Outstanding alum to lecture on de-urbanization in South Africa

Chris Mulder

Chris Mulder, one of South Africa’s top environmental designers and an outstanding alumnus of Texas A&M’s College of Architecture, will present “De-Urbanization: Creating Sustainable Rural New Towns” at 5:45 p.m. April 29 in Scoates Hall Room 208.

he Dr. Frederick E. Giesecke 1886 Lecture Series Mulder’s public appearance is part of the Dr. Frederick E. Giesecke 1886 Lecture Series, which honors the founder of Texas A&M's architecture program. Mulder will also participate in a roundtable discussion at 2 p.m. April 30 in the Technical Reference Center.

Mulder, who earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Design in 1980, is the founding chairman and CEO of CMAI Architects who plans, design, coordinates and implements rural developments that are integrated with large-scale commercial farming operations.

Among the firm’s projects is Crossways Farm Village, a housing development in South Africa located on a dairy farm.

“Crossways Farm Village is a groundbreaking real estate concept,” states the development’s website. “At its heart lies the belief that scientifically managed, productive farms will replace golf courses in developments, that farming and farmers will again take center stage in the country's prosperity.”

Mulder said there is growing support for the concept of rural living in an agricultural environment.

“The slogan 'agriculture is the new golf' has been taken up enthusiastically by people in all walks of life concerned about the environment,” he said. “There is in particular an increasing awareness of the importance for the future of safe access to food and water, and of the need to live with the land in a sustainable manner."

Mulder’s appearance is the second Giesecke lecture of the spring 2015 semester.

On April 6, Urban planning author and educator Emily Talen presented a lecture on New Urbanism, a planning movement that champions compact, walkable urban spaces.

posted April 20, 2015