COSMOS PRIZE

The Prizewinner 2001



Name  Anne Whiston Spirn
Born on  16 June 1947
Nationality  United States of America
Title  Professor,
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT)

Reason for Awarding
 

  Prof. Spirn's basic principle in regional planning is based on her belief that cities are part of nature, since the atmosphere, soil and ground, water, and fauna and flora in urban areas are continuums from the surrounding nature: urban areas are not independent or separated, and do not conflict with nature: these areas are part of nature.
  In 1984, she wrote and published a remarkable book, “The Granite Garden; Urban Nature and Human Design (Japanese title: Urban Ecosystem), describing her basic principle.  The publication won international attention in that it shed a new light on the relationship between urban areas and the natural environment.  This helps to promote the concept of the prize Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and Mankind.
  Prof. Spirn has stressed the necessity of a beautiful urban environment, and has also stated that an element of beauty is indispensable for urban areas to coexist harmoniously with nature.  In 1998, she published another noteworthy book entitled The Language of Landscape”.  This writing provides explications on various landscapes all over the world that were formed through interactions between local residents and nature, in the context of their respective histories and local traditions.  Moreover, she emphasizes that it is important to catch and understand what individual landscapes can tell us, so that mankind can sustain or create beautiful environments through better interactions with nature.  This is a new approach for studying the relationship between nature and mankind.
  Consistently underlying all of her achievements is her philosophy, urban areas harmoniously coexisting with nature, and new approaches aiming at the integration of nature, urban areas and art. These achievements, in agreement with Harmonious Coexistence of Nature and Mankind”, the concept of the Cosmos Prize, have contributed to the future of human society in the 21st century.
  Therefore, Prof. Spirn fully deserves the International Cosmos Prize.


 

CURRICULUM VITAE

 
1965
  - 1969
Radcliffe College, A.B. (1969 Cum Laude)
1969
  - 1970
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Art History
1970
  - 1974
University of Pennsylvania, M.L.A. 1974
1983
  - 1986
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture,
Harvard University
1986
  - 2000
Professor of Landscape Architecture and Regional  Planning,
University of Pennsylvania
1996
  - 2000
Co-Director, Urban Studies Program,
University of Pennsylvania
2000  - Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 
Selected Boards and Committees
 
1992 Chairman, Panel of Experts, OECD Ministerial Conference on the Economic, Social, and Environmental Problems of Cities
1993 Panel of Experts, OECD Program on The Ecological City
1995
  - 1998
Chairman, Advisory Council, Territorial Development Service, OECD Selected Boards and Committees
1992 Chairman, Panel of Experts, OECD Ministerial Conference on the Economic, Social, and Environmental Problems of Cities
1993 Panel of Experts, OECD Program on The Ecological City
1995
  - 1998
Chairman, Advisory Council, Territorial Development Service, OECD

 
Honors
 
1984 President's Award of Excellence, American Society of Landscape Architects for The Granite Garden
1996 International Architect Book Award, American Institute of Architects
1999 Model Project, Imagining America White House Conference

Books

1984 The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design (Basic Books)
1998 The Language of Landscape (Yale University Press)

Research Monographs
 
1981 Plants for Passive Cooling, co-author with Adele Naude Santos. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Graduate School of Design
1986 Air Quality at Street-Level: Strategies for Urban Design. Prepared for Boston Redevelopment Authority. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Graduate School of Design.
1987 Managing Lasting Improvements to Public Open Space, co-author with Arnold Howitt and Elisabeth Lardner. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Center for State and Local Government, Harvard University.
1988 Nature, Form, and Meaning: Special Issue of Landscape Journal. Guest Editor.
1990 "This Garden is a Town". A Publication of the West Philadelphia Landscape Plan. Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania.
1991 The West Philadelphia Landscape Plan: A Framework for Action. Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania.
1991 Models of Success: Landscape Improvement and Community Development. A Publication of the West Philadelphia Landscape Plan. Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania.
1991 Shaping the Block. A Publication of the West Philadelphia Landscape Plan. Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania.
1991 Vacant Land: A Resource for Reshaping Urban Neighborhoods. A Publication of the West Philadelphia Landscape Plan. Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania.
1996 The West Philadelphia Digital Database: An Atlas and Guide. Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania.