One the leading lights in theNew Urbanismdesign movement will talk to West Virginia Universitys student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, in Room 113 of the Mineral Resources Building, Evansdale Campus.

Landscape architect John Francis Torti, FAIA , LEED, AP, of Torti Gallas and Partners, will talk about New Urbanism, a style of architecture and design that puts residential and commercial dwellings in context with their environment.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Communities designed using the principles of the New Urbanism ensure that neighborhoods are walkable, contain a diverse range of housing, jobs and open space,he said.New Urbanists believe these strategies are the best way to reduce how long people spend in traffic, increase the supply of affordable housing, and rein in urban sprawl.

Tortis firm has offices in Silver Spring, Md., and Los Angeles.

His son, John, of Olney, Md., is a senior in WVU s landscape architecture program, and he and fellow students Grant Shiring of Pittsburgh and Abbey Workman of Frostburg, Md., are redesigning the Siberian tiger and polar bear habitats of the Louisville Zoo for their senior project.

Torti, the younger, is looking forward to his fathers visit, he said, both professionally and personally.

It will be good for our landscape architecture students to hear from someone who puts new urbanism into practice and can explain the concept from a professional point of view,he said.

WVU s Hala Nassar agreed.

Hes a great speaker for WVU s landscape architecture students,said Nassar, an assistant professor of landscape architecture and the groups advisor.

New Urbanism is particularly fitting for our junior and senior students as they start working on real-world design projects,Nassar said.Some of the design studio projects focus on revitalization of downtown areas of our cities with the goal of improving the quality of urban life. Mr. Torti can provide an insight to that process as a successful professional.

WVU s landscape architecture program is housed in the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences.