American Society of Landscape Architects

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Landscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine August 2016

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Society of Landscape Architects
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

1 min.
contributors

NATE BERG (“Wary of Change,” page 60) is a journalist covering cities, parks, and planning. You can follow him on Twitter @Nate_Berg. “ In the abandoned buildings and streets of Las Vegas’s historic Westside, it’s hard not to see glimpses of Detroit—as well as the long shadow of racially discriminatory planning practices.” JONATHAN LERNER (“Surge Time,” page 92) is a contributing editor to the magazine. He can be reached at www.urbanistcommunications.com. “ I was struck by the tricky relationship between the parks and the gateway towns where visitors’ first impressions are formed—but where planning, such as it is, isn’t under park service control.” ADAM MANDELMAN (“Vanishing Act,” page 150) is a geographer and environmental historian. You can follow him on Twitter @amandelman. “ At the Burning Man gathering, one person’s moop [or “matter out of…

3 min.
this land is your life

If you are, as they say, what you eat, you are also the land you live on. The land provides or fails to provide what you eat according to privilege or poverty. These connections are understood in the landscape realm. In the historian Nancy Isenberg’s illuminating new book, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, one striking theme is the eternal and even fatal link between land and the health and social mobility of people during the development of this country. It has always been there. Since England sent its first waves of “waste people” to these shores to fend for themselves in a “waste land,” as North America was considered by many Europeans (read the historian Vittoria Di Palma’s book Wasteland for a thorough appreciation of…

2 min.
reimagining pershing square

Thanks for the brief history and presentation of new designs for Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles (“Better Luck This Time,” June). As a landscape architect and former dean of the College of Environmental Design, Cal Poly, I spent some 35 years studying this place, bringing my students here, trying to figure it all out—to see if indeed a future successful plan would ever occur. I started here with the first nondesign design following the underground parking construction, and from there watched the succeeding designs unveiled—and also fail. It seemed no one, designers and civic officials alike, truly understood (and still fail to understand) the two basic obstacles to a successful urban plaza at Pershing: the isolationist nature caused by the parking garage itself, and the general nature of Los…

3 min.
outside voices

Earlier this spring, Kelly Majewski, Affiliate ASLA, was one of more than 100 designers in Los Angeles who attended Design for Dignity, a one-day “congress” convened by the L.A. chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to identify ways to alleviate the city’s homeless crisis. But for Majewski, a landscape designer, the takeaway may not have been what the organizers hoped. “I got asked by multiple architects, once they found out I did landscape architecture, what I was doing at this conference,” she says. “I heard it three times. Which just blows my mind.” Majewski founded Superjacent, a new landscape architecture and urban design studio, with Tony Paradowski and Chris Torres in January 2016. And it’s interactions like those at the AIA conference that inspired the three partners to make…

4 min.
concrete evidence

As the Industrial Revolution raged forward at the turn of the 20th century, the sleepy coastal town of Sydney, Nova Scotia—with fewer than 10,000 residents at the time— was home to one of the largest steel plants in the world. A true factory town, Sydney lies in the heart of Cape Breton Island’s historic coal belt, once the industrial heart of Canada and a sooty contrast to the majestic fjords and pristine waters more commonly associated with the province. A century later the shuttered Sydney Steel Corporation site held the more dubious distinction as Canada’s version of the Love Canal. The tidal estuary of Muggah Creek, where the steel plant once drew water for cooling, became known as the Sydney Tar Ponds—the dumping ground for toxic runoff from the plant’s coke…

2 min.
shape shifter

Think of a material that can change over time, and most designers don’t think of precast concrete. But for a recent public space project in Glenroy, outside Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, landscape architects devised a series of bespoke concrete blocks that can be infinitely reconfigured as seating, planters, climbing structures, or steps. “Depending on how you flip and rotate them or build different elements up, there’s sort of endless arrangements that can occur,” says Michael Ford, a principal at Enlocus, which led the project. Known as Morgan Court, the space was for years little more than a dingy alley, a shortcut between two commercial corridors in the working-class suburb. The city sought a design for Morgan Court—one of several so-called activity centers (mixeduse, transit-oriented development areas)—that served current uses as well as…