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Landscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine March 2016

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
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12 Edities

in deze editie

3 min.
the flint river fallacy

One of the recurring errors among media in covering the godawful drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has been to imply that the Flint River itself is the problem. There are many examples. “The Flint River is famously filthy,” said a writer in The New Yorker on February 4. The same week, the Los Angeles Times referred to “the corrosive Flint River,” a common but misleading phrase, and Mother Jones wrote: “The Flint River water contained dangerously high levels of lead,” which is false. The staff of the Flint River Watershed Coalition, an advocacy group that supports a healthy river, found zero lead in the water of the Flint River at three locations during several tests between mid-October and mid-January. On the whole, multiple tests by the coalition in recent months…

3 min.
this land is our land

The timing of the January article honoring our national parks (“The Mostest American Treasures”) was prescient. Just two days into the new year, the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon reminded us that we cannot take support of the concept of public lands for granted. Ammon Bundy and his cohort were not just protesting what they see as an unfair sentence in the arson case of two ranchers. In fact, they are part of a growing faction of radical right-wing extremists who believe that the federal government has no place in land management. Before there was Oregon, there was Nevada: Ammon’s father, Cliven, stopped paying grazing fees on his cattle ranch in 1994, when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) restricted certain areas in order to protect…

2 min.
a park of remnants and relics

Concrete slabs refurbished as public plazas. Old Jersey barriers reconfigured into retaining walls. “Just about everything you see has been repurposed one way or another,” says José Almiñana, FASLA, of Bartram’s Mile, a greenway project along the western bank of the Schuylkill River being designed by Andropogon Associates, where Almiñana is a principal. The 11.5-acre site wraps around the nearly 300-year-old landscape of Bartram’s Garden, the oldest surviving botanic garden in the United States. Created in 1728 by John Bartram, the historic garden became a public park in 1891. For decades, however, it has existed as a 45-acre island of woodlands and walking paths surrounded by a sea of heavy industry and neglected Philadelphia neighborhoods. The new park will help connect the garden and the surrounding area with existing greenways. Perhaps most…

3 min.
post-quake and pre-rise

Richmond, California, is one of dozens of American cities that could be underwater by 2100, if current climate change models are correct and inadequate action is taken. In addition, the port city across the bay from San Francisco also faces a significant seismic threat: The U.S. Geological Survey predicts that a major earthquake has a one-in-three chance of hitting the Bay Area in the next 20 years. It would be a one–two punch. But what if the city’s response to each of these threats could inform the other? What if the instantaneous disaster of an earthquake—which can be planned for but not predicted— became a catalyst for redrawing the boundaries of the city to better defend it against the incremental catastrophe of rising tides? This is the question posed by Richmond Bayway,…

4 min.
freight on the range

A 100-year proposal for transforming the ecology and economy of northeastern Illinois reveals an entirely new way of conceptualizing the American metropolis. Instead of the glass skyscrapers, rebar-bonded bridges, and pigeon-roosting subway platforms of the modern city, Logistical Ecologies presents an intricately designed freight and agriculture hub where bison graze grassy hills, corn and soybeans are sowed and shipped to Asian markets, and farmers and rail workers live side by side in new prairie settlements. The landscape designer behind the proposal is Conor O’Shea, Associate ASLA, the founder and principal at Hinterlands Urbanism and Landscape, a research and design firm based in Chicago. His plan, recently exhibited at the Chicago Architecture Biennial, hinges on the Bison Mosaic, a system of land use rotation that cycles between tallgrass prairie and cropland. Over…

2 min.
christmas on the beach

In Gulf Shores, Alabama, hundreds of discarded Christmas trees will be hitting the beach along with the snowbirds and spring breakers this year. Donated by local residents, the trees are part of a dune restoration project at Gulf State Park, itself one of many improvements planned for the 6,150-acre park, an ecologically important area that includes three and a half miles of white sand beaches, coastal wetlands, and rare pitcher plant bogs. This isn’t the first time that Christmas trees have been repurposed as sand fencing, but ecologists at Gulf State Park have been working to identify exactly how the discarded evergreens should be placed, oriented, and combined with other strategies to best accelerate the accretion of windblown sand. “They’ve actually figured out exactly how to place them, at exactly the…