Growing IN Place Symposium 2018

Greening Urban Childhood by Design

Human development as a biophilic design benefit. Creating play and learning opportunities for children and youth through eco-conservation, restoration, and urban natural infrastructure management.


The approximately 74 million children and youth living in the U.S. account for just a quarter of the total population (lowest % ever); however, 85% inhabit urban areas. How can built environments be designed to engage children and youth with urban nature equitably? How can nonformal education contribute to urban learning in the arts and sciences? How can urban design and programming become an educational resource? How can urban design offer natural learning environments close at hand, to inspire young people to acquire a pro-nature ethic?

Growing IN Place 2018 emphasizes urban planning and design policies that support play and learning in nature, that conserve and restore natural infrastructure in green pathway networks connecting homes to schools, parks, community gardens, and cultural institutions — places that can help young people connect with urban ecosystems. It is designed to inform landscape architects, architects, urban designers, planners, parks and recreation professionals, teachers, environmental educators, citizen activists, elected officials, and all professionals working to create urban environments that support children’s natural curiosity and learning.


Symposium Organizer

Robin Moore, Dipl.Arch, MCP, Hon.ASLA; Professor of Landscape Architecture, NC State University. Introduction: Nature, childhood, and urban design.

Speakers & Provisional Titles

Stephen Bentley, Assistant Director, City of Raleigh, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Dept. Creating a Big Urban Park: Strategies for long-term success.

Kofi Boone, MLA, ALSA; Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, NC State University. Design for bio-social diversity: Inclusive community processes and outcomes.

Nilda Cosco, PhD, ASLA; Research Associate Professor, Director of Programs, Natural Learning Initiative, NC State University. Nature: Children’s constant, reliable friend.

Kevin Coyle, JD; VP, Education and Training, National Wildlife Federation. Creating a conservation ethic for the Anthropocene Age: Turning 74 million kids on to nature!

Karen Firehock, BS, MCP, Executive Director and co-founder, Green Infrastructure Center; Adjunct Faculty, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia. Green Infrastructure Planning: Engaging Children, Youth, and Families.

Daniel Iacofano, PhD, FAICP, FASLA; CEO, MIG. Engaging communities in urban greening: Innovative planning, design, and management policies.

Chris Moorman, PhD, Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NC State University. Conserving, creating, and managing urban habitats in today’s world.

March 16, 2018