Landscape Architecture Magazine June 2021

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min

KELLY COMRAS, FASLA, (“The Tragedy of the Commons,” page 118) is a landscape architect and a member of the California State Bar practicing in Pacific Palisades, California. You can reach her at “Vision & Place tells us not only a story about development of the Southwest, but about the global issues of climate and sustainability.” PATRICK SISSON (“Artist’s Block,” page 152) is a Los Angeles-based writer and reporter interested in the design, tech, and trends that shape cities. You can follow him on Twitter @patrickcsisson. “I didn’t realize the true depth of the Lego-building subculture and the incredible work being done by hobbyists and artists, which makes me all the more excited for when my sons start playing with Legos.” TOM STOELKER (“Let the Graveyard Grow,” page 48) is a writer and photographer…

3 min
they were always there

This spring, the Atlantic published an essay by David Treuer, the Ojibwe author of the highly lauded cultural history The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. In “Return the National Parks to the Tribes,” Treuer puts his argument out front, and for the next 8,000 words, he doesn’t mince. Treuer takes readers through an excoriating and sure-footed record of the national parks as sites of violence and dispossession, stopping only briefly to let readers take in Katy Grannan’s exquisite portraits of contemporary Native American people and their landscapes. The essay frontloads the murderous history of how tribes had been removed from their ancestral homelands in places that became Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and then starved out when they could no longer return to hunt or…

2 min
trading faces

Although they don’t depict the likes of a Mike Trout or Max Scherzer, a new series of “baseball cards” may get children jazzed about careers in landscape architecture. Developed by the multidisciplinary firm Land-Design, the cards each show one of the firm’s designers on the front and a short Q and A about their work on the back, along with a signature project. The cards are just one element in the firm’s new Studio Toolkit, which includes a collection of physical tools and project guidance to give kids hands-on design experience long before they enter a university class-room. The idea was rooted in the racial justice dialogues that followed the murder of George Floyd last year. “We wanted to do more than just put out a statement; we wanted to take…

3 min
one stitch in time

Tucked inside President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan is $20 billion earmarked for communities torn apart by freeway construction and urban renewal. According to the Biden administration, the federal funds will be used to help reconnect these typically minority, often Black, communities and address decades of disinvestment and environmental racism. Cities around the country might soon be looking to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood neighborhood for ways to do so. Located just north of downtown Tulsa, Greenwood is home to what was known as Black Wall Street and is the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, in which 35 city blocks of Greenwood were burned and hundreds of Black men, women, and children were killed. (The event was narrativized in the HBO adaptation of Watchmen.) Greenwood was rebuilt by the families and…

3 min
seize the daylight

Seven major tributaries drain the canyons of the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City and empty into the Jordan River. As urbanization spread throughout the valley, these creeks were diverted and buried in culverts for flood control and development. Now, an effort to daylight portions of three of the creeks and restore a connection to the Jordan River is being realized in Salt Lake City’s Glendale neighborhood. Three Creeks Confluence Park was envisioned in 2014 by a group of students at the University of Utah’s College of Architecture + Planning. The project exposes 200 linear feet of previously enclosed stream, which carries water from Emigration, Parleys, and Red Butte Creeks into the Jordan River. Brian Tonetti was one of the original students and is now the executive director of the…

3 min
planning beyond plastics

Lightweight, easy to transport, no breakage. It’s easy to see why in the 1970s plastic pots became the standard plant vessel. But they have created a quiet crisis of their own. As far as researchers can tell, up to 98 percent of plant pots end up in landfills. Landscape and garden industry professionals send some to recycling facilities or back to growers, but the reality, according to a recent study published by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, is that most pots never make it full circle. The study, Plastic Pots and the Green Industry, details the life cycle of a standard, typically black nursery pot and how recyclable it actually is. Among the more interesting details is that although black plastic is used to help retain heat, the color often…