University of Vermont

Lecture: Roads with No Driving, Nature in the City

Richard TT Forman photo
Harvard's Richard TT Forman will lecture on roads with no driving.

Richard T.T. Forman can imagine a future where “we could move gloriously and quietly along in our own comfortable car compartment some 20 feet high between the trees, yet with no engine running, no fossil fuel use, no greenhouse gas emissions, and no need to watch the road.”

He also knows that, “for centuries, spreading roads have progressively degraded nature,” as he writes in the journal Solutions. “The direct ecological impacts of the road system have been estimated as affecting one-fifth of the U.S. land surface, with indirect effects spreading much further.”

Forman, called by some “the father of landscape ecology,” is a professor at Harvard University and world-leading expert on roads, land use and urban ecology.

He will give a lecture, Friday, Feb. 10 in UVM’s newly renovated Aiken Center, room 102, at 3 p.m.

The lecture, free and open to the public, will explore two of Forman’s questions: “Nature and Us Both Thriving in Urban Regions?” and “Roads with No Driving/Emissions and Nature Reconnected?”

“Richard Forman's visit to UVM provides a rare opportunity to hear the perspectives of an individual whose academic career has spanned decades of research and innovative thinking in the fields of ecology, urban and environmental planning and landscape design,” said Stephanie Hurley, UVM assistant professor, who spearheaded Forman’s visit to UVM’s campus.

“Forman's work has influenced the evolution of thought about the spatial relationships between people and the natural world.” Hurley said. “From international mega-cities, to roadsides in New England, Dr. Forman's research envisions possibilities for humans and ecosystems to coexist sustainably.”

Richard Forman’s many publications include the books Land Mosaics (1995), Road Ecology (2003) and Urban Regions (2008).

The lecture is co-sponsored by UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Plant and Soil Science.