As of July 2014, the FIU Department of Landscape Architecture will be known the Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design (LA+EUD).
“The words ‘Environment’ and ‘Urbanism’ communicate our focus and our program’s recognized body of work, curriculum, scholarship, research and creative activity,” said Roberto Rovira, Chair.
Since its founding in 1986, the department has capitalized on the Miami and South Florida context to explore important issues affecting cities and environments. It has focused on the tropical and subtropical regions of the world whose global relevance Rovira is quick to point out by noting that 3 billion of the world’s 7 billion people currently live in these regions, and how this number is projected to double by 2100. “The fastest growth is taking place in developing countries, and the majority will happen in cities and places like Miami and Latin America, where our department has focused a lot of its energy and intellectual capital,” he stated.
Students in the program typically explore environmental, ecological and urban issues, and are asked to design public spaces, infrastructure and urban plans to address industrial reclamation, environmental mitigation, ecotourism, open space, sea level rise and many other issues at the center of the relationship between human beings and their surroundings. As the two-time winner of the most prestigious international student awards program sponsored by the American Society of Landscape Architects (the ASLA Design Award of Excellence and the Design Honor Award), FIU projects routinely combine landscape architecture, environment and urban design to propose innovative design solutions. Those projects specifically dealt with the redesign of an urban waterfront in the city of Colón, Panama, and a proposed park and an outdoor museum at Miami’s western edge, where the city and the natural environments come together.
Faculty research and creative work often centers on important issues surrounding ecology, design, sustainability, and urban resilience, and is regularly recognized through grants, exhibits, books and journal publications. LA+EUD’s faculty members have won numerous international and national competitions, and their recognition includes five professional awards from the ASLA and the American Institute of Architects (AIA), one national teaching award from the Council for Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), and two Research/Practice awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).
Faculty and student work with a focus on environment and urbanism has also been recognized by the Van Alen Institute (VAI), the Graham Foundation (GF), the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), the European Landscape Biennial (ELB), and the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF).
“Environmental and urban design form the core of the program’s mission, and like the discipline of landscape architecture itself, our curriculum spans from the micro to the macro scales and operates at the intersection of human beings and the natural world,” indicated Rovira.
The Department of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design’s MLA degree (Masters of Landscape Architecture) is accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB).