Landscape Architecture Magazine July 2021

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

CONTRIBUTORS MICHAEL DUMIAK (“Mine, Ours,” page 80) is from South Carolina and has been writing and reporting from Berlin since 2004, covering science, design, and culture. You can follow him on Twitter @r8lobster. “The people here are grappling with questions posed by fossil fuels, feeling the back and forth of local history, and trying to look ahead as (along with everyone else) we slog through the terrible pandemic.” DOLLY HOLMES (“Mine, Ours,” page 80) is a painter and map designer living in Petersburg, Virginia. Her work can be seen at, and you can follow her on Instagram @dolmarvadesign. “I’m pleased to see that Germany is doing something about the destruction of its landscape from coal mining, and hopeful that it can work. We could learn something from that.” JEREMY FOSTER (“How Modern Is Urban…

2 min
follow the plants

If there was a plant book for business leaders, Beronda L. Montgomery’s Lessons from Plants (Harvard University Press, 2021) would be on every CEO’s bookshelf. It’s an unassuming book, small enough to fit into a handbag, with a decorative cover that belies the hard science inside. In case you were about to roll your eyes, Montgomery teaches at Michigan State University, where she is the MSU Foundation Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Among her many accolades was a recent inclusion by the journal Cell as one of 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America. The book is full of revelations for the non-plant biologist, such as the fact that plants can recognize the difference between self and others—something many humans are grappling with as…

4 min

WHO WORE IT BEST? I have become increasingly disappointed in the choice of LAM cover graphics over the past year or so. Unfortunately, the recent covers of LAM have been almost entirely disconnected from illustrating designed works of landscape architecture. By contrast, our “competing” magazine, Landscape Architect and Specifier News (LASN), has consistently published very attractive photos of parks, plazas, streetscapes, and other landscape design projects that make one want to open the magazine and read the article about the project highlighted on the cover. In all honesty, I believe that at this point landscape architects are more likely to read articles in LASN than in LAM, as they often have more relevance to their practice. The taboo at LAM against publishing articles written by landscape architects responsible for individual projects severely…

3 min
resilient appalachia

After the murder of George Floyd last summer, as environmental groups around the United States began to acknowledge the deep history of white supremacy in the conservation movement, Kim Elliman, the president and CEO of the Open Space Institute (OSI), wrote that the racial-justice uprisings “require us to dig deeper into the role land and land ownership have played in creating the divides that are plaguing our nation today. “In order to repair damage done by a system from which we have all benefited,” Elliman wrote, “we must commit to do more, to take on issues of environmental justice, particularly as they relate to clean water, clean air, and climate protection.” The institute, which has been working since the 1970s to conserve big tracts of land from southeast Canada down to Alabama…

3 min
logged on

Like many large buildings erected during the past 15 years, San Francisco’s Mira residential tower covers several of its roofs with vegetation. This is partly to provide a visual amenity to people living or working higher up in the air, and partly for the environmental benefits of absorbing rainfall and sunlight. But the landscapes that top one wing of the 39-story high-rise include another feature that isn’t nearly so common: several dozen thick logs of western red cedar lying amid the Sedum and flowering plants and mechanical equipment, as part of a landscape design effort to create a more varied habitat for insects and birds in a dense urban district. “Any green roof is good, but we began thinking about how we could make this a richer contribution to the larger setting,”…

4 min
chipping in for vets

On the western facade of the new Omaha Veterans Affairs (VA) Ambulatory Care Center in Nebraska, a long curtain wall of colored glass streams colorful light into a corridor that connects the new facility to the existing Omaha VA Medical Center. Beneath this bridge, a passageway links to a new Veterans Healing Garden, which—tucked between the two buildings—was designed for patients and staff in both facilities. “The garden is a physical pivot point between both the existing building and the new clinic. There is the literal bridge between the two, but the garden is a more active way to engage both buildings,” says Robin Fordyce, ASLA, a landscape architect, co-owner, and director of business operations at Vireo, the firm hired to design the approximately seven-acre site. Meandering and circular in shape, the understated…