The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture

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Join the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and the Center for Sustainable Development for

Secrets of Japanese Cities the World Admires: Sustainable Infrastructure Lessons

Thursday, September 13, 5 PM
Battle Hall 101
Free and open to the public

Chester Liebs, University of Vermont Professor Emeritus of History and Preservation, will share observations from his book Secrets of Japanese Cities the World Admires, Yousensha, 2011.

Image of Japanese cityThis talk begins with an overview of three sustainable, yet often undervalued aspects of Japanese daily life: 1) the mamachari—the affectionate name given to the estimated 90 million inexpensive, practical bicycles, in daily use for commuting to the station, neighborhood shopping, and countless other purposes;  2) the nation’s compact bicycle neighborhoods and the features that make them ideal places to support a “car-free” life; and 3) the enabling infrastructure, from station-side  bicycle-parking to the world’s most reliable and comprehensive public transportation, that connects bicycle neighborhoods to the rest of Japan and the world beyond. The focus shifts to recent challenges to this car-free-life-supporting infrastructure including: the current Japanese penchant for celebrating sports bikes while disparaging the practical mamachari; the demolition of bicycle neighborhoods for urban renewal projects; and construction of new urban highways, car parking lots, and promotion of highway-toll-elimination schemes—all of which are gradually undermining the auto resistance of Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The presentation concludes with a look at some lessons to be gleaned from the book, not only for Japan, but for rapidly-motorizing East-Asian developing countries and, perhaps, even for the United States.

Chester Liebs is Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont and was founding director of its Historic Preservation Program. He is a protégé of James Marston Fitch and an early graduate of Columbia University’s Historic Preservation Program. Recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships to Japan (1994-95) and (2006-07), he has served as a visiting Professor of Urban Conservation at the University of Tokyo and Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and was Chair of Columbia’s Historic Preservation Program (1984-85). In addition to Secrets of Japanese Cities the World Admires (2011), among his other publications is Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture (1985, revised 1995). He is currently Adjunct Professor in the University of New Mexico’s Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation and Regionalism.  A National Trust Advisor Emeritus, past president of the Society for Industrial Archeology and the Society for Commercial Archeology, and former board member of US/ICOMOS,  he has consulted and lectured nationally and internationally on conserving historic towns and cities, heritage corridors, and intangible cultural heritage. Liebs has received a number of awards for his work in preservation including a National Honor Award (1996) from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Council for Preservation Education’s James Marston Fitch Preservation Education Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).

Chester Liebs will also be the keynote speaker for a symposium Roadside Treasures - Buildings of the Automotive Era. The symposium will take place September 15 in San Antonio. It was organized by the San Antonio Conservation Society and the UTSA College of Architecture's Center for Cultural Sustainability. More information at http://www.saconservation.org/.

April 13, 2011

University of Texas students and faculty welcomed architect, scholar and leading expert on the preservation of modern architecture, Theo Prudon, to a lecture at the Jessen Auditorium. In honor of MODern Month in Texas, Mr. Prudon spoke of the crucial issues in the preservation of modern architecture, the need to advocate for our significant modern Texas heritage, and the vital impact that informed citizens have at the local, regional, state, national and international levels.

A reception sponsored by the University of Texas Student Historic Preservation Association followed the lecture.

Mr. Prudon is President of DOCOMOMO US, a Principal with Prudon & Partners Architects, and professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Department. He is also the author of Preservation of Modern Architecture (Wiley, 2008), the winner of the Association for Preservation Technology Lee Nelson Book Award.

April 8, 2011

Project from the 2010 Advanced Design and Historic Preservation Studio Wins Award

Kendra Locklear's "Statler Hilton" project, completed for Associate Professor Carl Matthew's fall 2010 Advanced Design and Historic Preservation Studio, was awarded as a finalist in Hospitality Design magazine's 2011 Interiors Awards. Locklear, LEED AP, is a post-professional student in the Interior Design Program.

To read the full UTSOA enews article, click HERE.

March 5, 2011

First and second year MSHP students participated in the "Biggest Open House in Texas," Explore UT.  For this event, thousands of school-age children and their families came to campus to visit, learn and explore at the University of Texas at Austin!  The MSHP students and Prof. Fran Gale opened up the conservation laboratory for tours, activities and demonstrative experiments.

Payal Vora explains capillary action to a group of visitors.

Payal Vora explains capillary action to a group of visitors.

Yuanjing Du shows visitors examples of metal conservation.

Yuanjing Du shows visitors examples of metal conservation.

Andreea Hamilton demonstrates the use of the stereomicroscope.

Andreea Hamilton demonstrates the use of the stereomicroscope.

Februrary 8, 2011

Second year MSHP students Grace Cynkar, Amanda Carpenter, Meg Frisbe and Jessica Ugarte attended and volunteered at Preservation Texas' biennial Preservation Day.  This biennial event was held at the Texas State Capitol and included panels led by distinguished preservation professionals such as "Emerging Issues in the 82nd Legislative Session" and "Communicating the Value of Historic Preservation."

Preservation Texas President, Jim Ray, and Texas State Historic Preservation Officer, Mark Wolfe, speak to the attendees of Preservation Day.

Preservation Texas President, Jim Ray, and Texas State Historic Preservation Officer, Mark Wolfe, speak to the attendees of Preservation Day.

In the News

Historic Preservations Field Work: Cape Lookout National Seashore
— e-news 07.23.2010

HP News 04.14.08

the e-newsletter of the UTSOA Historic Preservation Program
Program Director: Michael Holleran


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The UT School of Architecture is searching for a new curator for the Materials Laboratory

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