“Down to Earth”: 2012 Intn’l Geographical Union Congress

IGC Cologne 2012 - DOWN TO EARTH

32nd Congress meets in Cologne, Germany, August 26-30
With a session on “Plants, play and place.”

In August, the International Geographical Congress will meet in Cologne, Germany.  The IGU Congress will combine the traditional meetings of the IGC Commissions with a wide range of sessions addressing four key topics:

  • Global Change and Globalisation
  • Society and Environment
  • Risks and Conflicts
  • Urbanisation and Demographic Change

The 32nd Congress is about bringing research “Down to Earth.” Attending geographers will bring their wide-ranging perspectives and methodology on the four major themes, thereby contributing to the solutions of urgent scientific and socio-political issues.

The IGC is a congress of the International Geographical Union (IGU) that takes place every four years.  In 2004, the German Geographical Society (DGFG) together with the Geography Department of the University of Cologne successfully applied to host this year’s event.   To learn more about the IGC Congress visit them online.

Of particular interest to TLN members will be this session:
“Plants, play and place: Green Environments as a contribution to children´s healthy development,” with chairs Silvia D. Schäffer & Christina R. Ergler.  See for the full list of conference sessions.

3rd International Conference on Geographies of Children, Young People, and Families

Tour guide, Peru. Photo by Gabriela Aguero from the Children Youth and Environments Image Collection

Tour guide, Peru. Photo by Gabriela Aguero from the Children Youth and Environments Image Collection

Geographies of Children, Young People, and Families

July 11-12, 2012, Singapore

Children’s geographies is that branch of human (cultural) geography which deals with the study of the places of children’s lives. In July, the 3rd International Conference on Geographies of Children, Young People and Families will take place in Singapore at the National University of Singapore. The conference is open to academics, postgraduates, and locally-based youth and childhood practitioners and workers.

Human geography and its subset of specialties focus on cultural norms and components and their variation across spaces and places. It focuses on describing and analyzing the ways language, religion, economy, government, and other cultural phenomena vary or stay the same from one place to another, and on explaining how humans function spatially. As in many other social science disciplines, children have not been a particular focus of concern in geography. There is a considerable body of literature dating to the 1970s that includes studies of children spatial cognition and mapping abilities as well as their access to, use of and attachment to place.

To learn more about the conference, registration, and deadlines for paper submissions, visit the conference web site. The organizers will offer substantial fee reductions for postgraduate students and part-time employees. Specific queries may be sent to Tracey Skelton (, Conference Chair and Organiser.

“Healthy Environments Across Generations” this week!

Healthy Environments Across Generations conference

This week! Healthy Environments Across Generations conference

June 7 – 8, 2012
New York Academy of Medicine
New York City, NY

Addressing the environmental health aspects of how we live, eat, work, play, and socialize throughout life, and how we can transform our environments to promote health and prevent disease.

Please join us for a participatory conference that will bring together leaders and innovators from multiple sectors to:

  • Catalyze innovative approaches towards a systems-based approach to health across the lifespan;
  • Identify key intervention points and crosscutting environmental solutions to help reverse rising disease trajectories;
  • Develop intergenerational programmatic and policy recommendations/models that reflect an integrated approach to wellness; and
  • Create an ongoing network for collaboration to build healthier communities for all.

This conference is not an end unto itself, but a stepping stone for building a health-focused, multi-generational movement. We invite you to bring your energy and ideas to New York to help create our collective future.

Relevant to professionals and others working in or interested in the areas of health, food, nutrition, built environment, natural resources, environmental and economic justice, aging, or anyone interested in promoting health and preventing disease at all life stages.

Register now online at the New York Academy of Medicine website (


Seattle is home to EDRA’s 43rd Annual Conference

Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WA. Photo by Henry Domke,

Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WA. Photo by Henry Domke,

EDRA Annual Conference: “Emergent Placemaking”
May 30 – June 2, 2012
Seattle, WA

Can mankind embrace a more enlightened commitment to human ecology? Do we know how to design and create communities in which human potential, in harmony with nature, can be fully realized?

These are questions that Denis Hayes, CEO of the Bullitt Foundation in Seattle, will pose at the 43rd annual Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference in Seattle, May 30 to June 2. Hayes will present the keynote address, “Urban Design to Nurture Human Potential” at the four-day, session-packed conference.  The conference theme, “Emergent Placemaking,” speaks to both the potentiality and continuity in our cities, communities and neighborhoods. In addition to several plenary talks, the conference features workshops, paper presentations and mobile sessions to such Puget Sound destinations as Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre estate devoted to offering the public “a tranquil and refreshing experience in nature.”


Community Engagement & the Built Environment conference

Head Start Preschool, Seattle, WA                    Photo by Filiz Satir

Head Start Preschool Play Yard, Seattle, WA. Photo by Filiz Satir

Community Built Association Conference: May 30-June 2, 2012

The Community Built Association (CBA) will hold its annual conference in Portland, OR, May 30 – June 2. The interdisciplinary gathering is open to all those interested in community engagement through the lenses of art, play, nature, and the built environment.  The conference features presentations and panel discussions related to play environments, gardens and green spaces, public art, and community-engaged architecture. The conference at Portland’s Tabor Space, 5441 S.E. Belmont Street will  include:

  • Presentations and discussions from leaders in the field of community-based practice;
  • Hands-on workshops that will engage participants’ creativity while they contribute something of lasting value to the local community;
  • Tours of local “place-making” sites around Portland, where volunteers have shaped community spaces with their own hands over time; and
  • Informal networking and sharing sessions with inspirational community builders from Portland and around the country.

