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Landscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine Dec-15

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12 Edities

in deze editie

3 min.
we are lady bird

In October, the advocacy group Scenic America held a gathering in Washington to mark the 50th anniversary of an important year in American conservation. It’s moving to think that half a century ago, in the chaos of the 1960s, alongside Vietnam and the civil rights era, a great chapter in our conservation history began. It was launched by Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady of the United States. One of its early milestones was the White House Conference on Natural Beauty, which took place in May 1965—the name of the event alone is breathtaking to me today. That was also the year Congress passed the Highway Beautification Act and created the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Scenic America’s gathering was both a celebration of that legacy and a call to renewed…

4 min.
don’t call it a plan

Despite being the second-largest waterfall in the United States by volume, and the largest in the Pacific Northwest, Willamette Falls is not well known even within Oregon. Outside the American Indian community, for whom it remains an important fishing site, many who live in the area have never seen the falls. Its absence from the collective consciousness is, in part, because the falls have been closed to the public for more than 100 years. That will soon change. This summer, the Willamette Falls Legacy Project, a partnership of four public agencies, hired a design collective made up of Portland-based landscape architecture firm Mayer/Reed, international design firm Snøhetta, and Canadian architecture and planning firm DIALOG to develop a public riverwalk and interpretative plan for the falls. Construction will begin in 2017, and…

2 min.
data from a floating lab

Can floating islands scrub clean some of New York’s most polluted waterways? Over the past few years, Diana Balmori, FASLA, and her team at BAL/LABs, the experimental studio within Balmori Associates, has sought an answer to that question, testing a variety of small-scale interventions on Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, an EPA Superfund site that, despite a surge of development along its banks, is most well-known for its brackish waters. Balmori’s latest water-cleansing landscape was installed at the canal’s Seventh Street Basin this past September. It’s a floating island made from nearly three dozen metal culverts ranging from 18 inches to 30 inches in diameter and lashed together on a raft of plastic barrels and bottles. It goes by the name GrowOnUs, and Balmori hopes it will provide some answers. Funded with $20,000 from…

2 min.
a playground on wheels

A landscape is, almost by definition, immovable—of one place, one culture, one climate. And yet over the years, designers of all kinds have experimented with movable landscapes, mobile parks that temporarily green a parking stall or animate a vacant streetscape. These interventions are usually short-lived— often because they are technically illegal—but Scott Shall, creator of the International Design Clinic, recently completed a project he hopes has a longer life. The project involves a mobile playground created in collaboration with Teatro Trono, a local community theater group in El Alto, Bolivia. El Alto is a fringe settlement nearly 1,000 feet above La Paz, putting it a full mile above Denver. (The city’s public transit system includes a 6.5-mile aerial cable car system.) The movable playground, intended for children and operated by Teatro…

4 min.
motor city field guide

Detroit contains at least 23 square miles of vacant land, an area slightly larger than the city of Manhattan, and, according to Dan Kinkead, interim executive director of Detroit Future City, that number is expected to grow to 30 square miles over the next few years. As the city continues to use federal funds to demolish dilapidated buildings, improvised meadows have reclaimed the footprints of bungalows, hosting rampant milkweed that grows six feet tall and creating unlikely habitat for foraging pheasants. And, in the eyes of Erin Kelly, ASLA, a landscape designer and program manager of Innovative Landscapes at Detroit Future City, it is a hopeful new frontier. “There’s not a lot of thinking about landscape being important to Detroit’s future; it’s the first thing to get cut from the budget.…

4 min.
made in zuni

A unique architecture and planning program at the University of New Mexico (UNM) is providing much-needed design expertise to indigenous communities. The Indigenous Design + Planning Institute (iD+Pi, pronounced “idpie”)— part of UNM’s School of Architecture— was founded in 2011 by Theodore Jojola, who was also instrumental in establishing the Indigenous Planning Division of the American Planning Association. Many of the students at iD+Pi come from indigenous communities themselves, and according to Jojola, the program has more students who identify as indigenous than any other architecture program in the United States. This summer, iD+Pi received $225,000 through the ArtPlace America program to conduct a series of community planning events and design/build activities that will help the community reimagine a threemile stretch of highway within Zuni Pueblo, a town of roughly 9,000…