Tiago Torres-Campos – Encounters with Manhattan’s Geologic: On Landscape, Time and the Anthropocene

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Prokalo’s penultimate seminar this term!

We welcome Tiago Torres-Campos 

Join us!

5pm – 3rd May – Evolution House Rm 2.13


Over the last two hundred years, Manhattan has experienced a formidable urban expansion. The ambitious plan to overlay a rigid grid on the once forested, wet and hilly island went through many variations, most of which were ruthlessly determined to flatten hills, cut rocks, mow forests and fill ponds, wetlands and marshes, thus erasing the marks of an unregulated past.

Manhattan as we know today represents an extremely dense urban fabric where neo-liberalist capitalism was crystallised as tall, iconic skyscrapers, massive above and under-ground infrastructure and high-speculative real estate and retail markets. Prolific iconography about the city proves our fascination as well as ways through which the city constantly re-brands itself.

Within the scope of his PhD in Architecture by Design, in which he investigates the potential of the landscape as an immersive and experimental field to ontologically define time in the Anthropocene, Tiago’s work aims to reveal meaningful encounters with Manhattan’s geologic. Through three small projects, this research speculates on geologic delineations in a time of great changes, limits of representation and the politics of the Anthropocene.


Tiago Torres-Campos is a Portuguese Landscape Architect and Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. After spending five years in a landscape architectural practice, he joined academia in 2012 and is now the programme director of the MA in Landscape Architecture. He is a Visiting Teaching Fellow on the PhD programme in Architecture at the University of Lisbon. His PhD in Architecture by Design currently investigates the potential of the landscape as an immersive experimental field to define time. Other research areas include landscape representations in the Anthropocene and the effects of digital media on the landscape. He has published internationally and is a founder of CNTXT Studio, a research-by-design platform.

Prokalo welcome Dr Richard Milgrom head of city planning at The University of Manitoba, Canada



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Age-friendly Regions? Supporting Uneven Growth and Decline

It is commonly understood that populations are aging. The movement to make cities and towns more “age-friendly” is gathering momentum; some centres are using the objectives outlined in the World Health Organization’s Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide (2007) to improve the quality of life for older adults, but also as a growth strategy, attracting new residents and the potential of the “grey economy”.

Not all centres, however, are growing – in many regions, where overall populations are static, while some prosper, others are suffering population loss and with it the loss of services that serve older adults. Regional strategies are required, strategies that make it possible for thriving centres to support those areas in decline.

This presentation draws on experiences in Canada, specifically the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative (AFMI) and the work of City Planning studios at the University of Manitoba. The AFMI examined how well communities accommodated the needs of older adults and identified priorities for improvements.  Students in the City Planning studios engaged with eight of these communities, seeking planning and design approaches that would improve the lives of those currently entering retirement. A set of common themes has started to emerge – based around issues of transportation/walkability, housing and services.  Larger and growing centres appear to have the means to address some of these through careful choices and inclusive design strategies. However, those towns in decline highlight the regional challenges.

Richard Milgrom is an architect, city planner and urban designer.  He has practiced in Canada and the United Kingdom and worked in academic Canadian and US programs in both planning and architecture. His research interests include participatory planning and design processes, urban sustainability, and the relationship between population diversity and urban form.  His current work focuses on the social impact of urban development patterns using the city of Winnipeg as a case study.  Within this work, he is particularly interested in the challenges faced by ageing populations, and how age-neighbourhoods, cities and towns can be adapted to be more “age-friendly.”  Working with the Active Aging Community University Research Alliance based in the University of Manitoba’s Centre on Aging, and in cooperation with the Province of Manitoba’s Age-Friendly Initiative, Milgrom and graduate City Planning students are working with communities to envision more age-friendly environments in Winnipeg and in smaller rural towns.