Coming Up


2021 Webinar Program


April 16th, 2021

Design Thinking — Utilizing Hand Graphics to Explore Ideas

Drawing is a form of communication that builds community and bridges culture. The intent of this presentation is to initiate a dialogue regarding the importance of hand sketching to explore ideas. From the earliest days, humans have relied on illustrations, hieroglyphs, and diagrams to communicate important aspects of life. The ability to draw is essential for non-verbal communication and it contributes to social understanding. However, drawing well does not always equate to good communication or even good design. So, how important is drawing in the process of design? Does drawing matter? In my opinion, drawing really matters. We will challenge what it means to be a designer, and the attributes of a good designer, in our context of illustrating ideas. To be clear, this is not just about learning how to draw…but using graphic representation to stretch your creative energy. So, let’s go forward and explore ideas that positively contribute to the good life.


About the Speaker

Kona Gray

Strong leadership and a sense of integrity are part of Kona’s DNA. With experience in 30+ countries, his global management sense has positively shaped the outcomes of many challenging assignments. He successfully integrates creativity and regional resources into functional environments that invigorate the imagination. Kona is a firm leader who creates welcoming places that promote community and vitality in diverse neighborhoods around the globe. Blending sensitivity with innovative design solutions, he unites a client’s vision with his own vanguard designs to produce environments with purpose and presence.

Kona is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and currently serves as ASLA representative to the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board. He has also served as ASLA Vice President - Professional Practice and is a Past President of the Landscape Architecture Foundation. Kona is a member of the ULI's Southeast Florida and Caribbean District Council, and sits on the NSU Huizenga School of Business Real Estate Advisory Board. He is a registered Landscape Architect in Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and holds a bachelor's degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia.

At EDSA, Kona’s award-winning projects are inspired by a passion for creative design solutions that solve meaningful global issues. His portfolio ranges from large-scale planning to detailed site design, with emphasis on communities, parks, hospitality, urban public realms, mixed-use destinations, healthcare and campus spaces. With an uncompromising dedication to quality, he consistently takes into consideration important factors like community, heritage, environment, and the constant pursuit of improving humanity through landscape architecture.



July 16th, 2021

Street Commerce: The Hidden Structure of Retail Location Patterns and Vibrant Sidewalks

Street commerce has gained prominence in urban areas, where demographic shifts–such as increasing numbers of single people and childless "empty nesters," along with technological innovations enabling greater flexibility of work locations and hours–have changed how people shop and dine out.

Contemporary city dwellers are demanding smaller-scale stores in public spaces that are accessible on foot or by public transit. At the same time, the emergence of online retail undermines both the dominance and viability of big-box discount businesses and drives brick and mortar stores to focus as much on the experience of shopping as on the goods and services sold. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the problems retailers already faced, but has also opened up new opportunities. In light of such trends, street commerce will play an important role in twenty-first-century cities, particularly in producing far-reaching benefits for the environment and local communities.

Although street commerce is deeply intertwined with myriad contemporary urban visions and planning goals—walkability, quality of life, inclusion, equity, and economic resilience—it has rarely been the focus of systematic research and informed practice. Drawing on economic theory, urban design principles, regulatory policies, and merchant organization models, Andres Sevtsuk conceptualizes key problems and offers innovative solutions on street commerce, providing a range of examples from around the world to detail how different cities and communities have bolstered and reinvigorated their street commerce. According to Sevtsuk, equitable and successful street commerce can only be achieved when the private sector, urban policy makers, planners, and the public are equipped with the relevant knowledge and tools to plan and regulate it.


About the Speaker

Andres Sevtsuk

Andres Sevtsuk is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, where he also leads the City Form Lab. He is the author of the recent book Street Commerce: The Hidden Structure of Retail Location Patterns and Vibrant Sidewalks published by Penn Press (2020). His work bridges urban design with spatial analysis and urban technology. Andres is also the author of the Urban Network Analysis toolbox, used by researchers and practitioners around the world to model pedestrian flows along city streets and to study coordinated land use and transportation development along networks.



September 17th, 2021

The 15-Minute City: Our Past and Our Future

The idea of the 15-minute city is a concept that is here to stay because it is an elegant summation of what has always been the fundamental goal of a transportation and land-use system for creating environmentally, and socially, sustainable places. It also contains the seeds for the revitalization and restoration of thousands of older cities and towns in America.

But what does the 15-minute city look like? To illustrate the concept, Dr. Garrick will use the case of Zürich, Switzerland which has slowly over the last 50 years recreated itself as one of the world’s preeminent 15-minute cities.


About the Speaker

Dr. Norman W. Garrick

Dr. Norman Garrick is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Garrick is also a former member of the national board of The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and an elected Fellow of CNU. He specializes in the planning and design of urban transportation systems, including transit, streets, street networks, parking, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities. His research and writings have reached a wide audience through outlets such as The Washington Post, The Denver Post, The Hartford Courant, The Atlantic's (now Bloomberg's) CityLab, Planetizen, New Urban News, Streetsblog, Streetfilms, and via Public Radio both in the USA and abroad.

In addition to his academic career, Dr. Garrick has worked as a transportation consultant on numerous design charrettes, including urban revitalization projects with the Prince of Wales Foundation in Kingston, Jamaica and in Freetown, Sierra Leone; as well as on hurricane-recovery projects in Louisiana and Mississippi. Dr. Garrick is a Fulbright Fellow and a recipient of the Transportation Research Board’s Wootan Award for Best Research Paper in policy and organization. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards for teaching.



Our Webinar Program

We aspire to offer you the same quality of presentation as is offered at the National Conference directly to your laptop, tablet, phone, or desktop for free. Each year, we like to offer one topic related specifically to historic preservation and one with an emphasis on urban design. In addition, we like to offer one on best practices or practical skills, and one topic that fulfills either Ethics or Law requirements.

Check back for regular updates and the inclusion of new webinar dates. If you'd like to comment on the program, or suggest ideas for topics or speakers, please contact Kay Dennis, our Webinar Program Director.