American Society of Landscape Architects

Landscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine February 2020

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United States
American Society of Landscape Architects
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

ANNE C GODFREY, ASLA, (“Tanner Springs Moments,” page 110) is a writer, photographer, and assistant professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her book Active Landscape Photography: Theoretical Groundwork for Landscape Architecture is due this month from Routledge. Find more of her work at “I think of writing like designing—things happen while actively writing that don’t happen when just thinking about something.” CATHERINE SEAVITT NORDENSON, ASLA, (“Amazon Fire: Who Owns the Amazon?” page 68) is an associate professor of landscape architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture, City College of New York, where she will assume directorship of the master’s degree program next fall. She is the author of Depositions: Roberto Burle Marx and Public Landscapes Under Dictatorship (University of Texas Press, 2018). You can follow her on Twitter…

3 min.
out with the bad old deal

The students at the University of Pennsylvania had a lot to show for their fall Green New Deal studio—much more than what appeared on the gallery walls of the university’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design in December. The studio was a first, and probably the first, to apply the instruments of design to take on the precepts of relieving economic inequities, creating green jobs, and, not least, battling climate breakdown, all of which are spelled out in the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress a year ago this month. It involved 15 students, most in landscape architecture and planning, who worked in teams on three regions: Appalachia, the Delta, and the Midwest. They showed new ways of using old mine shafts, revived fisheries, reformed agricultural practices, replaced oil rigs…

3 min.
mega project, mega problems

PARK HYDROLOGY After several starts and stops, an ambitious, award-winning hydrological park intended to alleviate flooding in one of Mexico City’s poorest districts will be completed this year. The 10-acre Parque Hídrico La Quebradora, located in the densely populated borough of Iztapalapa and designed by a multidisciplinary team at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, takes a monumental—in every sense of the word—approach to managing water in Mexico City, a sprawling city built on the clays of a former lake whose neighborhoods variously endure severe flooding and a lack of potable water. (Roughly half of Iztapalapa residents do not have daily access to drinkable water.) Loreta Castro-Reguera Mancera, a principal at Taller Capital and the project’s lead designer, looked to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic history to address Iztapalapa’s dysfunctional hydrology. The concept was inspired…

3 min.
duct tape urbanism

Last May, during what was supposed to have been a week of perfect spring weather, the City of Boston shut down a small stretch of Birch Street to cars. It was a test. How would neighbors in the southwest neighborhood of Roslindale respond to the new pedestrian space? How would it affect retailers? Would there be parking riots? “It wasn’t just a rendering. We were showing people in real time what the impact of that change would mean,” says Nina Chase, ASLA, a founder and principal at Merritt Chase, a landscape architecture office based in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. For the weeklong pilot of what would become Birch Street Plaza, Merritt Chase implemented an angularly striped paving pattern for the street and plotted out a series of tree planters. Instead of using…

2 min.
extreme sports, extreme storms

Last spring, while stuck at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the skateboarding legend Tony Hawk hailed a ride over to North Houston Skate Park for a few runs. Things like that happen a lot, says Sally Bradford, the executive director of the North Houston Development Corporation in Greenspoint, about 15 miles north of downtown Houston. “It’s one of the iconic skateparks in the world,” she says. She hopes the new Rockstar Energy Bike Park, one of three parks that are part of a sprawling sports complex, will become the same for BMXers. Designed by OJB Landscape Architecture over four years that included two historic floods, the $20 million, 23-acre park is said to be the largest in the United States. The competitive track, freestyle areas, dirt jumps, and 223-foot elevated boardwalk were…

3 min.
a daily dose of green

“Landscape as drug is our concept,” says Brent Bucknum, the founding principal of Oakland, California’s Hyphae Design Laboratory. It’s his way of explaining how he and his team, which includes ecologists, engineers, and landscape architects, got involved in one of the most unusual clinical trials in modern medicine. Known as the Green Heart Project, a collaboration among Hyphae Design Lab, the Nature Conservancy, and the University of Louisville’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute, the study is a controlled clinical trial that will evaluate the health effects not of a new pharmaceutical product, but of trees. Specifically, researchers are testing the effect of urban vegetation on cardiovascular health, measured by the stiffness of participants’ arteries, which correlates to higher rates of heart disease—one of the leading causes of death in the United…