American Society of Landscape Architects

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Landscape Architecture MagazineLandscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine June 2018

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

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
contributors

JOANN PLOCKOVA (“Mood Enhancers,” page 26) writes about design, architecture, and cities from Prague. You can follow her on Instagram @joann_plockova. “One of the first questions participants are asked is, ‘Are you indoors or outdoors?’ Reflecting back on the week via feedback sessions, many said, ‘Actually, I was finding I was indoors a lot, and it made me want to go outdoors more.’” JENNIFER REUT (“The Major Scale,” page 118) is the senior editor at LAM and writes frequently for the magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @JenniferEditor. “In late February, long after Tippet was closed to visitors for the season, Tippet’s ranch manager, Ben Wynthein, let me pore over hundreds of pages of handwritten notebooks and research documents so that I could have a better understanding of how a modern ranch…

access_time4 min.
history in edgewise

I’m not sure how many magazines with advisory boards actually put them to work, but at LAM, we meet with ours monthly by phone and find their advice invaluable. The LAM Editorial Advisory Committee (you can see its members on our masthead, page 6) is drawn from a cross section of ASLA’s membership. Each month, a different member leads the call, along with a backup, and those two people together set the agenda and lead the conversation. The topic is entirely of their choosing. Those of us on the magazine staff occasionally chime in, but mainly we listen. A recent call was led by two early-career professionals who focused the conversation on the ways landscape history is taught in landscape architecture schools. In particular, they wanted to address the overwhelming bend…

access_time2 min.
soil supplement

When a stretch of formerly industrial waterfront along Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River needed rehabilitating into public green space cheaply and effectively, Andropogon Associates’ Emily McCoy, ASLA, thought of biochar. She says the project “had a super-low budget, but we had lofty aspirations for the restoration of the soil and woodland.” Biochar, a carbon-rich soil amendment made by heating biomass in a low-oxygen environment, has been shown to strengthen soil structure, improve moisture and nutrient retention, and increase plant growth, among other virtues. McCoy hoped it would help build up soil in the highly degraded landscape, and do so as quickly as possible. Horticulturists and growers have largely embraced biochar for its effects on plant health and irrigation needs. However, questions regarding its value in broader, less intensively managed landscapes remain. In Philadelphia,…

access_time3 min.
reviving “baltimore’s front porch”

When Chris Bedford became the new director of the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) in 2016, he had a grand vision: to break down the walls that had built up between the century-old museum and the city around it. “One of my primary goals is to take the museum from unconscious introversion to really emphatic and conscious extroversion,” Bedford says. One way he is doing that is by hiring the designer Paula Hayes as the museum’s first landscape artist in residence. Hayes’s charge over the next two years is to reactivate a museum landscape that, though elegant, could use a refreshing and democratizing new concept. The 7.5-acre site includes the historic classical revival museum building designed by John Russell Pope, along with two sculpture gardens and other outdoor areas. Bedford hopes…

access_time4 min.
ready and watching

As more and more cities seek to immunize themselves against the threats of climate change, a small, unplanned community outside New Orleans known as the Batture offers an alternative approach to mitigating risk. The Batture is an informal settlement of mostly hand-built houses that hugs the river side of the large earthen levee that separates Jefferson Parish from the Mississippi River. It has existed in some form or another since the 18th century and at its peak consisted of some 400 houses, often referred to as camps by residents. Today, the population hovers around just 15 or 16 people. Although Batture residents don’t own their property, they do now have the tacit support of the local government, which has provided municipal water, electricity, and postal service in recent years. Some of…

access_time2 min.
mood enhancers

According to the results of the pilot phase of a project called Urban Mind, nature does indeed nurture. Urban Mind uses smartphone technology to assess the impact of nature on mental well-being in cities, merging the immediacy of real-time data collection with a growing body of evidence about environments and mental health. Developed in response to an open call put out by the Van Alen Institute, the research project and open source app were created by a cross-disciplinary team including the neuroscientist Andrea Mechelli of King’s College London, the artist and researcher Michael Smythe of Nomad Projects, and the landscape architects Johanna Gibbons and Neil Davidson of J & L Gibbons. It’s one of several smartphone-based studies, including LondonMood and Mappiness, that explore the effects of the environment on mental wellbeing,…

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