Landscape Architecture Magazine December 2021

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min

JOANN GRECO (“The Wright Way,” page 46) is a Philadelphia-based journalist who writes frequently on landscape architecture, historic preservation, gardening, and urban planning. You can reach her at “I’ve been following and writing about the Martin House restoration for about 10 years, but I was still surprised by the depth of research and the sheer amount of time and brain power given over to the landscape aspect of the project.” ROBERTO J. ROVIRA, ASLA, (“Right of Center,” page 66) is a landscape architect and educator based in Miami, where he chairs the landscape architecture program at Florida International University and runs Studio Roberto Rovira. You can contact him at “The pier is an example of a public space whose inclusivity today is easy to take for granted, but whose history can…

2 min
seasons change

When my daughter was very young, I often sang her a song by Gillian Welch that I only half remember now, but its refrain was “So long now I’ve been out in the rain and snow, but winter’s come and gone, a little bird told me so.” I loved it because it was easy to sing, but also because it gestured to the feeling of half light and bone damp that becomes wearying at the ends of the seasons, even as the song celebrates the passing of darker times. These sensations felt omnipresent and vaguely unsettling to me, then an inexperienced mother of a fall-born baby. I’ve learned to know the beauty of winter in the varied plant forms and cycles—a way of seeing winter that is still relatively new to…

2 min
where credit is due

I am writing to you regarding the article “Licensure on the Line” in the September issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine. I want to thank you for the article and for bringing further awareness to the very real threat we face regarding the deregulation of professional licensing. The ASLA State Government Affairs team and a small, dedicated group of ASLA volunteers from across the country work tirelessly to defend and advocate for licensure, a critical tool that insures we as landscape architects can effectively protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Advocacy may be one of the most important things we do as ASLA members and volunteers, but it is one that many shy away from for various reasons. Despite its importance, licensure advocacy is an ongoing effort that seems…

3 min
swings and swales

One bright-blue Friday afternoon in October, I was paused at a stoplight in Squirrel Hill, a residential neighborhood about five miles from downtown Pittsburgh, when I saw a young woman with a red backpack try to summit a steep slope on her bicycle. She approached the hill with good momentum and no shortage of confidence and was halfway up the block before she started losing speed. Two thirds of the way, she began to wobble. Pedaling a few more yards, she surrendered to the inevitable and finished the journey on foot. At the bottom of the hill sat Wightman Park, recently redesigned around the very force the young woman was trying to overcome. In Pittsburgh’s Hill District, stormwater accumulates in the valleys. In 2014, the city’s Department of Public Works (DPW)…

3 min
stress test

Historically, crash data has been the primary metric by which traffic engineers measure road safety and, subsequently, prioritize roadway improvements. Streets and intersections with the fewest crashes are assumed to be the safest, and vice versa. But Megan Ryerson, the associate dean of research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design, says this is a flawed way to measure safety. Not only is such a methodology reactive, requiring that a certain mortality threshold be met before city officials will act—a threshold expressed in KSI, or individuals “killed or severely injured”—but it also ignores those streets and intersections that road users purposely avoid. If practically no one crosses at a particular intersection or bikes along a particular street, “nobody has occasion to be struck, and that intersection will never…

3 min
sun, flower, power

Once, finding anything other than turfgrass growing under ground-mounted solar panels was rare. Over the past five or six years, however, more solar installations are including plantings to create pollinator habitat. Maggie Graham, a faculty research assistant at the Nexus of Energy, Water, and Agriculture (NEWAg) Lab at Oregon State University, wondered if flowers were actually blooming in those pollinator habitats and if bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, or other pollinators were actually visiting the blooms. Graham counted the blooms and the pollinators at the Eagle Point solar farm in the Rogue Valley, an arid region of Oregon. She found that the habitat-enhanced solar site was a good place for pollinators, and published her study in the journal Scientific Reports. She found blooms and pollinators throughout the site, although there were fewer…