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Landscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine June 2015

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American Society of Landscape Architects
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12 Edities

in deze editie

3 min.
rahm emanuel’s giveaway (part 2)

To the annals of things you thought might be sacred but actually aren’t sacred at all, you can now add 20 or so acres of a Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux park in Chicago that will be used to build the Obama presidential library. The Barack Obama Foundation, which had been considering four sites in Chicago, New York, and Hawaii, announced on May 12 that it had narrowed its choices down to a site in either Jackson Park or Washington Park on Chicago’s South Side. Neither the foundation nor the University of Chicago, which lured the library with the promise of using public parkland after a transfer engineered by Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, knows which Olmsted park they’ll decide on. But they seem sure that, despite dozens of empty…

1 min.

DIGGING UP WISCONSIN Thank you for publishing the excellent article “Many Sand Counties” (March) about frac sand mining in Wisconsin. While it provided a good description of this resource and how it is being mined, it should have given more attention to its environmental impact. Sadly, with Wisconsin holding 75 percent of the frac sand market in the United States, it is an industry that is having an alarming impact on a sizable portion of our state’s bucolic rural landscape. With our Department of Natural Resources now under political pressure from a jobs-at-any-cost governor and legislature and local controls in their infancy, little is being done to regulate booming, polluting frac sand mining practices. More and more, local citizens, along with environmental groups, claim that open-pit frac sand mining is having serious impacts…

3 min.
connected by dust

Dust moves in mysterious ways. In a new twist on how long-term weather patterns play out in local ecosystems, new research from NASA’s Climate and Radiation Laboratory suggests that wind erosion in one hemisphere may be critically important to ecosystem stability in another. The quantity and distribution of soil particles in the Earth’s atmosphere are subject to the effects of global climate change. It’s a relationship NASA researchers would like to unravel, and NASA’s atmospheric scientists recently completed the first multiyear study to track the annual airborne migration of dust from the Sahara to the Amazon. “We know that dust has important implications for climate change and greenhouse gases,” says Hongbin Yu of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who was the lead author of the seven-year study. “Dust can…

3 min.
prison to table

It’s well-known that the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world—roughly 2.3 million people, according to the latest estimates— but our prison population is slowly shrinking, and as a result, many states are closing facilities. New York closed 13 state prisons between 2011 and 2015. Several of these decommissioned prisons already are in the process of becoming office parks, film lots, and sports facilities, among other things. Gita Nandan, a principal at Brooklyn’s Thread Collective, hopes to turn at least one of them into a farm. This summer, Nandan will coteach a design studio at the Pratt Institute with her fellow Thread principal Elliott Maltby, who is trained as a planner and landscape designer, to explore the economic opportunities presented by these shuttered prisons.…

4 min.
no vacancy

Among the winners of the 2015 Knight Cities Challenge, which awarded a total of $5 million to 32 projects in cities across the United States, are several landscape designers, including the Penn State University professor C. Timothy Baird, ASLA, and Erin Kelly, ASLA, from the Detroit Future City Implementation Office (see “Detroit from the Ground Up,” LAM, November 2014). That landscape architecture projects were well represented among the winners of an urban design competition should reinforce what the profession brings to environmental sustainability and urban design. “Buildings should grow out of the landscape, as opposed to the landscape being leftover space,” says Baird, whose Urban Arboreta project was awarded $65,000 for its plan to convert a portion of Philadelphia’s vacant land into a working tree nursery. The Urban Arboreta team includes…

4 min.
old city, new tricks

In December 2013, a massive ice storm crippled Toronto, killing 27 people and knocking out power for 600,000 Ontario residents. Without electricity, elevators in Toronto’s residential highrises stopped working, and many elderly people were trapped. “I know that there were elderly women up on the 18th floor in a tower near our office who were trying to make tea on a little gas burner,” recalls Patricia McCarney, the director of the Global Cities Institute (GCI) at the University of Toronto. “The elderly were going between two floors to help each other for four days while they didn’t have power. They were actually having small tea parties up on these high floors! So there is a social capital out there, but if that went on any longer, who’s going to take…