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Landscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine July 2020

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
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12 Edities

in deze editie

1 min.

MADELINE BODIN (“Superfund Slump,” page 30) is a freelance journalist who writes about wildlife and ecology and lives in Vermont. You can follow her on Twitter @MadelineBodin. “It’s not often that a story about landscape architecture involves hidden government data, but the Superfund statistics in this article are so hard to find on the EPA website that without guidance, I would have never found them.” SCOTT GEIGER, AFFILIATE ASLA, (“Law in the Land,” page 34) is the director of marketing for Reed Hilderbrand in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a writer whose fiction has been recognized with a Pushcart Prize and a New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship. You can follow him on Twitter @scottgeiger. “[Jedediah] Purdy uses this very lyrical technique of projecting himself over the North Carolina topography to perceive his…

1 min.
black voices matter

Some words posted on Instagram about ASLA’s initial public statement after George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis on May 25. Follow the unfolding conversation: @NationalASLA. Its black communities, its black people. Say it.—@smsolano86Please acknowledge the complicity of the landscape architecture profession in the past and present oppression of BLACK people in the United States. Please acknowledge specific steps you are committed to taking to increase the representation of black people in the profession, to encourage equitable development, to make public space in our cities more equitable, to speak against environmental injustice toward black communities.—@tarynwiensIt’s not enough to be neutral, you need to have a strong voice against the oppressors.—@lush._.lifeYou did not use the word “black” once in this sad excuse of a statement. Have a stronger position and advocate for…

3 min.
public bonds

If a person took all of the vacant properties in San Francisco and assembled them into a single parcel, the resulting open space would constitute nearly 500 acres—roughly half the size of Golden Gate Park. “That’s a lot of space that could be socially or ecologically activated,” says Nahal Sohbati, a partner at Topophyla, a West Coast landscape design studio. Sohbati has seen firsthand how transformative such activation projects can be for communities. While a graduate student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Sohbati’s scheme for Ridge Lane, an orphaned space and informal path in the city’s Ingleside neighborhood, was selected by a group of neighbors as the basis for improving the 15-foot-wide corridor. Among other things, Sohbati’s design responds to existing ecological relationships, namely the fact that…

2 min.
straws in the wind

Each month the American Institute of Architects publishes its Architecture Billings Index (ABI) based on a work-on-the-boards survey of architects across the country. With the advent of COVID-19, the March ABI plunged 20.1 points, the biggest single-month drop in the index’s history. (The recessions of 2001 and 2008 were heralded by falls of 9.4 and 8.3 points, respectively.) A further four-point tumble in April took the ABI to a new record low. POTENTIAL BRIGHT SPOTS INCLUDE HEALTH CARE, INDUSTRY, MULTIFAMILY RESIDENTIAL, AND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. So far, landscape architects aren’t reporting impacts of the same magnitude. In a survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in May, respondents’ rating of the pandemic’s impact on their businesses averaged only slightly negative: -1.7 on a scale from 5 to -5. Firms…

2 min.
virtual assistant

As famously intense collective experiences, design studios are often pointed to as the one aspect of design education that can’t be replicated online. This spring, that belief was tested as classes were forced to migrate into the virtual Guess Who? grid of Zoom. Although this way of teaching was new and unwelcome for many, some educators already had been experimenting with digital tools, which they say helped ease the transition. Among them is Richard leBrasseur, an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Dalhousie University in Truro, Nova Scotia. LeBrasseur says that one of the most effective tools he has found for providing feedback in remote studio sessions is a digital whiteboard app that he had begun using before the pandemic. The app is called ShowMe, and it’s largely marketed to K–12…

3 min.
upstream effects

Environmentalists are applauding a plan by the Ohio EPA and Governor Mike DeWine to reduce the amount of phosphorus in Lake Erie by 40 percent by 2025. Excess phosphorus, which enters the lake largely via agricultural runoff, is one of the main culprits for the lake’s nearly annual toxic algal blooms, which have proven capable of crippling entire cities’ water supplies, as happened in Toledo in 2014, when residents were ordered not to drink or wash with municipal water. The new plan, released in January 2020 and a major building block of the governor’s H2Ohio initiative, goes further than past efforts by mapping nutrient pollution across the 6,568-squaremile Maumee River watershed—the largest contributor of phosphorus in the state—and giving local officials a more granular picture of which tributary streams contain the…