Human development often proceeds through the creed of replacement–erasure. But the world can no longer afford to think so simply and narrowly. Interlocking crises of sustainability, from climate to biodiversity, demand a frame shift towards more symbiotic imaginings, towards building and creation that pay respect to the interconnectedness of the world.
To destroy in the name of creation does not award the creator a blank slate–nothing in this world exists independently of all else. This ethos can be found across the Institute’s work: from Transformations of the Human’s exploration of the blurred line between people and nature, to Geopolitics and Globalization’s conception of planetary politics, to the Future of Capitalism’s pursuit of policies that would wisely repurpose, rather than plunder, declining assets.
And it is with this ethos of integrating old with new, and human with landscape, that renowned landscape urbanist Mia Lehrer joins the Design and Environmental team for the Berggruen Institute’s Scholars’ Campus project. Mia and her team at Studio-MLA, the minds behind the Silver Lake Reservoir Path and Meadow and the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, will work to incorporate climate-resilient and biodiversity-enriching landscaping born of Southern California’s natural chaparral ecosystem.
“We have an opportunity as a city and as a region to do something wonderful with this land while thinking more deeply about our human relationship with nature, individually and collectively,” said Nicolas Berggruen, our Founder and Chairman. “Together, we will help to preserve and protect hundreds of acres of open space while providing increased access to nature for all.”