Annual Conference

2017 APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscapes Conference

U.S. Pacific Northwest in Pacific Rim Perspective


September 15-17, 2017   |   University of Oregon   |   Portland, Oregon


Management of the nexus between cities and their surrounding landscapes is central to most pressing sustainability issues, including the degree to which connections to regional landscapes provide health, vitality and a sense of place to urban residents. Numerous “sustainable” solutions have failed due to lack of understanding of the city-landscape system as a whole. Through cross-disciplinary collaboration, the Association of the Pacific Rim Universities’ Sustainable Cities and Landscape Hub will explore the synergies and tradeoffs among different approaches to enhancing landscape-level sustainability and resilience in the face of continued urban growth and global climate change. (For more details on APRU SCL Hub, see Our Approach)

The inaugural conference will focus on best practices from the US Pacific Northwest with cross-regional comparisons across the Pacific Rim. Our goal is to explore various ways to investigate the city-landscape interplay and the challenges and opportunities it creates through dialogue among researchers, policymakers, professionals, and community organizations. Field trips will highlight the Oregon model, which looks beyond city boundaries to situate urban environments in the landscapes that support urban life through its well-known urban growth boundaries and comprehensive statewide land use planning.

How to participate?
Conference participation is NOT limited to APRU institutions. We welcome all researchers, professionals, policymakers, and community leaders around the world.

2017 Thematic Working Groups
APRU SCL provides attendees unique opportunities to participate in thematic working groups (WG). Members of each WG will work intensively throughout the conference to craft a collaborative paper on their theme. The WG papers are intended for submission for the first volume of a book series or journal publication. Attendees who wish to join a working group should submit a 2-page CV including your recent publication record, accompanied by a one-page description of why you want to engage in the WG and your expertise in relation to it. WG applications will be reviewed by leader of each group.


From Urban Agriculture to New Urban Commons: Productive Landscapes and Infrastructural Ecologies
Jacques Abelman, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon

The Chengdu Plain and Dujiangyan Irrigation District, Sichuan, China: A Case of City-Landscape Sustainability in Comparative Perspective
Dan Abramson, Associate Professor of Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington

Redrawing Our Urban Waters
Adell Amos, Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Oregon
Brook Muller, Professor of Architecture and Director of the UO Portland Architecture Program, University of Oregon

Urban Biodiversity
Marina Alberti, Marsha and Jay Glazer Endowed University Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Washington
Isaac Brown, Doctoral Student, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California at Los Angeles
Bart Johnson, Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon

Resolving Conflicts of “Greens”:  Energy Planning for Sustainable Landscape Conservation
Yekang Ko, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon

Sustainable Urban Design
Nico Larco, Associate Professor of Architecture, Co-Director of Sustainable Cities Initiative, University of Oregon
Linda Corkery, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of New South Wales

The Future of Urban Water and Sanitation
Kory Russel, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Studies, University of Oregon

Sustainable Transportation in an Era of Autonomous Vehicles
Marc Schlossberg, Professor of Planning, Public Policy and Management, Co-Director of Sustainable Cities Initiative, University of Oregon

Containing Urban Expansion Using “Boundaries” in the Era of Rapid Urbanization
Yizhao Yang, Associate Professor of Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon.

Transitions in Urban Waterfront Operations and Development
Ken Yocom, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington-Seattle
Anne Taufen Wessells, Associate Professor of Urban Studies, University of Washington-Tacoma 
Nicole Faghin, Coastal Management Specialist, Washington Sea Grant



Important Dates

Applications due: May 15, 2017

Acceptance notification and registration opens: June 1, 2017
Priority registration due: July 1, 2017
Tentative agenda available: August 1, 2017
Conference: September 15-17, 2017


APRU SCL requires no registration fee for attendees. Because the meeting is focused on engaging participants in collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship toward publishable contributions to the literature, we have waived registration fees and will cover your meals and field trips in addition to all administrative and core facilities costs. Attendees will be responsible for their transportation and lodging. Registration and lodging information will be available soon.

For more information, contact Professor Yekang Ko.