Landscape Architecture Magazine April 2021

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

CONTRIBUTORS ADAM REGN ARVIDSON, FASLA, (“Words Lost and Found,” page 58) is a landscape architect in Minneapolis and the author of Wild and Rare: Tracking Endangered Species in the Upper Midwest. You can follow him on Instagram @adamregn. “Writing this story made me reflect on the link between landscape diversity and language diversity North America used to have—imagine if European settlers had fully embraced these many ways of describing the world.” LISA CASEY, ASLA, (“All the Youth We Cannot See,” page 142) is a Dallas-based landscape architect at Studio Outside specializing in public spaces and emphasizing design with empathy. You can reach her at “There is a story in the book about a program director including yoga and mindfulness instruction as youth are quantifying rapid gentrification in their neighborhood so that they end…

2 min
dream of streets

A few weeks ago, I stopped by our offices at the Center for Landscape Architecture, which the magazine staff, and the rest of ASLA, had left abruptly on March 13, 2020, to work from home. On our desks were the detritus of the month—calendars pinned to March, forgotten to-do lists, mail, books, page layouts, and sketched-out ideas for the next issue, which we were preparing to ship in two weeks. I was sad, but also bewildered. Who were the people who made these things? I sat at my desk and tried to remember what I was working on and thinking about. The distance between here and there was filled with more than time; it was filled with grief and rage, but also resilience, and gratitude. I was thinking about this as…

3 min

IN THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST Thaïsa Way’s review of Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present (“Writing Race In,” LAM, January) made many excellent points, but the one it drove home the hardest for me was the inadequacy of a Western linear idea of progress. It’s becoming ever more clear that the line of history, whether it’s what we learned in grade school or in grad school, is a perforated and tangled one at best. As we work to untangle it and fill the gaps, a good measure of humility is essential: If Western civilization is indeed “advanced” compared to those of the people it conquered, dispossessed, and enslaved, it is advancing headlong in the wrong direction. It’s hard to acknowledge that our forebears weren’t…

2 min
failed, but not finished

For Matt Wittman and Jody Estes, the founders of the Seattle-based architecture and landscape design studio Wittman Estes, the abrupt closure of the West Seattle Bridge in March 2020 was one in a long line of failures. “There’s been this history in American cities, and in Seattle in particular, of really ambitious, large-scale infrastructural projects, which usually involve [building] massive concrete structures in a seismic zone that then, a few decades and billions of dollars later,” are demolished, Wittman says. Angela Yang, a designer at Wittman Estes, says the bridge’s closure also highlighted the lack of connectivity between West Seattle and the rest of the city. As a result, heavy freight traffic has been routed through ethnically diverse neighborhoods that already suffer from poor air quality. In response, the firm…

3 min
carrying capacity

Bound by water on three sides, the city of Norfolk, Virginia, is no stranger to flooding (see “The Rising Tidewater,” LAM, December 2017). Understanding and predicting flood patterns has always been part of the city’s resilience plan, but a new stormwater sensor system is producing data that is more granular—and therefore more useful—than ever before. The data is the result of a partnership between the city, the Norfolk-based incubator RISE, and the Seattle-based (and woman-owned) start-up StormSensor. Through a resilience challenge, RISE provided grant funding to StormSensor to place 25 sensors inside pipes in flood-prone areas of the city (with five more sensors to be placed soon). The sensors feed data into cloud-based software that Suzie Housley, a stormwater scientist with StormSensor, says allows real-time monitoring and analysis. Already, the sensors have…

3 min
a garden 160 years in the making

The Urban Farm at Enston Home is the latest effort by the nonprofit Green Heart Project—which builds and runs teaching gardens in Charleston, South Carolina—to create a food-based curriculum for local students. The half-acre farm, designed pro bono by the local civil engineering and landscape architecture firm SeamonWhiteside, is the organization’s largest project to date, serving K–12 students from three different schools and employing up to a dozen local youth annually as farm interns. The farm is Green Heart Project’s eighth in the Charleston area, all of which have been planned in collaboration with SeamonWhiteside, says Michael Cain, a land planner at the firm who also sits on the Green Heart Project’s board of directors. Unlike past garden projects, the farm at Enston Home is located not on school grounds but…