Artists, architects, builders, organizers, gardeners, planners, and others are all welcome. To learn more and register for the conference, visit the CBA Web site:


Design & Health Australasia 2012 Symposium

Photo by Henry Domke,

Photo by Henry Domke,

Design & Health Australasia 2012
March 28-29, 2012
Sydney, Australia
Details here:

This conference is through the International Academy for Design and Health

See their events page on their website for upcoming symposia in Europe (9/20-21) and Africa (November) as well as their Design & Health 8th World Congress and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (6/27-7/1).

The health status of people living in Australasia is one of the highest in the world, with rising life expectancies, and falling mortality and morbidity rates. At the same time, however, the region is facing similar challenges to the rest of the developed world, characterised by rising costs pressures, an ageing population and a rise in the level of lifestyle diseases, most notably diabetes and obesity. In addition, Australasia faces the challenge of addressing the inequities in health outcomes of its poorer socio-economic groups, in particular its indigenous population and those living in more remote and rural areas. In recognition that a healthy population is the foundation for social development and economic growth, health reform in Australasia is undergoing a policy shift that is recognising the need to redesign its health systems to embrace health promotion and embed a preventative approach based on better education, evidence and research.


Annual Horticultural Therapy Forum at “The Hort,” NYC


Join the Horticultural Society of New York for the 6th Annual Horticultural Therapy Forum
Friday, February 10, 10:00am – 2:15pm

Supportive housing is just that: housing plus support. The Supportive Housing Network of New York works with their members to help tenants lead healthy lives in sustainable physical surroundings. The supportive housing model means that tenants have affordable apartments and access to the services they need to stay housed and healthy. Horticultural Therapy, or HT, is a key component in making this possible.

Horticultural Therapy is an effective cognitive behavioral therapy that provides physical and emotional benefits as well as related health benefits—improved indoor air quality, access to healthy food, and a stronger sense of community connection. For a number of Network members, the benefits of providing HT to their tenants have been immediate, substantive and tangible—tenants receive great pleasure from the flowers, plants, fresh food and herbs they’ve helped nurture and grow.

Join us at The Hort for a day dedicated to horticultural therapy and the benefit it provides to the supportive housing community. We also extend a warm welcome to our governmental partners: NYS Office of Mental Health, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, and NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development.

Admission: $20 (breakfast and lunch included)
Click here to register online or call 212-757-0915 (x100).
Visit the HSNY website to see the full schedule for the forum

Environments for Aging 2012 conference – A lot to offer!

Environments for Aging 2012

Wow! I just looked at the full list of Session Descriptions for this year’s Environments for Aging conference (4/21 – 5/1/12 in Orlando, FL) and it looks amazing. I’m so encouraged that there are eight presentations that mention or focus on access to nature in the title and/or description. Definitely more than last year – a good sign! And I’m sure many of the other presentations will touch on this subject as well. I went to EFA last year, and I was impressed with the caliber of the speakers, presentations, and attendees. If you are interested in outdoor environments for seniors, this is THE conference to go to. Here’s the full conference agenda, here is the full list of session descriptions, and here’s a link to register.

Oh, and if you register by this Friday, 1/27, you get a significant early-bird discount.

Read on for details on the 8 session that I think will be of particular interest to our members…


Calls for conference proposals

Photo by Henry Domke,

Photo by Henry Domke,

Holiday time also means Calls for Proposals time, so finish your shopping and get busy! If you know of other conferences or opportunities, please leave a comment on this post so we can share with our Network.

Calls for Presentation Proposals

ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO
September 28-October 1, 2012
Phoenix, AZ
Submission deadline: January 20, 2012

ASLA is accepting proposals for education sessions for the 2012 annual meeting and EXPO. If you are interested in presenting and sharing your knowledge with the landscape architecture profession, we encourage you to submit a proposal through our online system.

November 3-6, 2012
Phoenix, AZ
Submission deadline: January 27, 2012

The HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference offers educational content delivery through several formats. Educational Sessions are designed to provide attendees with just-breaking information, case studies, and research findings on a myriad of topics. The conference is looking for educational sessions that are either research focused or that offer other options, such as case studies, design outcome or process/topic related sessions. Speakers are expected to offer information-rich presentations (supported by visual presentation) with opportunities for Q & A.

Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo
October 2-4, 2012
Navy Pier, Chicago, IL
Submission deadline: February 10th, 2012

The Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo is the only event where you will find the entire team who plans, designs, constructs, and manages healthcare facilities. We are accepting presentation submissions for our 25th year and want you to be part of it.


New TLN page on water in the landscape

Hibiscus pond. Photo by Henry Domke,

Hibiscus pond. Photo by Henry Domke,

TLN Blog posts have been few and far between (or is that far and few between?) these days. Much traveling and presenting at conferences, including yesterday at the annual ASLA meeting and expo here in San Diego. Here’s a blog post from a month or so ago about our presentation and also what other events might be of interest to our members: ASLA Meeting & Expo! Good stuff this year, and in San Diego.

Jack Carman, Clare Cooper Marcus, and I presented yesterday about water – its role in the landscape as a restorative element; the role that sound plays (original research by Clare); and issues of risk, safety and maintenance, including some preliminary original research by me. Some of our presentation will be available online, and all of the resources we refer to will be online on a special designated TLN page. It’s already up,, and we’ll be adding more resources and references after the conference. Check it out, and check back for updates.