Association
- Randall Arendt, author and consultant
- Harry Dodson, President of Dodson Flinker (formerly Dodson Associates), Ashfield, MA
- Elizabeth Brabec, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning and Director of the Center for Heritage & Society; formerly President of Land Ethics, Inc.
In 1986 a group of committed planners and landscape architects came together at the fledgling Center for Rural Massachusetts (CRM) to deal with the challenges of rampant growth and development in the Valley. Housed in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, the Center for Rural Massachusetts was created to advocate for measured, sustainable growth in rural communities. The project that became “Dealing with Change in the Connecticut River Valley,” was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management and published in 1988 by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge. Tapping into a national movement to find ways to manage growth, and into a movement that in the 1990’s was rebranded as sustainable development, the project was lauded as a landscape planning process through which you could have it all – development and environmental conservation.
The project was broadly disseminated and written about: a New Yorker article by Tony Hiss; a Fortune Magazine “Best Ideas;” part of a book “The Experience of Place: A completely new way of looking at and dealing with our radically changing cities and countryside” by author Tiny Hiss; and given APA and ASLA awards. It also spawned a follow-up book written by the authors of “Dealing with Change,” published by the American Planning Association titled “Rural by Design,” which was in print continuously for the next 25 years.
So why did this project tap into the zeitgeist of its time, and become a major planning movement? What other outcomes were spawned by its event and the creation of the Center for Rural Massachusetts? And how can CRM, now the Center for Resilient Metro Regions, continue to lead in landscape planning?
Join us for this retrospective of the intersection of planning and landscape architecture at UMass.