American Society of Landscape Architects

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Landscape Architecture MagazineLandscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine Oct-15

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

IN THIS ISSUE

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the l.a. river bends

The push to fix the 51-mile Los Angeles River over the past few decades has been a triumph of citizen-fueled advocacy. It has harnessed landscape architecture as well as politics, planning, economics, engineering, hydrology, and ecology toward a dream of a living river, with plants and animals and people (and real estate) close to the water. Persistence and skill, notably on the part of the group Friends of the Los Angeles River, led to the stunning endorsement last year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of a $1 billion federal plan to restore natural habitat along 11 miles of the upper river. It was a bigger bet on the river than anyone expected. Since then, the big questions have been whether Congress will fund the plan and, if so,…

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a memorial’s powerful narrative

The recent article “Star Witness,” on the Halprin/Nishita design for the Babi Yar Memorial (July), was excellent. It is wonderful to see that this project has been finally completed, restored, and extended in such a sensitive manner by Mundus Bishop. The designers are to be applauded. Hopefully, it will now receive more visitors despite its unfortunate location on a main thoroughfare. The design embodies a powerful narrative. Sadly, the article omitted what is perhaps the most powerful component of that story. At the actual center of the symbolic “valley,” there is a small medallion. It states that beneath this circle lies soil from Babi Yar. The sloping amphitheater and pathways intersect at this point. The information has the power to transport one to that place, one that is distant in both…

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the road to the coast guard

Understanding that the intent of “The Wetter, the Better” (August) was to showcase the U.S. Coast Guard building project, I must point out that you left out a smaller, yet still vital part of the project, the west entry road (shown in part in the plan view on page 121). This milelong connector adds to the overall sustainable quality of the project, as it incorporates nearly a mile-long series of interconnected bioretention areas, along with adaptive/native species complementary to the building’s plant palette. In addition, the access road serves as a multimodal connection from the adjacent neighborhood to the project, including multiple bus bays servicing city and commuter buses as well as a 10-foot-wide unobstructed pedestrian/biking path. Our firm, Carvalho & Good, PLLC, designed the entry road under the Clark…

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beyond paper parks

For residents of China’s Yunnan Province, a visit to Pudacuo National Park can be prohibitively expensive, up to 190 yuan per person. That’s equivalent to roughly $30, and a lot of money for many of the families living in rural Yunnan, where millions live below the national poverty line of 2,300 yuan (about $360) per year. China has more than 3,000 protected natural areas, including national parks, geoparks (a place of geological significance), and scenic areas, according to Rui Yang, the chair of the department of landscape architecture at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and accessibility to them is just one of many issues China hopes to address in an overhaul of its system of protected areas in coming years. Approximately 17 percent of China’s land currently is protected in some form,…

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better edges

This past spring, the City of New York released a new comprehensive plan titled OneNYC, an update to 2007’s PlaNYC. Among the many initiatives envisioned for the next decade is a new program called Parks Without Borders. The effort, to be supported by $50 million in funding in coming years, focuses on the edges of parks, ensuring accessible, attractive, and inviting approaches and perimeters to the city’s urban public spaces. “It is an attempt to create a more connected, more seamless public realm,” says Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “The park doesn’t end at the fence line; it really ends at the curbline,” Silver says. But in many cases, separating the city’s parks from its sidewalks— and neighborhoods beyond—are substantial barriers, including fences that often exceed 10 feet in height. Implementing the…

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phosphorus for sale

Phosphorus is the 11th most common element on earth, and yet much of it is in all the wrong places. It is applied generously in agriculture, but up to 42 percent can be lost in farm field runoff before plant roots can absorb it, according to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality. That runoff affects the watershed by feeding algal blooms that wreak havoc on marine ecosystems, causing paralysis and seizures in mammals, birds, and even humans. One such bloom contaminated Toledo, Ohio’s water supply in 2014, and similar events happen with frequency around the globe. A hypoxic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of Connecticut is attributed to nutrient runoff from the Mississippi River watershed. Chicago’s treated wastewater, rich in phosphorus from human waste…

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