August 11, 2016 Fulbright Scholar Brad Collett Teaches in Slovenia
This summer, Brad Collett completed a semester-long experience as a Fulbright Scholar in Slovenia, a small country in southern Central Europe. An assistant professor in both Landscape Architecture and Plant Sciences, Collett taught and lectured at the University of Ljubljana on contemporary landscape planning and practices as a means to protect watersheds, mitigate stormwater management challenges and cultivate healthy communities. He also presented this topic at a lecture for landscape architects, civil engineers, architects, spatial planners, public utility agencies and representatives from various ministries in the government of the Republic of Slovenia.
“The health of shared water resources is equally as valuable to Knoxville and Tennessee as they are to Ljubljana and Slovenia in economic, social and environmental terms,” Collett said. “Outdated stormwater infrastructure in existing communities will be strained by anticipated climate dynamics, continued consumption of landscapes and proliferation of impervious surfaces through low-density, single-use development.”
Collett’s lecture, “Operative Landscapes: Stormwater Management in Contemporary Urbanism,” was held in the Library of Urban Planning Institute of Republic of Slovenia.
Through the lecture, Collett drew parallels between the hydrologic impact of infrastructure and development patterns in the United States and Slovenia. He discussed how landscape architecture professionals are working as part of collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams to avoid and minimize water resource impacts through contemporary planning and design strategies, as well as reimagining urban stormwater management infrastructures that employ ecosystem functions of living systems and leverage the performative capacity of designed landscapes.
Back in Tennessee, Collett will use this experience in his UT classroom this fall and in his work with the Governor’s Chair for High Performance Energy Practices in Urban Environments, a unique five-year collaboration of the College of Architecture and Design, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which seeks and develops innovative strategies to find balance between energy and urbanism.
The Fulbright Program is a prestigious international exchange initiative that awards about 1,100 grants to American scholars each year. Funded by the U.S. government, Fulbright Scholars are chosen based on their leadership and academic merits and their abilities to teach, conduct research and contribute to solutions for shared international concerns.