Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

Taner R. Özdil, Candidate for CELA Vice President of Research

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

Taner R. Özdil, Candidate for CELA Vice President of Research

Dr. Taner R. Özdil, ASLA – Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, CAPPA – College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Arlington

Dr. Özdil is an Associate Professor for the Landscape Architecture Program and Associate Director for Research for The Center for Metropolitan Density (CfMD) at College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Özdil previously held research and teaching positions at the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University (TAMU), and Dallas Urban Solution Center of TAMU System. He has been an officer (past chair) for Urban Design PPN at National ASLA, and Board Member for Greater Dallas Planning Council, North Texas Congress for New Urbanism as well as the Real Estate Program here at UT Arlington. Dr. Özdil’s services to CELA includes but not limited to Region-3 Director since March 2019, Landscape Performance (LP) Track Co-chair since 2016, Landscape Research Record (LRR) paper reviewer in various occasions since inaugural issue (2012), LRR co-editor since 2017, CELA abstract reviewer since 2004, as well as ad hoc CELA Research Committee Member between 2012 and 2016. He was also a contributing researcher for Academic Information System (AIS) research and analytics between 2008 and 2012. He has been presenting and/or publishing in CELA circles for 20 years. His scholarly, professional, and teaching activities focus on environmental, economic, and social value creation through landscape architecture, urban design, and physical planning practices primarily in mixed-use environments, high-density urban areas, and metropolitan regions. He teaches graduate courses that focus on design, urban landscape, urban design, and environmental planning. He also teaches and advises thesis research, and participates in interdisciplinary courses (i.e. hypermobility) and educational activities (i.e. competitions) with allied programs. Dr. Özdil’s main motive is to explore the rather untapped interdisciplinary areas of research and creative inquiry in the urban landscape, urban design and planning. His research efforts with his collaborators have been instrumental in generating over $1.5 million research as well as producing over 100 peer-reviewed scholarly and professional presentations and publications. He also actively contributes to creative fields with professional jury roles, competition participation with his students, and/or exhibits. In addition to his book, Economic Value of Urban Design, one of his key contributions to advance landscape architecture scholarship recent years has been the landscape performance research he has been involved following the receipt of Landscape Architecture Foundation’s (LAF) competitive CSI Fellowship awards in 2013, 2014, and 2017 respectively. Dr. Özdil received his BLA from Ankara University, MLA from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Dr. Özdil has been living and practicing in Region-3 since 1994 first as a Master’s and Ph.D. student, and then part-time and full-time faculty since 2000.

I am currently serving as CELA Region-3 Director (Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). Also, since 2019, I have served as the CELA Board representative on the Standing Committee for Research and Creative Scholarship. I am also the Landscape Performance Track Co-Chair. I have been attending and/or presenting at CELA Conferences for about 20 years, and have been serving the organization in various capacities since 2004. Some of these past roles include but not limited to; Abstract Reviewer, Academic Information System (AIS) Task Force Member and Research Associate, Research Team Member, and Landscape Research Record (LRR) paper reviewer and lately, LRR Editorial Board Member.  My current and ongoing roles in Landscape Performance Track, Landscape Research Record, as well as my engagement in the Standing Committee for Research and Creative Scholarship with Dr. Galen Newman (current VPR) and with other Board of Director members during last year, have been very informative about VPR role and its operations. My introduction to UT Arlington, where the CELA Executive Office was being held for a while, has given me a close understanding of the function and impact of CELA. I do believe that I have a current and insider knowledge and expertise of the CELA Board of Directors’ activities, and operations, which I believe will give me a smooth into the VPR role with, of course, the ongoing support of current and previous leadership members. As a nominee who has been involved with four different programs (as a student or as a faculty) on three different continents for about 30 years now, I believe that I have the background and expertise, as well as the personal drive to support research and creative activity within the context of landscape architecture, not only in the US but also in an international framework.

It is my experience and understanding that CELA’s expectation from Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship is to review and propose policies and procedures that foster knowledge generation and dissemination regarding the arts and sciences of landscape architecture through data collection, data analysis, and data reporting. It is also critical to seamlessly run and strengthen already established research and creative activities, programs and publications while advocating for new ones to address the evolving needs of landscape architecture as a discipline and area of practice. If I am elected to become the next VPR for CELA, I intend to promote knowledge generation and dissemination among the Landscape Architecture programs, between academics and practitioners, as well as between the landscape architecture and allied fields nationally and internationally. Specifically, I do believe that as an academic who has dedicated his life in the exploration of the value of design through evaluation and performance research (social, environmental, economic, aesthetic etc.), I can be a strong advocate in capturing and disseminating scientific knowledge with the aim to empower students, faculty, programs, professionals, and landscape architectural organizations. Within the past year, we highlighted three critical topics of inquiry namely; climate change, diversity, and enrolment as was captured in CELA 2019 conference. Current scholarly and professional literature is also raising additional serious questions regarding knowledge domains, multidisciplinary perspectives, health and well-being, and digital technologies (i.e. big data) in landscape architecture. I do believe that by actively engaging with academic community through CELA Track Chairs VPR position, I can identify and respond varying needs within our scholarly and professional community to inform future research, education and practice. In conclusion, my research and creative activities, teaching and learning experience in various prominent institutions in the U.S. and beyond, as well as my active service in CELA and other allied organizations over the years, have given me the courage to gladly accept this nomination and move forward the hard work of my predecessors, started in this specific role. I am deeply honored Professor Charlene LeBleu (Past President) invaluable nomination.